Hickey, Thomas A., Papers, 1896-1996 and undated

Permanent URI for this collectionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10605/312336

Creator: Hickey, Thomas A., 1869-1925

Collection #: S 431.1

Language: English

Biographical Sketch

Born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1869, Thomas Aloysius Hickey arrived in America in 1892. Hickey joined the Socialist Labor party and the Knights of Labor in 1893 and became an ardent speaker, organizer, and writer, as well as private secretary to Eugene V. Debs. In 1900, he left the Socialist Labor Party and went on to cocreate the Socialist Trade and Labor Alliance and helped arrange several machinist strikes in New Jersey, which led to his blacklisting by employers. Moving to Butte, Montana, Hickey joined the Western Federation of Miners and helped recruit for the Socialist Party.

In 1911, he moved to Halletsville, Texas, and started a weekly newspaper called The Rebel. Over time, Hickey became a prominent figure in the socialist movement and the slogan of his paper became the official slogan of the Socialist party in Texas. He served as the socialist candidate for lieutenant governor in 1912 and was married to Clara E. Boeer that same year. The government suppressed The Rebel in 1917 under the Espionage Act and in 1918, the Nonpartisan League fired Hickey as an organizer

In October 1919, he and other socialists organized the National Workers Drilling and Production Company. Hickey continued writing, serving as an advertising manager of the Desdemona Oil News, and a correspondent for fourteen more newspapers such as the Texas Oil World and the Independent Oil and Financial Reporter. Withdrawing from the company in 1920, he moved to a farm near Stamford, Texas, and was publishing Tom Hickey's Magazine until his death on May 7, 1925, of throat cancer.

The Handbook of Texas has published a more in-depth online biography of Thomas Aloysius Hickey at http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/search.html

Scope and Contents

The collection contains correspondence, printed material, news clippings, financial and legal material, literary productions, and scrapbook material. The bulk of the collection is correspondence, including letters from Hickey's letters from Hickey's readers and from Socialists leaders such as Theodore Debs. The printed material include newsletters, pamphlets, periodicals, and circulars. Principal subjects of this collection are the Socialist Party, World War I, and pacifism.

Conservation Note: In 1985 and 1986, a large number of the papers in the collection were encapsulated within Mellinex polyester film and or/deacidified using Wei I'o aerosol solution. Those pages that were not treated remain fragile and brittle. Also, some of the double-sided tape used for the encapsulation is either coming loose or sticking to other pages. Additionally, the two volume German medical book set is in very fragile condition, with the binding falling apart and pages loose. The covers are also fading and deteriorating.


Open for research

Related Material

For related material located in the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, see the following collections:

  • Boeer/Wolf Families Papers, 1837-1972 and undated
  • Carl Brannin oral history interview [sound recording], 1983
  • Thomas Hickey Family Photographs, 1920
  • Mina W. Lamb and Ilse Wolf oral history interview [sound recording], 1979
  • Preferred Citation

    Thomas A. Hickey Papers, 1896-1996 and undated, Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas

    Accession Information

    Gifts, 1979-1994

    Processing Information

    Lynn Whitfield, August 2000


    Clark, Robert William. "Thomas A. Hickey and Socialist Reform in Texas, 1904-1925." Thesis (M.A.)--Texas Tech University, 1989

    James R. Green. "Grass-Roots Socialism: Radical Movements in the Southwest, 1895-1943." Baton Rouge. Louisiana State University Press, 1978.

    Collection Inventory

    Box 1


    Box 2

    Financial Materials

    Literary Productions

    News Clippings

    Newsletters and Circulars


    Box 3


    Box 4

    Scrapbook Material

    Oversized Scrapbooks

    Box 1

    • Scrapbook material: Periodicals and Posters, 1910-1917
    • Scrapbook material: Stanley Clark Posters, undated