Request Material

John C. Reese Collection of Joseph M. Brown Materials

John C. Reese Collection of Joseph M. Brown Materials

Descriptive Summary

Title: John C. Reese Collection of Joseph M. Brown Materials
Creator: Reese, John C.
Inclusive Dates: 1913-1914
Language(s): English
Extent: 1 box(es) (.25 linear feet)
Collection Number: RBRL128JCR
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Abstract: This is a collection of materials relating to Joseph M. Brown that were collected by John C. Reese from 1913 to 1914. It includes a handwritten commentary on Georgia politics, from 1914, by Georgia Governor Joseph M. Brown to his friend John C. Reese. The collection also includes several newspaper clippings concerning Governor Brown and a handwritten press release relating to Brown's candidacy against Senator Hoke Smith.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Joseph M. Brown was born on 28 December 1851 in Canton, Georgia. Brown's father gave Joseph his nickname, "Little Joe Brown," after Joseph's grandfather, Joseph E. Brown, Georgia 's Civil War governor. Brown graduated from Oglethorpe University in 1872 and passed the bar in 1873, after studying at his brother's office as well as at Harvard University. Brown did not pursue law due to bad eyesight, instead he attended a business college in Atlanta. He chose the railroad business as his career and his first position was as a clerk for the Western Atlantic Railroad. By 1889, he had risen to the position of traffic manager. That same year, on February 12, he married Cora Annie McCord.

In 1904, Governor Joseph Terrell appointed Brown to the State Railroad Commission, where he remained until Governor Hoke Smith suspended him on 21 August 1907, over a disagreement concerning railroad passenger rates. Brown voted against an order lowering passenger rates and this angered Governor Smith. In the gubernatorial election of 1908, Brown challenged Smith. Although he made no public speeches and gave just fifteen newspaper statements, Brown won the election and took office on 26 June 1909. Brown's victory derived chiefly from voters' dissatisfaction with Smith's policies, which had resulted in significant economic hardships for many Georgians. Brown used this to his advantage with such slogans as "Hoke and Hunger, Brown and Bread." During the election, he also supported reduced taxes, prohibition, the establishment of a department of labor, and anti-lobby legislation. Brown's adversarial relationship with Hoke Smith persisted through Brown's term as governor.

Hoke Smith challenged Brown for the governor's seat again in 1910. Smith defeated Brown by such a narrow margin that Brown chose to run as an independent candidate in the general election. Smith defeated Brown in the general election by a much greater margin. When Hoke Smith chose to leave the governor's office to fill U.S. Senator Alexander S. Clay's unexpired term in 1912, Brown ran unopposed for the open gubernatorial seat. Brown took office on 12 January 1912. Following his term as governor, Brown challenged Smith for his Senate seat in 1914. Smith won the election, and Brown never returned to politics.

After his time in public office Brown served as director and vice president of First National Bank of Marietta for ten years. He also owned and operated Cherokee Mills in Marietta. Brown wrote many books including The Mountain Campaigns of Georgia and Astyanax. Joseph M. Brown died on 3 March 1932.

Scope and Content

This collection includes a commentary, to be released to the press, written by Governor Joseph M. Brown in 1914 to his close friend and reporter for The Macon Telegraph newspaper, John C. Reese. Brown answers questions about announcing his candidacy against Hoke Smith for the 1914 Senate race and he asserts his distrust of Clark Howell, who was the editor of the Atlanta Constitution, a "New South" Democratic candidate for governor in 1906 and a close associate of Brown's political adversary, Hoke Smith . The collection also consists of a press release written by Brown announcing his candidacy and platform for the 1914 Senate race. These papers form a very detailed picture of Governor Brown's political views during this time. Also included are some relevant newspaper clippings about the Senate race from 1913 to 1914.

Organization and Arrangement

The papers are organized in one series, I. Political, and two sub-series, A. Joseph M. Brown Manuscripts and B. Newspaper Articles.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

John C. Reese Collection of Joseph Brown Materials, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.

Processing Notes

Newspaper clippings have been copied onto bond paper for preservation.

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 on: 2008.

Related Materials and Subjects

Subject Terms

Brown, Joseph M., 1851-1932.
Georgia -- Politics and government -- 1865-1950.
Georgia Railroad.
Howell, Clark, 1863-1936.
Railroads -- Freight.
Railroads -- Georgia -- Employees.
Smith, Hoke, 1855-1931.

Related Collections in this Repository

Hoke Smith Papers

Richard B. Russell, Sr. Papers

Dudley M. Hughes Collection

Joseph M. Terrell Papers

Lamartine G. Hardman Collection

William J. Harris Papers

Related Collections in Other Repositories

Luther Clark Howell Papers, Amherst College Archives and Special Collections, Amherst, Massachusetts

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing



1 box(es)
(.25 linear feet)
This series consists of two sub-series: A. Joseph M. Brown Manuscripts, which were written by Governor Brown and discuss Georgia politics, Brown's reservations about Clark Howell, and a press release relating to Brown's candidacy against Senator Hoke Smith; and B. Newspaper Articles, containing three articles about Brown in 1913 and 1914. They discuss the activities Governor Brown was involved in during that time, namely his campaign for a U.S. Senate seat.
11Joseph M. Brown Manuscripts