A Guide to the George E. B. Peddy Papers, 1909-1972
George Edwin Bailey Peddy (1892-1951), attorney, soldier, and politician, was born near Tenaha, Texas, to William Henry and Laura Gertrude (Chambers) Peddy. His father died shortly after his birth and Peddy spent much of his young adulthood supporting his mother. He then attended the University of Texas law school, where he served as student body president and led a protest against Governor James Edward Ferguson’s quarrels with the University. Though he was still a student, in 1917 he was elected to the Thirty-fifth Texas Legislature, but resigned to serve as a captain in the army during World War I. Upon Peddy’s graduation from law school in 1920, he practiced law in a private firm, served as assistant district attorney of Harris County, and became assistant U.S. attorney in charge of mail-fraud prosecutions.
A staunch opponent of the Ku Klux Klan, Peddy, who had campaigned for Ferguson’s anti-Klan agenda, ran against Earle Bradford Mayfield (also a Democratic candidate, though a pro-Klan one) for senator in 1922, depending entirely on write-in votes. Though he was not successful, Peddy was able to garner a large amount of votes and delay Mayfield’s seating until December 1923. He then joined the Houston law practice firm of Vinson, Elkins, Weems, and Francis, with whom he worked from 1925 to 1942.
Peddy volunteered for military service during World War II, becoming a lieutenant colonel and a staff officer in the Fifth Infantry Division, Third Army. He served as deputy military governor of Frankfurt, 1945. In 1948 Peddy once again ran for U.S. senator from Texas, garnering 20 percent of the Democratic primary vote and causing a runoff election between his two opponents, Lyndon B. Johnson and Coke Stevenson. While serving as chairman of the Texas Cancer Crusade, Peddy died in June 1951.
Source: Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Peddy, George Edwin Bailey," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/PP/fpe13.html (accessed July 27, 2010).
The George E. B. Peddy Papers, 1909-1972, include correspondence, notes, clippings, speeches, photographs, awards, reports, and certificates pertaining to World War I, World War II, political campaigns, and the personal, professional, and social life of Peddy and his family. The papers also contain scrapbooks regarding Peddy’s high school graduation, establishment of a law practice in Houston, service as assistant district attorney and assistant U.S. attorney, fights against the Ku Klux Klan, and campaigns for U. S. Senate. Furthermore, the papers include an original letter from Peddy to his mother en route to France in World War I, a typewritten copy of a diary he kept during WWI, and his original Certificate of Discharge as Captain Infantry U.S. Army at Camp Travis, July 1919. The collection also contains Peddy’s World War II correspondence with his wife as well as WWII magazines and newspapers.
The collection is open for research.
George E. B. Peddy Papers, 1909-1972, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by A. Mills, April 1976.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers