Cover image for Troutmouth  the two careers of Hugh Clegg
Troutmouth the two careers of Hugh Clegg
Publication Information:
Jackson, Mississippi : University Press of Mississippi, 2015.


Physical Description:
1 online resource (309 pages) : illustrations, photographs
Local Note:
Electronic reproduction. Ann Arbor, MI : ProQuest, 2016. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ProQuest affiliated libraries.
Personal Subject:


Material Type
Shelf Number
Ebook XX(1491812.1) 1

On Order



Hugh Clegg (1898-1979) was among the most notable Mississippi historical figures during the 1920s through the 1960s. Born in Mathiston, Mississippi, he was a member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1926 to 1954, during which time he rose to the top leadership and worked directly under Director J. Edgar Hoover and Associate Director Clyde Tolson. In his second career, as executive assistant to Chancellor J. D. Williams at the University of Mississippi from 1954 to 1969, he was in a top leadership position before and during the civil rights crises in the State of Mississippi and at Ole Miss.

While with the Bureau, Clegg's responsibilities included leading the search for many of the most dangerous gangsters in the country, including John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, the Barker gang, and Alvin Karpis. He established the FBI's National Training Academy and coordinated the hunt for atom bomb spy Harry Gold, collaborator with German spy Emil Klaus Fuchs. He was sent to England by Director Hoover prior to the outbreak of World War II to study British intelligence agencies.

A close friend of many of the leading federal and state elected officials and of members of the US Supreme Court, Clegg was well known to many in power. At the University of Mississippi he was the prime contact between the university and the federal government during the desegregation crises of Clennon King and James Meredith. He was also assigned the lead role in combating the efforts of Mississippi politicians to discredit and remove faculty members when scholars were thought "too liberal" and therefore a threat to the state.

Through a Freedom of Information request from the FBI, author Ronald F. Borne obtained thousands of pertinent documents. In addition, he mined Clegg's oral history and an unpublished book manuscript. Borne interviewed close relations, colleagues, and friends to reveal a portrait of a distinguished, loyal man who significantly shaped the training procedures for the FBI and then mediated the University of Mississippi's conflicts with both state officials and the federal government.

Table of Contents

Prologuep. ix
Introductionp. 3
Chapter 1 Growing Up in Mathistonp. 5
Chapter 2 A Move to Washington: The Early Days at the FBIp. 22
Chapter 3 Making Important Contactsp. 48
Chapter 4 The Tumultuous '30s: Kidnappers and Gangstersp. 67
Chapter 5 John Dillinger and Little Bohemiap. 90
Chapter 6 Family Lifep. 108
Chapter 7 The FBI and World War IIp. 113
Chapter 8 Postwar Communism and Espionage: Emil Julius Klaus Fuchs and Harry Goldp. 123
Chapter 9 The Relationship with Hooverp. 133
Chapter 10 Leaving the FBI and Joining Ole Missp. 144
Chapter 11 Clennon King and Ole Miss "Liberals"p. 160
Chapter 12 Meredith Applies to Ole Missp. 176
Chapter 13 The Riot and the Aftermathp. 193
Chapter 14 Ole Miss Accomplishments and Retirementp. 210
Epiloguep. 225
Acknowledgmentsp. 229
Appendixp. 235
Notesp. 236
Indexp. 263