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A Guide to the Pepper-Smathers Campaign Collection

Finding aid created by Richard Slaughter Jr.

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
December 2008

Descriptive Summary

Title: Pepper-Smathers Campaign Collection
Dates: 1948-1950
Abstract: A small collection of campaign materials relating to the 1950 Democratic primary election in Florida for the U.S. Senate between Claude Pepper and George A. Smathers.
Extent: 0.2 Linear feet. 1 box and 2 oversize folders.
Identification: MS 252
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

U.S. Senator Claude Pepper and U.S. Congressman George Smathers battled each other in 1950 for one of Florida's seats in the U.S. Senate. The campaign was a tough and dirty fight. Supporters of the Smathers campaign tried to discredit Pepper with the conservative Southern whites by labeling him as a pro-labor activist, a communist, and a promoter of African-American civil rights. Smathers won the election in a landslide and replaced his one-time mentor in the Senate.

Scope and Content

The collection includes campaign material from both candidates consisting of correspondence, flyers, statements, and other miscellaneous items. Statements and speeches by both Pepper and Smathers are included in the collection. There is also an original information file complied by the Claude Pepper campaign about Pepper. There are two copies of the booklet, "The Red Record of Claude Pepper," which attempted to tie Claude Pepper to communism. Two oversize folders contain newspapers and clippings as well as political advertisements and posters relating to the campaign.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Related or Separated Material

The Claude Pepper Collection can be found at Florida State University, and the University of Florida holds the George A. Smathers Papers.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Pepper-Smathers Campaign Collection, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

Some of the materials were acquired from John H. Ward, chairman of the Re-Elect Claude Pepper Club of Alachua County in 1950. Other materials were solicited from the George Smathers campaign office in 1950 by Prof. James G. Richardson on behalf of the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History.

Contents List

1 Campaign Material
1 Correspondence relating to the collection
1 "Information File" of Claude Pepper
1 Speeches and Statements by George Smathers
1 Statements by Claude Pepper
1 "The Red Record of Senator Claude Pepper" (2 copies)
1 Campaign Advertisements [Stored in oversize folder in map case]
1 Newspapers and Clippings [Stored in oversize folder in map case]

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Florida -- Politics and government -- 1865-1950.
Pepper, Claude 1900-1989.
Smathers, George A. (George Armistead) 1913-2007.

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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