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HEFLIN, James Thomas

1869–1951

Biography

HEFLIN, James Thomas, (nephew of Robert Stell Heflin and uncle of Howell Thomas Heflin), a Representative and a Senator from Alabama; born in Louina, Randolph County, Ala., April 9, 1869; attended the common schools of Randolph County, Southern University, Greensboro, Ala., and Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College (later Auburn University), Auburn, Ala.; studied law, admitted to the bar in 1893, and commenced practice in Lafayette, Ala.; mayor of Lafayette 1893-1894; register in chancery from 1894 to 1896, when he resigned; member, State house of representatives 1896-1900; member of the State constitutional convention in 1901; secretary of State 1902-1904, when he resigned; elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-eighth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Charles W. Thompson; reelected to the Fifty-ninth and to the seven succeeding Congresses and served from May 19, 1904, until November 1, 1920, when he resigned, having become a candidate for Senator; chairman, Committee on Industrial Arts and Expositions (Sixty-second Congress); elected to the United States Senate as a Democrat on November 2, 1920, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of John H. Bankhead [1842-1920], in the term ending March 3, 1925; reelected in 1924 and served from November 3, 1920, to March 3, 1931; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1930, and for election to the House and Senate on several other occasions; special assistant to the United States Attorney General in Alabama 1936-1937; appointed special representative of the Federal Housing Administration 1935-1936, 1939-1942; retired; died in Lafayette, Ala., April 22, 1951; interment in Lafayette Cemetery.

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

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External Research Collections

Alabama Department of Archives and History

Montgomery, AL
Papers: 1906-1940. 12 items. Personal and business papers.
Additional Papers: In William B. Bankhead papers; Oscar Wilder Underwood papers; Eugene L. May papers; and Alabama Governors' papers.

University of Alabama
W.S. Hoole Special Collections

Tuscaloosa, AL
Papers: 1893-1951. 20,000 items. In part transcripts. Political, general, and personal correspondence, outgoing letters, speeches, press releases, biographical notes, campaign literature, photographs, scrapbooks, and memorabilia. Finding aid. Restricted.

University of Georgia
Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies

Athens, GA
Papers: Correspondence in Leonardo Andrea papers, 1913-1966.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Harper, Glenn T. " 'Cotton Tom' Heflin and the Election of 1930: The Price of Party Disloyalty." Historian 30 (May 1968): 389-411.

Tanner, Ralph Melvis. "James Thomas Heflin: United States Senator, 1920-1931." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Alabama, 1967.

___. "Senator Tom Heflin as Storyteller." Alabama Review 15 (January 1962): 54-60.

___. "The Wonderful World of Tom Heflin." Alabama Review 36 (July 1983): 163-74.

Thornton, J. Mills, III. "Alabama Politics, J. Thomas Heflin, and the Expulsion Movement of 1929." Alabama Review 21 (April 1968): 83-112.

Watson, Elbert L. "J. Thomas Heflin." In Alabama United States Senators, pp. 115-19. Huntsville, AL: Strode Publishers, 1982.

Yeomans, G. Allen. "A Rhetorical Study of the Cotton Advocacy of James Thomas Heflin, 1904-1920." Ph.D. dissertation, Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, 1966.

___. "A Southern Segregationist Goes to Gettysburg." Alabama Historical Quarterly 34 (Fall & Winter 1972): 194-205.

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