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Featured Document: The “Old Soldiers' Roll of the Senate”

Transcript

Well into the 20th century, Civil War veterans worked in the Senate as clerks, messengers, elevator operators, police officers and doorkeepers. Predominately soldiers of the Union Army, most of these men owed their appointments to Republican senators, who controlled the Senate—and thus the majority of its patronage—for all but four years between 1861 and 1913.

This featured resolution, unanimously agreed to in 1911, was a successful attempt made by the waning Republican majority to guarantee permanent tenure for these veterans. In the years subsequent to the passage of this resolution, the “Old Soldiers' Roll of the Senate” appeared in the confidential reports of the Senate Committee on Patronage to the two party conferences.


Report of the Committee on Patronage to the Democratic Conference, 1913 (including the Old Soldiers' Roll)
Report of the Committee on Patronage to the Republican Conference, 1919 (including the Old Soldiers' Roll)

 
  

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