BARKLEY, Alben William

BARKLEY, Alben William
Library of Congress
1877–1956

Biography

BARKLEY, Alben William, a Representative and a Senator from Kentucky and a Vice President of the United States; born near Lowes, Graves County, Ky., November 24, 1877; attended the public schools and graduated from Marvin College, Clinton, Ky., in 1897; attended Emory College, Oxford, Ga., and the University of Virginia Law School, Charlottesville, Va.; admitted to the bar in 1901 and commenced practice in Paducah, McCracken County, Ky.; prosecuting attorney for McCracken County, Ky. 1905-1909; judge of McCracken County Court 1909-1913; elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-third and to the six succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1913-March 3, 1927); did not seek renomination in 1926, having become a candidate for United States Senator; elected to the United States Senate in 1926; reelected in 1932, 1938, and again in 1944, and served from March 4, 1927, until his resignation on January 19, 1949; majority leader and Democratic caucus chairman 1937-1947; minority leader and Democratic caucus chairman 1947-1949; Democratic Policy Committee chairman 1947-1949; elected Vice President of the United States on the Democratic ticket with President Harry S. Truman in 1948; inaugurated January 20, 1949, for the term ending January 20, 1953; again elected to the United States Senate and served from January 3, 1955, until his death in Lexington, Va., April 30, 1956; interment in Mount Kenton Cemetery, on Lone Oak Road, near Paducah, Ky.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

[ Top ]

External Research Collections

Alben W. Barkley Museum

Paducah, KY
Papers: Miscellaneous items (1933-1966) including Tennessee Valley Authority scrapbook with letters from Barkley about the dam, 1932-1949; in John E. Kirksey scrapbook of clippings, 1937-1979; Grace Magruder scrapbook, 1933-1954; and Laura Norris Hinton scrapbook of clippings; and photographs.

American Jewish Historical Society

Waltham, MA
Papers: Correspondence in Charles Schwager papers, 1909-1948.

Dakota State University
Karl E. Mundt Library

Madison, SD
Papers: Correspondence in Karl Earl Mundt papers, 1927-1972. Finding aid.

Eastern Kentucky University
Special Collections and Archives

Richmond, KY
Papers: Correspondence in the Keen Johnson papers, 1870-1970; Herman Lee Donovan papers, 1922-1943; and Minor Edward Clark papers, 1935-1978.

Emory University
Robert W. Woodruff Library

Atlanta, GA
Papers: Correspondence in the Mildred Seydell papers, 1842-1978.

Filson Club Historical Society

Louisville, KY
Papers: 1916-1955. 25 items. Miscellaneous collection, including personal, business, and congressional correspondence, and memorabilia. Finding aid.

Indiana State Library

Indianapolis, IN
Papers: Correspondence in the Hugh A. Barnhart papers, 1891-1964.

Kentucky Historical Society

Frankfort, KY
Papers: 2 broadsides (1948) from campaign for vice president; 1 broadside (1952) from campaign for presidential nomination; and 1 invitation (1942) to Truman-Barkley inaugural.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: Correspondence in Robert Worth Bingham papers, 1879-1974. Finding aid.

Paducah Public Library

Paducah, KY
Papers: Newspaper clippings.

Radcliffe College
Schlesinger Library

Cambridge, MA
Papers: Correspondence in the Emma Guffey Miller papers, 1887-1970; and in the Mildred Buchanan Flagg papers, 1878-1955.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Library

Hyde Park, NY
Papers: Correspondence in the Lowell Mellett papers, 1938-1944.

State Historical Society of Wisconsin
Archives Division

Madison, WI
Papers: Correspondence in the Raymond Z. Henle papers, 1883-1973.

State Historical Society of Wisconsin
Milwaukee Area Research Center University of Wisconsin

Milwaukee, WI
Papers: Correspondence in the Charles E. Broughton papers, 1916-1953.

Harry S. Truman Library

Independence, MO
Papers: 1944-1945. 1 microfilm reel. Copies of correspondence with President Truman. Originals held by University of Kentucky. Also in 1949 Inaugural Committee Records, 1948-1949.
Oral History: 1953. Transcripts of 22 taped interviews with Sidney Shalett.

University of Arkansas Libraries
Special Collections

Fayetteville, AR
Papers: Correspondence in Clyde Taylor Ellis papers, 1933-1976. Finding aid.

University of Iowa Libraries
Special Collections Department

Iowa City, IA
Papers: Letter (June 25, 1940) to Albert Baird Craig answering questions about speech writing; letter (June 3, 1916) to Harry P. Harrison concerning desire to give a series of lectures; and letter (September 13, 1948) to Rabbi Murray A. Alstet concerning nomination as candidate for vice president.

University of Kentucky Libraries
Modern Political Archives

Lexington, KY
Papers: 1900-1956. Ca. 167 feet and 5 microfilm reels. Correspondence, speeches, 100 scrapbooks, political papers, clippings, cartoons, recordings, photographs, and memorabilia. Includes general and political correspondence spanning his entire public career. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: Correspondence in the Frederick Moore Vinson papers, 1907-1953.
Oral History: Discussed in interviews with James A. Farley, Laura B. MacArthur, and Marian B. Truitt.

University of Michigan
Bentley Historical Library

Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: Correspondence in the Frank Murphy papers, 1908-1949; Stella Brunt Osborn papers, 1916-1983; Blair Moody papers, 1928-1954; Prentiss Marsh Brown papers, 1902-1973; and Homer Ferguson papers, 1939-1976. Finding aid.

University of Virginia
Alderman Library

Charlottesville, VA
Papers: Correspondence in various collections including Louis Arthur Johnson papers, ca. 1917-1918, 1930-1964; and Homer Stille1 Cummings papers, 1886-1856. Finding aid.

Western Kentucky University Library
Special Collections

Bowling Green, KY
Papers: 1934, 1954-1955. 10 items. Correspondence and photographs. Finding aid.

William Clark Market House Museum

Paducah, KY
Papers: 1948-1973. .2 cubic foot. Clippings and photographs relating to Barkley as vice president.
Research Libraries Information Network In addition to the institutions listed above, items are also cataloged in collections at: Yale University, Manuscripts and Archives, New Haven, CT.
[ Top ]

Bibliography / Further Reading

Barkley, Alben W. "The Majority Leader in the Legislative Process." In The Process of Government, by Simeon S. Willis, et al., pp. 36-48. Lexington: Bureau of Government Research, University of Kentucky, 1949.

___. That Reminds Me. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1954.

Barkley, Jane R. I Married the Veep. New York: Vanguard Press, 1958.

Clevenger, Theodore, Jr. "Alben W. Barkley's Use of Humor in Public Speaking." Western Speech 20 (Winter 1956): 15-22.

Davis, Polly Ann. Alben W. Barkley, Senate Majority Leader and Vice President. New York: Garland Publishing, 1979.

___. "Alben W. Barkley's Public Career in 1944." Filson Club History Quarterly 51 (April 1977): 143-57.

___. "Alben W. Barkley: Vice President." Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 76 (April 1978): 112-32.

___. "Court Reform and Alben W. Barkley's Election as Majority Leader." Southern Quarterly 15 (October 1976): 15 31.

Finch, Glenn. "The Election of United States Senators in Kentucky: The Barkley Period." Filson Club History Quarterly 45 (July 1971): 286-304.

Grant, Philip A. "Editorial Reaction to the Harrison-Barkley Senate Leadership Contest, 1937." Journal of Mississippi History 36 (May 1974): 127-41.

Grinde, Gerald S. "The Early Political Career of Alben W. Barkley, 1877-1937." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1976.

___. "The Emergence of the 'Gentle Partisan': Alben W. Barkley and Kentucky Politics, 1919." Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 78 (Summer 1980): 243-58.

___. "Politics and Scandal in the Progressive Era: Alben W. Barkley and the McCracken County Campaign of 1909." Filson Club History Quarterly 50 (April 1976): 36-51.

Hatcher, John Henry. "Alben Barkley, Politics in Relief and the Hatch Act." Filson Club History Quarterly 40 (July 1966): 249-64.

Hixson, Walter L. "The 1938 Kentucky Senate Election: Alben W. Barkley, 'Happy' Chandler, and the New Deal." Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 80 (Summer 1982): 309-29.

Leistner, Charley August. "The Political Campaign Speaking of Alben W. Barkley." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Missouri, 1958.

Libbey, James K. Alben Barkley: A Life in Politics. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2016.

___. "Alben W. Barkley: The Making of the 'Paducah Politician.'" Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 96 (Summer 1998): 249-68.

___. "Alben Barkley's Rise from Courthouse to Congress." Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 98 (Summer 2000): 261-78.

___. "Alben Barkley's Clinton Days." Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 78 (Autumn 1980): 343-61.

___. Dear Alben: Mr. Barkley of Kentucky. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1979.

Moremen, John S. "First Person History Alben W. Barkley: The End of a Speech." Filson Club History Quarterly 69 (October 1995): 421-6.

Neelley, Ewing Edward, Jr. "Alben W. Barkley: The Image of the Southern Political Orator." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.

Reichert, William O. "The Political and Social Thought of Alben W. Barkley." Master's thesis, University of Kentucky, 1950.

Ritchie, Donald A. "Alben W. Barkley: The President's Man." In First Among Equals: Outstanding Senate Leaders of the Twentieth Century, edited by Richard A. Baker and Roger H. Davidson, pp. 127-62. Washington: Congressional Quarterly, 1991.

Robinson, George W. "Alben Barkley and the 1944 Tax Veto." Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 67 (July 1969): 197-210.

___. "The Making of a Kentucky Senator: Alben W. Barkley and the Gubernatorial Primary of 1923." Filson Club History Quarterly 40 (April 1966): 123-35.

U.S. Congress. Memorial Services Held in the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, Together with Remarks Presented in Eulogy of Alben William Barkley, Late a Senator from Kentucky. 84th Cong., 2d sess., 1956. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1956.

U.S. Senate. Vice Presidents of the United States, 1789-1993, by Mark O. Hatfield with the staff of the U.S. Senate Historical Office. S.Doc. 104-26, 104th Congress, 2d sess., 1997.

Wallace, H. Lew. "Alben Barkley and the Democratic Convention of 1948." Filson Club History Quarterly 55 (July 1981): 231-52.

[ Top ]