Norman Thomas
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: 1884
Date of Death: 1968
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Religion: Presbyterianism
Occupation: Minister, Politician, Activist, Author of Non-Fiction
Spouse: Frances Violet Stewart
Children: Five
Political Party: Socialist Party of America
Fictional Appearances:
Joe Steele
POD: 1878;
Relevant POD: July, 1932
Novel or Story?: Novel only
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
Southern Victory
POD: September 10, 1862
Appearance(s): Blood and Iron;
The Center Cannot Hold
Type of Appearance: Direct (as "N. Mattoon Thomas")
Military Branch: United States Army (Great War)
Political Party: Socialist Party
Political Office(s): Assistant Secretary of War

Norman Mattoon Thomas (November 20, 1884 — December 19, 1968) was a leading American socialist, pacifist, and six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America during the 1928, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944, and 1948 presidential elections.

Norman Thomas in Joe Steele[]

Norman Thomas was the Socialist Party candidate in the 1932 presidential election. However, his candidacy only received attention in the most leftist parts of the country, such as the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City.[1]

Norman Thomas in Southern Victory[]

N. Mattoon Thomas was a Great War veteran and the Assistant Secretary of War in President Upton Sinclair's administration. During the Great war he took a machine gun bullet to the leg which would leave him with a slight limp for the rest of his life. He became Assistant Secretary of war in 1920 when Sinclair led the Socialists into the Powel House for the first time ever.[2]

In 1922, Thomas traveled to Canada to coerce Military Governor George Armstrong Custer into submitting his resignation in person. Thomas informed Custer that if he gave it willingly, Sinclair would highly praise him, but if he refused, he would be cashiered. He returned to Philadelphia with Custer's resignation in hand.[3]

Thomas was a leader in President Sinclair's efforts to slash the US Army's operating budget, earning him many enemies among the Army's officer corps, notably Irving Morrell. (It was during an argument with Morrell that both men learned of the death of former President Theodore Roosevelt in 1924.) However, he maintained a cordial enough working relationship with Chief of the General Staff Hunter Liggett.[4]

Thomas left office after Sinclair's second term.

Literary comment[]

In OTL, he was always known as "Norman M. Thomas," never "N. Mattoon Thomas."


  1. Joe Steele, pg. 36.
  2. Blood and Iron, pgs. 476-477, mmpb.
  3. Ibid., pgs. 476-480.
  4. The Center Cannot Hold, pgs. 33-34, mmpb.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Party endorsed Robert M. La Follette
(Progressive Party)
Socialist Party of America presidential candidate
1928, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944, 1948 (lost all)
Succeeded by
Darlington Hoopes
Political offices
(Southern Victory)
Preceded by
Assistant Secretary of War for the United States
Succeeded by
next known is
Franklin D. Roosevelt