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Figure Hon. COE I. CRAWFORD U. S. Senator, South Dakota HON. COE I. CRAWFORD HON. COE I. CRAWFORD, of South Dakota, member of the United States Senate, has been upon the firing line in the movement for reform and cleaner politics in his State for ten years. He was for four years in the early nineties Attorney General. In 1904 he led an aggressive campaign against the political bosses and the railroad lobby in South Dakota which attracted wide attention at the time. In that campaign he was unsuccessful, but two years later, in a second campaign of unparalleled vigor and conducted almost single-handed and alone, he succeeded, and was elected Governor, completely overthrowing a corrupt and powerful political machine. The legislature, under his leadership, abolished free passes; enacted a primary election law; made secret lobbying a crime; enacted a fellow-servant law; a corrupt practices act; an act prohibiting corporations from making contributions to political campaigns; an act providing for the commission form of government in cities; suppressing gambling; an act providing for the granting of paroles to convicts; suppressing the sale of intoxicating liquors, and fixing a maximum passenger fare at two and one-half cents a mile. He drove the corrupt lobby out of the State Capital and divorced the public-service corporations from politics in his State. At the end of his term as Governor he was elected to the United States Senate after an ever-memorable campaign. Senator Crawford is conceded to be without rival as a campaign orator in his State. Those who are opposed to him frankly admit that. As a member of the Senate he has been a steadfast advocate of progressive policies, and has stood against special privilege and all forms of corruption. Perhaps his most notable service in the Senate was his great speech against the seating of Senator Lorimer. His review of the facts in that case was a revelation to the entire country. It was so complete and exhaustive that the speeches which followed were devoted to the law of the case, and did not attempt to do more than follow his conclusions as to the facts. The speech attracted the attention of the country from Maine to California. It was universally commended by the newspapers and magazines. The following are fair samples of what they said about it: New York Evening Post: It was both strong and convincing, being one of those demonstrations of willingness and ability to undertake a disagreeable public service which we too easily pass over when we fall to talking loosely of the decadence of Congress. We print elsewhere extracts from Senator Crawford's speech, showing his main conclusions. What he did was simply to apply a trained mind and legal skill to an analysis of the testimony in the case, going over the record with the utmost care to discover what was the actual truth disclosed by it. With great power he effectually disposed of the plea too lightly accepted by the Senate subcommittee, that the confessed bribe-takers of the Illinois legislature were unworthy of belief. The whole speech was masterly, and shows what an able and conscientious lawyer can still do in the Senate. Kansas City Star: He read parts of the testimony contained in the report, and then, turning to the printed proceedings of the hearings before the subcommittee, read the same testimony, and showed that questions and answers establishing wholly different conclusions had been left out of the report. Turning to the Senate with upraised arms, he shouted: 'Whose trick is this?' Crawford's speech made a decided stir in the Senate and in the crowded galleries. Chicago Daily News: Members of the United State Senate who have spoken on the Lorimer case show a familiarity with the details of that complicated affair which is both surprising and gratifying. Senator Crawford had dug into the subject to such good purpose that he could even point out discrepancies in the record itself, as submitted by the Committee on Privileges and Elections. The effort of disinterested Senators to master the facts underlying this important case give the general public added reason for hoping that the matter will be disposed of on its merits by the Senate. Illinois State Register: The address of Senator Crawford brings the people of Illinois to their feet with applause. His first great speech against Senator Lorimer was delivered on January 10, 1911. On February 27, 1911, the organization leaders in the Senate refused to consent to a date for voting upon the Beveridge-La Follette bill creating a permanent non-partisan tariff commission. They undertook to crowd the Lorimer case ahead of the tariff commission bill. It was near the end of the session which would expire on March 4. Senator Crawford determined to hold the Senate floor and force a vote upon the tariff commission bill. He secured recognition, and held the floor during the entire night. His speech was considered a most remarkable one. It was made entirely without notes, and taken down by the reporters. It was a subject of a special article in Munsey's Magazine by Jud Welliver, a noted correspondent. In this speech he again reviewed the Lorimer case. One paragraph will show the nature of it: I am speaking upon a subject in which I am profoundly interested, Mr. President, and I am not speaking out of malice, or with a vindictive spirit, because neither has a place in my heart. I cannot understand the man who is vindictive or malicious. I cannot understand a man of that character, but I can understand the spirit that takes possession of men when they are aroused by a horrible wrong. I can understand the spirit that makes men throw away all fear when they think there is real menace facing the welfare of their country; and the Republic, sir, will be wounded, wounded to the heart, cut to the quick, if we treat indifferently the things that are laid upon the record in this testimony. Speaking of Senator Crawford's great effort, the Baltimore Sun in its next issue contained the following: Out of the tangled situation a new figure has arisen—the tall, stalwart, rough-hewn figure of Senator Coe I. Crawford—heretofore unknown to the Senate and to Washington as a great, powerful, enduring force. It was the first time on record here when Mr. Crawford 'let loose.' Subsequently, upon a visit to South Dakota, Senator Beveridge, referring to this speech, said: Senator Coe I. Crawford in the very beginning of the fight made one of the best speeches I ever heard delivered anywhere, making a clear analysis of the Lorimer report and the evidence the committee did not read in making its report. When the Lorimer forces were trying to force a vote, Mr. Crawford secured the floor, and held it all day and all night, and showed himself a true friend of the people. He has been very active in securing valuable legislation, notably the passage of what is known as the Crawford law, preventing Federal courts from issuing, without notice, interlocutory injunctions to enjoin the enforcement of State laws and orders made by administrative boards of a State. As a member of the Committee on Commerce, he has been a powerful friend of the American seamen, as the following resolution passed by the Association of Masters, Mates, and Pilots of the Pacific Coast testifies: SAN FRANCISCO, CAL., March 31, 1913. Whereas the 62d Congress of the United States having enacted a law that will eradicate the intolerable conditions which the masters and mates of the ocean and coastwise sea-going vessels have been laboring under for many years, * * * Resolved, That we, the Masters, Mates, and Pilots of the Pacific, in regular meeting assembled, extend to Senator Coe I. Crawford, of South Dakota, and to all other members of the Committee on Commerce, our heartfelt thanks for their noble work in behalf of the ocean and coastwise sea-going licensed deck officers, and we trust that we may ever prove worthy of their confidence and esteem. WILLIAM WESTCOTT, President. Attest: [SEAL.] W. F. DUERRBECK, Secretary. In the Senate he has delivered a number of notable addresses which have attracted the attention of the country. Among them his address upon the recall of judges, made upon the occasion of the admission of New Mexico and Arizona into the Union, is prominent. Senator Crawford has prepared and is delivering lectures upon the following subjects: The Progressive Movement in all Political Parties. The Government at Washington. Character and Citizenship. The Impossibility of a Pure Democracy in the United States. The Federal Union and the States. The Senator delivered his address upon The Federal Union and the States at Jersey City, and the Hudson Observer, speaking of the lecture, said: Senator Crawford discoursed on the topic 'The Federal Union and the States,' and discussed the much-mooted proposition for the recall of the judiciary, against which innovation he made a trenchant argument. Repeatedly during the course of his remarks the distinguished speaker was interrupted with salvos of applause and other evidence that he had won the approbation of his auditors. Senator Crawford's style of oratory is the kind that grips and holds the attention. It is eloquence rather than oratory, because of the manifest earnestness and absolute sincerity of the speaker. He talks like a man who has a message in which he profoundly believes. The Senator's home is at Huron, S. D. His family consists of a wife and five children. He was born in the State of Iowa fifty-six years ago, of Scotch-Irish parents. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and a staunch advocate of stringent laws to suppress the liquor traffic and promote temperance, morality, and good citizenship among the people.
|Title||Coe I. Crawford|
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||Lecturers|
|Personal Name Subject||Crawford, Coe I.|
|Digital Collection||Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century|
|Contributing Institution||University of Iowa. Libraries. Special Collections Dept.|
|Archival Collection||Redpath Chautauqua Collection|
|Rights Management||Educational use only, no other permissions given. U.S. and international copyright laws may protect this digital image. Commercial use or distribution of the image is not permitted without prior permission of the copyright holder.|
|Contact Information||Contact the Special Collections Dept. at The University of Iowa Libraries: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/contact/index/|
|Number of Pages||4|
|Digitization Specifications||Scanned at 600 dpi, 32-bit color. Master image available in tiff format.|