Allison, William Bland & Kirkwood, Samuel J.


Signatures of Iowa’s influential post-Civil War Republican US Senators



Autograph ID: 7047
Condition: Very good, mild feathering to “Iowa” under Kirkwood’s signature
Description: “KIRKWOOD: (1813–1894) Iowa Governor 1860-64, strong supporter of Lincoln’s Civil War policies. Active in raising and equipping dozens of infantry, cavalry and artillery regiments for the Union Army. US Senator (R) 1866-67, again Governor 1876-77. Resigned 1877 to enter Senate again, resigned Senate seat 1881 to be Garfield’s Secretary of the Interior, serving March 1881- March 1882. ALLISON: (1829-1908) Early leader of the Iowa Republican Party, represented NE Iowa for 4 consecutive terms in Congress and 6 consecutive terms in the Senate, died soon after being elected for a record 7th term. Born in Ohio, 1849 graduate of Western Reserve College. Delegate to the 1855 Ohio Republican Convention, in 1857 moved to Dubuque, Iowa. Delegate to the 1860 Republican National Convention in Chicago which nominated Lincoln for President. During the Civil War, he was on the staff of Gov. Samuel J. Kirkwood and personally helped raise 4 regiments and given rank of lieutenant colonel. In 1862, he was elected to Congress. As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, he pushed for higher tariffs. In Jan. 1870, he was an unsuccessful candidate for election by the legislature to the US Senate and declined to be a candidate for renomination to his House seat. He focused on a run for Iowa’s other Senate seat (then held by James Harlan), and in Jan. 1872 won Harlan’s seat, effective March 4, 1873, reelected to the Senate 6 times. He was influential chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee 1881–93 & 1895-1908, longest-serving chairman to date. He was also a member of the Senate Committee of Indian Affairs (and its chairman 1875-81), the Senate Finance Committee, and the Committee on Engrossed Bills. He became chairman of the Senate Republican Conference in 1897. He was twice asked to serve as Secretary of the Treasury by Presidents Arthur & Harrison, and, in 1897 declined McKinley’s offer to become Secretary of State. Eminently conservative, trusted by the railroad interests, Allison’s pragmatism made him a centrist that even Democrats could deal with. When in 1888 a GOP alternative was needed to the Mills Tariff Bill coming out of the House, Allison handled the details. It was a model for the 1890 McKinley Tariff, which he played a large part in framing. In 1897, when the Dingley Tariff bill reached the Senate, Allison work hard reconciling discontented interests. The Bland-Allison Act of 1878 had the government buy a certain, more limited amount of silver, which the Treasury was permitted to put into circulation as silver dollars. The Act passed over the veto of President Hayes and remained unchanged until the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890. In 1892, Allison chaired the Brussels Monetary Conference and in 1900 was a father of the Gold Standard Act. He was the namesake of Allison, Iowa, county seat of Butler County. There is an imposing memorial to him on the grounds of the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines.

3 x 5- 1/2 fragments of 2 autograph album pages signed by Kirkwood and Allison, both add “Iowa” under their signatures; undated but ca. 1878.”

Type: Signatures

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