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John Temple Graves II papers

Identifier: W-0109

Scope and Contents

This collection contains manuscripts, correspondence, and newspaper clippings related to Birmingham, Alabama, newspaper columnist John Temple Graves II. Manuscripts and letters written by Graves make up the bulk of the collection, although the collection also contains a small number of letters written by Graves' wife, Rose Duncan Smith Graves, to family members. Approximately forty letters document Graves' personal and professional life. Letters from John to Rose describe speaking engagements and business trips to West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. The collection also includes a number of letters written by newspaper editors and publishers discussing the syndication of Graves' newspaper column.

Typescript copies of Graves' poetry and prose are also included. The majority of these manuscripts are copies of poems written from 1910 to 1926. The collection also includes two longer manuscripts: the short story "Up Like Thunder" and the historical essay "Atlanta, New York, and Henry Grady," exploring the life of the Atlanta Constitution editor.


  • 1910 - 1967


Physical Description

Some of the manuscripts, particularly the "Up Like Thunder" manuscript, are very fragile.

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical / Historical

The son of Atlanta newspaper editor and orator John Temple Graves and Anne Cothran, John Temple Graves II was born on April 25, 1892, in Rome, Georgia. Graves attended Princeton University, graduating in 1915, and studied law at George Washington University. On October 17, 1931, Graves married Rose Duncan in Birmingham, Alabama.

He briefly worked as an economist at the Federal Trade Commission before beginning a career in journalism that spanned more than three decades. After his father's death in 1925, Graves moved to Florida and began writing articles for what had been his father's column in the Palm Beach Times. In 1929, he moved to Birmingham and began writing a daily column, "This Morning," for the Birmingham Age-Herald. In 1946, Graves left theAge-Herald to join the staff of the Birmingham Post, where he continued to write his column under the new title "This Afternoon." Graves's columns were syndicated and reprinted in newspapers throughout the South. Like his father, Graves was also known as an accomplished lecturer, speaking to audiences throughout the nation. By the end of his career Graves had become an outspoken supporter of segregation and state's rights. His book The Fighting South, published in 1943, offered a defense of segregation and denounced federal intervention into Southern politics.

Graves died on May 19, 1961, shortly after defending his racial views on the national CBS Reports broadcast "Who Speaks for Birmingham?"


0.4 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Manuscripts, correspondence, and newspaper clippings written by and related to Birmingham newspaper columnist John Temple Graves II.

Physical Location

The A. S. Williams III Americana Collection, Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, The University of Alabama


Gift of A. S. Williams III, 2010

Related Materials

John Temple Graves II papers, Birmingham Public Library Archives, Birmingham, Alabama.

John Temple Graves II scrapbooks, Birmingham Public Library Archives, Birmingham, Alabama.

Physical Description

Some of the manuscripts, particularly the "Up Like Thunder" manuscript, are very fragile.

Processed by

Haley Aaron, 2013



Guide to the John Temple Graves II papers
January 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266