Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, XI

Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, XI

By Ray Hill Malcolm Rice Patterson, the “gamecock” of Tennessee politics, had left the governor’s mansion in 1911 as a hugely controversial figure and bitterly hated by many inside his own party. To make matters worse, a combine of “fusionists,” Democrats opposed to Patterson and Republicans, had elected Ben W. Hooper governor in the 1910 […]

Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, IX

Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, IX

By Ray Hill James Beriah Frazier had been elected governor of Tennessee in 1902.  A tall, stately man with an elegant appearance, James B. Frazier certainly looked the part of a governor.  Despite his aristocratic appearance, James B. Frazier had worked his way through law school.  The future governor taught school for two years and […]

Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, II

By Ray Hill Only nine men have made the transition from governor of Tennessee to United States senator. One of those nine was one of the most successful politicians to take part in Tennessee’s turbulent politics: Andrew Johnson. In fact, Andrew Johnson prospered politically during the Civil War, the most tempestuous time in Tennessee’s history. […]

Tennessee Talking Horse: Congressman Dan Kuykendall

Tennessee Talking Horse: Congressman Dan Kuykendall

By Ray Hill Dan Kuykendall (pronounced Kirk-en-dall) was the first Republican to be elected to Congress from West Tennessee since 1882.  Kuykendall was also the first Republican to represent E. H. Crump’s former domain of Memphis in the House of Representatives; Kuykendall was also the last Republican to represent the area in Congress. Kuykendall was […]

The Mystery After J. Will Taylor’s Death, II

The Mystery After J. Will Taylor’s Death, II

By Ray Hill When Congressman J. Will Taylor died on November 14, 1939, it sent shock waves through Tennessee’s political community.  Taylor had long been enormously popular inside Tennessee’s Second Congressional district and “Hillbilly Bill” had exercised considerable influence throughout the state, especially when the GOP dominated the White House.  Taylor’s influence lessened somewhat with […]