Wheeler, Burton K.


Liberal isolationist Montana US Senator, 1924 Progressive VP candidate


Type: Signed Card

Description: (1882-1975) Montana US Senator (D) 1923-47, 1924 Progressive Party VP candidate with LaFollette.

Montana state legislator 1910, gained reputation as a champion of labor against Anaconda Copper Mining Co. that dominated the state. As US Attorney, refused to hand down a single sedition indictment during WW I, when Montana was a stronghold of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

Broke with Democratic Party 1924 to run for VP on Progressive Party ticket led by Robert La Follette Sr. He returned to the Democratic Party after the election, supported many of FDR’s New Deal policies but broke with him over the “Court-packing” scheme and much of FDR’s pre-WW II foreign policy. As tensions mounted in Europe, he supported the anti-war America First Committee. After the start of WW II in Europe, he opposed any aid to Britain or the countries involved in the War. He sought re-nomination in 1946 but in the Democratic primary was defeated by Leif Erickson who attacked Wheeler as insufficiently liberal; Erickson was defeated by Republican Zales Ecton.

In Philip Roth’s 2004 alternate history novel, “The Plot Against America” and its 2019 TV adaptation, Wheeler serves as Viced President during the fictionhal presidency of Charles A. Lindbergh. Roth depicted Wheeler as a political opportunist, who, while serving as acting President during Lindbergh’s absence, imposes martial law. (However, Wheeler had historically been known as a leading opponent of the martial law imposed by Montana Governor Sam V. Stewart during WW I.

Signed 3 x 5 card as Montana US Senator.
Condition: Very good

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