Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution established the popular election of United States Senators by the people of the states. The amendment supersedes Article I, §3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution, under which senators were elected by state legislatures, it alters the procedure for filling vacancies in the Senate, allowing for state legislatures to permit their governors to make temporary appointments until a special election can be held. The amendment was proposed by the 62nd Congress in 1912 and became part of the Constitution on April 8, 1913 on ratification by three-fourths of the state legislatures. Sitting Senators were not affected by the Amendment's provisions until their existing terms expired, so the Amendment took six years to implement; the transition began with two special elections in 1913 and 1914 - the first in Maryland and the second in Alabama. The transition began in earnest with the November 1914 election, was complete on 4 March 1919 when the Senators chosen at the November 1918 election took office.
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures; when vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct. This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution. Under Article I, § 3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution, each state legislature elected its state's senators for a six-year term; each state, regardless of size, is entitled to two senators as part of the Connecticut Compromise between the small and large states.
This contrasted with the House of Representatives, a body elected by popular vote, was described as an uncontroversial decision. There were many advantages to the original method of electing senators. Prior to the Constitution, a federal body was one where states formed nothing more than permanent treaties, with citizens retaining their loyalty to their original state. However, under the new Constitution, the central government was granted more power than before. Additionally, the longer terms and avoidance of popular election turned the Senate into a body that could counter the populism of the House. While the Representatives operated in a two-year direct election cycle, making them accountable to their constituents, the senators could afford to "take a more detached view of issues coming before Congress". State legislatures retained the theoretical right to "instruct" their senators to vote for or against proposals, thus giving the states both direct and indirect representation in the federal government.
The Senate was part of a formal bicameralism, with the members of the Senate and House responsible to distinct constituencies. Members of the Constitutional Convention considered the Senate to be parallel to the British House of Lords as an "upper house", containing the "better men" of society, but improved upon as they would be conscientiously chosen by the upper houses of state republican legislatures for fixed terms, not inherited for life as in the British system, subject to a monarch's arbitrary expansion, it was hoped that they would provide abler deliberation and greater stability than the House of Representatives due to the senators' status. According to Judge Jay Bybee of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, those in favor of popular elections for senators believed that two primary problems were caused by the original provisions: legislative corruption and electoral deadlocks. There was a sense that senatorial elections were "bought and sold", changing hands for favors and sums of money rather than because of the competence of the candidate.
Between 1857 and 1900, the Senate investigated three elections over corruption. In 1900, for example, William A. Clark had his election voided after the Senate concluded that he had bought votes in the Montana legislature, but analysts Bybee and Todd Zywicki believe this concern was unfounded. In more than a century of legislative elections of U. S. senators, only ten cases were contested for allegations of impropriety. Electoral deadlocks were another issue; because state legislatures were charged with deciding whom to appoint as senators, the system relied on their ability to agree. Some states could not, thus delayed sending representatives to Congress. Deadlocks started to become an issue in the 1850s, with a deadlocked Indiana legislature allowing a Senate seat to sit vacant for two years. Between 1891 and 1905, 46 elections were deadlocked across 20 states; the business of holding elections cause
Aaron A. Sargent
Aaron Augustus Sargent was an American journalist, lawyer and diplomat. In 1878, Sargent introduced what would become the 19th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, giving women the right to vote, he was sometimes called the "Senator for the Southern Pacific Railroad". Born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, he attended the common schools and was apprenticed to a cabinetmaker. In his youth he worked as a printer in Philadelphia and in 1847, moved to Washington, D. C. where he was a secretary to a Congressman. He moved to California in 1849 and settled in Nevada City in 1850. There he was on the staff of the Nevada Daily Journal becoming that newspaper's owner, he was admitted to the California bar in 1854 and began practicing in Nevada City, becoming district attorney for Nevada County in 1856. He served in the California Senate in 1856. Sargent was elected as a Republican to the 37th Congress. In 1861 he was the author of the first Pacific Railroad Act, passed in Congress, he was elected to the United States Senate and served 1873 to 1879.
During his time in the Senate he was chairman of the U. S. Senate Committee on Mines and Mining during the 44th Congress and chairman of the U. S. Senate Committee on Naval Affairs during the 45th Congress. In January 1878, Senator Sargent introduced the 29 words that would become the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, allowing women the right to vote. Sargent's wife, Ellen Clark Sargent, was a leading voting rights advocate and a friend of such suffrage leaders as Susan B. Anthony; the bill calling for the amendment would be introduced unsuccessfully each year for the next forty years. Sargent returned to California in 1880. After leaving the Senate he practiced law in San Francisco for three years, leaving to become United States Ambassador to Germany for two years, held office until the action of the German authorities in excluding American pork from the empire made his incumbency distasteful, he turned down the appointment of Ambassador to Russia after William H. Hunt's death and made an unsuccessful attempt for the Republican nomination for the Senate in 1885.
He died in San Francisco in 1887. According to Sargent's descendants, A. A. Sargent's ashes were spread over the placer mine. A monument to him may be found in the old pioneer cemetery in Nevada City. Sargent was a noted proponent of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, arguing in Overland Monthly in support of exclusion and for the renewal of the 1882 Exclusion Act after its expiration in 1892; the Chinese Exclusion Act was renewed in 1892, again—indefinitely—in 1902, staying in effect until 1943. Sargent, A. (1885, The Wyoming anti-Chinese riot. Overland Monthly and Out West Magazine, OL. VI. 507-507. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/137560189 Sargent, A. (1886, "The wyoming anti-chinese riot."—again. Overland Monthly and Out West Magazine, OL. VII. 54-54. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/137565135 Shepard, Christopher. "No Chinese Wanted: Aaron Sargent and Chinese Immigration, 1862-1886." Journal of the West. 51 no. 1: 50-57. United States Congress. "Aaron A. Sargent". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
James T. Farley
James Thompson Farley was an American politician. He was born in Albemarle County and moved to Missouri and California at an early age. There he was admitted to the bar in 1854, commencing practice in Amador County, he was elected to the California State Assembly from Amador County and served 1855 to 1857, acting as Speaker in 1856. He was a member of the California State Senate from 1869 until 1876, serving as president pro tempore from 1871 to 1872, he was for several years the recognized leader of the Democratic Party in California, in 1874 was defeated as a candidate for the U. S. Senate by Governor Newton Booth, he was elected to the Senate from California in 1878 and served from 1879 until 1885. He was not a candidate for renomination in 1884, he resumed the practice of law after leaving Washington, D. C. and died in Jackson, California in 1886. He is buried in City Cemetery in Jackson. United States Congress. "James T. Farley". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
John Brown Gordon
John Brown Gordon was an attorney, a planter, general in the Confederate States Army, politician in the postwar years. By the end of the Civil War, he had become "one of Robert E. Lee's most trusted generals". After the war, Gordon opposed Reconstruction during the late 1860s. A member of the Democratic Party, he was elected by the state legislature to serve as a U. S. Senator, from 1875 to 1881, again from 1891 to 1897, he was elected as the 53rd Governor of Georgia, serving from 1886 to 1890. Gordon was of Scots descent and was born on the farm of his parents Zachariah Gordon and his wife in Upson County, Georgia. Many Gordon family members had fought in the Revolutionary War, his family moved to Walker County, Georgia by 1840, where his father was recorded in the US census that year as owning a plantation with 18 slaves. Gordon was an outstanding student at the University of Georgia, where he was a member of the Mystical 7 Society, he "read the law" in Atlanta, where he passed the bar examination.
Gordon and his father, invested in a series of coal mines in Tennessee and Georgia. He practiced law. In 1854 Gordon married Rebecca "Fanny" Haralson, daughter of Hugh Anderson Haralson and his wife, they had six children. In 1860, Gordon owned a 14-year-old girl, his father owned four slaves in that same census. Although lacking military education or experience, Gordon was elected captain of a company of the 6th Alabama Infantry Regiment, he did not see any action. During a reorganization of the Confederate army in May 1862, the regiment's original colonel, John Siebels and Gordon was elected the new colonel. Gordon's first combat experience happened a few weeks at Seven Pines, when his regiment was in the thick of the fighting and he took over as brigade commander from Brig. Gen Robert Rodes. Shortly after the battle, the 26th Alabama was transferred to Rodes' brigade as part of an army reorganization, its commander, Col. Edward O'Neal, outranked Gordon, thus took command of the brigade until Rodes resumed command just in time for the Seven Days Battles.
Gordon was again hotly engaged at Gaines Mill, he was wounded in the eyes during the assault on Malvern Hill. On June 29, still suffering from the effects of his wound from Seven Pines, took a leave of absence, with O'Neal commanding the brigade once again. During the Northern Virginia Campaign and his regiment were kept in the Richmond area. Assigned by General Lee to hold the vital sunken road, or "Bloody Lane", during the Battle of Antietam, Gordon's propensity for being wounded reached new heights. First, a Minié ball passed through his calf. A second ball hit him higher in the same leg. A third ball went through his left arm, he continued to lead his men despite the fact that the muscles and tendons in his arm were mangled and a small artery was severed. A fourth ball hit him in his shoulder. Despite pleas that he go to the rear, he continued to lead his men, he was stopped by a ball that hit him in the face, passing through his left cheek and out his jaw. He fell with his face in his cap and might have drowned in his own blood if it had not drained out through a bullet hole in the cap.
A Confederate surgeon thought he would not survive but after he was returned to Virginia, he was nursed back to health by his wife. Lee, impressed with Gordon's services, requested a promotion to brigadier general on November 1, 1862. After months of recuperation Gordon returned to service and received command of a brigade of Georgians in Jubal A. Early's division; when he returned to duty Lee requested a promotion again and this time congress approved it. During the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania his brigade occupied Wrightsville on the Susquehanna River, the farthest east in Pennsylvania any organized Confederate troops would reach. Union militia under Col. Jacob G. Frick burned the mile-and-a-quarter-long covered wooden bridge to prevent Gordon from crossing the river, the fire soon spread to parts of Wrightsville. Gordon's troops managed to prevent the further destruction of the town. At the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1, Gordon's brigade smashed into the XI Corps on Barlow's Knoll.
There, he aided the wounded opposing division commander Francis Barlow. This incident led to a story about the two officers meeting in Washington, D. C. Gordon unaware; the story was published in newspapers and in Gordon's book. Seated at Clarkson Potter's table, I asked Barlow: "General, are you related to the Barlow, killed at Gettysburg?" He replied: "Why, I am the man, sir. Are you related to the Gordon who killed me?" "I am the man, sir," I responded. No words of mine can convey any conception of the emotions awakened by those startling announcements. Nothing short of an actual resurrection from the dead could have amazed either of us more. Thenceforward, until his untimely death in 1896, the friendship between us, born amidst the thunders of Gettysburg was cherished by both; some historians choose to discount this story, despite contemporary accounts and the testimony of both men, because of Gordon's purported tendency to exaggerate in post-war writings and because it is inconceivable to them that Gordon did not know that Barlow subsequently fought against him in the Battle of the Wilderness.
(Barlow returned to service in April 1865, would pursue Gordon and his troops during the Battle of High Bri
Nathaniel P. Hill
Nathaniel Peter Hill was a professor at Brown University, a mining executive and engineer, a politician, including serving in the United States Senate. From the state of New York, he came to Colorado following the Pike's Peak Gold Rush to try his hand at mining, he traveled to Europe to investigate ways to smelt ore and developed processes to make mining more profitable. He was the mayor of Denver before becoming a United States Senator. Born in Montgomery, Orange County, New York, at the Nathaniel Hill Brick House, he was a descendant of Thomas Hale, one of the first settlers in Newbury from England in 1635. Hill took over the family farm in Montgomery, until he was 21, while his eldest brother, James King, attended Yale University. During this time he was a part-time student at Montgomery Academy, he graduated from Brown University in 1856. He was an instructor and professor of chemistry at Brown University from 1856 to 1864, he was the first to bring the idea of laboratories to Brown, which he copied from other schools in Europe.
His scientific eligibility led him to be invited by cotton manufacturer Colonel William Reynolds to search for mining areas in the West. The greater salary enticed him to journey West. Hill traveled to Colorado in the spring of 1865 to investigate mineral resources. In his search, he traveled alone and with fellow entrepreneurs, he returned home to Providence after having accomplished little, where he resigned from his teaching position and vowed to devote the rest of his life to the search for gold. Upon his return to the West, he bought several gold mines, but soon ran into financial difficulties because the smelting techniques at the time were resulting in low yields; the Sterling Gold Mining Company and the Hill Gold Mining Company were established around Central City in Colorado. The preferred method of extraction in those days was stamp milling. A stamp mill consisted of heavy iron blocks attached to wooden or steel rods that rose and fell in accordance with a horizontal beam. After the ore containing the gold was crushed sufficiently, the resulting dust was run over copper plates containing mercury, which formed an alloy from which the gold could be more extracted.
Once miners got past the upper ore deposits, they found that the lower ores contained large amounts of complex sulfides. As a result, a precipitous drop in the recovery rate of gold occurred. Failed attempts at introducing alternative methods of extracting gold contributed to the tensions and financial turmoil of the West, until Hill popularized the method of smelting. Accordingly, he spent a portion of 1865 and 1866 in Swansea and Freiberg, Saxony studying metallurgy, returned to the United States with a perfected method of smelting. Hill learned while abroad in the coal mines, that the best method was that of copper matte. In this method - known as the Swansea process - copper sulfide ore was mixed with gold and silver ore and the copper acted as a vehicle to hold the gold and silver. After returning, he took up a permanent residence in Colorado. While in Blackhawk, he had the opportunity to work with James E. Lyon, an entrepreneur who he had met on his first trip to Colorado, who had erected the first real smelter there.
However, his findings surpassed those of Lyons'. He capitalized on the experience and with his professional training as a chemist and the knowledge gained in Europe, founded the Boston & Colorado Smelting Company, which encompassed numerous ventures aside from mining. Through the funding of numerous capitalists, Hill worked alongside popular metallurgists to oversee the smelting process and thus rose in wealth and popularity. Hill was mayor of Black Hawk in 1871 and a member of the Territorial council in 1872 and 1873, he moved to Denver in 1873 and engaged in smelting and the real estate business, was elected as a Republican to the U. S. Senate and served from March 4, 1879, to March 3, 1885, he ran on a platform of Republican ideals and free silver whose interests lay in the establishment of a monopolistic society and the implementation of a federal telegraph system. Hill warned against the corruption of the American political system by special interests like monopolies. While in the Senate, he was chairman of the Committee on Mines and Mining, Committee on Post Office and Post Roads, was involved in the International Monetary Commission.
His defeat by Henry M. Teller in 1885 ended his political career, he remained politically active in other ways, purchasing The Denver Republican and using it to further the causes he had fought for in the Senate. He married Alice Hale of Providence, Rhode Island, on July 26, 1860. Alice's father was Isaac Hale, born in the town of Newbury County of Essex, Massachusetts on Sept. 17, 1807. Her mother, Harriet Johnson, daughter of David Johnson and Lucy Towne, was born in the town of Newbury, VT, July 29, 1814. David Johnson was a son of Col. Thomas Johnson, who distinguished himself during the Revolutionary War. Hill and Alice had three children, Crawford and Gertrude, he was interred in Fairmount Cemetery. United States Congress. "Nathaniel P. Hill". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Find a Grave
Simon B. Conover
Simon Barclay Conover was an American physician and politician who served as a Republican Senator from Florida. Born in Middlesex County, New Jersey, Conover attended an academy in New Jersey, he studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, graduated from the medical department of the University of Nashville in 1864. During the United States Civil War he served in the medical department of the Union Army, he was appointed acting assistant surgeon in 1866, was assigned to Lake City, Florida. He resigned from the medical department of the army upon readmission of the State of Florida into the Union. Conover was a delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1868, he was appointed State treasurer in 1868. He was a member of the Republican National Committee from 1868 to 1872, he served as speaker. Conover was elected to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1873, to March 3, 1879. There he served as chairman of the U. S. Senate Committee on Enrolled Bills. After his time in Congress, Conover resumed the practice of medicine.
He was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor in 1880, a delegate to the state constitutional convention in 1885, was appointed United States surgeon at Port Townsend, Washington, in 1889. He became president of the board of regents of the Agricultural College and School of Sciences of the State of Washington in 1891 and practiced medicine there until his death, he was interred in the Masonic Cemetery. United States Congress. "Simon B. Conover". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved on 2009-04-29 Simon B. Conover at Find a Grave Works by or about Simon B. Conover at Internet Archive
Isaac P. Christiancy
Isaac Peckham Christiancy was Chief Justice of the Michigan State Supreme Court and U. S. Senator from the state of Michigan. Christiancy was born near Johnstown, New York in what is now Bleecker, New York to parents of humble means, his grandfather, Isaac Peckham, was one of the first pioneers in Caroga, New York, settling in the area as early as 1783. Christiancy attended the Johnstown and Ovid Academies. After his father died when he was 13, he had to support his family, he studied law. In 1836, Christiancy was admitted to the bar after moving to Monroe, where he obtained a clerkship in a Federal land office, he married Elizabeth E. McClosky on November 16, 1839, he was prosecuting attorney for Monroe County, Michigan from 1841 to 1846. In 1848 he was a delegate to the Free Soil Party convention in Buffalo, New York, having left the Democratic Party over the question of slavery, he was a member of the Michigan State Senate from 1850 to 1852 and an unsuccessful Free Soil Party candidate for governor in 1852.
He helped to organize the Republican Party in Jackson, Michigan in 1854. He became its editor, he was an unsuccessful candidate for the U. S. Senate in that year. Pursuant to the new state constitution adopted in 1850, the Michigan Legislature created a permanent State Supreme Court in 1857. Christiancy was elected as an associate judge of this first permanent Michigan Supreme Court, he was reelected twice and served until February 27, 1875, when he resigned to take the office of U. S. Senator, he served as Chief Justice from 1872 to 1874. Christiancy is known as one of the "Big Four" of Michigan judicial history for his service while on the court, he was elected as a Republican to the U. S. Senate in 1874, defeating the incumbent Radical Republican Zachariah Chandler, served in the 44th and 45th Congresses from March 4, 1875, to February 10, 1879, when he resigned due to ill health. Chandler was elected to retake the seat twelve days later, he served as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Peru from 1879 to 1881, after which he returned to Lansing, Michigan to resume the practice of law.
During his stay in Peru, Christiancy warned the United States about the rising British influence, being brought about by Chile during the War of the Pacific. He is interred in Woodlawn Cemetery in Monroe, his son, James Isaac Christiancy, was First United States Army. He was awarded the Medal of Honor during the American Civil War while serving in Company D, 9th Michigan Volunteer Cavalry. On May 28, 1864, while acting as aide, he voluntarily led a part of the line into the fight, was twice wounded; the Medal was issued on October 10, 1892. He is buried in the Woodland Cemetery in Michigan; the Thomas M. Cooley Law School chapter of Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity is named for him. United States Congress. "Isaac P. Christiancy". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved on 2008-02-21 "Isaac P. Christiancy". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2008-02-21. Christiancy, Isaac P.. "Address of the Hon. I. P. Christiancy to the graduating class of the Law department of the Michigan university". University of Michigan.