Thomas E. Watson
DESCRIPTION: "Down in the state of Georgia there lived a famous man, His name was Thomas Watson, he is known throughout the land." Watson "struggled for his native state" and "wrote the Jeffersonian." Now he is dead; "Georgia has lost her best."
AUTHOR: Rev. Andrew Jenkins
EARLIEST DATE: 1925 (recording, Al Craver=Vernon Dalhart)
KEYWORDS: political death
1856-1922 - Life of Thomas E. Watson
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Cohen-AFS1, p. 317, "Thomas E. Watson" (1 text)
Vernon Dalhart (as Al Craver), "Thomas E. Watson" (Columbia 15053-D, 1925)
NOTES [129 words]: Cohen's notes say most of what is positive about Thomas E. Watson: He was a genuine populist, and very much beloved. He ran for President as a populist in 1904, and had been a sort of an alternate Democratic vice presidential nominee in 1896.
But, as editor of the Jeffersonian, he went from being a genuine populist to a sort of a Rush Limbaugh populist, raising rabbles with fiery claims. He was a racist and a bigot, and he was largely responsible for the hue and cry against Leo Frank in the Mary Phagan case (see the notes to "Mary Phagan" [Laws F20]). It is no surprise that there were many who praised him at his death -- in addition to Andrew Jenkins, Fiddlin' John Carson also wrote a tribute. But I am by no means convinced that Watson deserved the praise. - RBW
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