Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

Jessica Brannon-Wranosky and Bruce A. Glasrud

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pp. vii-x

Planning and completion of this anthology has been a true experience in community from the beginning. As the centennial of Ferguson’s impeachment started to approach, discussion increased for the need of a concise compilation that took into consideration newly available archival sources and public sentiment transitions over the last hundred years. As interest started to build, we, the volume editors, sat discussing the project over lunch and post–Texas State Historical Association annual meeting exhaustion after the conference in the hotel restaurant. As we talked...

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Introduction: James Edward “Farmer Jim” Ferguson’s Impeachment and Its Ramifications

Jessica Brannon-Wranosky and Bruce A. Glasrud

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pp. 1-12

In late 1913, a virtually unknown businessman from Temple, Texas, entered the Democratic primary for the position of governor of the Lone Star State. James E. Ferguson, soon to be referred to as “Farmer Jim” and later as “Pa,” appeared to be a long shot, but he readily won the Democratic primary and then the general election and took office as governor in 1915. Charming, charismatic, persuasive, and a moderately successful lawyer, businessman, and bank president, Ferguson won the election by opposing any type of liquor or prohibition legislation, campaigning...

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1. The Great Texas “Bear Fight”: Progressivism and the Impeachment of James E. Ferguson

John R. Lundberg

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pp. 13-52

On June 12, 1911, alumni of the University of Texas (eventually renamed the Texas Exes) gathered at the Austin Country Club for the annual barbecue and meeting of the Alumni Association. Although organized in 1885, the Alumni Association had never before functioned as an effective organization, for either serving their members or advocating on behalf of their alma mater. The 1911 meeting began to change that. Edwin B. Parker served as president of the association in 1911, yet other speakers that day included John Avery Lomax, the acting secretary of the...

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2. “Think of the Lives That Might Be Saved”: James Ferguson, Women’s War Work, and the University of Texas

Kay Reed Arnold

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pp. 53-84

As the United States prepared to enter into World War I in 1917, Texas governor James Ferguson was gearing up for a different kind of war, a war with the University of Texas. Because these two historical narratives centrally focus on two different series of events thousands of miles apart, they appear to be separate stories. Yet they were not. As Texans, like Americans nationwide, prepared themselves to support the United States war effort in a variety of ways, they knew the effectiveness of their efforts would regularly be the difference between life and death for US soldiers...

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3. “Without Us, It Is Ferguson with a Plurality”: Woman Suffrage and Anti-Ferguson Politics

Rachel M. Gunter

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pp. 85-109

James Edward Ferguson had a complicated history with woman suffrage from the beginning of his political career. In 1914, Texas Woman Suffrage Association (TWSA) president Annette Finnigan wrote the candidates for governor asking, “if elected, [will you] favor a submission to the voters of the question of woman suffrage as a constitutional amendment?” Ferguson evaded the question. His campaign manager replied with the opening speech of the campaign, which failed to mention votes for...

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4. In the Public Eye: Texas Governor James Ferguson’s Fight with the Press

Leah LaGrone Ochoa

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pp. 110-134

The 1914 Texas gubernatorial campaign was similar to other campaigns in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. All candidates took to the press to deliver their messages of promised change and reform to the waiting public. Banker, lawyer, and self-proclaimed “man of the rural people,” James Ferguson adopted a “folksy” style to appeal to his target audience. Known as “Farmer Jim,” he campaigned on the idea that the poor farmers of Texas needed a gubernatorial advocate, and the target audience was eager to have him represent rural life on their...

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5. Fergusonism, Factionalization, and Thirty Years of Texas Politics

Mark Stanley

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pp. 135-157

In the thirty years following the impeachment of governor James E. Ferguson, Texas Democratic Party politics were among the most factionalized of any southern state. Under any one-party system, that party has to account for the entire spectrum of political opinion. At its purest, politics consists of two sides: liberal and conservative. Rapid growth and impending modernity resulted in a corresponding growth among various interest groups. Texans divided among many competing interests,...

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6. The Texas Governor’s Impeachment in Historical Memory

Jessica Brannon-Wranosky

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pp. 158-167

Following Governor James Ferguson’s impeachment in August 1917, and then his defeat in the Texas Democratic primary the following year, it is likely that many of his political contemporaries expected him to fade from the public mind sooner than later. They were wrong. Instead, the memory of Ferguson’s impeachment became a kind of political ghostly warning invoked periodically over the next century as a reminder of the horrors awaiting state leaders if they did not play their cards right. This haunting started almost immediately and sometimes even stretched far beyond...

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Document 1: Ferguson’s Texas Farm Tenant Law

Kyle G. Wilkison and Katherine Kuehler Walters

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pp. 168-174

By long-established custom, tenant farmers who owned their own plow animals and tools paid a third of the sales of the corn crop and a fourth of the cotton crop in rent. Likewise, tenants who could not supply their own team and tools paid one-half of the sales of each crop and occupied the status of “sharecropper,” the next rung down on the New South’s mythical “agricultural ladder.” Young landless white farmers were expected to begin their working lives as sharecroppers but then inevitably move, by hard work and frugality, into “thirds and fourths” status before ultimately...

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Document 2: Minnie Fisher Cunningham to Carrie Chapman Catt Letter

Judith N. McArthur

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pp. 175-178

Texas, like all the former Confederate states, was hostile territory for woman suffrage. In no southern state had suffragists been able to persuade the legislature to grant women full voting rights. The National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) had concluded that it was futile to pursue state constitutional amendments in the South and had directed the Texas Equal Suffrage Association (TESA) and the other southern affiliates to restrict their efforts to more feasible partial measures, such as the right to vote in party primaries...

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Document 3: Pat M. Neff to William Pettus Hobby Letter

Ricky Floyd Dobbs

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pp. 179-184

Bad blood from the Ferguson impeachment continued into the succeeding decades. It blended with later controversies within the Texas Democratic Party and influenced electoral calculus into the 1940s. Evidence of this emerges in a cycle of letters from and to former governor and Baylor University president Pat M. Neff in early 1937.

Neff served as governor from 1921 to 1925, taking office in the immediate shadow of the Ferguson impeachment. He stood for progressive causes such as prohibition, women’s public participation in law, and against...

Ferguson’s Impeachment: A Selected Bibliography

Jessica Brannon-Wranosky and Bruce A. Glasrud

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pp. 185-190

Index

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pp. 191-202

Back Cover

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