Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This study of the Percy Family focuses primarily on the lives of LeRoy and William Alexander Percy, and secondarily on the lives of Colonel William Alexander Percy and Walker Percy. Other members of the family are also discussed briefly. Introductory material covers the arrival of the Percys in the New World, their removal to Alabama, and the career of Colonel William Alexander Percy of Greenville, Mississippi. Chapters two and three cover LeRoy Percy's early career and his election to and tenure in the United States Senate. Chapter four introduces his son William Alexander Percy. Chapters five through eight treat both LeRoy and William Alexander, focusing on their roles in the Great War, the fight against the Ku Klux Klan in Greenville, the flood of 1927, and William Alexander's literary career. Chapter nine describes the final years of William Alexander's life. The final chapter describes recurring themes in the family's history and their relationship to the life and literature of Walker Percy.