George C. Peery
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George Campbell Peery (October 28, 1873 – October 14, 1952) was an American Democratic politician, and was the 52nd governor of Virginia from 1934 to 1938. He became the second governor to be selected, at least partially, by the soon to be very powerful "Byrd Organization", led by Senator Harry F. Byrd, Sr.
|52nd Governor of Virginia|
January 18, 1934 – January 15, 1938
|Preceded by||John Pollard|
|Succeeded by||James Price|
|Chair of the National Governors Association|
November 16, 1936 – September 14, 1937
|Preceded by||Paul V. McNutt|
|Succeeded by||Robert Leroy Cochran|
|Member of the State Corporation Commission|
November 29, 1929 – April 17, 1933
|Preceded by||Louis S. Epes|
|Succeeded by||Thomas W. Ozlin|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Virginia's 9th district
March 4, 1923 – March 4, 1929
|Preceded by||C. Bascom Slemp|
|Succeeded by||Joseph Shaffer|
George Campbell Peery
October 28, 1873
Cedar Bluff, Virginia, U.S.
|Died||October 14, 1952 (aged 78)|
Richlands, Virginia, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Nancy Bane Gillespie|
|Education||Emory and Henry College (BA)|
Washington and Lee University (LLB)
Early life and educationEdit
Peery was born in Cedar Bluff, in Tazewell County, Virginia, in the far southwest portion of the state. His father Dr. James Peery, has been a surgeon in Derrick's Battalion of the Confederate States Army. He attended local schools while working on his father's farm and at the family store as well as the Tazewell County Clerk's office. He graduated from Emory & Henry College in 1894, winning medals in oratory and science. Peery then became principal of Tazewell High School for two years, before resigning and traveling to earn his Juris Doctorate degree from Washington & Lee University in 1897 after a single year's study.
In 1907 he married Nancy Bane Gillespie, daughter of a prominent Tazewell attorney, Albert P. Gillespie, and they would have three children, Albert G. Peery, George C. Peery, Jr. and Nancy Peery Whitley.
Peery then returned to Southwestern Virginia to practice law, first setting up a practice in Tazewell, but after two years moving across the mountains to Wise, Virginia. he returned to Tazewell in 1915 to settle his father in law's estate and soon joined Gillespie's former partners A.C. Buchanan and Archibald C. Chapman to form Chapman, Peery and Buchanan. he also began political involvement, chosen as Democratic elector at large on the Wilson-Marshall ticket in 1916 and in 1920 became chairman of the Ninth District Democratic committee.
Peery was elected to the Congress, representing the 9th Congressional district of Virginia in 1922. His victory was considered an early test of the Byrd Organization. Peery served from 1923 to 1929, and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1920 and 1924.
Peery resigned in 1929 to become a member of the State Corporation Commission, serving from 1929 to 1933. Then newly elected Senator Byrd approached him to run for governor in 1933. Peery accepted, and won the November election.
As governor, he created unemployment insurance and, after the repeal of prohibition, he created Virginia's Alcohol Beverage Control board. In 1936, Governor Peery signed into law the act that created the Virginia State Parks.
1933; Peery was elected Governor of Virginia with 73.74% of the vote, defeating Republican Fred W. McWane, Prohibitionist Andrew J. Dunning, Jr., Socialist George C. White, and Independents John Moffett Robinson and W. A. Rowe.
|U.S. House of Representatives, Virginia's 9th district|
|Nov 7, 1922||General||George C. Peery||Democratic||32,163||52.39|
|John H. Hassinger||Republican||29,227||47.61|
|C. Bascom Slemp did not seek reelection; seat turned Democratic|
|Nov 4, 1924||General||George C. Peery (inc.)||Democratic||31,407||52.57|
|C. Henry Harman||Republican||28,341||47.43|
|Nov 2, 1926||General||George C. Peery (inc.)||Democratic||28,305||53.42|
|S. R. Hurley||Republican||24,684||46.58|
|Governor of Virginia|
|Nov 7, 1933||General||George C. Peery||Democratic||122,820||73.74|
|Fred W. McWane||Republican||40,377||24.24|
|Andrew J. Dunning, Jr.||Prohibition||1,112||0.67|
|George C. White||Socialist||1,107||0.66|
|John Moffett Robinson||Independent||877||0.53|
|W. A. Rowe||Independent||274||0.16|
|John G. Pollard unable to seek reelection; seat stayed Democratic|
- Joseph A. Fry, "George C. Peery; Byrd Regular and Depression Governor" in Younger and Moore (eds), The Governors of Virginia 1860-1978 (Charlottesville, University Press of Virginia 1978) p. 261
- Fry p. 263
- "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 1922" (PDF). Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- "Statistics of the Congressional and Presidential Election of November 4, 1924" (PDF). Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 1926" (PDF). Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- "1933 Governor General Election". Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
C. Bascom Slemp
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 9th congressional district
Louis S. Epes
| Member of the State Corporation Commission
Thomas W. Ozlin
| Governor of Virginia
Paul V. McNutt
| Chair of the National Governors Association
Robert Leroy Cochran
|Party political offices|
| Democratic nominee for Governor of Virginia