Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University

Thomas A. Hickey:

An Inventory of His Papers, 1896-1996 and undated, at the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library

Descriptive Summary

Creator Hickey, Thomas A., 1869-1925
Title: Thomas A. Hickey Papers,
Dates: 1896-1996 and undated
Abstract: The papers of Thomas Aloysius Hickey, a Socialist who became an ardent speaker, organizer, and writer of the socialist movement.
Collection # S 431.1
Quantity: 3.5 boxes and 2 scrapbooks (4.5 linear feet)
Language English
Repository: Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University

Biographical Sketch

Born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1869, Thomas Aloysius Hickey arrived in America in 1892. Hickey joined the Socialist Labor party and the Knights of Labor in 1893 and became an ardent speaker, organizer, and writer, as well as private secretary to Eugene V. Debs. In 1900, he left the Socialist Labor Party and went on to co-create the Socialist Trade and Labor Alliance and helped arrange several machinist strikes in New Jersey, which led to his blacklisting by employers. Moving to Butte, Montana, Hickey joined the Western Federation of Miners and helped recruit for the Socialist party.

In 1911, he moved to Hallettsville, Texas, and started a weekly newspaper called The Rebel. Over time, Hickey became a prominent figure in the socialist movement and the slogan of his paper became the official slogan of the Socialist party in Texas. He served as the socialist candidate for lieutenant governor in 1912 and was married to Clara E. Boeer that same year. The government suppressed The Rebel in 1917 under the Espionage Act and in 1918, the Nonpartisan League fired Hickey as an organizer.

In October 1919, he and other socialists organized the National Workers Drilling and Production Company. Hickey continued writing, serving as an advertising manager of the Desdemona Oil News and a correspondent for fourteen more newspapers such as the Texas Oil World and the Independent Oil and Financial Reporter. Withdrawing from the company in 1920, he moved to a farm near Stamford, Texas, and was publishing Tom Hickey's Magazine until his death on May 7, 1925, of throat cancer.

The Handbook of Texas has published this more in-depth online biography of Thomas Aloysius Hickey.

Scope and Contents

The collection contains correspondence, printed material, news clippings, financial and legal material, literary productions, and scrapbook material. The bulk of the collection is correspondence, including letters from Hickey's readers and from Socialist leaders such as Theodore Debs. The printed materials include newsletters, pamphlets, periodicals, and circulars. Principal subjects of this collection are the Socialist Party, World War I, and pacifism.

Conservation Note: In 1985 and 1986, a large number of the papers in this collection were encapsulated within Mellinex polyester film and/or deacidified using Wei T'o aerosol solution. Those pages that were not treated remain fragile and brittle. Also, some of the double-sided tape used for the encapsulation is either coming loose or sticking to other pages. Additionally, the two volume German medical book set is in very fragile condition, with the binding falling apart and pages loose. The covers are also fading and deteriorating.


The Thomas A. Hickey Papers is organized by the following series:


Access Restrictions

Open for research

Index Terms

The subject headings used by the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library are derived from the Library of Congress and/or locally developed.
Subjects (Persons)
Debs, Eugene V. (Eugene Victor), 1855-1926--Correspondence.
Hickey, Thomas A., 1869-1925.
Hickey, Thomas A., 1869-1925--Archives.
Hickey, Thomas A., 1869-1925--Correspondence.
Subjects (Organizations)
Socialist Party (Tex.)
Socialist Party (U.S.)
United States--Politics and government--1901-1909.
United States--Politics and government--1909-1913.
United States--Politics and government--1913-1921.
United States--Politics and government--1921-1923.
Labor movement--United States--Archival resources.
Labor movement--United States--History.
Labor unions--United States.
Socialism--United States--Archival resources.
Socialists--United States--Biography.
World War, 1914-1918.

Related Materials:

Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library:
Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library Oral History Collection:
  • Carl Brannin oral history interview [sound recording], 1983.
  • Mina W. Lamb and Ilse Wolf oral history interview [sound recording], 1979.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Thomas A. Hickey Papers, 1896-1996 and undated, Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas

Accession Information

Gifts, 1979-1994

Processing Information

Processed by: Lynn Whitfield, August 2000


Clark, Robert William. Thomas A. Hickey and Socialist Reform in Texas, 1904-1925.Thesis (M.A.)--Texas Tech University, 1989.

James R. Green. Grass-Roots Socialism: Radical Movements in the Southwest, 1895-1943.Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1978.

Collection Inventory

Biographical Material

box folder
1 1 Biographical Material, undated


box folder
1 2 Books, 1901-1915

Cards and Postcards

box folder
1 3 Cards and postcards, 1912-1914 and undated


box folder
1 4 Cartoons: Political, undated


box folder
1 5 Correspondence, 1902-1922
6 Correspondence, 1909-1922 and undated
7 Correspondence, 1909-1923
8 Correspondence, 1910-1911
9 Correspondence, 1910-1912
10 Correspondence, 1910-1913
11 Correspondence, 1910-1920
12 Correspondence, 1910-1921
13 Correspondence, 1910-1921
14 Correspondence, 1910-1923
15 Correspondence, 1911-1920
16 Correspondence, 1911-1922
17 Correspondence, 1911-1924
18 Correspondence, 1912-1914
19 Correspondence, 1913-1924 and undated
20 Correspondence, 1914-1924
21 Correspondence, 1915-1922
22 Correspondence, 1915-1922
23 Correspondence, 1916-1923
24 Correspondence, 1916-1924
25 Correspondence, 1918-1920
26 Correspondence, 1918-1924
27 Correspondence, 1919-1923
28 Correspondence, 1921-1924
29 Correspondence, 1922-1967
30 Correspondence, undated
31 Correspondence, undated
32 Correspondence, June 18, 1916-April 30, 1917
box folder
2 1 Correspondence, May 1, 1917-May 31, 1917
2 Correspondence, June 1, 1917-June 30, 1917
3 Correspondence, July 1, 1917-July 30, 1917
4 Correspondence, July 1, 1917-July 31, 1917
5 Correspondence, August 1, 1917-September 15, 1917
6 Correspondence, September 15, 1917-December 27, 1917
7 Correspondence, January 5, 1918-November 26, 1918
8 Correspondence, December 3, 1918-December 30, 1918
9 Correspondence, January 1, 1919-June 1, 1918

Debs, Eugene V.

box folder
2 10 Debs, Eugene V., undated

Financial Materials

box folder
2 11 Financial Materials, 1906-1916
12 Financial Materials, 1908-1920 and undated
13 Financial Materials, 1911-1917 and undated
14 Financial Materials, Stock Certificates, 1906-1916

Legal Material

box folder
2 15 Legal Material, 1911-1952 and undated

Literary Productions

box folder
2 16 Literary Productions, 1905-1919 and undated
17 Literary Productions, 1911 and undated
18 Literary Productions, 1912-1923 and undated
19 Literary Productions, 1914 and undated
20 Literary Productions, 1933 and undated

National Workers Drilling and Production Company

box folder
2 21 National Workers Drilling and Production Company, 1919-1920

News Clippings

box folder
2 22 News Clippings, 1909-1925 and undated
23 News Clippings, 1916-1925 and undated

Newsletters and Circulars

box folder
2 24 Newsletters and Circulars, 1904-1923 and undated
25 Newsletters and Circulars, 1909-1912 and undated
26 Newsletters and Circulars, 1917-1923 and undated


box folder
2 27 Pamphlets, undated

Additional Correspondence

box folder
2 28 Correspondence, Boeer to Hickey, 1881-1921

Additional Pamphlets

box folder
3 1 Pamphlets, 1898-1922 and undated
2 Pamphlets, 1904-1912 and undated
3 Pamphlets, 1906-1917 and undated
4 Pamphlets, 1912-1949 and undated


box folder
3 5 Periodicals, 1896-1910 and undated
6 Periodicals, 1912-1915
7 Periodicals: (Tom) Watson's Magazine, 1905-1910
box folder
4 1 Periodicals: Wyland's Monthly, 1905-1908

The Rebel

box folder
4 2 The Rebel paper, undated


box folder
4 3 Receipts, 1913-1917 and undated


box folder
4 4 Recipe, undated

Scrapbook Material

box folder
4 5 Scrapbook Material, 1907-1933 and undated
6 Scrapbook Material, 1908-1952 and undated

Subscriptions and Contributions

box folder
4 7 Subscriptions and Contributions, 1919 and undated

Additional Books

box folder
4 8 2 volume Book Set: "Bilz Das Neue Naturheilverfahren" [very fragile, damaged with loose pages and binding], early 1900s

Oversized Scrapbooks

5 Scrapbook material: Periodicals and Posters, 1910-1917Scrapbook material: Stanley Clark Posters, undated