Burleson, Albert S.

Interesting TLS as Texas Congressman regarding proposed legislation to transfer SE Alaska to Canada!

Price: $50.00

Description:
(1863-1937) Conservative Texas US Rep (D) 1899-1913, Postmaster General 1913-21 (Wilson). As US Rep, he was chiefly involved in agricultural issues. He is known for gaining Cabinet support for instituting racial segregation in the US Post Office, which President Wilson applied to other federal agencies. In 1913 Burleson was appointed Postmaster General and initiated parcel post and air mail services, increasing mail service to rural areas. He introduced the “zone system,” whereby postage on 2nd class mail was charged according to distance. At an April 11, 1913 Cabinet meeting, barely a month into Wilson's 1st term, Burleson suggested that the administration segregate railway mail service" which Wilson adopted. He and other Cabinet members also recommended segregated federal workplaces, which Wilson instituted, requiring separate lunchrooms and restrooms, and, in some cases, screened working areas. Since Reconstruction, federal workplaces had been integrated and African Americans served in numerous positions in the merit civil service and in some political appointee positions. Wilson instituted racial discrimination in hiring, subverting the civil service merit system by requiring photos of applicants; blacks were limited to the lowest grades and hiring declined. In the postal service, Burleson segregated workers and fired black postal workers in the South. He forbade postal employees to strike. From June 1918-July 1919, the Post Office Dept. operated telephone and telegraph services, an arrangement Burleson advocated. After the war, he oversaw return of the communications infrastructure to its corporate owners. Business leaders were angered by inefficiency and almost dictatorial heavy-handedness in government control of communications. In 1915 Burleson issued an order barring envelopes and cards from warring countries in WW I from the mails. After the US entered the war, he vigorously enforced the Espionage Act, ordering local postmasters to send him any illegal or suspicious material that they found. The mailing of major radical pamphlets was slowed drastically, and often were never delivered and he banned anti-war material from being delivered by USPO personnel. In 1919 he was appointed chairman of the US Telegraph and Telephone Assn. and in 1920 as chairman of the US Commission to the International Wire Communication Conference, retiring in 1921. TLS "A. S. Burleson" on 10 1/2 x 8 "Committee on Appropriations,/House of Representatives" Sixty-Second Congress letterhead, August 5 1911, to Robert Stein, Bureau of Statistics, Dept. of Agriculture. Rep. Burleson has Stein's letter and enclosures "relative to proposed legislation to be enacted by Congress requesting the President enter into negotiations with the British Government with a view to the transfer of Southeastern Alaska to Canada, etc." Burleson has been extremely busy but when he is able, he shall give the matter careful consideration. The Alaska boundary dispute was between the US and the UK, which controlled Canada's foreign relations then. It was resolved by arbitration in 1903 thru the Hay-Herbert Treaty. The dispute had been going on between Russia and Great Britain since 1821, and was inherited by the US with the 1867 Alaska Purchase. The final resolution by the 6-member panel (the one Briton joining the panel's 3 Americans) favored the US position, and Canada did not get an all-Canada outlet from the Yukon gold fields to the sea. Disappointment and anger in Canada was directed more at the British government for betraying Canadian interests in favor of healthier US-UK relations. The 2 Canadian judges refused to sign the award due to their disagreement with Lord Alverstone's (the Briton) vote. Canadians protested that Britain helped its own interests by betraying Canada's. This led to intense anti-British emotions and a surge in Canadian nationalism. Suspicions of the US provoked by the award may have contributed to Canada's rejection of free trade with the US in the 1911 "reciprocity election," the Sept. 21, 1911 federal election. The central issue was Liberal support for a proposed treaty with the US to lower tariffs. Conservatives denounced it because it threatened to weaken ties with Britain and submerge Canada's economy and identity into its neighbor. The election ended 15 years of the Liberal government of Wilfrid Laurier. Canadian anger gradually subsided, but the feeling that Canada should control its own foreign policy may have contributed to the Statute of Westminster.

Condition: Very Good, few stain spots top right corner
Type:Letter






[View Shopping Cart]
[Home] [Articles] [Biography] [Calendar]
[Catalogue] [Search]



enbainc@cs.com

Edward N. Bomsey Autographs, Inc.
7317 Farr Street
Annandale, VA 22003-2516
(703) 642-2040(phone & fax)




Home
Home

Articles
Articles

Biography
Biography

Calendar
Calendar

Catalogue
Catalogue

Search
Search