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Ben C. Connally Papers

Identifier: MSS 0457

Content Description

This collection chronicles Connally’s time as a Federal District Judge from 1950-1975 in the fashion of court opinions, case and docket files, correspondence, memoranda, and documentation of judgeship matters. Also included is a selection of books from his personal library and various judicial publications used as reference material in speech and presentation preparation. Material to note is the sub-series of High Profile Cases (Series 3.2) which includes documentation related to Timothy and Susan Leary, Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali), and the Houston Independent School District desegregation cases. Though as historically significant as these cases are, the documentation could be considered lacking. Still, the overall collection includes judicial correspondence and dozens of letters of concerned citizens for and against the prosecution of these various cases which provides valuable insight to collective thought on issues such as race relations, narcotics, and the judicial system in the 1960s and 1970s.


  • 1942-1975
  • Majority of material found in 1960-1975

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Ben C. Connally Papers must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Ben Clarkson Connally (December 28, 1909 – December 2, 1975) was a United Stated Federal Judge for the Southern District of Texas. Born in Marlin, Texas, he was the son of United States Senator Tom Connally and Louise Clarkson. He received a B.A. from the University of Texas in 1930, and a L.L.B from the University of Texas School of Law in 1933. He then received a L.L.M. from Harvard University in 1934. He had a private practice in Houston from 1934 – 1949. He served in the United States Army Air Corps, from 1942-1945. On September 23, 1949, he was nominated by President Harry S. Truman to the new judgeship seat of the district and was confirmed by the Senate on October 12, 1949. He served as Chief Judge from 1962-1974 and obtained senior status in 1974, which he held until his death at the end of 1975.


9 Linear Feet (8 record storage boxes, 1 document box, letters, scrapbooks)

Language of Materials



Series 1 Administrative and Personal Files Series 2 Judgeship Matters

Sub-Series 2.1 Judgeship Appointment

Sub-Series 2.2 Habeas Corpus Matters

Sub-Series 2.3 Correspondence

Sub-Series 2.4 Speeches, Presentations, Organizations

Series 3 Case and Docket Files

Sub-Series 3.1 General

Sub-Series 3.2 High Profile

Sub-Series 3.3 Civil Action

Sub-Series 3.4 Criminal

Sub-Series 3.5 Admiralty

Sub-Series 3.6 Miscellaneous

Series 4 Opinions

Series 5 Legislative Matters

Series 6 Library

Due to an arrangement error, Box 4 does not have a Folder 1. Folders were kept, if able, from the box inventory completed at an earlier time. This results in varied handwriting, added and rearranged title information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Tom Connally in 1992.

Related Materials

OH 030 Ben C. Conally Oral History

Processing Information

Processed by Abra Schnur October 2017

Abra Schnur
October 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Houston History Research Center Repository


African American History Research Center
Houston Public Library
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston History Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002