Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
PRIEST, James Percy (1900-1956)

PRIEST, JAMES PERCY, a Representative from Tennessee; born in Carters Creek, Maury County, Tenn., April 1, 1900; attended the public schools of Maury County, Tenn., Central High School, Columbia, Tenn., State Teachers' College, Murfreesboro, Tenn., George Peabody College for Teachers, Nashville, Tenn., and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville; taught school in Culleoka, Tenn., 1920-1926; member of the editorial staff of the Nashville Tennessean 1926-1940; elected as an Independent Democrat to the Seventy-seventh Congress and reelected as a Democrat to the seven succeeding Congresses and had been renominated in the 1956 primary election; served from January 3, 1941, until his death in Nashville, Tenn., October 12, 1956; majority whip (Eighty-first and Eighty-second Congresses); chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce (Eighty-fourth Congress); interment in Woodlawn Memorial Park.

Tennessee State Library and Archives
Nashville, TN
Microfilm: 1940-1956, 1 microfilm reel.
The papers of J. Percy Priest primarily are from his congressional career (1940-56). The bulk of the collection consists of Percy Priest's correspondence, mostly letters of support from constituents. There are also letters from such dignitaries as Alben W. Barkley, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Adlai Stevenson, Strom Thurmond, and Harry S. Truman. Newspaper clippings 1954-56 and a small number of Percy Priest's political speeches make up the remainder of the collection. The papers provide valuable information on the career of a popular Tennessee politician as well as some insight into the political issues confronting Americans during the 1950s. A register is available in the repository, including a name index to correspondence.

Papers: In the Stanley Fitzgerald Horn Papers, 1938-1980, approximately 9,600 items.
Other authors include James Percy Priest.

Papers: In the Daniel May Papers, ca. 1890-1982, approximately 2,200 items.
Other authors include James Percy Priest.

  • Stubbs, Rebecca Harris. J. Percy Priest and His Amazing Race: A Biography. Charleston, S.C.: BookSurge Publishing, Inc., 2009.
  • United States. Congress (85th, 1st session: 1957). Memorial services held in the House of Representatives and Senate of the United States, together with remarks presented in eulogy of James Percy Priest, late a Representative from Tennessee. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1957.