Herman E. Talmadge Collection, Subgroup C, Series VII: Political PatronageHerman E. Talmadge Collection, Subgroup C, Series VII: Political Patronage

Herman E. Talmadge Collection, Subgroup C, Series VII: Political Patronage

Descriptive Summary

Title: Herman E. Talmadge Collection, Subgroup C, Series VII: Political Patronage
Creator: Talmadge, Herman E. (Herman Eugene), 1913-2002.
Dates: 1957-1971
Extent: 19.0 boxes (13.25 linear feet)
Collection Number: RBRL/102/HET
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Abstract: Many individuals in Georgia and elsewhere sought Senator Talmadge's assistance in winning federal appointments or jobs, and materials here reflect his role in this process. Requests for federal judgeships, federal attorneys and assistant attorneys, federal marshals, Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation committee and Georgia-based postmasters. The files were divided by regions-Northern, Middle, and Southern. Nominations were a standard part of the senator's job, as documented in these files.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

It was once said if you were not a Talmadge man you were a communist. The Talmadge dynasty began in 1926 when Eugene Talmadge, Herman's father, was first elected Commissioner of Agriculture. Gene would later be elected governor of Georgia to an unprecedented four terms. For over fifty years the Talmadges dominated Georgia politics until Herman was defeated in 1980.

Born on August 9, 1913, on a farm near McRae, Georgia, to Eugene and Mattie Talmadge, Herman attended public schools until his senior year when his family moved to Atlanta. In the fall of 1931, he entered the University of Georgia. By 1936, he had received his law degree and joined his father's law practice.

After serving in the United States Navy during World War II, Talmadge returned to his home in Lovejoy. While continuing to practice law and to farm, Talmadge took over publishing his father's weekly newspaper, The Statesman, and started a ham-curing business.

Talmadge's first involvement in politics was as his father's campaign manager in 1946. Running for an unprecedented fourth term as governor of Georgia, Eugene Talmadge was elected in November 1946, but was in failing health. As a precaution, a small group of Talmadge supporters started a write-in campaign for Herman Talmadge during the general election. When the elder Talmadge died in December 1946, before being sworn in as governor, the Georgia General Assembly elected his son governor by a vote of 161 to 87. But outgoing Governor Ellis Arnall refused to surrender his office unless it was to elected-Lieutenant Governor Melvin E. Thompson. After a period of uncertainty, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that the constitutional portion under which the General Assembly had elected Herman Talmadge did not apply. The court declared M. E. Thompson acting governor until a special election could be held. In September 1948, Talmadge was elected governor and re-elected in 1950, serving until January 1955.

As governor, Herman Talmadge concentrated on improving educational opportunities for children of all races by establishing youth centers, increasing construction of rural roads, and building additional hospitals and health care centers.

When Senator Walter George officially announced his decision not to run for United States Senate, Talmadge started campaigning to take his place. Once again he was opposed by M. E. Thompson, but defeated him in the Democratic primary. With no Republican opposition in the general election in November 1956, Talmadge was elected United States senator.

The civil rights movement of the 1950s ultimately effected equal rights legislation for African-Americans and eliminated segregated public facilities in the South. Although progress toward integrating public schools was achieved, a majority of whites in the South remained adamant in their resistance to desegregation.

As part of that majority, Talmadge had voiced his opposition as early as the 1948 Democratic Convention when President Harry Truman tried to add civil rights to the platform. And in response to the Supreme Court ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education, Talmadge authored a book in 1955 about the wisdom of segregated education entitled You and Segregation.

When Talmadge officially began his term as the junior senator from Georgia in January 1957, he immediately joined the other Southern Democrats in their fight against civil rights legislation. "I never read a civil rights bill that didn't destroy more constitutional rights that it purported to give any group."

In response to the crisis of integrating Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas, Talmadge proposed a constitutional amendment in 1959 that would have permitted the state and local governments to decide whether or not to keep their schools segregated. This proposal was the first acknowledgment from a southern senator that Brown vs. Board of Education was an established fact.

Having won a seat on the Agriculture Committee in 1957, Talmadge wielded his greatest influence on bills that affected American farmers and agriculture. By 1971, he had become chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Some of his major accomplishments in this area included guiding passage of a series of acts, which established price support programs for peanuts, cotton, wheat, and other commodities.

Talmadge probably achieved his greatest national prominence through his role on the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, which investigated the Watergate scandal and ultimately led to the resignation of the president and vice president of the United States, as well as the conviction of three cabinet members on felony charges. Talmadge thought that the Watergate investigation was one of the most important events in the history of the United States and demonstrated that a republican form of government has a way of correcting the conduct of public officials and alerting others not to make the same mistake.

At the same time he was gaining national recognition, Talmadge was besieged by a series of personal and political tragedies. In 1975, his son Robert drowned in a swimming accident at Lake Lanier; by the fall of 1977, Betty and Herman Talmadge had finalized their divorce; then, in 1978, Talmadge came to grips with a serious drinking problem. Following an alcohol treatment program at the naval hospital in Long Beach, California, he returned to Washington, ready to work, but met with scandal instead. Shortly after returning to the Capitol, Talmadge was accused of misappropriating office funds and campaign donations for his own personal use. The Senate Ethics Committee investigated the allegations and recommended that Talmadge be "denounced" for his reprehensible behavior and sentenced to reimburse the Senate for these controversial funds with interest.

Despite these problems, Talmadge sought his fifth term as senator in 1980, but was rejected by Georgia voters who chose to elect Mack Mattingly to replace him, the first Republican to hold the office since Reconstruction.

Serving twenty-four years in the United States Senate, Talmadge ranked fifth in seniority among Senate Democrats and seventh overall by the time he left office. Herman Talmadge passed away on March 21, 2002. He is survived by his one son, grandchildren, and wife Linda.

Scope and Content

Many individuals in Georgia and elsewhere sought Senator Talmadge's assistance in winning federal appointments or jobs, and materials here reflect his role in this process. Requests for federal judgeships, federal attorneys and assistant attorneys, federal marshals, Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation committee and Georgia-based postmasters. The files were divided by regions-Northern, Middle, and Southern. Nominations were a standard part of the senator's job, as documented in these files.

Organization and Arrangement

This series is organized into two subseries: A. Georgia Post Office and B. General Appointments.


Administrative Information and Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Case mail restricted.

Preferred Citation

Herman E. Talmadge Collection, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia.

Processing Notes

Clippings have been copied onto bond paper for protection of content. Artifacts, photographs, books, and audiovisual materials have been separated for preservation purposes and inventoried.

User Restrictions

Library acts as "fair use" reproduction agent.

Copyright Information

Before material from collections at the Richard B. Russell Library may be quoted in print, or otherwise reproduced, in whole or in part, in any publication, permission must be obtained from (1) the owner of the physical property, and (2) the holder of the copyright. It is the particular responsibility of the researcher to obtain both sets of permissions. Persons wishing to quote from materials in the Russell Library collection should consult the Director. Reproduction of any item must contain a complete citation to the original.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding aid prepared by Russell staff, 2008.


Related Materials

Access Points

Ambassadors.
Judges--Selection and appointment--United States.
Legislators--United States.
United States--Politics and government--1951-
United States--Politics and government--1969-1974.
United States. Congress. Senate.
United States. Post Office Dept.

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Howard H. (Bo) Callaway Papers

John W. Davis Papers

E. L. Forrester Papers

Georgia State Democratic Executive Committee Papers

Roy V. Harris Papers

Mack F. Mattingly Papers

Erwin Mitchell Papers

Maston O'Neal Papers

John L. Pilcher Papers

Prince H. Preston Papers

Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection

Richard B. Russell Oral History interviews

T. Rogers Wade Collection of Herman E. Talmadge Materials

S. Ernest Vandiver Papers

Iris F. Blitch Papers

Hugh Peterson, Sr. Papers

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Related Collections in Other Repositories

Governor, Executive Department, Georgia Department of Archives and History

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William Berry Hartsfield papers, Woodruff Special Collections, Emory University

Georgia Governors roundtable oral history interview, 1985 Oct. 31, Georgia Government Documentation Project, William Russell Pullen Library, Georgia State University

Herman E. Talmadge oral history interview, 1976 June 1, Georgia Government Documentation Project, William Russell Pullen Library, Georgia State University

Georgia's Political Heritage Program oral history interviews, State University of West Georgia


Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

 

Subgroup C: United States Senatorial Papers



VII. Political Patronage

Extent: 19.0 boxes
Extent: (13.25 linear feet)
Scope and Contents note: Many individuals in Georgia and elsewhere sought Senator Talmadge's assistance in winning federal appointments or jobs, and materials here reflect his role in this process. Requests for federal judgeships, federal attorneys and assistant attorneys, federal marshals, Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation committee and Georgia-based postmasters. The files were divided by regions-Northern, Middle, and Southern. Nominations were a standard part of the senator's job, as documented in these files.
A. Georgia Post Office
BoxFolder
11Acworth
12Adairsville
13Ailey
14Alamo
15Albany
16Alexander
17Allenhurst
18Allentown
19Alma
110Alpharetta
111Alston
112Americus
113Appling
114Aragon
115Argyle
116Arlington
117Armuchee
118Ashburn
119Athens
120-21Atlanta
122Augusta
123Austell
124Avondale Estates
125Bainbridge
126Baldwin
127Ball Ground
128Barnesville
129Barney
130Bartow
131Barwick
132Baxley
133Bellville
BoxFolder
21Berner
22Bishop
23Blackshear
24Blairsville
25Bloomingdale
26Blue Ridge
27Bluffton
28Bogart
29Bolingbroke
210Bolton
211Boston
212Bowdon
213Bowersville
214Bowman
215Box Springs
216Bradley
217Braselton
218Brewton
219Brinson
220Bronwood
221Brooklet
222Brooks
223Broxton
224Brunswick
225Buchanan
226Buena Vista
227Butler
228Byromville
229Cairo
230Calhoun
231Calvary
232Camak
233Camilla
234Campton
235Canton
236Carl
237Carlton
238Carnegie
239Carrollton
240Carters
BoxFolder
31Cartersville
32Catuala
33Cave Spring
34Cecil
35Cedartown
36Center
37Centerville
38Chamblee
39Chauncey
310Cherrylog
311Chester
312Chickamauga
313Chula
314Claxton
315Clay Hill
316Clayton
317Clermont
318Cleveland
319Climax
320Clinchfield
321Clyo
322Cohutta
323Colbert
324College Park
325Colquitt
326Columbus
327Comer
328Commerce
329Conley
330Coosa
331Conyers
332Cordele
333Council
334Covena
335Covington
336Crawfordville
337Cumming
338Cusseta
339Cuthbert
BoxFolder
41Daisy
42Dallas
43Dalton
44Damascus
45Dames Ferry
46Danburg
47Danville
48Darien
49Dawson
410Dearing
411Decatur
412Demorest
413Denton
414Dexter
415Dillon
416Dixie
417Doerun
418Donalsonville
419Dooling
420Doraville
421Douglas
422Douglasville
423Dry Branch
424Dublin
425Duluth
426Dunwoody
427Eastman
428East Point
429Eatonton
430Elberton
431Ellaville
432Ellenton
433Ellenwood
434Ellijay
435Elmodel
436Emerson
437Emory University
438Empire
439Enigma
440Eton
441Evans
442Everett
BoxFolder
51Experiment
52Fairburn
53Fairyland
54Fayetteville
55Felton
56Finleyson
57Fitzgerald
58Flemington
59Flippen
510Flovilla
511Forest Park
512Flowery Branch
513Forsyth
514Fort Gaines
515Fort Oglethorpe
516Fort Screven
517Fortson
518Gainesville
519Gardi
520Geneva
521Georgetown
522Gibson
523Godfey
524Goggins
525Gordon
526Gough
527Gracewood
528Graves
529Grayson
530Greensboro
531Greenville
532Griffin
533Grovetown
534Guyton
535Habersham
536Hagan
537Hamilton
538Hapeville
539Haralson
540Hardwick
BoxFolder
61Harlem
62Harrison
63Hartsfield
64Hartwell
65Hatcher
66Hawkinsville
67Haylow
68Hazlehurst
69Helena
610Hephzibah
611Hiawassee
612Higdon
613Hinsonton
614Hiram
615Hoboken
616Holly Springs
617Hoschton
618Huber
619Hull
620Hurst
621Ideal
622Ila
623Indian Springs
624Inman
625Irwinton
626Jackson
627Jacksonville
628James
629Jasper
630Jeffersonville
631Jenkinsburg
632Jesup
633Jonesboro
634Juliette
635Junction City
636Kennesaw
637Kensington
638Kingsland
639Kingston
640Knoxville
BoxFolder
71Lafayette
72LaGrange
73Lakeland
74Lakemont
75Lavonia
76Lawrenceville
77Leary
78Lebanon
79Leesburg
710Lenox
711Leslie
712Lexington
713Lexsy
714Lilburn
715Lilly
716Lincolnton
717Lithia Springs
718Lizella
719Loganville
720Lovett
721Lula
722Lumber City
723Luthersville
724Luxomni
725Lyerly
726Lyons
727McBean
728McCaysville
729McDonough
730McIntyre - 3rd District
731McRae
732Mableton
733Machen
734Macon
735Madison
736Manassas
737Manchester
738Marietta
739Marshallville
740Martin
741Martinez
742Matthews
743Mayfield
744Maysville
745Meansville
746Meldrim
747Mendes
748Mershon
749Metter
750Middleton
BoxFolder
81Midville
82Milledgeville
83Milan
84Millen
85Millwood
86Milstead
87Molena
88Moniac
89Montezuma
810Monroe
811Montrose
812Moreland
813Morgan
814Morris
815Morrow
816Morven
817Moultrie
818Mount Vernon
819Mountain View
820Mountville
821Munnerlyn
822Mystic
823Nahunta
824Naylor
825Newborn
826Newington
827Newnan
828Nicholson
829Norcross
830Norman Park
831Norristown
832Oakfield
833Ocilla
834Offerman
835Oglethorpe
836Oliver
837Orchard Hill
838Osierfield
839Palmetto
840Parrott
841Patterson
842Pavo
843Pearson
844Pelham
845Pembroke
BoxFolder
91Pendergrass
92Penfield
93Perkins
94Perry
95Pinehurst
96Pine Lake
97Pine Mountain Valley
98Pineview
99Plainville
910Plains
911Pomona
912Pooler
913Porterdale
914Powder Springs
915Presley
916Preston
917Putney
918Quitman
919Rabun Gap
920Ranger
921Ray City
922Rebecca
923Red Oak
924Register
925Reidsville
926Rentz
927Riceboro
928Richland
929Richmond
930Ridgeville
931Ringgold
932Rising Fawn
933Riverdale
934Roberta
935Robertstown
936Rochell
937Rockmart
938Rome
939Roswell
940Round Oak
941Rossville
942Royston
943Rupert
944Rutledge
945Rydal
BoxFolder
101St. George
102Saint Mary's
103Sandersville
104Sandy Springs
105Sargent
106Sasser
107Satolah
108Sautee-Nacoochee
109Savannah
1010Savannah Beach
1011Sea Island
1012Scott
1013Senoia
1014Shady Dale
1015Silver Creek
1016Smyrna
1017Snellville
1018Soperton
1019Sparta
1020Springfield
1021Spring Place
1022Statenville
1023Statesboro
1024Stillmore
1025Stillwell
1026Stilson
1027Stockbridge
1028Stone Mountain
1029Stonewall
1030Stovall
1031Sugar Hill
1032Summertown
1033Summerville
1034Surrency
1035Suwanee
BoxFolder
111Swainsboro
112Sycamore
113Sylvania
114Sylvester
115Tallulah Falls
116Tallulah Lodge
117Tarrytown
118Tate
119Taylorsville
1110Tennga
1111Tennile
1112Thomaston
1113Thomasville
1114Thomson
1115Tifton
1116Toccoa
1117Townsend
1118Trenton
1119Trion
1120Tucker
1121Tunnel Hill
1122Tybee Island
1123Tyrone
1124Ty Ty
1125Union City
1126Uvalda
1127Valdosta
1128Vidalia
1129Villa Rica
1130Waco
1131Wadley
1132Waleska
1133Walthourville
1134Warm Springs
1135Warner Robins
1136Warrenton
1137Warthen
1138Watkinsville
1139Waverly
1140Waverly Hall
BoxFolder
121Waycross
122Waynesboro
123Waynesville
124West Bainbridge
125West Point
126White
127White Hall
128White Plains
129Whitesburg
1210Wildwood
1211Willacoochee
1212Williamson
1213Winder
1214Winterville
1215Woodstock
1216Woolsey
1217Wray
1218Wrens
1219Young Harris
12204th Congressional District
12215th Congressional District
1222Columbus - 3rd District
1223DeSoto - 3rd District
1224Fortson - 3rd District
1225Fort Valley - 3rd District
1226Juniper - 3rd District
1227Leesburg - 3rd District
1228Vienna - 3rd District
12294th and 5th Districts
12303rd Congressional District
1231Butler - 3rd District
1232Employment
B. General Appointments
BoxFolder
131-2Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Committee
133ASC Administrative Office
134ASC Committee
135ASC State Committee
136ASC Committee Chairman
137Ambassadors
138Assistant U.S. Attorney - Southern
139-10Assistant U.S. Attorney - Middle
1311-12Assistant U.S. Attorney - Northern
1313District Attorney - Middle
1314District Attorney - Northern
BoxFolder
141District Attorney - Northern
142District Attorney - Southern
143-4District Judge - Middle
145-7District Judge - Northern
148Federal Communications Commission
149Federal Housing Administration
1410-12Federal Judgeships - Miscellaneous
BoxFolder
151-2Federal Judgeships - Miscellaneous
153Federal Power Commission
154-5Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
156Home Finance Agency
157Interstate Commerce Commission
158-9Judgeships - Northern District
1510Judgeships - Middle District
1511Judgeships - Southern District
BoxFolder
161New Northern District Court
162Patronage Information
163Treasury Bond Department
164U. S. Attorney General
165U. S. Attorney - Southern
166U. S. Attorney - Middle
167-10U. S. Marshall - Middle District
1611-12U. S. Marshall - Northern District
BoxFolder
171-3U. S. Marshall - Northern District
174U. S. Marshall - Southern District
175U. S. Court of Claims
BoxFolder
181Legislative Assistant
182Farmers Home Administration
183Health, Education and Welfare
184Collector of Customs
185Customs House - Savannah
186U. S. Savings Bond Division
187Deputy Director - U. S. Savings Bond Division
188U. S. Savings Bond
189Cabinet Appointment
1810Distribution and Traffic Manager - Atlanta Post Office
1811Postal Inspector In Charge
1812Regional Operations Director
1813Post Office
1814Post Office - Real Estate Branch
1815Agriculture Attache - Spain
1816Agriculture
1817Assistant Postmaster General
1818Assistant Secretary of Defense
1819Assistant Secretary of Navy
1820Federal Housing Administration
1821Federal National Mortgage Association
1822National Labor Relations Board
1823State Federal Housing Administration
1824Surgeon General
1825Tobacco Division of the Commodity Stabilization Service
1826Undersecretary of Interior
1827U. S. Tariff Commission
1828General Printing Office
1829Regional Administrator
BoxFolder
191Regional Agricultural Liaison Representative
192Administrator of Veterans Affairs
193Manager - Regional Office Veterans Affairs
194Assistant Manager - Regional Office Veterans Affairs
195Small Business Administration
196-7Patronage - Miscellaneous
198-9Post Office