Carter Glass

Last updated

Carter Glass
Senator Carter Glass of Virginia.jpg
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
July 11, 1941 January 3, 1945
Preceded by Pat Harrison
Succeeded by Kenneth McKellar
Chair of the
Senate Appropriations Committee
In office
March 4, 1933 May 28, 1946
Preceded by Frederick Hale
Succeeded by Kenneth McKellar
United States Senator
from Virginia
In office
February 2, 1920 May 28, 1946
Appointed by Westmoreland Davis
Preceded by Thomas S. Martin
Succeeded by Thomas G. Burch
47th United States Secretary of the Treasury
In office
December 16, 1918 February 1, 1920
President Woodrow Wilson
Preceded by William McAdoo
Succeeded by David F. Houston
Chair of the House Banking Committee
In office
March 4, 1913 December 16, 1918
Preceded by Arsène Pujo
Succeeded by Michael Francis Phelan
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from Virginia's 6th district
In office
November 4, 1902 December 16, 1918
Preceded by Peter J. Otey
Succeeded by James P. Woods
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 20th district
In office
December 6, 1899 November 4, 1902
Preceded byAdam Clement
Succeeded by Don P. Halsey
Personal details
Born(1858-01-04)January 4, 1858
Lynchburg, Virginia, U.S.
DiedMay 28, 1946(1946-05-28) (aged 88)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political party Democratic
Signature Carter Glass sig.jpg

Carter Glass (January 4, 1858 – May 28, 1946) was an American newspaper publisher and Democratic politician from Lynchburg, Virginia. He represented Virginia in both houses of Congress and served as the United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Woodrow Wilson. He played a major role in the establishment of the U.S. financial regulatory system, helping to establish the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Contents

After working as a newspaper editor and publisher, Glass won election to the Senate of Virginia in 1899. He was a delegate to the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1902, where he was an influential advocate of both progressive and segregationist policies. Glass won election to the United States House of Representatives in 1902 and became Chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Currency in 1913. Working with President Wilson, he passed the Federal Reserve Act, which established a central banking system for the United States. Glass served as Secretary of the Treasury from 1918 until 1920, when he accepted an appointment to represent Virginia in the United States Senate. Glass was a favorite son candidate for the presidential nomination at the 1920 Democratic National Convention.

Glass served in the Senate from 1920 until his death in 1946, becoming Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee in 1933. He also served as president pro tempore of the Senate from 1941 to 1945. He co-sponsored the 1933 Banking Act, also known as the Glass–Steagall Act, which created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and enforced the separation of investment banking firms and commercial banks. An ardent supporter of states' rights, Glass opposed much of the New Deal and clashed with President Franklin D. Roosevelt over the control of federal appointments in Virginia.

Youth and education

Carter Glass was born on January 4, 1858, in Lynchburg, Virginia, the last child born to Robert Henry Glass and his first wife, the former Augusta Elizabeth Christian. His mother died on January 15, 1860, when Carter was only 2 years old, so his sister Nannie, ten years older (and Elizabeth's only daughter), became his surrogate mother. Carter, a slight boy, got his nickname, "Pluck", for his pugnacious willingness to stand up to bullies. [1]

His father, Robert Henry Glass, was Lynchburg's postmaster beginning in 1853, and in 1858 bought the Lynchburg Daily Republican newspaper (where he had worked since 1846). The city's other newspaper was the Lynchburg Daily Virginian, then published by Joseph Button, who on June 23, 1860 (while R. H. Glass was out of town) died in a duel with Glass's editor at the time, George W. Hardwicke, over accusations that Glass used his postal office to disadvantage the rival paper. [2] Major Glass ultimately remarried and had seven additional children, including Meta Glass (president of Sweet Briar College) and Edward Christian Glass (who served as Lynchburg's school superintendent for five decades).

When the American Civil War (1861–1865) broke out, Lynchburg was pro-Union but also pro-slavery, since its economy depended on the manufacture of tobacco as well as slave-trading and the new railroads. R. H. Glass volunteered and joined the Virginia forces in 1861, and then joined the Confederate Army, where he became a major on the staff of Brigadier General John B. Floyd, a former Governor of Virginia. Although Glass's father survived the Civil War, 18 of his mother's relatives did not.

In poverty-stricken Virginia during the post-War period, the young Glass received only a basic education at a private school run by one-legged former Confederate Henry L. Daviess. [3] However, his father kept an extensive library. He became an apprentice printer to his father (and Hardwicke) when he was 13 years old, and continued his education through reading. Carter Glass read Plato, Edmund Burke and William Shakespeare, among others that stimulated a lifelong intellectual interest. In 1876, Major Glass accepted an offer to edit the Petersburg News, and Carter joined him as a journeyman printer. Not long afterward, Major Glass accepted the editorship of the Danville Post, but Carter did not join him, but instead returned to Lynchburg. [4]

Early career

When Glass was 19 years old, he moved with his father to Petersburg. However, when young Glass could not find a job as a newspaper reporter in Petersburg, he returned to Lynchburg, and went to work for former Confederate General (and future U.S. Senator) William Mahone's Atlantic, Mississippi and Ohio Railroad (AM&O), which was in receivership from 1877 to 1880. Glass was a clerk in the auditor's office at the railroad's headquarters. Several years later, under new owners and with headquarters relocated to Roanoke, the railroad became the Norfolk and Western (N&W). However, by then Glass had found the newspaper job he had initially wanted. His formative years as Virginia struggled to resolve a large pre-War debt (Mahone being a leading figure in the Readjuster Party) and dealing with boom-and-bust economic cycles (some linked with stock speculation), helped mold Glass' conservative fiscal thinking, much as it did many other Virginia political leaders of his era.

Photographic portrait of Carter Glass as a young man Young Carter Glass.jpg
Photographic portrait of Carter Glass as a young man

At the age of 22, Glass finally became a reporter, a job he had long sought, for the Lynchburg News. He rose to become the morning newspaper's editor by 1887. The following year, the publisher retired and offered Glass an option to purchase the business. Desperate to find financial backing, Glass received the unexpected assistance from a relative who loaned him enough for a $100 down payment on the $13,000 deal. [5] Free to write and publish whatever he wished, Glass wrote bold editorials and encouraged tougher reporting in the morning paper, which increased sales. Soon, Glass was able to acquire the afternoon Daily Advance, then to buy out the competing Daily Republican. Thus he became Lynchburg's sole newspaper publisher; the modern-day Lynchburg News and Advance is the successor publication to his newspapers.

Entry into politics

As a prominent and respected newspaper editor, Glass often supported candidates who ran against Virginia's Democrats of the post-Reconstruction period, who he felt were promoting bad fiscal policy. In 1896, the same year his father died, Glass attended the Democratic National Convention as a delegate, and heard William Jennings Bryan speak. [6] Glass was elected to the Senate of Virginia in 1899, and was a delegate to the Virginia constitutional convention of 1901–1902. He was one of the most influential members of the convention, which instituted measures associated with the Progressive movement, such as the establishment of the State Corporation Commission to regulate railroads and other corporations, replacing the former Virginia Board of Public Works.[ citation needed ]

The 1902 Constitution instituted a poll tax and required bulk payment after a voter missed elections, making voting a luxury that poor people, which included many African-Americans, could not often afford. The Constitution also required that voters pass a literacy test, a poll test on the Virginia Constitution, with their performance graded by the registrar. When questioned as to whether these measures were potentially discriminatory, Glass exclaimed, "Discrimination! Why that is exactly what we propose. To remove every negro voter who can be gotten rid of, legally, without materially impairing the numerical strength of the white electorate." [7] Indeed, the number of African-Americans qualified to vote dropped from 147,000 to 21,000 immediately. [8] Carter Glass remained one of the strongest advocates of segregation and continued to dedicate much of his political career to the perpetuation of Jim Crow laws in the South.[ citation needed ]

Congress, Secretary of the Treasury

Time cover, 9 Jun 1924 TIMEMagazine9Jun1924.jpg
Time cover, 9 Jun 1924
Former residence of Carter Glass located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C. 1527 New Hampshire Avenue, NW.JPG
Former residence of Carter Glass located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

Glass was elected to the United States House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1902, to fill a vacancy. In 1913, he became Chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Currency, where he worked with President Woodrow Wilson to pass the Glass-Owen Federal Reserve Act. In 1918, Wilson appointed him Secretary of the Treasury, succeeding William Gibbs McAdoo. His signature as Secretary of the Treasury can be found on series 1914 Federal Reserve Notes, issued while he was in office. At the 1920 Democratic National Convention Glass was nominated for President as a favorite son candidate from Virginia.

Glass served at the Treasury until 1920, when he was appointed to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Virginia's senior senator, Thomas Staples Martin. Martin had been widely regarded as the head of Virginia's Democratic Party, a role filled during the 1920s by Harry Flood Byrd of Winchester, another Virginia newspaperman who shared many of Glass's political views and who headed the political machine of Conservative Democrats known as the Byrd Organization, which dominated Virginia's politics until the 1960s. In 1933, Byrd became Virginia's junior Senator, joining Glass in the Senate after former Governor and then-senior U.S. Senator Claude A. Swanson was appointed as U.S. Secretary of the Navy by President Franklin Roosevelt. Both Glass and Byrd were opposed to Roosevelt's New Deal policies. Each was a strong supporter of fiscal conservatism and state's rights. Glass and Byrd invoked senatorial courtesy to defeat Roosevelt's nomination of Floyd H. Roberts to a federal judgeship, as part of a broader conflict over control of federal patronage in Virginia.

Glass served in the U.S. Senate for the remainder of his life, turning down the offer of a new appointment as Secretary of the Treasury from President Roosevelt in 1933. When the Democrats regained control of the Senate that year, Glass became Chairman of the Appropriations Committee. He was President pro tempore from 1941 to 1945, being succeeded as such by Kenneth McKellar at the start of the custom of giving that post to the senior senator of the majority party. As a Senator, Glass's most notable achievement was passage of the Glass–Steagall Act, which separated the activities of banks and securities brokers and created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. A less successful minor legislative initiative from Glass was a 1930 resolution to ban dial telephones [9] from the Senate, a measure that was successfully resisted by younger Senators who favored dial telephony.

Electoral history

Family, decline, death

Glass's Montview historical marker in Lynchburg, Virginia Montview historical marker, Lynchburg, VA IMG 4117.JPG
Glass's Montview historical marker in Lynchburg, Virginia

When he was twenty-eight, Glass married Aurelia McDearmon Caldwell, a school teacher. They had four children. She died of a heart ailment in 1937. [10] Glass remarried in 1940 at the age of 82. His second wife, Mary Scott, was his constant companion as his health began to fail over the next few years. They lived at the Mayflower Hotel Apartments in Washington, D.C. Starting in 1942, Glass began suffering from various age-related illnesses and could not attend Senate meetings after that time. However, he refused to resign from the Senate, despite many requests that he do so, and even kept his committee chairmanship. Many visitors were also kept away from him by his wife. [11]

A confidential 1943 analysis of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by Isaiah Berlin for the British Foreign Office stated that Glass [12]

is very old and frail and something of a legend in the South. The fruit-growing interests of his State make him an opponent of the reciprocal trade pacts, but on all other questions he has loyally supported the President's anti-Isolationist policy. He cannot have many years of active service before him.

Glass died of congestive heart failure in Washington, D.C., on May 28, 1946. He is interred at Spring Hill Cemetery in Lynchburg. His fellow sponsor of the Glass-Owen Act, Senator Robert Latham Owen, lies nearby.

Legacy

"Montview", also known as the "Carter Glass Mansion", was built in 1923 on his farm outside of the-then boundaries of Lynchburg in Campbell County. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and now serves as a museum on the grounds of Liberty University. It lies within the expanded city limits of Lynchburg. The front lawn of "Montview" is the burial site of Dr. Jerry Falwell, founder of Liberty University. [13]

The Virginia Department of Transportation's Carter Glass Memorial Bridge was named in his honor in 1949. It carries the Lynchburg bypass of U.S. Route 29, the major north-south highway in the region, across the James River between Lynchburg and Amherst County. [14]

A chair in the Department of Government was created in Glass's honor at Sweet Briar College. It has been held by notable faculty that have included Dr. Barbara A. Perry.

Glass Hall at Harvard Business School was named in his honor. It is one of seven buildings named for notable secretaries of the United States Treasury at the suggestion of donor George Fisher Baker. As of 1984, it has been repurposed as an updated administrative space for the school's Executive Education programs. [15]

Glass is one of the few Americans to appear on a U.S. coin during his lifetime. As a very prominent citizen of the city of Lynchburg, the 1936 Lynchburg Sesquicentennial commemorative half dollar shows his image and name on the obverse. Only 20,000 of these souvenirs were minted as it was not intended for regular circulation. [16]

See also

Related Research Articles

Robert Byrd U.S. Senator from West Virginia (1959–2010)

Robert Carlyle Byrd was an American politician who served as a United States Senator from West Virginia for over 51 years, from 1959 until his death in 2010. A member of the Democratic Party, Byrd previously served as a U.S. Representative from 1953 until 1959. He is the longest-serving U.S. Senator in history, was the longest-serving member in the history of the United States Congress, until surpassed by Representative John Dingell of Michigan; the last remaining member of the U.S. Senate to have served during the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower; and the last remaining member of Congress to have served during the presidency of Harry S. Truman. Byrd is also the only West Virginian to have served in both chambers of the state legislature and both chambers of Congress.

Arthur Vandenberg American politician

Arthur Hendrick Vandenberg was an American politician who served as a United States Senator from Michigan from 1928 to 1951. A member of the Republican Party, he participated in the creation of the United Nations. He is best known for leading the Republican Party from a foreign policy of isolationism to one of internationalism, and supporting the Cold War, the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, and NATO. He served as President pro tempore of the United States Senate from 1947 to 1949.

Harry F. Byrd American politician

Harry Flood Byrd Sr. of Berryville in Clarke County, Virginia was an American newspaper publisher, politician, and leader of the Democratic Party in Virginia for four decades as head of a political faction that became known as the Byrd Organization. Byrd served as Virginia's governor from 1926 until 1930, then represented the Commonwealth as a United States Senator from 1933 until 1965. He came to lead the "conservative coalition" in the United States Senate, and opposed President Franklin D. Roosevelt, largely blocking most liberal legislation after 1937. His son Harry Jr. succeeded him as U.S. Senator, but ran as an Independent following the decline of the Byrd Organization.

John Garland Pollard American politician

John Garland Pollard was a Virginia lawyer and American Democratic politician, who served as the 21st Attorney General of Virginia (1914-1918) and as the 51st Governor of Virginia, as well as on the Federal Trade Commission (1919-1921) and as chairman of the Board of Veterans Appeals (1934-1937).

Claude A. Swanson American politician

Claude Augustus Swanson was an American lawyer and Democratic politician from Virginia. He served as U.S. Representative (1893-1906), Governor of Virginia (1906-1910), and U.S. Senator from Virginia (1910-1933), before becoming U.S. Secretary of the Navy under President Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1933 until his death. Swanson and fellow U.S. Senator Thomas Staples Martin led a Democratic political machine in Virginia for decades in the late 19th and early 20th century, which later became known as the Byrd Organization for Swanson's successor as U.S. Senator, Harry Flood Byrd.

Absalom Willis Robertson American politician

Absalom Willis Robertson was an American politician from Virginia who served over 50 years in public office. A member of the Democratic Party and ally of the Byrd Organization led by fellow U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd, Robertson represented Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives (1933–1946) and the U.S. Senate (1946–1966), and had earlier served in the Virginia General Assembly. A Dixiecrat or member of the conservative coalition during his congressional career, Robertson was also the father of televangelist Pat Robertson.

73rd United States Congress 1933–1935 U.S. Congress

The Seventy-third United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1933, to January 3, 1935, during the first two years of Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency. Because of the newly ratified 20th Amendment, the duration of this Congress, along with the term of office of those elected to it, was shortened by the interval between January 3 and March 4, 1935. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Fifteenth Census of the United States in 1930. Both chambers had a Democratic majority.

Cleve Benedict American politician

Cleveland Keith "Cleve" Benedict is a retired Republican politician from West Virginia.

1908 Republican National Convention

The 1908 Republican National Convention was held in Chicago Coliseum, Chicago, Illinois on June 16 to June 19, 1908. It convened to nominate successors to President Theodore Roosevelt and Vice President Charles W. Fairbanks.

John W. Daniel Confederate Army officer

John Warwick Daniel was an American lawyer, author, and Democratic politician from Lynchburg, Virginia who promoted the Lost Cause of the Confederacy. Daniel served in both houses of the Virginia General Assembly, then represented Virginia in both the U.S. House and then multiple terms in the U.S. Senate. Daniel was sometimes called the "Lame Lion of Lynchburg", alluding to his permanent disability incurred during the Battle of the Wilderness, while serving as a major in the Confederate Army.

Thomas S. Martin American politician

Thomas Staples Martin was an American lawyer and Democratic Party politician from Albemarle County, Virginia, who founded a political organization that held power in Virginia for decades and who personally became a U.S. Senator who served for nearly a quarter century and rose to become the Majority Leader before dying in office.

Robert Latham Owen American politician

Robert Latham Owen Jr. was one of the first two U.S. senators from Oklahoma. He served in the Senate between 1907 and 1925.

The 1920 Democratic National Convention was held at the Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California from June 28 to July 6, 1920. It resulted in the nomination of Governor James M. Cox of Ohio for president and Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt from New York for vice president. The 1920 Democratic National Convention marked the first time any party had held its nominating convention in a West Coast city.

Party divisions of United States Congresses

Party divisions of United States Congresses have played a central role in the organization and operations of both chambers of the United States Congress—the Senate and the House of Representatives—since its establishment as the bicameral legislature of the Federal government of the United States in 1789. Political parties had not been anticipated when the U.S. Constitution was drafted in 1787, nor did they exist at the time the first Senate elections and House elections occurred in 1788 and 1789. Organized political parties developed in the U.S. in the 1790s, but political factions—from which organized parties evolved—began to appear almost immediately after the 1st Congress convened. Those who supported the Washington administration were referred to as "pro-administration" and would eventually form the Federalist Party, while those in opposition joined the emerging Democratic-Republican Party.

R. Walton Moore American politician

Robert Walton Moore was an American lawyer and politician. A lifelong resident of Fairfax, Virginia, he served as a state senator, member of the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1902, with the Interstate Commerce Commission and in the United States House of Representatives from 8th Congressional District. One of few Virginia politicians to embrace the New Deal, Moore interrupted his retirement to serve as Assistant Secretary of State until his death.

Floyd Hurt Roberts was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia.

Carter Glass House United States historic place

Carter Glass House is a historic house at 605 Clay Street in Lynchburg, Virginia. Built in 1827, it is nationally significant as the longtime home of United States Congressman, Senator, and Treasury Secretary Carter Glass (1858-1946), who championed creation of the Federal Reserve System and passage of the Glass-Steagall Act, which constrained banking activities. The house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976. It now serves as a parish hall for the adjacent St. Paul's Church.

Mosby Perrow Jr. Virginia Senator and key figure in Virginias abandonment of "Massive Resistance" to desegregation.

Mosby Garland Perrow, Jr. was a Virginia lawyer and state senator representing Lynchburg, Virginia. A champion of Virginia's public schools, Perrow became a key figure in Virginia's abandonment of "Massive Resistance" to public school desegregation, including by chairing a joint legislative committee colloquially known as the Perrow Commission.

Lynchburg Sesquicentennial half dollar US coin worth 50 cents

The Lynchburg Sesquicentennial half dollar was a commemorative half dollar designed by Charles Keck and struck by the United States Bureau of the Mint in 1936, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the 1786 incorporation of the independent city of Lynchburg, Virginia. The obverse of the coin depicts former Secretary of the Treasury and U.S. Senator Carter Glass, a native of Lynchburg. The reverse depicts a statue of the Goddess of Liberty, with Lynchburg sites behind her, including the Old Courthouse and the city's Confederate monument.

Robert S. Burruss Jr.

Robert Sidney Burruss Jr. was a state Senator and businessman from Lynchburg, Virginia. In 1963 he became the first Republican elected to represent the area since Congressional Reconstruction.

References

  1. James E. Palmer, Carter Glass: Unreconstructed Rebel (Roanoke: Institute of American Biography, 1938), pp. 15–20.
  2. Palmer, pp. 14–15.
  3. Palmer, p. 20.
  4. Palmer, pp. 22–24.
  5. Current Biography 1941, pp. 321–23.
  6. "Carter Glass – The Region – Publications & Papers | Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis". Minneapolisfed.org. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved October 17, 2010.
  7. Damon W. Root, When bigots become reformers: the Progressive Era's shameful record on race, May 2006.
  8. Wilkinson III, J. Harvie (1968). Harry Byrd and the Changing Face of Virginia Politics, 1945–66. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia. p. 38.
  9. "U.S. Senate: Senate Considers Banning Dial Phones". www.senate.gov. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  10. "Milestones, Jun. 14, 1937". Time. June 14, 1937. Retrieved October 17, 2010.
  11. "Elder Statesman". Time. February 19, 1945. Retrieved October 17, 2010.
  12. Hachey, Thomas E. (Winter 1973–1974). "American Profiles on Capitol Hill: A Confidential Study for the British Foreign Office in 1943" (PDF). Wisconsin Magazine of History. 57 (2): 141–153. JSTOR   4634869. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 21, 2013.
  13. "National Register of Historical Places – VIRGINIA (VA), Lynchburg County". Nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com. Retrieved October 17, 2010.
  14. "Designated Interstate and Primary Route Numbers, Named Highways, Named Bridges and Designated Virginia Byways" (PDF). Virginia Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 1, 2015. Retrieved October 17, 2010.
  15. "Glass Hall - About - Harvard Business School". www.hbs.edu. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  16. Silver Commemoratives 1936 LYNCHBURG 50C MS

Further reading

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Peter J. Otey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 6th congressional district

1902–1918
Succeeded by
James P. Woods
Preceded by
Arsène Pujo
Chair of the House Banking Committee
1913–1918
Succeeded by
Michael Francis Phelan
Political offices
Preceded by
William McAdoo
United States Secretary of the Treasury
1918–1920
Succeeded by
David F. Houston
Preceded by
Pat Harrison
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
1920–1946
Succeeded by
Kenneth McKellar
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Thomas S. Martin
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Virginia
1920–1946
Served alongside: Claude A. Swanson, Harry F. Byrd
Succeeded by
Thomas G. Burch
Preceded by
Frederick Hale
Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee
1933–1946
Succeeded by
Kenneth McKellar
Party political offices
Preceded by
Thomas S. Martin
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Virginia
(Class 2)

1920, 1924, 1930, 1936, 1942
Succeeded by
Absalom Willis Robertson
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Alfred von Tirpitz
Cover of Time
June 9, 1924
Succeeded by
Pope Pius XI