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Thomas W. Hardwick Papers

Thomas W. Hardwick Papers

Descriptive Summary

Title: Thomas W. Hardwick Papers
Creator: Hardwick, Thomas W. (Thomas William), 1872-1944.
Inclusive Dates: 1908-1992
Language(s): English
Extent: 9 box(es) (3.75 linear feet)
Collection Number: RBRL198TH
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Abstract: The collection consists of legal files and personal papers of Thomas W. Hardwick, U.S. Congressman, U.S. Senator, and Governor of Georgia. The papers include correspondence, speeches, personal manuscripts, newspaper clippings, printed materials, and photographs reflecting Hardwick's political interests and his legal career. The collection includes information pertaining to Hardwick's representation of a negligence suit against the Savannah & Atlanta Railway. Unfortunately, the papers are fragmentary, but in these fragments, Hardwick's philosophy and political beliefs are evident. Correspondence includes Georgia political figures from the 1920's until the 1940s.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Thomas William Hardwick was born on December 9, 1872, in Thomas County, Georgia, to Robert W. Hardwick and Zemula Schley Hardwick. He received his AB from Mercer University in 1892 and his BL from Lumpkin Law School, University of Georgia, in 1893.

First elected to the state legislature as a representative of Washington County in 1898, he then advanced to the US House of Representatives from the 10th District from 1903 until 1914. He was then elected to the US Senate to fill the unexpired term of the late Senator Augustus O. Bacon. While in the senate, Hardwick became known for his strong opposition to President Woodrow Wilson's war preparedness legislation. Defeated for renomination to that office in the Democratic primary in 1918, he returned to the political field two years later as candidate for Governor of Georgia and was elected to the term June 1921-June 1923. He failed to win a second term.

As governor, Hardwick attempted prison reform, issuing an executive order against the prevalent practice of flogging convicts. Hardwick had a program of economy and simplification of state government, as well as the reorganization of state-supported higher educational institutions into a system controlled by a Board of Regents. But the state legislature would not pass his recommendations. It was also while serving as governor that Hardwick had the courage to denounce the then powerful Ku Klux Klan, branding it a lawless organization for which there could be no excuse in a civilized state. Seeking re-election as governor, he was defeated by Cliff Walker, who had the support of the Klan.

Following his term as governor, Hardwick was assistant to the attorney general of the United States from July 1923 to May 1924. Later he served as a representative of the Russian government, before the United States resumed diplomatic relations with Russia, and worked for this country's recognition of the Soviet Union.

Thomas Hardwick endeavored more than once to make a comeback in Georgia politics, but without success. During this time, he did maintain his law practice with offices in Atlanta, Sandersville, and Washington, D.C.

He married Maude Perkins on April 25, 1894, who died on July 12, 1937. They had one daughter, Mary Hardwick Rawlings. Hardwick remarried in 1938 to Sallie Warren West. He died on January 31, 1944, in Sandersville, Georgia.

Scope and Content

The Thomas W. Hardwick Papers document the political life of Hardwick. This collection chronicles his political interests and his legal profession. Although Hardwick was active politically for most of his adult life, the majority of these papers reflect Hardwick's influence after he held any elected office. For example, he ran against Eugene Talmadge for the office of governor in 1932 and was defeated. Afterwards, he became a strong supporter and political ally of Talmadge, offering advice to the governor on several occasions.

The papers consist of legal files and personal papers. Types of materials include correspondence, speeches, personal manuscripts, newspaper clippings, printed materials, and photographs. Since there was no original order to the collection, arrangement, including folder headings, had to be created. Unfortunately, the papers are fragmentary. But in these fragments, Hardwick's philosophy and political beliefs are evident.

Organization and Arrangement

The papers are divided into three series: Political, Legal Cases and Personal. Arrangement is chronological.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Thomas W. Hardwick Papers, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia.

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: 2000.

Related Materials and Subjects

Subject Terms

Appellate procedure -- Georgia.
Briefs -- Georgia.
Elections -- Georgia.
Georgia -- Politics and government -- 1865-1950.
Hardwick, Thomas W. (Thomas William), 1872-1944.
Railroads -- Georgia.
Watson, Thomas E. (Thomas Edward), 1856-1922.

Related Collections in this Repository

Lamartine G. Hardman Collection

William J. Harris Papers

Dudley M. Hughes Collection

Richard B. Russell, Sr. Papers

Hoke Smith Papers

Joseph M. Terrell Papers

Thomas W. Hardwick Letters

Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection

Hugh Peterson, Sr. Papers

Related Collections in Other Repositories

Judge E. K. Lumpkin papers and E. Merton Coulter papers, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries.

Rebecca Latimer Felton Papers, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia

Thomas E. Watson Papers, Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing


I. Political

5 box(es)
(2.25 linear feet)
The Political series has been further divided into four subseries: General, Correspondence, Speeches, and Writings and Manuscripts.

A. General

The General subseries consists of correspondence, newspaper clippings, telegrams, and printed materials related to politics in the state of Georgia. There are several folders of correspondence between US Senator Thomas E. Watson or his administrative assistant, Grover Edmondson, and Hardwick related to state and federal issues. These letters provide researchers with insight to behind the scenes political maneuvers between two influential men in state politics. Arrangement is chronological.
I.11State Democratic Executive Committee Disfranchisement Amendment, 1908
I.12Congressional Election, 1908
I.13"President Taft Welcomed by Large Crowd at Tennille" Sandersville, GA, November 5, 1909
I.14Correspondence - Political, 1910
I.15Thomas Watson (Correspondence with John West), 1910
I.16Thomas Watson/Hoke Smith Democratic Convention, 1920
I.17Correspondence with Thomas Watson, (April-September 1920)
I.18Correspondence with Thomas Watson, (October-December 1920)
I.19-10Correspondence with Thomas Watson, (January-November 1921)
I.111Announcement of Thomas W. Hardwick for United States Senator, July 5, 1924
I.112Thomas W. Hardwick Replies to Greensboro Heard Editorial, July 26, 1924
I.113Hardwick Remarks --Candidate for Governor, (1932)
I.114Employment of Thomas W. Hardwick by the Kentucky Rock Asphalt Company
I.115-16Consolidated Vote of State Democratic Party Primary for Governor, September 14, 1932
I.117Campaign Talk of Eugene Talmadge, (1932)
I.118Campaign Book of Democratic Party Candidates & Issues, (1932)
I.119Kaltenborn's Campaign Handbook -- Campaign Information, 1940
I.120Newspaper Clippings, (1924-1942)

B. Correspondence

The correspondence subseries also provides insight into Hardwick's political thoughts and influence as well as his personal and business matters. Of note, there is correspondence between Hardwick and Eugene Talmadge, Carl Vinson, and Walter George. Arrangement is alphabetical.
I.21Correspondence - A
I.22Correspondence - B
I.23Correspondence - C
I.24Correspondence - D
I.25Correspondence - E
I.26Correspondence - F
I.27Correspondence - G
I.28Correspondence - H
I.29Correspondence - I
I.210Correspondence - J
I.211Correspondence - L
I.212Correspondence - M
I.213Correspondence - N
I.214Correspondence - O
I.215Correspondence - P
I.216Correspondence - R
I.217Correspondence - S
I.218Correspondence - Eugene Talmadge
I.219Correspondence - T
I.220Correspondence - U
I.221Correspondence - V
I.222Correspondence - Carl Vinson
I.223Correspondence - W
I.31Correspondence to Mary Hardwick Rawlings from Thomas Hardwick
I.32-3Correspondence to Mary Hardwick Rawlings from Maude Hardwick, (1928-1934)

C. Speeches

The Speeches subseries largely constitutes talks Hardwick gave during his bid for governor in 1932 and after. Arrangement is chronological.
I.42Speeches by Thomas W. Hardwick listed in the Congressional Record
I.43The Appointment of Negro Census Enumerators in the South Given by Hardwick in the House of Representatives, February 2, 1910
I.44Aviation and Conscription Given by Hardwick in the US Senate, July 18, 1917
I.45The Constitution of the United States Blakely, GA Address, [1920]
I.46Taxation and State Finances Johnson County Fair, Wrightsville, GA, October 8, 1921
I.47Speech to the Georgia Club, Lakeland, Florida, June 1927
I.48Speech to the Young Men's Democratic League of Georgia, July 20, 1929
I.49Slaton Campaign of, reply to Albany Herald, 1930
I.410Memorial Address, Bainbridge Memorial Association Bainbridge, GA, April 26, 1930
I.411Confederate Memorial Address, Albany, GA, April 26, 1931
I.412Education Address, 1931
I.413Georgia's Fiscal Problems, Hamilton, GA, July 18, 1932
I.414Radio Address (Augusta, Atlanta, Savannah, and Macon), August 3, 1932
I.415Radio Address at Columbus and Atlanta, September 1932
I.416Notes on Kiwanis Address, March 1, 1933
I.417Elks Address on "Americanism," Asheville, NC, December 1933
I.418"Real Americanism," Asheville, NC, December 3, 1933
I.419Speech of James Beck on "The Duty of the Lawyer in the Present Crisis", October 16, 1935
I.420State Democratic Executive Committee on Presidential Preferential Primary Committee, April 25, 1940
I.421Rotary Club, Tennille, GA, May 26, 1942

D. Writing and Manuscripts

The Writings and Manuscripts subseries include Hardwick's rhetoric on his political beliefs. Included are an autoBiographical Note of his life from birth to his run for US Senate and his thoughts on Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eugene Talmadge, White Supremacy, labor, militarism, leadership, and the US Constitution.
I.51Recollections of Fifty Years - 1872-1914: Birth to the US. Senate Election
I.52State Finances, (April 1929)
I.53Statement about Labor, (September 1932)
I.54Political Notes by TWH, (circa 1933)
I.55-6Notes on the Present Situation, (1935)
I.57Notes on National Situation, (1937)
I.58[Provisions of the US Constitution], circa 1940
I.59Statement by Hardwick (thoughts on Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eugene Talmadge and White Supremacy), August 1942
I.510[Global Warfare], May 3, 1943
I.511The Seventeen Great Powers of Congress
I.513Rejection (a poem)

E. Ledgers


II. Legal Cases

2 box(es)
(1 linear foot)
This series contains legal briefs, deeds, petitions, correspondence, and printed materials related to Hardwick's legal practice. There are materials related to his work as a consultant for the cosmetic industry in eliminating a federal tax on cosmetics. There is also material on the Major Ruff v. Charles E. Gay of the Savannah & Atlanta Railway case. The appellant brought suit in the state court to recover damages from the railway for the negligent killing of his son. Hardwick represented Ruff.
II.11Rawlings Mill Case, 1927
II.12Court of Appeals of Georgia Elliot v. City of Augusta Brief for Plaintiff, January 10, 1931
II.13Land Deeds, 1934-1936
II.14Revenue Act of, 1932
II.15Legal Cases, May 27, 1935
II.16J. A. Merritt Matter, 1936
II.17Edgar Brantley, Sol Brantley, Glover vs. Hardwick and Dukes, 1937
II.18-9Glover, et. al. vs. Bridges
II.110Act: Excise taxes on business of dealing in malt beverages
II.111-12State Revenue Commission vs. Hardwick (State Income Tax Matters), (1934), 1937-1939
II.113-14Cosmetic Taxes, 1938-1942
II.115Revenue Bill, 1941
II.116Mrs. Ida R. Barber vs. Seaboard Airline Railway Company, 1942
II.117Von Weller, et. al. vs. Gay (Savannah and Atlanta Railway)
II.118Major Ruff vs. Charles Gay (Savannah and Atlanta Railway
II.119Brief for Defendant (Ruff v. Gay) Damages
II.120Briefs for Appellant - US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit Ruff v. Gay, 1933
II.21-3Charles E. Gay v. Major Ruff Railroad Injury Case

III. Personal

2 box(es)
(5 linear feet)
This series has been further divided into two subseries: General and Biographical.

A. General

The general subseries contains speeches, articles and printed materials of interest to Hardwick. Also included is condolence correspondence after the death of his first wife, Maude Hardwick, and after his death.
III.11George Washington's Farewell Address
III.12America at the Cross Roads by W. T. Moyers
III.13Agriculture Speech by Franklin Roosevelt, (September 14, 1932)
III.14"The Independent Democrat", (October 1940)
III.15Circulation of Money in the United States, (1916-1931)
III.16The Story of the Declaration of Independence
III.17Certificate from Phi Delta Theta, March 25, 1940
III.18A Partial Description of a Boy
III.19Condolences regarding death of Maude Hardwick, (1937)
III.110Condolences, 1944

B. Biographical

The biographical subseries consists of interviews, speeches, a dissertation, and photographs. These were materials collected by Hardwick's daughter, Mary Hardwick Rawlings, after her father's death.
III.21Unveiling Ceremony - State Capitol, (January 17, 1951)
III.22Speech on Thomas Hardwick
III.23Interview with Mary Hardwick Rawlings, daughter of Hardwick, February 18, 1992
III.24"Thomas William Hardwick: A Study of a Strange and Eventful Career," a dissertation by Josephine Cummings, 1961
III.25Biographical Information on Hardwick