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Pepper-Smathers Campaign Collection

Identifier: MS 252

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.


  • Creation: 1948-1950


The collection is open for research.

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.


0.2 Linear feet (1 box and 2 oversize folders)

Language of Materials



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.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

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.

Related Material

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

A Guide to the Pepper-Smathers Campaign Collection
Finding aid created by Richard Slaughter Jr.
December 2008
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America