Last modified on October 27, 2021, at 23:24

Alfred Goldthwaite

Alfred Witherspoon
Goldthwaite, Sr.

Alabama State Representative
for Montgomery
In office

Born August 12, 1921
Montgomery, Alabama
Died May 13, 1997 (aged 75)
Resting place Oakwood Cemetery
in Montgomery
Political party Democrat-turned-Republican (1964)
Spouse(s) Evelyn Adams Goldthwaite
Children Alfred W. Goldthwaite, Jr.

Mary Arrington Goldthwaite Perry
Ellen Adams Goldthwaite
Archibald "Archie" Arrington (uncle-guardian)
Olivia Goldthwaite Arrington (aunt)

Residence Montgomery, Alabama
Alma mater Sidney Lanier High School

Law school missing

Occupation Attorney

Alfred Witherspoon Goldthwaite, Sr. (August 12, 1921 – May 13, 1997), was an attorney from his native Montgomery, Alabama, who as a state representative defected in 1964 from the Democratic to the Republican Party.[1]


Goldthwaite was descended from George Thomas Goldthwaite (1809-1879), the founder of a political family who came to Alabama from Massachusetts in the early 19th century and served during the 1870s as a member of the United States Senate. Alfred Goldthwaite was born in the historic Goldthwaite-Arrington Home in Montgomery and reared and totally supported financially by his guardian and uncle by marriage, Archibald "Archie" Arrington (1874-1946). His aunt was Olivia Goldthwaite Arrington (1868-1946). The Goldthwaites and the Arringtons had a financial interest in both the Durr Drug Company and the Alabama National Bank in Montgomery, but Alfred Goldthwaite himself was not on the payroll of either firm.[2] In 1940, Goldthwaite graduated from Sidney Lanier High School in Montgomery.[3]

Goldthwaite and his wife, the former Evelyn Adams, an educator and a native of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, who died in 2003, had three children, Alfred W. Goldthwaite, Jr., of Montgomery, Mary Arrington Goldthwaite Perry and husband Dudley, also of Montgomery, and Ellen Adams Goldthwaite of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The Goldthwaites are interred along with other family members at Oakwood Cemetery in Montgomery.[4][5]

Political life

Goldthwaite was elected as a Democrat to the state House of Representatives in 1958 and again in 1962, corresponding with the successful candidacies of gubernatorial nominees John Malcolm Patterson (1921-2021) and George C. Wallace, respectively. He changed parties in 1964 even before Strom Thurmond made the famous defection in September 1964 and endorsed U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater in the presidential election against the Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson. At the time of his own party bolt, Goldthwaite felt compelled to describe himself as "neither a rabble-rouser nor a demagogue" but one "committed to fiscal responsibility".[6] In 1965, Goldthwaite and another Republican representative, Tandy Little, also from Montgomery who was elected in 1962, fought George Wallace's move to permit governors to succeed themselves, a change finally adopted for the 1974 election. Because Wallace could not run again in 1966, he offered his wife, the former Lureen Burns (1926-1968) as his political stand-in.[7]

All of the Republican state legislative candidates lost in 1966,[1] when James Douglas Martin (1918-2017) of Gadsden and John Grenier of Birmingham, at the top of the Republican statewide ticket, were handily defeated for governor and U.S. senator, respectively, by the Democrats Lurleen Wallace and John Sparkman. In 1967, Goldthwaite became the Alabama Republican state party chairman.[6] He attended the 1968 Republican National Convention, which met in Miami Beach, Florida, to nominate the Nixon-Agnew ticket. Goldthwaite was part of a group of Deep South Republicans, including Howard Hollis "Bo" Callaway (1927-2014) of Georgia, Clarke Reed of Mississippi, Charlton Lyons of Louisiana, and Harry Shuler Dent, Sr. (1930-2007), of South Carolina, who followed what is called the Southern Strategy to guarantee Nixon's nomination over a last-minute convention bid launched by then Governor Ronald W. Reagan.[8]

There was little visible Nixon-Agnew campaign in Alabama in 1968. George Wallace, as the presidential nominee of his American Independent Party, had an early lock on his home state that thwarted the viability of both Nixon and the Democratic nominee, Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey. Nor could Republican Perry Oliver Hooper, Sr. (1925-2016), of Montgomery gain momentum in his race for the U.S. Senate seat that the Democrat Lister Hill vacated after thirty-one years, a position won overwhelmingly by James B. Allen of Gadsden, a former two-term lieutenant governor. Of the lack of a Nixon campaign in Alabama, state GOP finance chairman Tandy Little said, "We couldn't afford it" because of the decision to concentrate on the successful third-term bids of three Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Alabama, all first elected in the Goldwater sweep of the state in 1964: Jack Edwards of Mobile and William Louis "Bill" Dickinson (1925-2008) of Montgomery, both conservatives, and John H. Buchanan, Jr., a Moderate Republican from Birmingham who lost his seat in 1982 to conservative Albert Lee Smith, Jr. (1931-1997).[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Roster: House of Representatives (Beginning January 1922). Retrieved on May 29, 2014; information no longer accessible on-line.
  2. ALFRED W. GOLDTHWAITE v. DISCIPLINARY BOARD OF THE ALABAMA STATE BAR, January 8, 1982. Retrieved on May 29, 2014.
  3. Class of 1940 Deaths. Retrieved on May 29, 2014.
  4. Evelyn Adams Goldthwaite Obituary. The Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved on May 29, 2014.
  5. Alfred Witherspoon Goldthwaithe. Retrieved on May 29, 2014.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Billy Hathorn, "James Douglas Martin and the Alabama Republican Resurgence, 1962-1965," Gulf Coast Historical Review, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Spring 1993), p. 61.
  7. Jeff Frederick. Stand Up for Alabama: Governor George Wallace. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2007), p. 119. Retrieved on August 30, 2021. 
  8. The Daily Herald, Provo, Utah, July 24, 1968, p. 10.
  9. "A Dozen Years in the Political Wilderness: The Alabama Republican Party, 1966–1978," p. 30.