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Albert J. Beveridge

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Albert Beveridge
Beveridge, 1922
United States Senator
from Indiana
In office
March 4, 1899 – March 3, 1911
Preceded byDavid Turpie
Succeeded byJohn W. Kern
Personal details
Albert Jeremiah Beveridge

(1862-10-06)October 6, 1862
Highland County, Ohio, U.S.
DiedApril 27, 1927(1927-04-27) (aged 64)
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
Political partyRepublican (before 1912, 1920–1927)
Progressive (1912–1920)
Katherine Langsdale
(m. 1887; died 1900)
(m. 1907)
EducationIndiana Asbury University (PhB)
AwardsPulitzer Prize (1920)

Albert Jeremiah Beveridge (October 6, 1862 – April 27, 1927) was an American historian and United States Senator from Indiana. He was an intellectual leader of the Progressive Era and a biographer of Chief Justice John Marshall and President Abraham Lincoln.

Early years[edit]

Beveridge was born on October 6, 1862, in Highland County, Ohio, near Sugar Tree Ridge; his parents moved to Indiana soon after his birth. Both of his parents, Thomas H. and Frances Parkinson, were of English descent. His childhood was one of hard work and labor. Beveridge graduated from Sullivan Township High School in 1881.[1] Securing an education with difficulty, he eventually became a law clerk in Indianapolis. In 1887, he was admitted to the Indiana bar, practiced law in Indianapolis[2] and married Katherine Langsdale. After Katherine's death in 1900, Beveridge married Catherine Eddy in 1907.[3]

Beveridge graduated from Indiana Asbury University (now DePauw University) in 1885, with a Ph.B. degree. He was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He was known as a compelling orator, delivering speeches supporting territorial expansion by the US and increasing the power of the federal government.

Beveridge was a Freemason and a member of Oriental Lodge No. 500 in Indianapolis.[4]

Political career[edit]

Beveridge entered politics in 1884 by speaking on behalf of presidential candidate James G. Blaine and was prominent in later campaigns, particularly in 1896, when his speeches attracted general attention.[2] In 1899, Beveridge was appointed to the U.S. Senate as a Republican and served until 1911.[5] He supported Theodore Roosevelt's progressive views and was the keynote speaker at the new Progressive Party convention which nominated Roosevelt for U.S. President in 1912.

Beveridge is known as one of the most prominent American imperialists. He supported the annexation of the Philippines and, along with Republican leader Henry Cabot Lodge, campaigned for the construction of a new navy. In 1901, Beveridge became chair of the Senate Committee on Territories, which allowed him to support statehood for Oklahoma. However, he blocked statehood for New Mexico and Arizona because he deemed the territories too sparsely occupied by white people. In his opinion, they contained too many Hispanics and Native Americans, whom he described as intellectually incapable of understanding the concept of self-governance.[6] He celebrated the "white man's burden" as a noble mission, part of God's plan to bring civilization to the entire world: "It is racial.... He has marked the American people as His chosen nation...."[7]

After Beveridge's election in 1905 to a second term, he became identified with the reform-minded faction of the Republican Party. He championed national child labor legislation,[8] broke with President William Howard Taft over the Payne–Aldrich Tariff, and sponsored the Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1906, adopted in the wake of the publication of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. Furthermore, Beveridge joined insurgents in supporting postal savings bank legislation and railroad regulations with the Mann–Elkins Act of 1910.[9]

During the 1908 Republican Convention, the vice-presidential nomination was urged upon Beveridge by Frank Hitchcock as manager of Taft's campaign, by Senator Reed Smoot of Utah, and by the Nebraska delegation, but Beveridge refused.[10]

He lost his senate seat to John Worth Kern when the Democrats took Indiana in the 1910 elections. In 1912, when Roosevelt left the Republican Party to found the short-lived Progressive Party, Beveridge left with him and ran campaigns as that party's Indiana nominee in the 1912 race for governor and the 1914 race for senator, losing both. When the Progressive Party disintegrated, he returned to the Republicans with his political future in tatters; he eventually ran one more race for Senate in 1922, winning the primary against incumbent Harry S. New but losing the general to Samuel M. Ralston and would never again hold office.[11] Another contribution towards his political downfall was the fact he was a great critic of Woodrow Wilson. He encouraged Wilson to take a more interventionist policy with the Mexican Revolution but disliked Wilson's League of Nations, which Beveridge felt would undermine American independence.[9]

In the twilight of his life, Beveridge came to repudiate some of the earlier expansion of governmental power that he had championed in his earlier career. In one notable address, delivered before the Sons of the Revolution's annual dinner in June 1923, Beveridge decried the growth of the regulatory state and the proliferation of regulatory bodies, bureaus and commissions. "America would be better off as a country and Americans happier and more prosperous as a people," he suggested, "if half of our Government boards, bureaus and commissions were abolished, hundreds of thousands of our Government officials, agents and employees were discharged and two-thirds of our Government regulations, restrictions and inhibitions were removed."[12]


As his political career drew to a close, Beveridge dedicated his time to writing scholarly biographies.[13] He was a member and secretary of the American Historical Association (AHA). His four-volume biography of John Marshall, The Life of John Marshall,[14] published in 1916–1919, won Beveridge a Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography and connected events in John Marshall's life with his later rulings on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Beveridge spent most of his final years writing a four-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln, only half-finished at his death, posthumously published in 1928 as Abraham Lincoln, 1809–1858 (2 vols.).[15] It stripped away the myths and revealed a complex and imperfect politician. In 1939, the AHA established the Beveridge Award in his memory through a gift from his widow and from donations from members.

Tolstoy film[edit]

In 1901, a decade before Leo Tolstoy died, American travel lecturer Burton Holmes visited Yasnaya Polyana with Beveridge. As the three men conversed, Holmes filmed Tolstoy with his 60-mm camera. Afterwards, Beveridge's advisers succeeded in having the film destroyed, fearing that evidence of his having met with a radical Russian author might hurt his chances of running for the presidency.[16]

Selected works[edit]

  • "The March of the Flag" (1898)
  • "In Support of an American Empire" (1900) Archived June 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  • "The Russian Advance" (1903)
  • The Young Man and the World (1905) at Project Gutenberg.
  • The Life of John Marshall, in 4 volumes (1919), Volume I, Volume II Archived 2009-01-31 at the Wayback Machine, Volume III and Volume IV at Internet Archive.
  • The Meaning of the Times and other Speeches (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1909) at Open Library.
  • Americans of Today and Tomorrow (1908)
  • Pass Prosperity Around (1912)
  • What is Back of the War? (Indianaopolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1916) at Internet Archive.
  • Beveridge, Albert J. (December 13, 1925). "Bowers Sustains Reputation, Says Beveridge". Indianapolis Star. pp. 41–43 (Section 4, pp. 1–3) Part 2, Part 3.
  • Abraham Lincoln 1809–1858, 2 vols. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin) (1928)


  1. ^ Tilden, Richard Arnold (1930). "Albert J. Beveridge: Biographer". Indiana Magazine of History. 26 (2): 77–92. JSTOR 27786434. Retrieved June 22, 2023.
  2. ^ a b Alexander K. McClure, ed. (1902). Famous American Statesmen & Orators. Vol. VI. New York: F. F. Lovell Publishing Company. p. 3.
  3. ^ Albert J. Beveridge Correspondence and Papers, Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library http://www.in.gov/library/finding-aid/L016_Beveridge_Alfred_J_Correspondence_and_Pape[permanent dead link]rs.pdf
  4. ^ Denslow, William R. (1957). 10,000 Famous Freemasons Vol.1. Harry S. Truman. [Place of publication not identified]: Kessinger Pub. Co. ISBN 1-4179-7578-4. OCLC 63197837.
  5. ^ "S. Doc. 58-1 - Fifty-eighth Congress. (Extraordinary session -- beginning November 9, 1903.) Official Congressional Directory for the use of the United States Congress. Compiled under the direction of the Joint Committee on Printing by A.J. Halford. Special edition. Corrections made to November 5, 1903". GovInfo.gov. U.S. Government Printing Office. November 9, 1903. p. 27. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  6. ^ Gómez, Laura E. (2007). Manifest Destinies: The Making of the Mexican American Race. New York University Press. pp. 73–78. ISBN 978-0-8147-3174-1.
  7. ^ ""No Dad at Home:" James Harrison, Colin Cowherd and the Case Against the Black Family". www.newblackmaninexile.net. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  8. ^ Braeman, John (1964). "Albert J. Beveridge and the First National Child Labor Bill". Indiana Magazine of History (March): 1–36.
  9. ^ a b Briley, Ron. "Beveridge, Albert". Encyclopedia of the United States Congress, Facts On File, 2006, American History, online.infobase.com/HRC/Search/Details/166695?q=albert beveridge.
  10. ^ Bowers, Claude G., Beveridge and the Progressive Era, pp.286-287 (New York, Literary Guild, 1932) (retrieved Dec. 25, 2023).
  11. ^ Braeman, John (Summer 2004). "Albert J. Beveridge and Demythologizing Lincoln". Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association. 25 (2). hdl:2027/spo.2629860.0025.203. ISSN 1945-7987. Archived from the original on June 13, 2021.
  12. ^ "Address on the Occasion of the Dinner of the General Society, Sons of the Revolution" June 18, 1923, reprinted in Holdridge Ozro Collins, ed., Proceedings of Regular Triennial Meeting, General Society, Sons of the Revolution 1923.
  13. ^ Richard Arnold Tilden, "Albert J. Beveridge: Biographer." Indiana Magazine of History (1930): 77-92 online.
  14. ^ Beveridge, Albert Jeremiah (1916). The Life of John Marshall. Houghton Mifflin.
  15. ^ "Abraham Lincoln, 1809–1858 – Vol. 1 by Albert J. Beveridge, 1928". Archived from the original on June 11, 2015. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  16. ^ Wallace, Irving, 'Everybody's Rover Boy', in The Sunday Gentleman. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1965. p. 117.

Further reading[edit]

  • Braeman, John. Albert J. Beveridge: American Nationalist (1971)
    • Braeman, John. "Albert J. Beveridge and Statehood for the Southwest 1902-1912." Arizona and the West 10.4 (1968): 313-342. online
    • Braeman, John. "The Rise of Albert J. Beveridge to the United States Senate." Indiana Magazine of History (1957): 355-382. online
    • Braeman, John. "Albert J. Beveridge and the First National Child Labor Bill." Indiana Magazine of History (1964): 1-36. online
  • Braeman, John. "Albert J. Beveridge and Demythologizing Lincoln." Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 25.2 (2004): 1-24. online
  • Bowers, Claude G. (1932). Beveridge and the progressive era. New York: Literary Guild. OCLC 559747386.
  • Carlson, A. Cheree. "Albert J. Beveridge as imperialist and progressive: The means justify the end." Western Journal of Communication 52.1 (1988): 46-62.
  • Coffin, John A. "The Senatorial Career of Albert J. Beveridge." Indiana Magazine of History (1928): 139-185. online
  • De La Cruz, Jesse. "Rejection Because of Race: Albert J. Beveridge and Nuevo Mexico's Struggle for Statehood, 1902-1903." Aztlan (1976) online.
  • Levine, Daniel. "The social philosophy of Albert J. Beveridge." Indiana Magazine of History (1962): 101-116. online
  • Remy, Charles F. "The election of Beveridge to the Senate." Indiana Magazine of History (1940): 123-135. online
  • Sawyer, Logan Everett. "Constitutional Principle, Partisan Calculation, and the Beveridge Child Labor Bill" Law & History Review (2013), 31#2, pp 325–353.
  • Thompson, John A. "An Imperialist and the First World War: the Case of Albert J. Beveridge." Journal of American Studies 5.2 (1971): 133-150.
  • Tilden, Richard Arnold. "Albert J. Beveridge: Biographer." Indiana Magazine of History (1930): 77-92. online
  • Wilson, Clyde N. Twentieth-Century American Historians (Gale: 1983, Dictionary of Literary Biography, volume 17) pp. 70–73

External links[edit]

U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Indiana
Served alongside: Charles W. Fairbanks, James A. Hemenway, Benjamin F. Shively
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Indiana
(Class 1)

Succeeded by