Processed by: Archives Staff ; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig
Thomas R. Underwood papers, 1896-1956
University of Kentucky Special CollectionsLexington, Kentucky 40506
Organized: General file, Political file. The general file is arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically thereunder. The political file is subdivided into a chronological and name file. The name file is arranged alphabetically by last name of correspondent.
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], Thomas R. Underwood papers, 1896-1956, 1923-1935, 1M61M274, AAN4795LM, Special Collections, University of Kentucky.
6 volumes, 8,000 pieces.
Journalist, Congressman. Underwood, born in Hopkinsville, Ky, lived most of his adult life in Lexington, Ky, where he was associated with the Lexington Herald, beginning in 1911 and serving as editor between 1935 and 1956. He wrote political columns, was active in Kentucky political campaigns, and was chairman of the Democratic State Central and Executive Committee. He was elected to Congress in 1948 and 1950, and named to the Senate in 1951 to fill the vacancy created by the death of Senator Virgil M. Chapman. Underwood held the office of secretary of the Kentucky State Racing Commission for four terms and from 1934 to 1949 he was secretary of the National Association of State Racing Commissioners.
The papers reflect the journalistic and political activities of Thomas R. Underwood. Much of the general file has to do with editorial material and correspondence. There is little representing the congressional years as, apparently, the Washington office files were not returned to Lexington after the 1952 election. The political papers cover Democratic campaigns in Kentucky at various levels from 1923 to 1956. The file is strong in material from the gubernatorial campaigns of 1923, 1927, 1935, 1939 and 1947, and the congressional campaigns of 1948 and 1952. Broad subjects covered in the general file include Kentucky material, horse racing, tobacco, legislation and speeches.
Name folders in both the general and political files may include correspondence and materials by and about the person listed. Among the individuals represented by folders are the following political figures: Alben Barkley, Desha Breckinridge, Virgil Chapman, A. B. Chandler, Earle Clements, James M. Cox, James Farley, Albert Gore, Keen Johnson, Lyndon Johnson, Estes Kefauver, Thruston Morton, Franklin Roosevelt, Richard B. Russell, Jouett Shouse, A. O. Stanley, Harry Truman and Fred Vinson. Photographs have been removed to the photo archives.