At the apex of progressive reform in Texas from 1907 to 1911, Thomas M. Campbell served as the state’s chief executive. Closely associated with former Texas Governor James Stephen Hogg, Campbell played a central role in reviving the Hogg reform movement and building a strong record of progressive laws in areas such as social welfare, public education, and tax reform.
In the broader context of southern progressivism, Campbell was a leading progressive governor much like Hoke Smith of Georgia, Benjamin Comer of Alabama, Charles B. Aycock of North Carolina, and Andrew Jackson Montague of Virginia.
This full biography of Campbell’s life and political career shines a light on his contributions and successes as well as his failures and shortcomings.
In Our Fighting Governor, Janet Schmelzer explores Campbell’s life, political career, and legacy. At the same time, she provides new insight into the inner workings of the Texas Democratic Party at the turn of the twentieth century. She uncovers Campbell’s political philosophy and the importance of his leadership that guided the agenda for progressive reform, resulted in the passage of reform legislation, and marked him as a southern progressive governor.