|49th United States Attorney General|
August 29, 1914 –March 4, 1919
|Preceded by||James C. McReynolds|
|Succeeded by||Mitchell Palmer|
Thomas Watt Gregory
November 6, 1861
Crawfordsville, Mississippi, U.S.
|Died||February 26, 1933 71) (aged|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Education|| Rhodes College (BA)|
University of Virginia, Charlottesville
University of Texas, Austin (LLB)
Thomas Watt Gregory (November 6, 1861 –February 26, 1933) was a political progressive and American attorney who served as United States Attorney General from 1914 to 1919, during President Woodrow Wilson's administration.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million sq mi (9.8 million km2), the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.93 million sq mi (10.2 million km2). With a population of more than 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.
The United States Attorney General (A.G.) is the chief lawyer of the Federal Government of the United States, head of the United States Department of Justice per 28 U.S.C. § 503, and oversees all governmental legal affairs.
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was an American statesman, lawyer, and academic who served as the 28th president of the United States from 1913 to 1921. A member of the Democratic Party, Wilson served as the president of Princeton University and as the 34th governor of New Jersey before winning the 1912 presidential election. As president, he oversaw the passage of progressive legislative policies unparalleled until the New Deal in 1933. He also led the United States into World War I in 1917, establishing an activist foreign policy known as "Wilsonianism."
Gregory was born in Crawfordsville, Mississippi. He graduated from the Webb School (Bell Buckle, Tennessee) in 1881, Southwestern Presbyterian University in 1883, and he was a special student at the University of Virginia. Gregory entered the University of Texas at Austin in 1884 and graduated a year later with a degree in law.
Mississippi is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Mississippi is the 32nd largest and 34th-most populous of the 50 United States. Mississippi is bordered to the north by Tennessee, to the east by Alabama, to the south by the Gulf of Mexico, to the southwest by Louisiana, and to the northwest by Arkansas. Mississippi's western boundary is largely defined by the Mississippi River. Jackson is both the state's capital and largest city. Greater Jackson, with an estimated population of 580,166 in 2018, is the most populous metropolitan area in Mississippi and the 95th-most populous in the United States.
The Webb School is a private coeducational college preparatory boarding and day school in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, founded in 1870. It has been called the oldest continuously operating boarding school in the South. Under founder Sawney Webb's leadership, the school produced more Rhodes Scholars than any other secondary school in the United States.
The University of Virginia is a public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was founded in 1819 by Declaration of Independence author Thomas Jefferson. It is known for its historic foundations, student-run honor code, and secret societies. UVA is the flagship university of Virginia and home to Jefferson's Academical Village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
He began the practice of law in Austin, in 1885. He served as a regent of the University of Texas for eight years. Gregory Gymnasium was named in honor of his efforts to provide an adequate exercise facility for the students and faculty of the University. He declined appointment as assistant attorney general of Texas in 1892 and an appointment to the state bench in 1896 but "gained experience as a trust prosecutor as a special counsel for the state of Texas."
Austin is the capital of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County, with portions extending into Hays and Williamson counties. It is the 11th-most populous city in the United States and the 4th-most populous city in Texas. It is also the fastest growing large city in the United States, the second most populous state capital after Phoenix, Arizona, and the southernmost state capital in the contiguous United States. As of the U.S. Census Bureau's July 1, 2018 estimate, Austin had a population of 964,254 up from 790,491 at the 2010 census. The city is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock metropolitan statistical area, which had an estimated population of 2,168,316 as of July 1, 2018. Located in Central Texas within the greater Texas Hill Country, it is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways, including Lady Bird Lake and Lake Travis on the Colorado River, Barton Springs, McKinney Falls, and Lake Walter E. Long.
Gregory Gymnasium is the 4,000-seat current home of the University of Texas Longhorn women's volleyball team, and former home of the Longhorn basketball and swimming teams. The basketball teams moved out in 1977 to the Erwin Center. It also serves as the home court for the Austin Aces of World Team Tennis.
While embracing the progressive rhetoric of the early 20th century with his condemnations of "plutocratic power," "predatory wealth," and "the greed of the party spoilsmen," Gregory participated in Edward M. House's Democratic coalition.
Edward Mandell House was an American diplomat, politician, and an adviser to President Woodrow Wilson. He was known by the nickname Colonel House, although he had performed no military service. He was a highly influential back-stage politician in Texas before becoming a key supporter of the presidential bid of Wilson in 1912. Having a self-effacing manner, he did not hold office but was an "executive agent", Wilson's chief advisor on European politics and diplomacy during World War I (1914–18) and at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. In 1919 Wilson, suffering from a series of small strokes, broke with House and many other top advisors, believing they had deceived him at Paris.
Gregory was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention at St. Louis and at state delegate at-large at the Baltimore convention. He was appointed Special Assistant to the US Attorney General in 1913, in the investigation and proceedings against the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Company.
The Democratic National Convention (DNC) is a series of presidential nominating conventions held every four years since 1832 by the United States Democratic Party. They have been administered by the Democratic National Committee since the 1852 national convention. The primary goal of the Democratic National Convention is to nominate and confirm a candidate for president and vice president, adopt a comprehensive party platform and unify the party. Pledged delegates from all fifty U.S. states and from American dependencies and territories such as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and superdelegates which are unpledged delegates representing the Democratic establishment, attend the convention and cast their votes to choose the Party's presidential candidate. Like the Republican National Convention, the Democratic National Convention marks the formal end of the primary election period and the start of the general election season.
In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson appointed him Attorney General of the United States, and he held that office until 1919. Despite a continuing commitment to progressive reform, Gregory's performance as attorney general provoked enormous controversy because of his collaboration with Postmaster General Albert S. Burleson and others in orchestrating a campaign to crush domestic dissent during World War I.
Albert Sidney Burleson was a conservative Democrat and United States Postmaster General and Representative. He is known for gaining cabinet support for instituting racial segregation in the US Post Office, which President Woodrow Wilson applied to other federal agencies.
World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as, "the war to end all wars," it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the resulting 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.
Gregory helped frame the Espionage and Sedition Acts, which compromised the constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and press, and he lobbied for their passage. He encouraged extralegal surveillance by the American Protective League and directed the federal prosecutions of more than 2,000 opponents of the war: "By 1918 the Attorney General was able to declare, 'It is safe to say that never in its history has this country been so thoroughly policed.'"
In 1916, Wilson wanted to appoint Gregory to the US Supreme Court, but the attorney general declined the offer because of his impaired hearing, his eagerness to participate in Wilson's re-election campaign, and his belief that he lacked the necessary temperament to be a judge. Gregory was a member of Wilson's Second Industrial Conference in 1919 and 1920.
During a trip to New York to confer with Franklin Roosevelt, Gregory contracted pneumonia and died. He is buried in Austin.
His portrait was painted in 1917 by the Swiss-born American artist Adolfo Müller-Ury (1862–1947); it hangs in the Department of Justice in Washington, DC.
The United States presidential election of 1920 was the 34th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 2, 1920. In the first election held after the end of World War I and the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, Republican Senator Warren G. Harding of Ohio defeated Democratic Governor James M. Cox of Ohio.
Newton Diehl Baker Jr. was an American lawyer, Georgist, politician, and government official. He served as the 37th mayor of Cleveland, Ohio from 1912 to 1915. As U.S. Secretary of War from 1916 to 1921, Baker presided over the United States Army during World War I.
William Gibbs McAdoo Jr. was an American lawyer and statesman. McAdoo was a leader of the Progressive movement and played a major role in the administration of President Woodrow Wilson. A member of the Democratic Party, he also represented California in the United States Senate.
The Sedition Act of 1918 was an Act of the United States Congress that extended the Espionage Act of 1917 to cover a broader range of offenses, notably speech and the expression of opinion that cast the government or the war effort in a negative light or interfered with the sale of government bonds.
William Pettus Hobby was known as the publisher/owner of the Beaumont Enterprise when he entered politics and the Democratic Party. Elected in 1914 as Lieutenant Governor of Texas, in 1917 he succeeded to become 27th Governor of the U.S. state of Texas, after James Edward "Pa" Ferguson was impeached and forced to resign. In 1918 Hobby won the office in his own right, serving a full term.
Henry De Lamar Clayton Jr. was a United States Representative from Alabama and a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.
Guy Despard Goff was a United States Senator from West Virginia.
Richard Wilson Austin was an American politician, attorney and diplomat. A Republican, he served in the United States House of Representatives from 1909 to 1919, representing Tennessee's 2nd district. Prior to his congressional tenure, he worked as a United States Marshal from 1897 to 1906, and served as the U.S. consul to Glasgow, Scotland, from 1906 to 1907.
George Weston Anderson was a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
Charles Shannon West was an American jurist and politician in the state of Texas, serving as a state representative, the Texas Secretary of State, and an Associate Justice of the Texas Supreme Court.
Robert Lee Henry was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from Texas from 1897 to 1917.
The presidency of Woodrow Wilson began on March 4, 1913 at noon when Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated as president of the United States, and ended on March 4, 1921. Wilson, a Democrat who previously served as the governor of New Jersey, took office as the 28th U.S. President after winning the 1912 presidential election, gaining a large majority in the Electoral College and a 42% plurality of the popular vote in a four–candidate field. Wilson was re-elected in 1916, defeating Republican Charles Evans Hughes by a fairly narrow margin. He was the first Southerner to be elected president since Zachary Taylor in 1848, and just the second Democrat to be elected president since 1860.
Robert Lynn Batts was a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
John Wesley Wescott was an American lawyer and jurist who served as Attorney General of New Jersey from 1914 to 1919. He had the distinction of making the nominating speech for Woodrow Wilson at the Democratic National Convention in both 1912 and 1916.
Asa Palmer French was an American attorney who served as the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts from 1906 to 1914.
Thaddeus Thomson Hutcheson, Sr., known as Thad Hutcheson, was a Republican attorney in his native Houston, who was an early figure in the movement to establish a competitive two-party system in the U.S. state of Texas.
Samuel Barnett Kemp was a Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court from March 7, 1918 to April 17, 1922, and again as Chief Justice from June 20, 1941 to June 30, 1950.
Woodrow Wilson appointed three Associate Justices to the Supreme Court of the United States, James Clark McReynolds, Louis Brandeis, and John Hessin Clarke.
James C. McReynolds
| U.S. Attorney General |
Served under: Woodrow Wilson
A. Mitchell Palmer