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John Leonard Pilcher Papers, Series V: Political

John Leonard Pilcher Papers, Series V: Political

Descriptive Summary

Title: John Leonard Pilcher Papers, Series V: Political
Creator: Pilcher, John Leonard, 1898-1981.
Inclusive Dates: 1952-1965
Language(s): English
Extent: 12 box(es) (6 linear feet)
Collection Number: RBRL/131/JLP_V
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Abstract: Series V: Political is concerned with Pilcher's involvement in the Democratic Party in Georgia and the Second District, his campaigns and speeches, and his interest in local projects. It is composed of a wide variety of materials, including correspondence, telegrams, reports, and speeches. Topics include Flint River Project, mutual security, postal pay increases, civil rights, and campaign expenditures for Pilcher's congressional campaigns.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

John Leonard Pilcher was born in a two-room log cabin near Meigs, Georgia on August 27, 1898. Although Pilcher's father died when he was five, and Pilcher had to support his mother and two young sisters, he completed seven grades of public school and graduated from Massey Business College. In 1922, he married Dorothy Covington of Moultrie, Georgia. They had two sons: John Leonard, Jr., who in 1946, at the age of seventeen, was killed in a plane crash while serving as an ROTC air cadet at the University of Georgia; and Charles, who handled the family business while his father was in Washington.

Pilcher started working at the age of fifteen, and by the time he was twenty he was operating a small business. Involved in agricultural pursuits most of his life, Pilcher not only owned a farm, but expanded his holdings to include a general mercantile business, a fertilizer manufacturing plant, feed mill, corn elevator, cotton gins and warehouses, and a syrup canning plant. He was involved in many business organizations, such as the National Cotton Council and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and served as the director of the Thomas County PEA (production and marketing). He also became president of the Bank of Meigs, Georgia.

At the age of twenty--one, Pilcher was elected mayor of Meigs. During the years 1921 through 1940, he also served as a councilman and a public school trustee. In 1940, he was elected to represent the Seventh District in the Georgia State Senate. After his term expired in 1943, he returned to Meigs and was elected to the post of county commissioner of roads and revenue for Thomas County, a position he held from 1943 to 1947. During this same period he also served as a member of the Agricultural and Industrial Board for the county (1944-1948). From 1948 to 1949, Pilcher was the Supervisor of Purchases for the state of Georgia, serving under Governors Thompson and Arnall. In 1953, Edward Eugene Cox, the congressman representing the Second District, died and a special election was held to fill his seat. In spite of a large field of candidates and his late entrance into the race for the position, Pilcher won the seat in a hardworking campaign by a 2,000 vote margin over his nearest competitor.

Pilcher was a member of Congress from February 4, 1953 to January 3, 1965. He started on the House Committee on Government Operations, serving on the committee from 1953 to 1954. After an attempt to gain a seat on the House Agriculture Committee failed, he accepted a seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee where he served from 1955 to 1964. He was a member of the Subcommittee on the Far East and the Pacific and became chairman of the Subcommittee on Foreign Economic Policy. Twice, in 1959 and 1961, Pilcher went abroad with other members of the subcommittee on Special Study Missions to oversee U.S. economic and technical assistance programs.

Pilcher did not run for reelection in 1964. Instead, he retired from his congressional career and took the post of Southeastern Regional Director of the Office of Emergency Planning. Pilcher died on August 20, 1981, at the age of 82.

Scope and Content

Series V: Political is concerned with Pilcher's involvement in the Democratic Party in Georgia and the Second District, his campaigns and speeches, and his interest in local projects. It is composed of a wide variety of materials, including correspondence, telegrams, reports, and speeches. Topics include Flint River Project, mutual security, postal pay increases, civil rights, and campaign expenditures for Pilcher's congressional campaigns.

Organization and Arrangement

This series is organized into four subseries: A. Subjects, B. Campaigns, C. Georgia File, and D. Speeches.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

VII. Academies and VIII. Case Files are closed. Restricted files have been removed from II. Meigs Office, III. Miscellaneous File, and VI. Post Office and are housed separately from the rest of the collection.

Preferred Citation

John Leonard Pilcher Papers, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia 30602-1641

Processing Notes

Scrapbooks, photographs, and artifacts were physically separated from the papers for preservation. Photographs were removed from scrapbooks wherever possible and replaced with Xerox copies.

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: September 2008.

Related Materials and Subjects

Subject Terms

Civil rights -- United States.
Democratic Party (U.S.)
Legislators -- United States.
United States. Congress -- Elections, 1953.
United States. Congress. House.

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Series Descriptions and Folder Listing


V. Political

12 box(es)
(6 linear feet)
This series is concerned with Pilcher's involvement in the Democratic Party in Georgia and the Second District, his campaigns and speeches, and his interest in local projects. It is composed of a wide variety of materials, including correspondence, telegrams, reports, and speeches

A. Subjects

( 1 box(es) ) ( (.5 linear feet) )
Composed of note cards for speeches, membership lists, notarized affidavits of election results, campaign button and poster promotional material, rules for primaries, memos, correspondence (including congratulatory letters), telegrams, newspaper clippings, and disclosures of campaign expenditures arranged alphabetically by subject. The subseries focuses on the Democratic Party in the Second District and its committees, although there is some material on the party outside of the Second District. There is some material on various pieces of legislation, such as the Flint River Project, Mutual Security, postal pay increases, and Civil Rights, which will be found in the folders titled "Miscellaneous". This subseries is cross-referenced by series III. Miscellaneous File.
V.1 1Committee and Convention, 1960-1964
V.1 2Committee for Second District, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1958-1960
V.1 3Committee Lists and Information, Democratic Executive Committee, 2nd District, 1953-1954, 1960
V.1 4Congressional Committee - 2nd District, 1960-1964
V.1 5"Convention Data", 1956
V.1 6Convention Information, 1958
V.1 7Democratic Executive Committee, 10th Georgia Senatorial District, 1963
V.1 8Invitation List, 2nd District Democratic Convention, 1958
V.1 9Miscellaneous, Folder I, 1957-1964
V.1 10Miscellaneous, Folder II, 1957-1965
V.1 11Miscellaneous, Folder III, 1956
V.1 12Pilcher Appreciation Day, Tifton, GA, 1961-1962

B. Campaigns

( 1 box(es) ) ( (.5 linear feet) )
This subseries is primarily congratulatory messages concerning Pilcher's 1953 election victory. It also includes material on campaign expenditures for his congressional campaigns and correspondence on Pilcher running for re-election in 1964. The subseries is arranged alphabetically by subject.
V.2 1Congratulations, 1958
V.2 2Congratulatory - Atlanta, GA, 1953, 1962
V.2 3Congratulatory Messages by Counties, Brooks County, 1953
V.2 4Congratulatory Messages by Counties, Calhoun County, 1953
V.2 5Congratulatory Messages by Counties, Colquitt County, 1953
V.2 6Congratulatory Messages by Counties, Decatur County, 1953
V.2 7Congratulatory Messages by Counties, Dougherty County, 1953
V.2 8Congratulatory Messages by Counties, Early County, 1953
V.2 9Congratulatory Messages by Counties, Grady County, 1953
V.2 10Congratulatory Messages by Counties, Miller County, 1953
V.2 11Congratulatory Messages by Counties, Mitchell County, 1953
V.2 12Congratulatory Messages by Counties, Seminole County, 1953
V.2 13Congratulatory Messages by Counties, Thomas County, 1953
V.2 14Congratulatory Messages by Counties, Tift County, 1953
V.2 15Congratulatory Messages by Counties, Worth County, 1953
V.2 16Congratulatory - Others, Folder I, 1953-1954
V.2 17Congratulatory - Others, Folder II, 1953
V.2 18Election - Congressional, 1953-1954
V.2 19Election Proclamation, Governor of Georgia, Ernest Vandiver, 1962
V.2 20Expenditures, 1960, 1962
V.2 21Expenditures, 1958
V.2 22Expenditures, 1955-1957
V.2 23Miscellaneous, 1963 and undated
V.2 24Re-Election Letters, 1964
V.2 25Secretary of State, Georgia, 1956, 1964

C. Georgia File

( 8 box(es) ) ( (4 linear feet) )
The Georgia File could almost be considered a subset of series III. Miscellaneous File (which cross-references this subseries). The subject matter in both is similar, and the arrangement is identical--alphabetical by name or subject. This subseries has cross-references to individual files within the subseries, and partially cross-references I. Legislative D. Bills. It is composed of correspondence, telegrams, reports, memos, news releases, newspaper clippings, and other printed material which tend to concentrate (more than III. Miscellaneous File) on economic projects, such as government contracts and programs or the establishment, inprove­ment, or demolition of government facilities, and on personal cases in­volving Georgia and Georgians, especially those residing in the Second District. The Flint River Channelization Project is extensively dealt with here, as are the Dry Creek Watershed of Georgia and the city of Albany, Georgia.
V.3 1Agriculture, Cotton Reconcentration - CCC Cotton, Control File, 1964
V.3 2Agriculture, Peanut Price Support Differentials, 1961-1964
V.3 3Albany, GA, City of, Carey Burnett, City Manager, Federal Advance Planning Funds, etc., 1955, 1957-1961, 1963-1964
V.3 4Albany, GA, FAA (Federal Aviation Agency) Flight Station, 1964
V.3 5Area Redevelopment Administration, 1962-1963
V.3 6Baconton, GA, City of, 1962-1964
V.3 7Bainbridge, GA. City of, 1956-1964
V.3 8Batjalie, Mr. M.E., California friend of M.E. Thompson, 1964
V.3 9Bell, Mr. Fred, Jr., 1964
V.3 10Bill Forms - Forms for introducing bills, n.d.
V.3 11Bridges, Mr. Edwin, 1963-1964
V.3 12Bryant, Mr. Bobby Jack (deceased), 1961-1962
V.3 13Byrd, Mrs. Rosa Lee, 1964
V.3 14Cannon, Agnes Moulton (deceased), also Cliff Cannon, Mr. and Mrs. Alto Ross, E.B. Ard and daughter Mrs. Joan Ard Nichols, 1957-1958
V.3 15Carswell, Mr. W.B., 1964
V.4 1Chamber of Commerce, Albany, GA, File 2; #1, 1962-1964
V.4 2Chamber of Commerce, Albany, GA, File 2; #2, 1960-1961
V.4 3Chamber of Commerce, Bainbridge, GA, 1960-1963
V.4 4Chamber of Commerce, Cairo, GA, Grady County, 1954-1964
V.4 5Chamber of Commerce, Moultrie, GA, 1955-1964
V.4 6Chamber of Commerce, Thomasville, GA, File 1, 1955-1960
V.4 7Chamber of Commerce, Thomasville, GA, File 2, 1961-1964
V.4 8Chamber of Commerce, Tifton, GA, 1958-1960, 1962-1964
V.4 9Chamber of Commerce, Turner County, Ashburn, GA, 1964
V.4 10Committee - 2nd District, 1958, 1960-1961, 1964
V.5 1City of Albany, GA - County Commissioners and Mayor Asa D. Kelly, Jr., 1959-1961, 1963-1964
V.5 2City of Camilla, GA - Mayor Dan Palmer, 1958-1961, 1963-1964, 1973
V.5 3Civil Service Commission, 1958
V.5 4Cone, Mr. Ed, 1964
V.5 5Congressional Record Information, 1961-1964
V.5 6Contract Flying Schools (Closing), Bainbridge and Moultrie, GA, 1960
V.5 7Copyright Forms and Information, 1955
V.5 8Corbett, Mrs. Mattye A., Registered Nurse, Albany, GA, 1964
V.5 9Cotton Subcommittee Hearings, 12/19/59 1959
V.5 10Crop Correspondents - Second District, 1954-1964
V.5 11Darley, Mr. Carl W., 1964
V.5 12Dewberry, Mr. Oscar, Regional Supervisor, Game Management, Bainbridge, GA, 1964
V.5 13Donalsonville, City of - Donalsonville, GA, 1964
V.5 14Driver, Mr. William J., For Administrator of Veterans Affairs, 1964
V.5 15Dry Creek Watershed, Georgia; File 1, 1963-1964
V.5 16Dry Creek Watershed, Georgia; File 2, 1963
V.6 1Education, Office of, Washington, D.C., 1958-1964
V.6 2Education, Office of, Washington, D.C., College Financing, 1964
V.6 3Education, State Department of Education, Georgia, 1958-1964
V.6 4Flint River Project, Georgia - File I, Folder I, 1962-1963
V.6 5Flint River Project, Georgia - File I, Folder II, 1962
V.6 6Flint River Project, Georgia - File I, Folder III, 1960-1961
V.6 7Flint River Project, Georgia - File I, Folder IV, 1959
V.6 8Flint River Project, Georgia - File I, Folder V, 1956-1958
V.6 9Flint River Project, Georgia - File I, "Thronateeska - Flintwater: The Great Flint River of Georgia" Flint River Valley Development Association - Notebook, Flint River Project, Georgia - File II, 1961
V.7 1Flint River Project, Georgia - File II, Folder I, 1963-1964
V.7 2Flint River Project, Georgia - File II, Folder II, 1962
V.7 3Flint River Project, Georgia - File II, Folder III, 1962
V.7 4Folding Room, Current File, 1962-1964
V.7 5Folding Room, Forms, 1960-1964
V.7 6Forester, Frank, 1955-1957, 1959-1964
V.7 7Gainous, Mrs. Jane E., 1964
V.7 8Gardner, Sam J., Jr., Gardner and Gibson, Attorneys, Moultrie, GA, 1958, 1961-1964
V.8 1Georgetown, GA steel mill, 1963-1964
V.8 2Georgia Municipal Association, Folder I, 1964
V.8 3Georgia Municipal Association, Folder II, 1964
V.8 4Georgia Municipal Association, Folder III, 1961-1964
V.8 5Georgia Municipal Association, Folder IV, 1958
V.8 6Gresham, Miss Marsha, 1964
V.8 7Hyman, Mr. Edward T., 1964
V.8 8Industrial Sites, Southwest Georgia, 1954-1955
V.8 9Irvin, Mr. Paul, 1964
V.8 10Jackson Tubing and Conduit Corporation, Bainbridge, GA, 1963-1964
V.8 11Jenkins, Mr. Samuel F., Jr., Georgia Coastal Plain Experime Station, Tifton, GA, 1964
V.8 12Keyton, Jim W., 1957-1959, 1963-1964
V.8 13Library, Coastal Plain Regional Library, Tifton, GA, 1964
V.9 1Mailing Record, 1964-1965
V.9 2Marine Corps Supply Center, Albany, GA, 1955-1964
V.9 3Miller, Mr. Henry W., 1964
V.9 4Moultrie, GA, City of, 1955, 1957-1964
V.9 5Murdock, Mr. James, Jr., 1964
V.9 6National Park Service, 1962-1963
V.9 7Nelms, Mr. Marlon W., 1964
V.9 8Newspapers - Editors, 2nd District, Georgia, 1953-1956, 1959-1951, 1963
V.9 9Newspapers, 2nd District, 1960, 1964
V.9 10Office Personnel - District of Columbia Tax laws, 1964
V.9 11Patterson, John F., Jr., 1964
V.9 12Physically Handicapped, Information, 1958-1959, 1961-1962
V.9 13Pilcher, Mr. J.L. - Foreign Affairs Committee Trips, 1960, 1962
V.9 14Pilcher, Mr. J.L. - To Take Home, 1963-1964
V.9 15Postmaster and Rural Carrier - Extra Copies (Old), 1961-1963
V.9 16Preston, James B., 1964
V.9 17Public Housing Administration, 1955-1956, 1958-1961, 1963
V.9 18Quitman, City of - Quitman, GA, 1958-1961, 1963
V.10 1Radio Station WA LB-TV - Albany, GA, 1964
V.10 2Radio Station WKTG - Thomasville, GA, 1963
V.10 3Radio Station WMGA - Moultrie, GA, 1957, 1960
V.10 4Radio Station WMGR - Bainbridge, GA, 1956, 1963-1964
V.10 5Radio Station WMTM - Moultrie GA, 1955-1956, 1963
V.10 6Radio Stations of 2nd District, 1955-1956, 1958-1960, 1964
V.10 7Railroad Association of Georgia, Atlanta, GA, 1957, 1963
V.10 8Rayburn, Mr. Johnny, 1964
V.10 9Ross, Mr. James A., 1964
V.10 10Rural Route, Sopchoppy, Florida, 1963
V.10 11Searcy, Mr. Floyd H., Farmers Products Company, Inc., Thomasville, Georgia, 1960, 1962-1964
V.10 12Searcy, Mr. Floyd H., Jr., Vice President, Citizens Bank, Cairo, GA, 1963-1964
V.10 13Seminole County Commissioners, 1956, 1962-1964
V.10 14Sergeant at Arms, U.S. House of Representatives, 1959, 1962
V.10 15Small Business Administration - Information, 1955-1959
V.10 16Small Business Administration - Loan Information, 1962-1963
V.10 17Southeast River Basins Study, J.W. Woodruff, Chairman, 1958, 1963-1964
V.10 18Tift County, Georgia, 1959
V.10 19Turner Air Force Base,. Albany, GA, 1954, 1956-1964
V.10 20Twitty, Frank S., Attorney, Camilla, GA, 1953, 1955-1964
V.10 21Vann, Mr. Frank C., Attorney, Cami, undated
V.10 22Vietnam Friends and American Friends B/W Prints (5), n.d.
V.10 23York, Mr. Martin, 1964

D. Speeches

( 2 box(es) ) ( (1 linear foot) )
The subseries is arranged alphabetically by subject or document type, and consists of speeches (both drafts and final copies), Congressional Record and congressional committee statements, speaking invitations, news/press releases, correspondence and telegrams relating to speeches, and background mate­rial used in composing speeches, such as correspondence, reports, articles, and newspaper clippings.
V.11 1Agriculture - Farm Bureau, 1958
V.11 2Congressional Record Insertions, 1955, 1960-1962
V.11 3Constitution - Civil Rights, 1960
V.11 4Memorial Addresses, 1957-1958
V.11 5Mutual Security Bill, 1960
V.11 6News Releases, 1955, 1958-1964
V.11 7Newspaper Clippings, 1956
V.11 8Peanuts - Southeastern Peanut Association, Atlanta, GA, June 8, 1959, 1959, 1963
V.11 9Press Releases, 1953-1956, 1960-1962
V.11 10Speaking Invitations, Speech Material, 1953-1954
V.11 11Speech Invitations, 1959
V.11 12Speech Material, Folder 1, 1956-1957
V.12 1Speech Material, Folder II, #1, 1957-1959
V.12 2Speech Material, Folder II, #2, 1955-1956
V.12 3Speeches, 1953-1954
V.12 4Speeches, Material - The Budget, 1960, 1963
V.12 5Statements in Congressional Record, Folder I, 195 -1959, 1961-1964
V.12 6Statements in Congressional Record, Folder II, 1957
V.12 7Statements in Congressional Record, Folder III, 1956
V.12 8Statements made before Committee, 1958