Thomas W. Hardwick

Last updated

Maude Elizabeth Perkins
(m. 1894)
Sallie Warren West
(m. 1938)
Thomas W. Hardwick
Senator Thomas Hardwick (3x4a).jpg
63rd Governor of Georgia
In office
June 25, 1921 June 30, 1923
Alma mater Mercer University (B.A.)
University of Georgia School of Law (J.D.)

Thomas William Hardwick (December 9, 1872 January 31, 1944) was an American politician from the U.S. state of Georgia who served as governor of Georgia, a United States Senator from Georgia, a member of the United States House of Representatives from Georgia, and a member of the Georgia House of Representatives.


Early life

Hardwick was born on December 9, 1872, in Thomasville, Georgia. [1] He graduated from Mercer University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1892 and received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1893. He was an active member of Phi Delta Theta at Mercer, and while at UGA, he was a member of the Phi Kappa Literary Society.

Personal life

Hardwick married Maude Elizabeth Perkins in 1894. [2] He married Sallie Warren West in 1938. [1] He had one daughter and two stepdaughters. [1]


Law career

Hardwick practiced law in Savannah [1] and then entered politics with the support of Thomas E. Watson. [3] Hardwick was the prosecutor of Washington County, Georgia, from 1895 to 1897.

Political career

Hardwick served as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives from 1898 to 1902; and a member of the United States House of Representatives representing Georgia's 10th district from 1903 to 1914. [4] In 1914 he ran for a seat in the United States Senate in a special election for the unexpired term of Augustus O. Bacon who had died in office. Hardwick won, and served in the Senate from 1915 to 1919. Senator Hardwick was defeated in the Democratic primary for reelection in 1918 by William J. Harris.

Anarchist bombings

As a senator, Hardwick co-sponsored the Immigration Act of 1918, which was enacted in October of that year. Aimed at radical anarchists who had immigrated to the U.S., the new law enabled deportation of any non-citizen who belonged to an anarchist organization or who was found in possession of anarchist literature for the purpose of propaganda.

On April 29, 1919, as a direct result of his sponsorship of the Immigration Act, Senator Hardwick was targeted for assassination by adherents of the radical anarchist Luigi Galleani, who mailed a booby trap bomb to his residence in Georgia. The bomb exploded when Ethel Williams, a house servant of the Hardwicks, attempted to open the package, blowing off her hands and severely injuring Hardwick's wife, Maude. [5] [6]

Governor (1921–1923)

Hardwick then served as Governor of Georgia from 1921 to 1923, and due to his opposition to the Ku Klux Klan, lost to Clifford Walker in the subsequent election. [7] [8] He ran unsuccessfully for election to the Senate in 1922 and 1924, and then retired from politics. He spent the rest of his life practicing law, with offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Georgia, and Sandersville, Georgia.

One of Hardwick's most notable actions as governor of Georgia was his appointment of Rebecca Latimer Felton to the United States Senate as a temporary replacement for Tom Watson, who had died. Though Felton only served for one day, she was the first woman to serve in the Senate.


Hardwick died of a heart attack on January 31, 1944, in Sandersville. [1] Hardwick was interred in Old City Cemetery in Sandersville. [9]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Hardwick Rites Set for Today". The Atlanta Constitution . February 2, 1944. p. 9. Retrieved August 14, 2021 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  2. "This is My 43rd Birthday". Laredo Weekly Times. Laredo, TX. December 12, 1915. p. 10. Retrieved August 14, 2021 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  3. Smith, Zachary (2012). "Tom Watson and Resistance to Federal War Policies in Georgia during World War I". Journal of Southern History. 78 (2): 293–326. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  4. "S. Doc. 58-1 - Fifty-eighth Congress. (Extraordinary session -- beginning November 9, 1903.) Official Congressional Directory for the use of the United States Congress. Compiled under the direction of the Joint Committee on Printing by A.J. Halford. Special edition. Corrections made to November 5, 1903". U.S. Government Printing Office. November 9, 1903. p. 18. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  5. Avrich, Paul, Sacco and Vanzetti: The Anarchist Background, Princeton University Press (1991), ISBN   0-691-02604-1, ISBN   978-0-691-02604-6, p. 141
  6. "Packages Mailed From Same Place to Mayor Hanson and to Hardwick". The Atlanta Constitution . p. 1. Retrieved August 14, 2021 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  7. Abad, Jay-Raymond N., "The Evolution of a Society and Fraternity: The Response of Phis regarding Equality"
  8. Lucket, Robert E. "Thomas Hardwick (1872–1944)"
  9. "Old City Cemetery History". Retrieved August 14, 2021.

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Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Georgia
(Class 2)

Succeeded by
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 10th congressional district

March 4, 1903 – November 2, 1914
Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Georgia
November 4, 1914 March 3, 1919
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of Georgia
Succeeded by