William P. Frye

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William Pierce Frye
William P. Frye - Brady-Handy.jpg
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
February 7, 1896 April 27, 1911
Preceded by Isham G. Harris
Succeeded by Rotating pro terms
United States Senator
from Maine
In office
March 18, 1881 August 8, 1911
Preceded by James G. Blaine
Succeeded by Obadiah Gardner
Chairman of the House Republican Conference
In office
March 4, 1879 March 3, 1881
Speaker Samuel J. Randall
Preceded by Eugene Hale
Succeeded by George M. Robeson
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from Maine's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1871 March 17, 1881
Preceded by Samuel P. Morrill
Succeeded by Nelson Dingley, Jr.
Maine Attorney General
In office
Governor Joshua Chamberlain
Preceded by John A. Peters
Succeeded by Thomas Brackett Reed
Member of the Maine House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
BornSeptember 2, 1830
Lewiston, Maine
DiedAugust 8, 1911(1911-08-08) (aged 80)
Lewiston, Maine
Political party Republican
Alma mater Bowdoin College
Profession Law, politics

William Pierce Frye (September 2, 1830 August 8, 1911) was an American politician from the Maine. Frye, a member of the Republican Party, spent most of his political career as a legislator, serving in the Maine House of Representatives and then U.S. House of Representatives, before being elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served for 30 years; dying in office. Frye was a member of the Frye political family, and was the grandfather of Wallace H. White, Jr. and the son of John March Frye. He was also a prominent member of the Peucinian Society tradition.

Politics of the United States Political system of the United States of America

The United States is a federal republic in which the president, Congress and federal courts share powers reserved to the national government, according to its Constitution. The federal government shares sovereignty with the state governments.

Maine state of the United States of America

Maine is the northernmost state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Maine is the 12th smallest by area, the 9th least populous, and the 38th most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states. It is bordered by New Hampshire to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Québec to the northeast and northwest, respectively. Maine is the only state to border just one other state, is the easternmost among the contiguous United States, and is the northernmost state east of the Great Lakes.

History of the United States Republican Party Aspect of history

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the world's oldest extant political parties. It is the second-oldest existing political party in the United States; its chief rival, the Democratic Party, is the oldest.


Fry was a leader of the "Old Guard" faction of conservative Republicans, exerting his weight on such important committees as Rules, Foreign Relations, Appropriations, and Commerce. He was best known for supporting the shipping industry, but repeatedly failed to obtain government subsidies. He also supported high tariffs, expansion that sought additional territory and the canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific. He favored the annexation of Hawaii and the acquisition of the Philippine Islands in 1898. President William McKinley appointed him to the peace commission it negotiated the end of the Spanish-American war. [1]


Mrs. William P. Frye Mrs William P. Frye.jpg
Mrs. William P. Frye

Frye was born in Lewiston, Maine, in Androscoggin County. He attended public schools there and graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick in 1850. Frye studied law and was later admitted to the bar. He began practicing in Rockland, Maine in 1853 but later returned to Lewiston, and practiced law there. Frye played a role in founding Bates College in Lewiston and served as a longtime trustee of the College. Frye received a LL.D. from Bates in 1881.

Lewiston, Maine City in Maine, United States

Lewiston is the second largest city in Maine and the most central city in Androscoggin County. The city lies halfway between Augusta, the state's capital, and Portland, the states most populous city and the cultural hub of Maine. It is one-half of the Lewiston-Auburn Metropolitan Statistical Area, commonly referred to as "L.A." or "L-A." Lewiston exerts a significant impact upon the diversity, religious variety, commerce, education, and economic power of Maine. It is known for a relatively low cost of living, substantial access to medical care, and an extremely low violent-crime rate. While the dominant language spoken in the city is English, it is home to the largest French-speaking population in the United States while it is second to St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, in percentage of speakers.

Androscoggin County, Maine U.S. county in Maine

Androscoggin County is a county in the U.S. state of Maine. As of the 2010 census, the county's population was 107,702. Its county seat is Auburn.

Bowdoin College private liberal arts college in Brunswick, Maine

Bowdoin College is a private liberal arts college in Brunswick, Maine. At the time Bowdoin was chartered, in 1794, Maine was still a part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The college offers 34 majors and 36 minors, as well as several joint engineering programs with Columbia, Caltech, Dartmouth College, and The University of Maine.

Frye served in the Maine House of Representatives from 1861 to 1862 and again in 1867. He was later elected as the mayor of Lewiston, holding that position from 1866 to 1867, when he became the state attorney general. Frye left the attorney general post in 1869. He was elected as a Republican in 1870 to the U.S. House of Representatives. Frye served in the 42nd Congress and the five succeeding Congresses from March 4, 1871, to March 17, 1881, when he resigned after being elected Senator to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of James G. Blaine. He served over 30 years in the Senate (March 18, 1881 – August 8, 1911), and was reelected in 1883, 1889, 1895, 1901, and 1907.

42nd United States Congress

The Forty-second United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1871, to March 4, 1873, during the third and fourth years of Ulysses S. Grant's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Eighth Census of the United States in 1860. Both chambers had a Republican majority.

James G. Blaine American Republican politician

James Gillespie Blaine was an American statesman and Republican politician who represented Maine in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1863 to 1876, serving as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1869 to 1875, and then in the United States Senate from 1876 to 1881. Blaine twice served as Secretary of State, one of only two persons to hold the position under three separate presidents, and unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for President in 1876 and 1880 before being nominated in 1884. In the general election, he was narrowly defeated by Democrat Grover Cleveland. Blaine was one of the late 19th century's leading Republicans and champion of the moderate reformist faction of the party known as the "Half-Breeds".

During his tenure in the Senate, Frye served as its President pro tempore from the 54th62nd Congress. The Vice Presidency was vacant twice during that time: November 21, 1899–March 4, 1901, following the death of Garret Hobart, and September 14, 1901–March 4, 1905, after Theodore Roosevelt succeeded to the presidency. Frye resigned as president pro tempore due to ill health a couple of months before his death. Electing his successor proved difficult for the Senate, as the Republicans, then in the majority, were split between progressive and conservative factions, each promoting its own candidate. It took several months for a consensus way forward to emerge. At the time of his resignation he had served longer in that position then anyone else, 15 years, 2 months, 21 days.

President pro tempore of the United States Senate second-highest-ranking official of the United States Senate

The president pro tempore of the United States Senate is the second-highest-ranking official of the United States Senate. Article One, Section Three of the United States Constitution provides that the vice president of the United States is the president of the Senate, and mandates that the Senate must choose a president pro tempore to act in the vice president's absence. Unlike the vice president, the president pro tempore is an elected member of the Senate, able to speak or vote on any issue. Selected by the Senate at large, the president pro tempore has enjoyed many privileges and some limited powers. During the vice president's absence, the president pro tempore is empowered to preside over Senate sessions. In practice, neither the vice president nor the president pro tempore usually presides; instead, the duty of presiding officer is rotated among junior U.S. senators of the majority party to give them experience in parliamentary procedure.

Vice President of the United States Second highest executive office in United States

The vice president of the United States is the second-highest officer in the executive branch of the U.S. federal government, after the president of the United States, and ranks first in the presidential line of succession. The vice president is also an officer in the legislative branch, as president of the Senate. In this capacity, the vice president is empowered to preside over Senate deliberations, but may not vote except to cast a tie-breaking vote. The vice president also presides over joint sessions of Congress.

Garret Hobart U.S. Vice President

Garret Augustus Hobart was the 24th vice president of the United States, serving from 1897 until his death in 1899. He was the sixth American vice president to die in office.

Frye was also the chairman of the Rules Committee (47th49th Congress). Frye also was a member of the Commerce Committee (50th62nd Congress) and a member of the commission which met in Paris in September 1898 to adjust the Treaty of Paris between the United States and Spain, ending the Spanish–American War.

The Treaty of Paris of 1898 was a treaty signed by Spain and the United States on December 10, 1898, that ended the Spanish–American War. In the treaty, Spain relinquished all claim of sovereignty over and title to Cuba, and ceded Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines to the United States. The cession of the Philippines involved a compensation of $20 million from the United States to Spain. The Treaty of Paris came into effect on April 11, 1899, when the documents of ratification were exchanged.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Spain Kingdom in Southwest Europe

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a European country located in Southwestern Europe with some pockets of Spanish territory across the Strait of Gibraltar and the Atlantic Ocean. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

Frye died in Lewiston in 1911. He is interred in the Riverside Cemetery. The Sen. William P. Frye House near Bates College in Lewiston is on the National Historic Register.

See also


  1. Lewis L. Gould, "Frye, William Pierce" American National Biography (1999)

Further reading

Legal offices
Preceded by
John A. Peters
Maine Attorney General
Succeeded by
Thomas Brackett Reed
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Samuel P. Morrill
Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 2nd congressional district

March 4, 1871 – March 17, 1881
Succeeded by
Nelson Dingley, Jr.
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
James G. Blaine
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Maine
March 18, 1881 – August 8, 1911
Served alongside: Eugene Hale and Charles F. Johnson
Succeeded by
Obadiah Gardner
Political offices
Preceded by
Isham G. Harris
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
February 7, 1896 – April 27, 1911
Succeeded by
Rotating pro tems
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Eugene Hale
Dean of the United States Senate
March 4, 1911 – August 8, 1911
Succeeded by
Shelby Moore Cullom

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