Charles L. Gowen Papers

Charles L. Gowen Papers

Descriptive Summary

Title: Charles L. Gowen Papers
Creator: Gowen, Charles Latimer
Inclusive Dates: 1946-1966
Language(s): English
Extent: 3 box(es) (1.25 linear feet and 5 sound recordings)
Collection Number: RBRL046CJLG
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Abstract: The collection consists of personal and political papers of Georgia State Representative Charles L. Gowen from 1946 to 1966. The papers primarily document Gowen's unsuccessful bid for Georgia Governor in 1954.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Charles Latimer Gowen was born in Westgate, Iowa and moved to Brunswick, Georgia at an early age. He graduated from Glynn Academy in 1921 and received his law degree from the University of Georgia Law School in 1925. He was admitted to the bar upon his graduation and returned to Brunswick in July 1925, to become a partner in the law firm of Conyers & Gowen.

Gowen practiced law in Brunswick for thirty-six years and served as Brunswick Juvenile Court Judge from 1939 to 1946. In 1939, he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives where he served until his retirement in 1960, except for a two-year absence when he ran an unsuccessful race for governor of Georgia in 1954 against Samuel Marvin Griffin. While in the legislature, he was a chairman of both the Appropriations and Judiciary Committees and a member of the 1945 State Constitution Revision Committee. He was elected president of the Georgia Bar Association for the 1945-46 term, and in 1958 he was elected a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

In 1962, Gowen became a senior partner in the Atlanta firm of King & Spalding. He then moved to Atlanta where he practiced trial law and became involved in a variety of civic activities. Gowen's courtroom appearances covered half a century and include his successful argument before the United States Supreme Court in 1968 representing the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. in a precedent-setting case involving church-state conflict and his successful defense in 1972 of the Coca-Cola Company in an anti-trust jury trial.

Gowen served on the University of Georgia Law School's Board of Visitors and was a recipient of the Law School Association's Distinguished Service Scroll. In July 2002, his family honored him with the dedication of the Charles Latimer Gowen Courtyard on the University's Old Campus. He was also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Richard B. Russell Foundation, Inc.

Gowen died in Atlanta, Georgia on March 31, 2003.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of personal and political papers of Charles L. Gowen from 1946 to 1966. The papers primarily document Gowen's unsuccessful bid for Georgia governor in 1954. Consisting mainly of news clippings relating to the 1954 gubernatorial race, the collection also contains correspondence, speeches, brochures, and several original Marvin and Baldy cartoons depicting Gowen's highly ethical campaign philosophy. Also included are a small amount of materials that reflect his work in the state legislature and his law practice.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is organized into six series: I. Political, II. Legislative, III. Law career, IV. Personal, V. Photographs, and VI. Editorial Cartoons. The collection is arranged topically within each series.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Charles L. Gowen Papers, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.

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 permission. 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 on: 2008.

Related Materials and Subjects

Subject Terms

Related Collections in this Repository

Commission to Revise the Constitution of Georgia Records

Herman E. Talmadge Collection

Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection

Related Collections in Other Repositories

Georgia Government Documentation Project, Special Collections, Georgia State University

Samuel Marvin Griffin Papers, Bainbridge College Library

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing


Series I. Political

17 folder(s)
This series contains clippings and correspondence concerning Gowen's unsuccessful bid for governor of Georgia in 1954 against Samuel Marvin Griffin and some clippings and magazine articles on Gowen's campaigns for and political activities in the Georgia House of Representatives. The series also contains journal entries, photographs, newspaper clippings, political cartoons, pamphlets, a scrapbook, and other materials created and collected by Gowen's daughter, Anne Gowen Spalding. Anne worked as a reporter for The Atlanta Constitution but took a leave of absence from the newspaper in 1954 to work as press secretary on her father's gubernatorial campaign.

Subseries A. General

11Clippings, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1966
12Possible Candidate clippings, 1949-1950

Subseries B. Campaigns

1. Gubernatorial , 1954
13Gubernatorial, Election results and correspondence, 1954
14Gubernatorial, Correspondence, 1954
15Gubernatorial, Campaign Material, 1954
16Gubernatorial, Finances, 1954
17Gubernatorial, News Clippings, July-September 1954
18Gubernatorial, News Clippings, July-August 1954
19Gubernatorial, News Clippings, Mailed to Mrs. Gowen, 1954
21Gubernatorial, Clippings, June-August 1954
22Gubernatorial, Anne Gowen clippings and editorial cartoons, April-June 1954
23Gubernatorial, Clippings, April-June 1954
24Gubernatorial, Clippings, Early 1954
25Gubernatorial, Scrapbook, humorous, Anne Gowen, 1954
211Gubernatorial, Anne Gowen press releases [with corrections], 1954 Jul-Aug
212Gubernatorial, Anne Gowen scrapbook, 1954
Contains typed journal entries, correspondence, press releases, newspaper clippings, political cartoons, pamphlets, travel itineraries, photographs, and question cards from a townhall meeting ("talkathon") held in Rome, Georgia on September 6, 1954.
2. State Representative
26State Representative, 1946, 1958

Series II. Legislative

1 folder(s)
This folder contains clippings on Gowen's political activities in the Georgia General Assembly from 1952 to 1954 and his unsuccessful bid for governor of Georgia in 1954.
27Georgia General Assembly, Clippings, 1952-1954

Series III. Law Career

2 folder(s)
Two folders containing the text of Gowen's presidential speech at the Georgia Bar Association's annual meeting and news clippings on the meeting. It also includes a few news clippings with references to Gowen's private law practices in Brunswick and Atlanta.

Subseries A. Georgia Bar Association

28Speech, Clippings

Subseries B. Private Practice

29Brunswick, Atlanta clippings

Series IV. Personal

1 folder(s)
One folder containing personal correspondence to Gowen from friends and relatives, blank postcards, financial records, event programs, and miscellaneous clippings.
210Family, Church, Finance [clippings, correspondence, and financial documents]

Series V. Photographs

29 photograph(s)
This series consists of formal portraits of Gowen and images of Gowen campaigning for Georgia Governor in 1954. It also contains two negatives of Gowen's law office in Brunswick, Georgia.
3CLG-PF-01Opening of gubernatorial campaign, Jesup, Georgia , 1954 July 10
3CLG-PF-02Campaign in Cleveland, Georgia, 1954 August 7
3CLG-PF-03Gowen for Governor Talkathon, Macon, Georgia, 1954 August 26
3CLG-PF-04Campaign banner in Brunswick, Georgia, 1954
3CLG-PF-05Campaign headquarters at the Henry Grady Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia, 1954
3CLG-PF-06Campaign photographs, 1954
3CLG-PF-07Gowen campaign portraits, 1954
3CLG-PF-08Formal portraits of Gowen, Atlanta, Georgia, circa 1954-1959
3CLG-PF-09Law office of Gowen, Brunswick, Georgia

Series VI. Editorial Cartoons

8 item(s)
OS1CLG01Gold Is Where You Find It. State Rep. Charles Gowen is "prospecting" for better schools, the Contingent Fund depicted as the "rainbow". State Auditor Thrasher and Gov. Talmadge raise forbidding hands. By Baldy, 1953
OS1CLG02The High Ground Charles Gowen's 15 Year Record 1954 Gubernatorial Campaign. By Baldy, 1954
OS1CLG03Gubernatorial Platforms. Gowen, Thompson, Hand, Linder, Griffin (identified). By Marvin, 1954
OS1CLG04He Doesn't Have A Chain! 1954 Gubernatorial Campaign. Linder, Griffin, Hand, Thompson chained by special interests. Gowen standing free. By Marvin, 1954
OS1CLG05Some Mighty Strange Mounts. 1954 Gubernatorial Campaign. Hand, Linder, Griffen, Thompson mounted at starting line; Gowen on winged horse with banners: "record, statesmanship, program". By Marvin, 1954
OS1CLG061954 Gubernatorial Campaign. Thompson, Linder, Hand, Griffin all shouting "I'm top man", while a smiling Gowen steps quickly up the stairs to a place "Reserved for Voters' Choice." By Marvin, 1954
OS1CLG07The Voter Who Cares, Compares… Then 1954 Gubernatorial Campaign. Gowen, Linder, Hand, Griffen, Thompson giving campaign promises on school integration. The "voter" marks the ballot for Gowen. By Marvin, 1954
OS1CLG08Gaining In Stature… and Still Growing 1954 Gubernatorial Campaign. Gowen being "measured" by Georgia Voter on August 1, August 12, August 26. By Marvin, 1954

Series VII. Audiovisual Materials, circa 1940s

5 sound_recording(s)
Reference copies of the audiovisual recordings are available upon request. Research requests will be filled as soon as possible and will be dependent upon the condition of the recordings.
UC RBRL/046/CJLG/PD_0001Unidentified 12-inch lacquer disc, undated ( 1 sound_recording(s) )
UC RBRL/046/CJLG/PD_0002Unidentified 12-inch lacquer disc, undated ( 1 sound_recording(s) )
UC RBRL/046/CJLG/PD_0003Unidentified 12-inch lacquer disc, undated ( 1 sound_recording(s) )
UC RBRL/046/CJLG/PD_0004Unidentified 12-inch lacquer disc, undated ( 1 sound_recording(s) )
UC RBRL/046/CJLG/PD_0005Unidentified 12-inch lacquer disc, undated ( 1 sound_recording(s) )

Special Collections Libraries
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602-1641