University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Hatton W. Sumners Papers, 1935-1938



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Sumners, Hatton William, 1875-1962
Title: Sumners (Hatton William) Papers
Dates: 1935-1938
Abstract: Comprising a bound volume of photocopied correspondence, memoranda, and a legislative bill, the Hatton W. Sumners Papers, 1935-1938, chronicle Sumner’s activities as chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary.
Accession No.: 81-059
Extent: 1 item
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Born in Lincoln County, Tennessee, attorney and democratic politician Hatton William Sumners (1875-1962) was the son of William A. Sumners and Anna Elizabeth Walker. In 1894, he moved with his family to Dallas County, Texas, where he studied law with Dallas attorney Alfred P. Wozencraft. After passing the Texas bar examination three years later, Sumners was elected Dallas County Attorney in 1900, and again in 1904 after losing in 1902. In 1906, he practiced law until he was appointed a congressman in the U. S. House of Representatives in 1912, serving sixteen more terms. From 1932 through 1946, Sumners served as chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary, during which he challenged President Roosevelt’s court-packing plan of 1937, that would allow the president to appoint a new Supreme Court Justice after a sitting judge had reached 70 years of age and did not retire. Sumners retired to Dallas in 1946, serving as Director of the Research in Law and Government of the Southwestern Legal Foundation at Southern Methodist University.

Sources:

"Sumners, Hatton William." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed May 2, 2011. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=S001072.

Monroe, Catherine Mary. "Sumners, Hatton William."Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed May 2, 2011. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fsu04.

Patenaude, Lionel V. "Court-Packing Plan of 1937."Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed May 2, 2011. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/jzc01.


Scope and Contents

Comprising a bound volume of photocopied correspondence, memoranda, and a legislative bill, the Hatton W. Sumners Papers, 1935-1938, chronicle Sumner’s activities as chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary. Correspondence and memoranda from President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Secretary to the President M .H. McIntyre, among others, concern the court-packing plan of 1937. Additionally, the collection contains a copy of a proposed bill on railroad reorganization.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.


Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
McIntyre, M. H.
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945.
Sumners, Hatton William, 1875-1962 -- Archives.
Subjects (Organizations)
Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Judiciary Committee.
United States. Congress. House -- History -- 20th century.
Democratic Party (Tex.) -- History -- 20th century.
United States. Supreme Court.
Subjects
Bills, legislative -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Railroads -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Legislators -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Lawyers -- Texas -- History -- 20th century.
Politicians -- Texas -- History -- 20th century.
Places
United States -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
Texas -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
Washington, D. C. -- History -- 20th century.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Hatton W. Sumners Papers, 1935-1938, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

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

 

Inventory

box
2. 325/M18b Correspondence, memoranda, and a bill, 1935-1938