Processed by: Archives Staff ; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig
Alben W. Barkley papers
University of Kentucky Special CollectionsLexington, Kentucky 40506
General series, Political Series, Speech Series. Each series is arranged chronologically.
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], Alben W. Barkley papers, 1900-1956, 1M63M143, Special Collections, University of Kentucky.
167 cubic ft.
Vice-President, U.S. Senator from Kentucky Barkley was born in Graves County, Kentucky in 1877. A graduate of Marvin College in Clinton, Kentucky, Barkley also attended Emory College in Oxford, Georgia, and the University of Virginia Law School. He was admitted to the bar in 1901 and began practice in Paducah. Barkley entered McCracken County politics, serving as county attorney and county judge successively. In 1913 he was elected to Congress. Ten years later, the Congressman made an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. He won a seat in the U.S. Senate in 1926 and became Democratic majority leader in 1937. When the Democrats lost control of the Senate in the 1946 elections, Barkley served as minority leader for two years. Nominated as Harry S. Truman's running mate, Barkley was elected Vice- President of the United States in 1948.
He retired to Paducah after failing to receive the 1952 Democratic nomination for President. Barkley returned to public life two years later as he won election once again to the U.S. Senate. The "Veep," as he was fondly known, died suddenly while addressing a student group at Washington and Lee University.
One of the restricted groups in this collection is approximately 2 cubic feet of family correspondence closed until the death of Barkley's daughter Laura Barkley MacArthur (Mrs. Douglas MacArthur II).
These are the official papers of Alben W. Barkley, U.S. Vice- President (1949-1953), U.S. Senator from Kentucky and majority and minority leader in the Senate. The manuscripts are divided into three files: general, political and speeches. The collection covers his public career and the period from 1953 to 1955 when Barkley held no office. The materials include personal and political correspondences; family photographs; speeches; scrapbooks; political cartoons; the manuscript of Barkley's memoirs, THAT REMINDS ME, which were published in 1954; and clippings on politics. The papers also include the correspondence of Jane Rucker Barkley, his second wife, and the manuscript of her memoirs, I MARRIED THE VEEP.