Clark Howell letters

Clark Howell letters

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Creator: Howell, Clark, 1863-1936
Title: Clark Howell letters
Dates: 1915-1927
Quantity: 0.05 Linear feet (1 folder; housed with minor collections MS 1741 to MS 1747)
Coll. Number: ms1743(m)

Biographical/Historical Note

Clark Howell was a prominent state politician and, for fifty-three years, an editorial executive and owner of the Atlanta Constitution. A talented and dedicated journalist, Howell served as a bridge from Georgia to the rest of the nation in matters political and journalistic. Clark Howell was born in Erwinton, South Carolina, on September 21, 1863, to Julia A. Erwin and Evan P. Howell, a Confederate artillery captain. After the Civil War (1861-65), Howell's father cut and sold timber from his own father's land in Atlanta for two years, then entered the newspaper field as a reporter and city editor for the Atlanta Intelligencer. Leaving that newspaper briefly, he bought a half interest in the Atlanta Constitution in 1876. Evan Howell lured Henry W. Grady away from a new job at an Augusta newspaper, and Grady later recommended that Evan Howell hire Joel Chandler Harris, thus putting in place the keystones of the newspaper during that period. After graduating from the University of Georgia (UGA) in 1883, Clark Howell served a brief apprenticeship at the New York Times before moving to the Philadelphia Press. By 1884 Howell was back in Atlanta, where he worked as night editor at the Constitution under Grady and Harris. In 1887 he married Harriet Glascock Barrett of Augusta. The couple had two children, Clark Jr. and Susie. Howell's wife died in 1898. Howell was assistant managing editor of the Constitution in 1889, the year that Grady died. He soon stepped into Grady's job while continuing to be active in politics. As managing editor he campaigned against the state's notorious convict lease system, supported Atlanta's acceptance of evacuees from a yellow fever epidemic in several southern states, and stood with the governor when he vetoed a bill outlawing football at UGA in the wake of a player's death. In 1892 he became a Democratic national committeeman and in 1896 a member of the UGA Board of Trustees. Howell's final foray into public office came in 1906, when he lost a bitterly fought campaign for the governorship. The primary issue of the election was the debate over disenfranchising black Georgians, and the tensions resulting from these debates were partly responsible for the outbreak of the Atlanta race riot in September of that year. Howell's opponent, Hoke Smith, one-time Atlanta Journal owner and secretary of the interior under U.S. president Grover Cleveland, was more strident in his opposition to suffrage for blacks than Howell and won handily. Though this was his last attempt at elective office, Howell remained an active Democrat and confidant of presidents. Howell was said to be working on an editorial congratulating Roosevelt on the November 1936 reelection when he died at his Atlanta home. His papers are housed in the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University. Clark Howell (1863-1936) - New Georgia Encyclopedia (Retrieved February 24, 2009)

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of letters from Clark Howell, editor of the Atlanta Constitution, on official newspaper stationery and are addressed to Ellis Robb of Atlanta and a more significant one to Frederick Roy Martin, assistant general manager of the Associated Press in London, and discussing Howell's sister Rosalie.


Arranged in chronological order.

Index Terms

Atlanta constitution (Atlanta, Ga. : 1881)
Howell, Clark, 1863-1936 -- Correspondence
Howell, Rosalie
Martin, Frederick R., (Frederick Roy), 1871-1952 -- Correspondence
Newspaper editors--Georgia--Atlanta--Correspondence.
Robb, Ellis -- Correspondence
University of Georgia. -- Alumni and alumnae--Correspondence

General Notes

Related collections held by the Emory University Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library: Clark Howell papers, 1864-1936.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Clark Howell letters, MS 1743. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.

Related Material

Related materials available in the following collections in this repository: Clark Howell family papers, 1873-1946.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

1Clark Howell letters