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James Elisha Folsom, Sr. Photographs

Identifier: 2010-012

Scope and Contents

Collection consists of sixteen portraits of Governor James Elisha Folsom, Sr.


  • 1950 - 1959

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Due to the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access to certain materials may require additional advance notice.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are responsible for using the materials in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright claimants in collection materials. Copyright for official University records is held by The University of Alabama. The library claims only physical ownership of many manuscript collections. Anyone wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of literary property rights or copyrights. Please contact Special Collections ( with questions regarding specific manuscript collections. For more information about copyright policy, please visit: Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal implications, for which the University of Alabama assumes no responsibility.

Biographical / Historical

James Elisha Folsom, Sr., also known as "Big Jim," was born in Coffee County, Alabama, on October 9, 1908. He attended the University of Alabama, Howard College, and George Washington University, however he never obtained a college degree. Folsom entered politics in 1933, when he ran unsuccessfully as a wet delegate to the state convention on the Federal Prohibition Amendment and was defeated when he ran for Congress in 1936 and 1938. He also was unsuccessful in his first bid for governor in 1942. He worked for the Emergency and Aid Insurance Company from 1937 to 1946, and served briefly in World War II, returning to care for his terminally ill wife. On November 5, 1946, Folsom was elected as Alabama's 45th governor, and on January 20, 1947, was sworn into office. He was reelected to a second term on November 2, 1954. During his terms, funding was increased to aid education, highway construction, and old age pensions. Segregation was declared unconstitutional in hotels and on intrastate buses by the Federal courts and hundreds of miles of farm-to-market roads were constructed throughout the state. Folsom left the governor's office for the last time on January 19, 1959, and returned to his insurance business in Cullman. He ran unsuccessfully in his third bid for governor in 1962 and a number of times thereafter. He died on November 21, 1987, and is buried at the Cullman Cemetery, Cullman, Alabama. Governor Folsom was the father of Alabama Governor James Elisha Folsom Jr. (1993-1995) and uncle to Alabama Governor George C. Wallace's second wife, Cornelia.


0.5 Linear Feet (Collection consists of 16 portraits of governor Folsom.)

Language of Materials



Collection consists of sixteen portraits of Governor James Elisha Folsom, Sr.


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Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266