PERCY, Le Roy (1860-1929)

PERCY, LE ROY, a Senator from Mississippi; born near Greenville, Washington County, Miss., on November 9, 1860; attended the public schools; graduated from the University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn., in 1879 and from the law department of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville in 1881; admitted to the bar in 1881 and commenced practice in Greenville, Miss.; also interested in agricultural pursuits; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Anselm J. McLaurin and served from February 23, 1910, to March 3, 1913; unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1912; member of the United States Joint Immigration Commission 1910; resumed the practice of law in Greenville, Miss.; also supervised his extensive land acreage holdings; director of the Federal Reserve Board branch at St. Louis, Mo., from 1914 until his death on December 24, 1929, in Memphis, Tenn., while en route to his home in Mississippi; interment in Greenville Cemetery, Greenville, Miss.

Louisiana State University
Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections
Baton Rouge, LA
Papers: 1894-1930. 5,509 items. Business, legal and personal papers including letters received and carbon copies of letters sent. Topics include administration of large-scale cotton farming and factoring, employment of immigrant labor, railroad and Mississippi levee policies, state politics and their influence on senatorial performance, world-wide travels, and his relationship with family, friends, and adversaries. Of special interest is correspondence relating to Percy's outspoken stand against the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi (1921-1925).
Oral History: Career and character are discussed in interview (1976) with Brodie S. Crump, 59 leaves.

Mississippi Department of Archives and History
Jackson, MS
Papers: 1894-1930. 6 feet. Correspondence, photographs, and speeches dealing with law practice and plantation management.

Mississippi State University
Mitchell Memorial Library
Mississippi State, MS
Papers: 7 letters (1910-1912) in Rice family papers; and 1 letter (1913) and photographs in Randolph-Sherman family papers.

  • Baker, Lewis. The Percys of Mississippi: Politics and Literature in the New South. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1983.
  • Percy, William Alexander. Lanterns on the Levee: Recollections of a Planter's Son. 1941. Reprint. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1973.
  • Wyatt-Brown, Bertram. The House of Percy: Honor, Melancholy, and Imagination in a Southern Family. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
  • ___. "Leroy Percy and Sunnyside: Planter Mentality and Italian Peonage in the Mississippi Delta.'' Arkansas Historical Quarterly 50 (Spring 1991): 60-85.
  • ___. "The Percy Family, the 'Adamses' of the Deep South: A Study of Creative Melancholy." In The Moment of Decision: Biographical Essays on American Character and Regional Identity, edited by Randall M. Miller and John R. McKivigan, pp. 13-35. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994.