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Albert Thomas papers

Identifier: MS 0262
Finding aid note: Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Scope and Contents

The Collection consists of Thomas' Congressional correspondence. The collection covers 30 years of service by Thomas in the U.S. House of Representatives. Thomas made few speeches on the House floor and attached his name to only a few bills; however, his correspondence illustrates his continuing behind-the-scenes statesmanship. Included in the collection are sections on U.S. problems, legislation (including Albert Thomas bills), Texas problems, Harris County, Houston Port, Pasadena, school districts, universities, campaigns and elections, and speeches. The collection is composed of 21 document boxes containing typescript, typed copy, photocopy, documents, and photographs. The collection comprises a total of 8 linear feet.


  • Creation: 1937 - 1965

Access Restrictions

This material is open for research.

Conditions Governing Access

Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish from the Albert Thomas Papers must be obtained from Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library. Copyright release on published materials must be obtained from the publication.

Biographical Note

Albert Thomas was the first Rice Alumnus to serve in Congress. Thomas was born in Nacogdoches, Texas, on April 12, 1898. As a child, he attended Public Schools in Nacogdoches and worked in his father's store. During World War I, Thomas served as a second lieutenant in the army. He graduated from Rice Institute in 1920 and from University of Texas law school in 1926. Thomas was married to Lera Millard in 1922. He was elected county attorney in Nacogdoches in 1927, and served there until 1930, when he moved to Houston to become assistant United States district attorney for the southern district of Texas. Thomas was elected to represent the Eighth District of Texas (Harris County) in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1936, a position he held until his death. Thomas served on numerous committees and was instrumental in locating the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston. He became chairman of the House Subcommittee on Independent Office Appropriations in 1949, chairman of the Texas House delegation in 1950, and chairman of the House Democratic caucus in 1964. Thomas died while in office in 1966 after a long illness.


8 Linear Feet (21 Boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection of speeches, correspondences, reports, and photographs documents the work of Albert Thomas, U.S. Representative for Harris County, Texas, from 1936-1966. Albert Thomas was the first Rice Alumnus to serve in Congress. He graduated from Rice Institute in 1920.


The collection is divided into fourteen series, which are listed below.

Missing Title

  1. Series I: U.S. Problems
  2. Series II: Legislation
  3. Series III: Committees
  4. Series IV: Texas Problems
  5. Series V: Harris County
  6. Series VI: Houston Port
  7. Series VII: Houston City
  8. Series VIII: Pasadena & Other Cities
  9. Series IX: School Districts
  10. Series X: Universities
  11. Series XI: Campaigns & Elections
  12. Series XII: Speeches
  13. Series XIII: People
  14. Series XIV: Personal

Acquisition Information

The Albert Thomas Papers were received on September 2, 1966 from Mrs. Lera Thomas, widow of the late Albert Thomas.

General Note

Portions of this collection are availabe online at:

General Note

Portions of this collection are available online at:

Guide to the Albert Thomas Papers, 1937-1965
Adam Nugent
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas Repository

Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University
6100 Main St.
Houston Texas 77005 USA