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John J. Blaine papers, 1894-1938.

Author: John J Blaine
Edition/Format:   Archival material : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Papers of John J. Blaine, a Wisconsin progressive Republican who was state senator from Boscobel, 1909-1913; attorney general, 1919-1921; governor, 1921-1927; United States senator, 1927-1933; and member of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, 1933-1934. The collection consists mainly of correspondence and 8 volumes of speeches, and relates primarily to the years of his governorship.
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Details

Genre/Form: Manuscript collection
Speeches
Named Person: Grace Abbott; Joseph D Beck; John F Deitz; Zona Gale; Arthur R Hirst; Theodore Kronshage; Robert M La Follette; Robert M La Follette; Solomon Levitan; George W Norris; Kate Richards O'Hare; Alfred Thomas Rogers; Edward Alsworth Ross; Joseph Schafer; Isaac Stephenson; Edward Voigt; Edwin E Witte; Fred M Wylie
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Archival Material, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: John J Blaine
OCLC Number: 145789593
Description: 15.0 c.f. (71 archives boxes)

Abstract:

Papers of John J. Blaine, a Wisconsin progressive Republican who was state senator from Boscobel, 1909-1913; attorney general, 1919-1921; governor, 1921-1927; United States senator, 1927-1933; and member of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, 1933-1934. The collection consists mainly of correspondence and 8 volumes of speeches, and relates primarily to the years of his governorship.

Papers of the period prior to 1921 contain references to Blaine's education, community affairs in Boscobel, his candidacy for a seat in Congress in 1904, investigations (1909-1911) of charges against Isaac Stephenson for unlawful use of money in the campaign of 1908, and Blaine's nonpartisan Progressive candidacy for governor in 1914.

In the gubernatorial papers the major topic throughout is the issue of state taxation and finances in various forms: Blaine's opposition to the creation of a northern lakes state park; his request for revision of the income tax law by a special session of the legislature in 1922; his veto in 1923 of a bill to tax gasoline for highway construction; and the budgetary problems of the University and the state normal schools. Closely connected with Blaine's financial program was his emphasis on increased efficiency and economy in state departments. Between the Highway Department and the governor a controversy developed over expenditures, methods of letting contracts, and political influence. Correspondence concerning this conflict includes letters of 1924, when Arthur R. Hirst, chief engineer of the Highway Commission, resigned to oppose Blaine unsuccessfully for the gubernatorial nomination.

The collection contains many papers on public welfare and law enforcement problems; the pardon of John Deitz in 1921; investigation of malfeasance of public officials in Kenosha County; surveys of the state prison and reformatory programs; and investigation of the care of the feeble-minded and other wards of the state. Prohibition was a continuing problem as is indicated by the scores of letters representing opinion for and against the various enforcement measures. Scattered letters show Blaine's opposition to the activities of the Ku Klux Klan and touch upon Klan incidents, particularly those at Boscobel in August, 1924, and at Marinette in November, 1926.

Other topics discussed are the projected reorganization of the state educational system; the teacher retirement fund; the movement to consolidate rural schools; the furor created when the pacifist Mrs. Kate Richards O'Hare was given permission to lecture in the capitol in 1922; the Illinois-Wisconsin drainage suit revived by Blaine in the same year; and pure foods legislation. The collection contains also large quantities of routine correspondence concerning patronage, state contracts, and complaints of one sort and another.

For Blaine's term in the Senate the collection consists mainly of carbon copies of his replies to letters from constituents. Some letters contain information on the participation of Wisconsin residents in the Bonus Army, 1932. Other papers deal with investigation of post office leases, especially in New York City, and with Blaine's sponsorship of a bill to have the Interstate Commerce Commission report on the fair value of lands and buildings to be acquired by the federal government.

Among Blaine's correspondents were Grace Abbott, Joseph D. Beck, Zona Gale, Theodore Kronshage, Robert M. La Follette, Sr., Robert M. La Follette, Jr., Solomon Levitan, George W. Norris, Alfred T. Rogers, Edward A. Ross, Joseph Schafer, Isaac Stephenson, Edward Voigt, Edwin E. Witte, and Fred M. Wylie. Supplementing the correspondence is a set of bills introduced into Congress by Blaine while senator and a complete set of speeches, 1919-1933.

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Linked Data


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