Conover, Simon B. & Jones, Charles W.

Florida’s 1875-79 US Senators, a Republican physician and a certified insane Democrat

Price: $25.00

Description:
SIMON B. CONOVER (1840-1908) New Jersey-born Florida physician and US Senator (R) 1873-79. He graduated from the medical department of the University of Nashville in 1864. During the Civil War he served in the medical department of the Union Army. He was appointed acting assistant surgeon in 1866, and assigned to Lake City, Florida. He resigned from the Army upon Florida’s readmission into the Union. Conover was a delegate to the 1868 state constitutional convention, was appointed State treasurer in 1868, and was also a member of the Republican National Committee 1868-72. He was a member of the Florida House of Representatives in 1873 and served as speaker. He served in the US Senate Mar. 4, 1873-Mar. 3, 1879 and was chairman of the Senate Committee on Enrolled Bills. After his term, Conover resumed the practice of medicine. He was an unsuccessful GOP candidate for Governor in 1880, a delegate to the 1885 Ssate constitutional convention, and was appointed US Surgeon at Port Townsend, Washington, in 1889. He became president of the board of regents of the Agricultural College and School of Sciences of the State of Washington in 1891 and practiced medicine there until his death. CHARLES W. JONES (1834-1897) Irish-born Florida US Senator 1875-87, abandoned his seat after an apparent onset of mental illness. Jones settled in Santa Rosa County, Florida in 1854, was admitted to the Bar in 1857, moved to Pensacola, and was appointed tax assessor for Santa Rosa and Escambia County. In 1872, Jones entered politics as a Democrat but was defeated in a bid to become a congressman. In 1874, he won a seat on the Florida House of Representatives by 5 votes. After gaining independent support, Jones was successful in his bid for the Senate. He began his 1st Senate term in 1875 and was hailed as an early success and an example of resurgence for the Democratic Party in the Reconstruction era. He was elected to a second term in 1881.In the spring of 1885, Jones announced he was taking a vacation in Canada and Detroit. When the Detroit vacation extended into early 1886, questions were asked and gossip ensued. By April 1886, the speculation was that Jones had become insane. Senate leadership began replacing him on various committees. Although that move drew vocal ire from Jones, he continued to live in Detroit. Florida newspapers campaigned for Jones to be replaced but Governor Edward A. Perry refused to take action, citing, the lack of concrete rules regarding a senator who would not work but had not been officially declared physically or mentally impaired. Instead, Jones' seat went unfilled until his term expired in March 1887. After his term - and salary - ended in 1887, he was evicted from his room in Detroit and reportedly became destitute. Doctors informed one of his sons that they would sign a certificate of insanity for legal purposes. In spring of 1888, Jones reportedly was reduced to vagrancy. In May 1890, Jones' son was granted permission to have him restrained and a probate court was told that he suffered from monomania. Shortly thereafter, Senator Jones was taken into custody and brought to an asylum in Dearborn, Michigan where he stayed until his death 7+ years later. 4 ¾ x 7 autograph album page signed by Florida’s post-Reconstruction US Senators ca. 1875-79, Conover adding “Florida” under his signature, Jones adding “Fla” under his.

Condition: Very good
Type:Signed album page






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