George Frisbie Hoar

Last updated
George Frisbie Hoar
George Frisbie Hoar - Brady-Handy.jpg
United States Senator
from Massachusetts
In office
March 4, 1877 September 30, 1904
Preceded by George S. Boutwell
Succeeded by Winthrop M. Crane
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts
In office
March 4, 1869 March 3, 1877
Preceded by John Denison Baldwin (8th)
Alvah Crocker (9th)
Succeeded by John M. S. Williams (8th)
William W. Rice (9th)
Constituency 8th district (1869–73)
9th district (1873–77)
Member of the Massachusetts Senate
In office
Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1826-08-29)August 29, 1826
Concord, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedSeptember 30, 1904(1904-09-30) (aged 78)
Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political party Republican (after 1855)
Other political
Free Soil Party (before 1855)
Alma mater Harvard University
Harvard Law School
Profession Lawyer
Signature Appletons' Hoar Samuel - George Frisbie signature.png

George Frisbie Hoar (August 29, 1826 September 30, 1904) was a prominent American politician and United States Senator from Massachusetts from 1877 to 1904. He was a member of an extended family that was politically prominent in 18th and 19th century New England.

A politician is a person active in party politics, or a person holding or seeking office in government. Politicians propose, support and create laws or policies that govern the land and, by extension, its people. Broadly speaking, a "politician" can be anyone who seeks to achieve political power in any bureaucratic institution.


Early life

Hoar was born in Concord, Massachusetts, on August 29, 1826. He studied for several months at a boarding school in Waltham, Massachusetts, run by Samuel and Sarah Bradford Ripley. [1] He graduated from Harvard University in 1846 and earned his law degree at Harvard Law School in 1849. He was admitted to the bar and settled in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he practiced law. Initially a member of the Free Soil Party, he joined the Republican Party shortly after its founding.

Concord, Massachusetts Town in Massachusetts, United States

Concord is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, in the United States. At the 2010 census, the town population was 17,668. The United States Census Bureau considers Concord part of Greater Boston. The town center is near where the confluence of the Sudbury and Assabet rivers forms the Concord River.

Waltham, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

Waltham is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, and was an early center for the labor movement as well as a major contributor to the American Industrial Revolution. The original home of the Boston Manufacturing Company, the city was a prototype for 19th century industrial city planning, spawning what became known as the Waltham-Lowell system of labor and production. The city is now a center for research and higher education, home to Brandeis University and Bentley University. The population was 60,636 at the census in 2010.

Sarah Bradford Ripley

Sarah Bradford Ripley was an American educator and noted scholar at a time when women were rarely admitted to universities. She acquired most of her knowledge of the classics, philosophy, modern languages, botany, astronomy, and chemistry through independent study. She was reputedly "one of the most learned women of the nineteenth century."

Political career

Hoar was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1852 and to the Massachusetts Senate in 1857.

Massachusetts House of Representatives lower house of U.S. state legislature

The Massachusetts House of Representatives is the lower house of the Massachusetts General Court, the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is composed of 160 members elected from 14 counties each divided into single-member electoral districts across the Commonwealth. The House of Representatives convenes at the Massachusetts State House in Boston.

Massachusetts Senate

The Massachusetts Senate is the upper house of the Massachusetts General Court, the bicameral state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Senate comprises 40 elected members from 40 single-member senatorial districts in the state. All but one of the districts are named for the counties in which they are located. Senators serve two-year terms, without term limits. The Senate convenes in the Massachusetts State House, in Boston.

He represented Massachusetts as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for four terms from 1869 to 1877 and then served in the U.S. Senate until his death during his fifth term. For one term during his House service, from 1873 to 1875, his brother Ebenezer Rockood Hoar served alongside him. He was a Republican, who generally avoided party partisanship and did not hesitate to criticize other members of his party whose actions or policies he believed were in error. In 1880 he was chairman of the 1880 Republican National Convention. When James Garfield, who eventually won the party's nomination and the presidential election, rose to object that votes were being cast for him without his consent, Hoar disallowed his objection. He later said: "I was terribly afraid that he would say something that would make his nomination impossible." [2]

United States Senate Upper house of the United States Congress

The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress which, along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol Building, in Washington, D.C.

1880 Republican National Convention

The 1880 Republican National Convention convened from June 2 to June 8, 1880, at the Interstate Exposition Building in Chicago, Illinois, United States, and nominated Representative James A. Garfield of Ohio and Chester A. Arthur of New York as the official candidates of the Republican Party for President and Vice President, respectively, in the 1880 presidential election.

Hoar was long noted as a fighter against political corruption. He campaigned for the rights of African Americans and Native Americans. He opposed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, describing it as "nothing less than the legalization of racial discrimination" [3] [4] [5] He was a member of the Congressional Electoral Commission that settled the highly disputed 1876 U.S. presidential election. He authored the Presidential Succession Act of 1886.

Political corruption is the use of powers by government officials or their network contacts for illegitimate private gain.

African Americans are an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the black racial groups of Africa. The term typically refers to descendants of enslaved black people who are from the United States.

Native Americans in the United States Indigenous peoples of the United States (except Hawaii)

Native Americans, also known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii and territories of the United States. More than 570 federally recognized tribes live within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. The term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaskan Natives, while "Native Americans" are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. The US Census does not include Native Hawaiians or Chamorro, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander".

He argued in the Senate in favor of women's suffrage as early as 1886.

Womens suffrage The legal right of women to vote

Women's suffrage is the right of women to vote in elections. Beginning in the late 19th century, besides women working for broad-based economic and political equality and for social reforms, women sought to change voting laws to allow them to vote. National and international organizations formed to coordinate efforts towards that objective, especially the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, as well as for equal civil rights for women.

He was a consistent opponent of American imperialism. He did not share his Senate colleagues' enthusiasm for American intervention in Cuba in the late 1890s. On December 1897, he met with Native Hawaiian leaders opposed to the annexation of their nation. He then presented the Kūʻē Petitions to Congress and helped to defeat President William McKinley's attempt to annex the Republic of Hawaii by treaty, though the islands were eventually annexed by means of joint resolution, called the Newlands Resolution. [6]

George F. Hoar in his later years. GeoFHoar.jpg
George F. Hoar in his later years.

After the Spanish–American War, Hoar became one of the Senate's most outspoken opponents of the imperialism of the McKinley administration. He denounced the Philippine–American War and called for independence for the Philippines in a 3-hour speech in the Senate, saying: [7] [8]

You have sacrificed nearly ten thousand American lives—the flower of our youth. You have devastated provinces. You have slain uncounted thousands of the people you desire to benefit. You have established reconcentration camps. Your generals are coming home from their harvest bringing sheaves with them, in the shape of other thousands of sick and wounded and insane to drag out miserable lives, wrecked in body and mind. You make the American flag in the eyes of a numerous people the emblem of sacrilege in Christian churches, and of the burning of human dwellings, and of the horror of the water torture. Your practical statesmanship which disdains to take George Washington and Abraham Lincoln or the soldiers of the Revolution or of the Civil War as models, has looked in some cases to Spain for your example. I believe—nay, I know—that in general our officers and soldiers are humane. But in some cases they have carried on your warfare with a mixture of American ingenuity and Castilian cruelty.

Your practical statesmanship has succeeded in converting a people who three years ago were ready to kiss the hem of the garment of the American and to welcome him as a liberator, who thronged after your men when they landed on those islands with benediction and gratitude, into sullen and irreconcilable enemies, possessed of a hatred which centuries can not eradicate.

Hoar pushed for and served on the Lodge Committee, investigating allegations, later confirmed, of war crimes in the Philippine–American War. He also denounced the U.S. intervention in Panama.

Other interests

In 1865, Hoar was one of the founders of the Worcester County Free Institute of Industrial Science, now the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Hoar was active in the American Historical Association and the American Antiquarian Society, serving terms as president of both organizations. He was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1853, [9] and served as vice-president from 1878 to 1884, and then served as president from 1884 to 1887. [10] In 1887 he was among the founders of the American Irish Historical Society. [11] He was a regent of the Smithsonian Institution in 1880 and a trustee of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. Through his efforts, the lost manuscript of William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation (1620–47), an important founding document of the United States, was returned to Massachusetts, after being discovered in Fulham Palace, London, in 1855. [12]

Hoar was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1901. [13] His autobiography, Autobiography of Seventy Years, was published in 1903. It appeared first in serial form in Scribner's magazine.

He attended the Unitarian Church of All Souls in Washington, D.C. [14]

Hoar enjoyed good health until June 1904. He died in Worcester on September 30 of that year and was buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord. After his death, a statue of him was erected in front of Worcester's city hall, paid for by public donations.

Hoar family and relations

In 1853, Hoar married Mary Louisa Spurr (1831-1859). [15] In 1862, he married Ruth Ann Miller (1830-1903). [16] With his first wife, he was the father of a son, Rockwood Hoar, and a daughter, Mary (1854-1929). [16] With his second wife he was the father of a daughter, Alice (1863-1864). [16]

Through his mother, Sarah Sherman, G.F. Hoar was a grandson of prominent political figure, Roger Sherman and Sherman's second wife, Rebecca Minot Prescott. Roger Sherman signed the Articles of Confederation, United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.

See also

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  1. Hoar, George F. (1903). Autobiography of Seventy Years. I. Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 82.
  2. Graff, Henry F. (June 26, 1960). "Playing Political Possum Isn't Easy". New York Times. p. 40. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  3. Daniels, Roger (2002). Coming to America: A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life. Harper Perennial. p. 271. ISBN   978-0060505776.
  4. Puleo, Stephen (2007). The Boston Italians. Boston: Beacon Press. p. 27. ISBN   9780807050361.
  5. Dunlap, David W. (March 17, 2017). "135 Years Ago, Another Travel Ban Was In the News". New York Times. Retrieved December 20, 2018. Taking the ground that the principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence, that all men are created free and equal, is the cardinal principle upon which this Government is established, he went on to declare that no question of policy could be made a pretext for setting it aside to make a distinction against any race of men. He said that all the arguments against the negroes used years ago were now applied to the Chinese.
  6. Silva, Noenoe K. (1998). "The 1897 Petitions Protesting Annexation". The Annexation Of Hawaii: A Collection Of Document. University of Hawaii at Manoa. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  7. Hoar, George Frisbie (1906). "Subjugation of the Philippines Iniquitous". In William Jennings Bryan (ed.). The World's Famous Orations:America: III (1861–1905). X. Francis W. Halsey, associate editor (On-line edition published March 2003 by ed.). New York: Funk and Wagnalls.
  8. Millard, Candice (February 17, 2012). "Looking for a Fight: A New History of the Philippine-American War". New York Times. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  9. "Members". American Antiquarian Society. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  10. Dunbar, B. (1987). Members and Officers of the American Antiquarian Society. Worcester: American Antiquarian Society.
  11. "History Building Ready". New York Times. April 9, 1940. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  12. Hoar, George F. (1905). Autobiography of Seventy Years. II. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. pp. 235ff. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  13. "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  14. "Ulysses G. Pierce, Unitarian Leader". New York Times. October 12, 1934. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  15. "Biographical Sketch, Rockwood Hoar". Rockwood Hoar Papers. Boston, MA: Massachusetts Historical Society. Retrieved May 20, 2018.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  16. 1 2 3 "Biographical Sketch, Rockwood Hoar".
Additional sources
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John D. Baldwin
Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 8th congressional district

Succeeded by
John M. S. Williams (district moved)
Preceded by
Alvah Crocker (district moved)
Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 9th congressional district

Succeeded by
William W. Rice
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
George S. Boutwell
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Massachusetts
Served alongside: Henry L. Dawes and Henry Cabot Lodge
Succeeded by
Winthrop M. Crane