Charles Curtis (1860 - 1936) MP

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Birthplace: Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas
Death: Died in Washington, DC, USA
Occupation: 31st Vice President of the United States, 31st U. S. Vice President (1929-1933), U. S. Senator from KS (1907-1913, 1915-1929), U. S. Representative from KS (1893-1907), and attorney (1881-1893), married Annie Elizabeth BAIRD (1860-1924)., POLITICIAN
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Immediate Family

About Charles Curtis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Curtis

Charles Curtis (January 25, 1860 – February 8, 1936) was a United States Representative, a longtime United States Senator from Kansas later chosen as Senate Majority Leader by his Republican colleagues, and the 31st Vice President of the United States. He was the first person with acknowledged Native American ancestry and the first person with acknowledged non-European ancestry to reach either of the two highest offices in the United States government's executive branch. His maternal ancestry was three-quarters' Native American, of ethnic Kaw, Osage and Pottawatomie ancestry. Curtis spent years of childhood living with his maternal grandparents on their Kaw reservation.

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First and foremost he was part American Indian.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Charles Curtis (January 25, 1860 – February 8, 1936) was a United States Representative, a longtime United States Senator from Kansas later chosen as Senate Majority Leader by his Republican colleagues, and the 31st Vice President of the United States. He was the first person with acknowledged Native American ancestry to reach either of the two highest offices in the United States government's executive branch. His maternal ancestry was three-quarters' Native American, of ethnic Kaw, Osage and Pottawatomie ancestry. Curtis spent years of childhood living with his maternal grandparents on their Kaw reservation.

As an attorney, Curtis entered political life early, winning multiple terms from his district in Topeka, Kansas, starting in 1892 as a Republican to the US House of Representatives. He was elected to the US Senate first by the Kansas Legislature (in 1906 and 1914), and then by popular vote (in 1920 and 1926), serving one six-year term from 1907 to 1913, and then most of three terms from 1915 to 1929 (when he became Vice President). His long popularity and connections in Kansas and national politics helped make Curtis a strong leader in the Senate; he marshaled support to be elected as Senate Minority Whip from 1915–1924 and then as Senate Majority Leader from 1925–1929. In these positions he was instrumental in managing legislation and accomplishing Republican national goals.

Curtis ran for Vice-President with Herbert Hoover as President in 1928. They won a landslide victory. Although they ran again in 1932, the population saw Hoover as failing to alleviate the Great Depression, and they were defeated by Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Early life and education

Born in January 1860 in Topeka, Kansas Territory prior to the arrival of statehood in January 1861, Vice President Curtis is notable as an Executive Branch officer born in a territory rather than state of the Union. Curtis was nearly half American Indian in ancestry. His mother, Ellen Papin (also spelled Pappan), was one-fourth French, one-fourth Kaw, one-fourth Osage, and one-fourth Pottawatomie. His father, Orren Curtis, was an American of English, Scots and Welsh ancestry.

From his mother, Curtis first learned French and Kansa. As a boy living with his mother and her family on the Kaw reservation, he started racing horses. Curtis was a highly successful jockey in prairie horse races.

Curtis' mother died in 1863 when the boy was three. His father remarried and divorced, then married again. The elder Curtis was imprisoned because of an event during his service in the American Civil War. During this time, Charles was taken care of by his paternal Curtis grandparents, especially during high school. They helped him gain possession of his mother's land in North Topeka, which he inherited despite his father's attempt to gain control of the land.

Curtis was strongly influenced by both sets of grandparents. After living with his maternal grandparents on the reservation, Curtis returned to Topeka to live with his paternal grandparents and to attend Topeka High School. Both his grandmothers encouraged him to get an education.

Afterward Curtis studied ("read") law and worked part-time. Curtis was admitted to the bar in 1881.[1] He commenced practice in Topeka and served as prosecuting attorney of Shawnee County, Kansas from 1885 to 1889.

Marriage and family

Curtis married Annie Elizabeth Baird (1860 - 1924), with whom he had three children: Permelia Jeannette, Henry "aka Harry" King and Leona Virginia Curtis. They also provided a home for his half-sister Permelia aka "Dolly" Curtis after her mother died.

A widower when elected Vice President in 1928, Curtis had his half-sister "Dolly" Curtis Gann live with him in Washington, DC and act as his hostess for social events.

Political career

The zest Curtis showed in horse racing was expressed in his political career. First elected as a Republican to the House of Representatives of the 53rd Congress, Curtis was re-elected for the following six terms. He made the effort to learn about his many constituents and treated them as personal friends.

While serving as a Congressman, Curtis originated and helped pass the Curtis Act of 1898, with provisions that included bringing the Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma under land allotment and restructuring provisions. It limited their tribal courts and government. By his own experience, Curtis believed that the Indians could benefit by getting educated, assimilating and joining the main society. The government tried to encourage Indians to accept individual citizenship and lands, and to take up European-American culture. In application of these goals, some administrators went too far in terms of threats and breaking down families. (see Indian Boarding Schools)

With his ties in Congress, Curtis was always abreast of changes in Indian law and programs. He re-enrolled with the Kaw tribe, which had been removed to Oklahoma when he was in his teens. In 1902 the Kaw Allotment Act disbanded the Kaw nation as a legal entity. This was the tribe of Curtis and his mother. The act transferred 160 acres (0.6 km²) of former tribal land to the federal government. Other land held in common was allocated to individual tribal members. Under the terms of the act, as enrolled tribal members, Curtis (and his three children) received about 1,625 acres (6.6 km²) in total of Kaw land in Oklahoma.

Curtis served in the House from March 4, 1893 until January 28, 1907, when he resigned for the unexpired term of a Senate seat. He had been chosen by the Kansas Legislature to fill the short unexpired term of Senator Joseph R. Burton in the United States Senate. On that same day of January 28, Curtis was also tapped by Kansas' state lawmakers for the full senatorial term commencing March 4 of that year and ending March 4, 1913. In 1912 he was unsuccessful in trying to be redesignated by the legislature as senator, but his absence from the Senate was brief.

In 1914 the Kansas Legislature selected Curtis for the six-year Senate term commencing March 4, 1915. After passage of the 17th Amendment, which provided for direct election of senators, in 1920 Curtis was elected as senator by popular vote of Kansas voters. He was elected to the Senate again in 1926. He served without interruption from March 4, 1915 until his resignation on March 3, 1929, after being elected as Vice-President.

During his tenure in the Senate, Curtis was President pro tempore of the Senate as well as Chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Interior, of the Committee on Indian Depredations, and of the Committee on Coast Defenses, as well as of the Republican Conference.

In 1923 Senator Curtis, together with fellow Kansan, Representative Daniel Read Anthony, Jr., proposed the first version of the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution to each of their Houses. The amendment did not go forward.

Curtis' leadership abilities were demonstrated by his election as United States Senate Republican Whip from 1915 to 1924 and Majority Leader from 1925 to 1929. He was effective in collaboration and moving legislation forward in the Senate. Idaho Senator William Borah acclaimed Curtis "a great reconciler, a walking political encyclopedia and one of the best political poker players in America." As Time magazine reported when featuring him on the cover in December 1926: "It is in the party caucuses, in the committee rooms, in the cloakrooms that he patches up troubles, puts through legislation."

President of the United States Calvin Coolidge, First Lady of the United States Grace Goodhue Coolidge, and Senator Curtis on their way to the Capitol building on Inauguration Day, March 4, 1925.

In 1928 Curtis ran with Herbert Hoover heading the Republican ticket for president and vice-president. Following their landslide 58% – 41% victory, Curtis resigned from the Senate on March 3, 1929 to assume the office of Vice President. The pair were inaugurated on March 4, 1929. Soon after the Great Depression began, Curtis endorsed the five-day work week, with no reduction in wages, as a work-sharing solution to unemployment. (See John Ryan's book Questions of the Day.)

The problems of the Great Depression led to defeat of the Republican ticket in the next election. Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected as president by a margin of 57% – 40% in 1932. Curtis' term as Vice President officially ended on March 4, 1933.

After politics

Curtis decided to stay in Washington, D.C. to resume his legal career. There he had a wide network of professional contacts.

He died there in 1936 from a heart attack. By his wishes, his body was returned to his beloved Kansas and buried at the Topeka Cemetery.

Curtis was the last U.S. Vice President or President to wear a beard or mustache (in his case, a mustache) while in office.

Legacy and honors

He was featured as Kansas Senator on the cover of Time magazine, 20 Dec 1926; 18 Jun 1928, as Vice President on cover of Time magazine, 05 Dec 1932; all with accompanying articles.

WGA

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Charles Curtis (January 25, 1860 – February 8, 1936) was a Representative and a Senator from Kansas as well as the thirty-first Vice President of the United States. Most of Curtis' maternal ancestry was Native American, and he spent years of childhood living with his maternal grandparents on their Kaw reservation. He is the first and only person with acknowledged non-European ancestry to reach either of the two highest offices in the United States government's executive branch.

An attorney, Curtis entered political life early, winning multiple terms starting in 1892 as a Republican to the US House of Representatives from his district in Topeka, Kansas. He was elected to the Senate first by the Kansas legislature, and then by popular vote in 1920 and thereafter. Curtis served in the Senate from 1915 to 1929. His long popularity and connections in Kansas and national politics helped make Curtis a strong leader in the Senate; he marshaled support to be elected as Senate Minority Whip from 1915–1924 and then as Senate Majority Leader from 1925–1929. In these positions he was instrumental in managing legislation and accomplishing Republican national goals.

After the landslide victory of the Republican ticket in 1928, Curtis resigned from the Senate to become Vice-president to Herbert Hoover as President.

Early life and education

Curtis was nearly half American Indian in ancestry. His mother, Ellen Pappan, was one-fourth Kaw, one-fourth Osage, one-fourth Pottawatomie and one-fourth French. His father Orren Curtis was of English and northern European ancestry. Curtis was born in Topeka, Kansas, where his first languages were French and Kansa taught by his mother. As a boy on the reservation, he started racing horses. Curtis often won prairie horse races as a jockey.[1] Curtis' mother died in 1863 when the boy was three. His father remarried and divorced, then married again. He was in military prison because of an incident during the American Civil War. Charles was taken care of by his paternal grandparents Curtis during several of these unstable years. They helped him gain an inheritance of his mother's land in North Topeka, over his father's attempt.[1]

Curtis was strongly influenced by both sets of grandparents. After living with his maternal grandparents on the reservation, Curtis returned to Topeka to live with his paternal grandparents and to attend Topeka High School, as both his grandmothers encouraged him to get an education. Afterward he studied law and worked part-time. Curtis was admitted to the bar in 1881.[1] He commenced practice in Topeka and served as prosecuting attorney of Shawnee County, Kansas from 1885 to 1889.

[edit] Marriage and family

Curtis married Anna Baird, with whom he had three children: Permelia Jeannette, Henry "aka Harry" King and Leona Virginia Curtis. They also made a home for his half-sister Dolly Curtis after her mother died.[1]

[edit] Political career

The zest Curtis showed in horse racing was expressed in his political career. First elected as a Republican to the House of Representatives of the 53rd Congress, Curtis was re-elected for the following six terms. He made the effort to learn about his many constituents and treated them as personal friends. He served in the House from March 4, 1893 until January 28, 1907, when he resigned. He had been chosen by the Kansas Legislature to fill the short unexpired term of Senator Joseph R. Burton in the United States Senate. On that same day of January 28, Curtis was also tapped by Kansas' state lawmakers for the full Senatorial term commencing March 4 of that year and ending March 4, 1913. In 1912 he was unsuccessful in trying to be redesignated by the legislature as senator, but his absence from the Senate was brief.

In 1914 the Kansas Legislature selected Curtis for the six-year Senate term commencing March 4, 1915. After passage of the 17th Amendment which changed how senators were to be selected for office, in 1920 Curtis was popularly elected as senator by Kansas voters. He was elected to the Senate again in 1926, thus serving without interruption from March 4, 1915, until his resignation on March 3, 1929 after being elected as Vice-President.

During his tenure in the Senate, Curtis was President pro tempore of the Senate as well as Chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Interior, of the Committee on Indian Depredations, and of the Committee on Coast Defenses, as well as of the Republican Conference. He was also United States Senate Republican Whip from 1915 to 1924 and Majority Leader from 1925 to 1929. He was responsible for much collaboration to move legislation forward. Idaho Senator William Borah acclaimed Curtis "a great reconciler, a walking political encyclopedia and one of the best political poker players in America."[1]

It was in 1923 during his Senate years that Curtis, together with fellow Kansan, Representative Daniel Read Anthony, Jr. proposed the first version of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution to each of their Houses. The amendment did not go forward.

Curtis resigned from the Senate on March 3, 1929 to assume the office of Vice President, following the landslide 58% – 41% victory achieved by Presidential candidate Herbert Hoover in 1928. The pair were inaugurated on March 4, 1929. Curtis endorsed the five-day work week, with no reduction in wages, as a work-sharing solution to unemployment soon after the Great Depression began. (See John Ryan's book Questions of the Day.)

The overwhelming problems of the Great Depression led to Republican defeat in the next election. Following the 57% – 40% landslide defeat of the Hoover-Curtis ticket in 1932, Curtis' term as Vice President ended on March 4, 1933.

[edit] After politics

After so many years of service in Congress, Curtis decided to stay in Washington, D.C. to resume his legal career. He died there a few years later in 1936 from a heart attack. By his wishes, his body was returned to his beloved Kansas, where Curtis was buried at the Topeka Cemetery.

While serving as a Congressman, Curtis helped pass the Curtis Act of 1898, which increased control of the Federal government over American Indians. By his own experience, he believed that the Indians could benefit by getting educated, assimilating and joining the main society. The government tried to encourage Indians to accept individual citizenship and take up European-American culture.

With his ties in Congress, Curtis was always abreast of changes in Indian law and programs. He re-enrolled with the Kaw tribe, which had been removed to Oklahoma when he was in his teens. In 1902 the Kaw Allotment Act disbanded the Kaw nation as a legal entity. This was the tribe of Curtis and his mother. The act transferred 160 acres (0.6 km²) of former tribal land to the federal government. Other land held in common was allocated to tribal members. Under the terms of the act, Curtis (and his three children) as enrolled tribal members received about 1,625 acres (6.6 km²) of Kaw land in Oklahoma.

Curtis was the last U.S. Vice President or President to wear a beard or mustache — in his case, a mustache — while in office.

source: wikipedia -------------------- CURTIS, Charles, a Representative and a Senator from Kansas and a Vice President of the United States; born in Topeka, Kans., January 25, 1860; attended the common schools; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1881 and commenced practice in Topeka; prosecuting attorney of Shawnee County 1885-1889; elected as a Republican to the Fifty-third and to the six succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1893, until January 28, 1907, when he resigned, having been elected Senator; chairman, Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Interior (Fifty-fourth through Fifty-seventh Congresses); had been reelected to the Sixtieth Congress, but on January 23, 1907, was elected to the United States Senate as a Republican to fill the vacancy in the term ending March 3, 1907, caused by the resignation of Joseph R. Burton, and on the same day was elected for the full Senate term commencing March 4, 1907, and served from January 29, 1907, to March 3, 1913; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1912; served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Sixty-second Congress; chairman, Committee on Indian Depredations (1905-11), Committee on Coast Defenses (1911-13), Republican Conference (1924-1929); again elected to the United States Senate for the term commencing March 4, 1915; reelected in 1920 and 1926 and served from March 4, 1915, until his resignation on March 3, 1929, having been elected Vice President of the United States; Republican whip 1915-1924; majority leader 1925-1929; elected Vice President of the United States on the Republican ticket headed by Herbert Hoover in 1928, was inaugurated on March 4, 1929, and served until March 3, 1933; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1932 for Vice President; resumed the practice of law in Washington, D.C., where he died on February 8, 1936; interment in Topeka Cemetery, Topeka, Kans.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

He was the first person with significant acknowledged Native American ancestry and the first person with significant acknowledged non-European ancestry to reach either of the two highest offices in the United States government's executive branch. His maternal ancestry was three-quarters' Native American, of ethnic Kaw, Osage and Pottawatomie ancestry. Curtis spent years of childhood living with his maternal grandparents on their Kaw reservation.

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Charles Curtis, 31st Vice President of the USA's Timeline

1860
January 25, 1860
Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas
1892
April 1, 1892
Age 32
Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas
1929
1929
- 1933
Age 68
United States
1936
February 8, 1936
Age 76
Washington, DC, USA
????
????
????
- present
United States
????
- present
United States
????
Topeka Cemetery, Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas