The politics of principle : a political portrait of Archibald J. Carey, Jr

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Olsen, Otto H.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of History


Blacks--Biography; Blacks--Politics and suffrage


W. E. B. DuBois, in his Souls of Black Folk, observed: The preacher is the most unique personality developed by the Negro on American Soil. A leader, a politician, an orator, a "boss," an intriguer, and idealist -- all these he is, and ever too, the center of a group of men, now twenty, now a thousand in number. The combination of a certain adroitness with a deep-seated earnestness, of tact with consummate ability, gave him his preeminence and helps him maintain it. Few men more graphically demonstrate the validity of this observation than Archibald J. Carey, Jr. The second son of Archibald J. Carey, Sr., Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Carey, Jr. was assigned his first church in 1930 and graduated from Garrett Seminary in 1932. After three years of ministering to his congregation during the day and studying law at night, he graduated from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1935 and entered practice in early 1936. Finding that he could handle his ministry and his law practice, he joined eight other men in founding the Illinois Federal Savings and Loan Association in late 1936. He was immediately elected Vice President of the association and served in that position until 1957 when he was elected President. Carey's involvement in the 194O Illinois gubernatorial campaign won him a political appointment in 1943. Four years later, at the age of 39, he was elected Alderman of Chicago's Third Ward on the Republican ticket. An unsuccessful race for the First District Congressional seat in 1950 was followed by his re-election to the city council in February, 1951. His success in Chicago politics and his growing reputation as an orator prompted an invitation to address the Republican National Convention held in Chicago in 1952. His speech was so well received that he was asked to be part of the national campaign effort and subsequently he traveled 21,000 miles to speak in fourteen different states and twenty-five cities on behalf of the national ticket and various local candidates. President Eisenhower appointed him First Alternate Delegate to the United Nations in 1953 and Vice Chairman of the President's Committee on Government Employment Policy in 1955. When he succeeded to the chairmanship of the Committee in 1957 be became the first Negro to chair a Presidential Committee, With the close of the Eisenhower Administration he returned to local politics, trying unsuccessfully for a seat on the Superior Court of Cook County in 1960 and the post of Judge of the Probate Court in 1962. In 1964, after a life-time of Republicanism, he left the party in protest to Goldwater's stand on the civil rights issue and actively campaigned for the Democratic ticket. Finally, in 1966, running as a Democrat, he was elected to fill a vacancy on the Circuit Court of Cook County.


Includes bibliographical references.


76 pages




Northern Illinois University

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