Baylor University, W. R. Poage Legislative Library

Thomas A. Pickett Papers, Inclusive: 1944-1952, undated, Bulk: 1944-1952

Papers Summary

Creator Pickett, Thomas Augustus
Title Thomas A. Pickett Papers
Dates: Inclusive: 1944-1952, undated, Bulk: 1944-1952
Abstract The Thomas A. Pickett Papers mostly span the years 1945-1952, and were compiled during Pickett's career as a U. S. Representative for the 7th Congressional District of Texas. They include campaign materials, legislative records, and personal papers.
Quantity: 6 document boxes.
Language of the Material English
Repository Baylor University, Baylor Collections of Political Materials


Thomas A. Pickett was born on August 14, 1906, in Travis, Falls County, Texas. He lived briefly in Iola and then moved to Palestine, Texas with his family in 1913. He attended public schools there and graduated from Palestine High School in 1923. Pickett then attended Conway's Business College and worked for one year in his father's law office. He attended the University of Texas from 1924 to 1928. While in his first year at the university, he was elected freshman class president.

Following graduation, Pickett was admitted to the state bar and began practice in Palestine in 1929. Pickett served as Anderson County Attorney from 1931 until 1935. Next, he served as district attorney for the 3rd Judicial District from 1935 to 1945.

In his last year of district attorney, Pickett turned towards politics and ran for a seat in the House of Representatives. Having successfully, unseated incumbent Nat Patton in the Democratic primary, Pickett went on to defeat Republican J. Perrin Willis in the general

election. He began his term as member of Congress, representing Texas' 7th District on January 3, 1945. Pickett's political successes continued in the subsequent elections of 1946, 1948, and 1950. Each time, running unopposed. In Congress, Pickett served on the House Public Works, Veterans Affairs, and Administration committees.

Pickett resigned from office on June 30, 1952 and was succeeded by John Dowdy in September 1952.

After public office, Pickett served as vice-president of the National Coal Association from 1952 until 1961 and the Association of American Railroads from 1961 to 1968. Pickett later moved to Florida in 1968.

Pickett died on June 7, 1980, in Leesburg, Florida

Scope and Content

Material is present from Pickett's tenure as a United States Representative for the 7th Texas Congressional District. Items represent Pickett's service in the 79th through the 82nd Congresses. In his House tenure, Pickett served on the Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Administration Committee, and the Judiciary Committee. The collection documents Pickett's congressional campaigns, his legislative interests in the Tidelands case, public works projects on the Neches, Angelinas, and Trinity Rivers, and railroad bankruptcy and its impact on Anderson County, Texas.


The Thomas A. Pickett Papers came to Baylor Collection of Political Materials through the accession of the John V. Dowdy, Sr. Papers around 1972. John V. Dowdy, Sr. took Pickett's seat in the U. S. House of Representatives, 7th Congressional District, following Pickett's resignation in June of 1952. The Pickett Papers were removed and processed as a separate collection.
After a an addition to the collection in Fall 2012, an updated topical arrangement was devised. Currently, there are 3 series: I. Campaigns II. Legislative Papers 3. Personal Papers. Within each series, material is arranged topically.


Access Restrictions

All requests for copying of materials must be submitted to the W. R. Poage Legislative Library in writing. Please use the Request Form for Copying Materials sheet. Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator (s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Physical Description

General condition: Average.

Index Terms

Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
Legislative materials.
Legislators -- United States -- Archives.
Petroleum in submerged lands -- United States.
Pickett, Thomas Augustus -- Archives.
Railroad law -- United States.
Rivers -- Law and legislation -- Texas.

Related Resources

Related references

"PICKETT, Thomas Augustus." Congressional Biographical Directory. (accessed December 4, 2013).

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Thomas A. Pickett Papers, Accession #27, Box #, Folder #, Baylor Collections of Political Materials, W. R. Poage Legislative Library, Baylor University.

Acquisition Information

Accession No. 27. Acquired 1972-00-00

Processing Information

Described by Debra Todd. Released on 2015-09-23.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Campaigns 1944-1950, undated

Administrative Information
Physical Description
General condition: Average.
As a member of Congress from 1945 to 1952, Pickett ran in four successful campaigns. Items in this series include speech texts, radio spots, and press material.
box folder
1 1 General 1944-1950
2 Opposition 1944;1948
3 Press 1944-1950
4 Radio Spots 1948; 1950
5 Speeches 1944; 1950
6 Topical, Korean War and Communism undated

Legislative 1945-1968

Administrative Information
Physical Description
General condition: Average.
The Legislative series is the most robust series in the Pickett Papers and is arranged topically. From activity reports to his voting record, items reflects Pickett’s role as a representative of Texas’ 7th Congressional district. Casework documents individuals and veterans requesting assistance in obtaining pensions increases and disability compensation. Of note is a request for a Civil War Veteran's headstone. Foreign affairs include about foreign policy in a post-World War II era and aid to Korea. Public Works materials chronicle Pickett's support and work on projects such as Dams along the Neches-Angelina River, the Sabine Neches Waterway, and the need for flood control along the Trinity River. Also included is a proposal for the completion of the Rusk Charcoal Blast Furnace and Chemical Plant in Rusk, Texas, and the United States Department of the Interior. Also featured is Pickett’s legislation regarding printing of briefs for House of Representatives members about the steel seizure case. Pickett’s interest in the economic effects of railroad reorganization for the International-Great Northern Railroad Company (I.-G.N.) on his home district in Anderson County is included is present
General 1944-1950
box folder
1 7 Activity Reports 1948
8 Civil Rights 1949
9 Floor Statements 1950
10 Voting Record 1944
box folder
1 11 Communists, HR 5331 1951
12 National Emergency, HJ Res 432, 460 1952
13 Personal Relief, HR 1264, 5347 1951
14 Private Property, HJ Res 470 1952
15 Servicemen’s Readjustment Act Amendment, HR 5884, 5885 1952
16 Steel Seizure Court Documents 1952
17 Taft-Hartley Act 1947
Foreign Affairs
box folder
1 18 Aid 1950
19 Armed Forces in Foreign Countries 1951
20 Korea 1950
21 Speech undated
box folder
2 1 House Judiciary Hearings 1943; 1945; 1947
2 Interstate Commerce Commission 1941; 1948
3 Railroad Bankruptcy 1945
4 Railroad Bankruptcy 1946
5 Railroad Bankruptcy 1947
6 Palestine and Anderson County 1946-1948
Projects, Dams, and Waterways
box folder
3 1 Neches and Angelina Rivers, Blackburn Dam, Correspondence 1945-1947
2 Neches and Angelina Rivers, Blackburn Dam, Press 1946-1952
3 Neches and Angelina Rivers, McGee Band, General 1946-1950
4 Neches and Angelina Rivers, McGee Bend, Press 1951-1952
5 Neches and Angelina Rivers, Rockland Dam, Correspondence 1945
6 Neches and Angelina Rivers, Rockland Dam, Correspondence 1946
7 Neches and Angelina Rivers, Rockland Dam, Correspondence 1947
8 Neches and Angelina Rivers, Report, “Brief on behalf of Lower Neches Valley Authority,” Beaumont, Texas undated
9 Neches and Angelina Rivers, Speech, Water Conservation/Flood Control undated
10 Rusk, Texas, Charcoal Blast Furnace 1944
11 Rusk, Texas, Hardwood Distillation 1942
12 Rusk, Texas, Iron Ore Deposits 1944
13 Sabine-Neches Waterway, General 1939; 1949
14 Sabine-Neches Waterway, Correspondence 1945-1946; 1949
15 Sabine-Neches Waterway, Hearings 1938; 1941
box folder
4 1 Sabine-Neches Waterway, Press 1945-1947
2 Trinity River, General 1951-1952
3 Trinity River, Benbrook Dam 1952
4 Trinity River, Bills and Reports 1951-1952
5 Trinity River, Correspondence 1946-1949
6 Trinity River, Lower Middle Cedar Creek Watershed 1948 1948
7 Trinity River, Lower Reaches 1948-1949
8 Trinity River, Upper Middle Cedar Creek Waterbed 1948

Personal 1944-1951, undated

Administrative Information
Physical Description
General condition: Average.
Personal material features biographical information about Pickett including a resume and photograph. Miscellaneous personal correspondence is also present. Of note is Pickett’s “Century Vault Letter,” which was published in the San Antonio Express in 1949 and written by Pickett to readers 100 years in the future.
box folder
6 1 Biographical 1951; undated
2 “Century Vault Letter,” San Antonio Express 1949
3 Correspondence 1944-1951
4 News Clippings 1951
5 News Clippings 1949-1951
6 News Clippings 1949-1951

Tidelands 1947-1949

Administrative Information
Physical Description
General condition: Average.
Material relates to issue of submerged land rights in states and the ensuing Tidelands controversy and Supreme Court case. Publications, reports, and correspondence related to California and Texas Tidelands are present.
box folder
5 1 General, Bills 1947-1948
2 General, Map, Federally Owned Lands undated
3 General, News Clippings 1952
4 General, Poem undated
5 General, Speech undated
6 California, General 1948
7 California, Correspondence 1947
8 California, Reports, “State Ownership of Submerged Lands: An Answer to the Federal Claims Asserted in the ‘tidelands’ Case of US v. California undated
9 California, Reports, “This Can Happen to Any State!” by Fred n. Howser, Attorney General of California undated
10 California, Supreme Court Case 1948
11 Texas, General 1949
12 Groups, Texas School Land Board 1947
13 Groups, Texas State Democratic Party 1948
14 Groups, Texas Water Conservation Association 1948
15 Publications, “A Handbook for Speakers and Local Bar Committees,” Tidelands Committee of the State Bar of Texas undated
16 Texas, Publications, “Congress Again Considers Far-reaching Tidelands Oil Controversy,” Congressional Digest 1948
17 Publications, “Texas Tidelands: A Handbook for Speakers and Local Bar Committees,” Tidelands Committee of the State Bar of Texas undated
18 Texas, Publications, “Title to Lands under Navigable Water,” Marquette Law Review May 1948
19 Texas, “Truth about the Tidelands,” Sheridan Downey, US Senator, California 1948
20 Price Daniel, Attorney General of Texas undated