Reed, Thomas B.

1892 signature of “Czar Reed”, powerful Speaker of the House of Represenatives 1889-91 & 1895-99 while also Rules Committee Chairman

Price: $20.00

Description:
(1839-1902) “Czar Reed”, Maine GOP US Rep, Speaker of the House of Representatives 1889–91 & 1895–99. A powerful GOP leader, while House Speaker served with greater influence than any previous Speaker, forever increased its power and influence. Portland lawyer over 6’ tall and 300+ lbs., known for his acerbic wit, socialized with Henry Cabot Lodge, Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Adams, John Hay & Mark Twain. Elected Speaker after an intense fight with William McKinley, gaining support of young Theodore Roosevelt, whose influence was the decisive factor. Served as Speaker as well as Chairman of the powerful Rules Committee. He assiduously and dramatically increased power of the Speaker over the House. Reed sought to curtail ability of the minority party to block business by having members refuse to answer a quorum call, which, under the rules, prevented members from being counted as present even if they were physically in the chamber, forcing the House to suspend business. This is popularly called “the disappearing quorum”. Reed's solution was enacted on Jan. 28, 1890, called the "Battle of the Reed Rules". Democrats attempted to block inclusion of newly elected Chas. Brooks Smith, Republican from West Virginia. The motion to seat him passed 162–1; however, a quorum then consisted of 165 votes, and when voting closed Democrats shouted "No quorum," triggering a formal quorum count. Speaker Reed began the roll call; when members present in the chamber refused to answer, Reed directed the Clerk to count them as present. Democrats tried to flee the chamber; Reed ordered the doors locked. Democrats tried to hide under their desks and chairs; Reed marked them present anyway. The conflict lasted 3 days, Democrats delaying consideration by introducing points of order then appealing Reed's rulings to the floor. Democrats finally dropped their objections on Jan. 31, and Smith was seated 166–0. Six days later, with Smith seated, Reed won a vote on his new "Reed Rules," eliminating the disappearing quorum and lowering the quorum to 100 members. Democrats reinstated the disappearing quorum when they took control of the House in 1891, but Minority Leader Reed was so adroit at using the tactic against them that Democrats reinstated Reed Rules in 1894. In 1889–90, Republicans undertook a last stand in favor of federal enforcement of the 15th Amendment to protect voting rights of blacks in the south. Using his new rules vigorously, Reed won House passage in 1890, but the bill was defeated in the Senate when western Republicans traded it away for the Silver Purchase Act. Reed tried to obtain the 1896 GOP nomination for President, but McKinley's campaign manager, Mark Hanna, blocked his efforts. In 1898 Reed supported McKinley’s efforts to head off war with Spain; when McKinley switched to support war, Reed resigned from the speakership and from Congress in 1899. Henry Cabot Lodge eulogized him as "a good hater, who detested shams, humbugs and pretense above all else.” Reed, Oregon, was named after him as is Reed House at Bowdoin College; Portland dedicated a statue of him in 1910. 3 x 4 slip signed between terms as House Speaker, Portland, Maine, July 1 1892.

Condition: Very good
Type:Signature






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