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The Senate Four

"The Senate Four". Library of Congress.

Four men dominated the Senate of the early 20th century: Nelson Aldrich (RI), William Allison (IA), Orville Platt (CT), and John Spooner (WI). "The Senate Four” exercised extraordinary power and influenced the most important legislative debates. One historian described them as “hardworking, knowledgeable, experienced, professional politicians,” but perhaps the best description came from a colleague. The Senate of this era, noted Senator Albert Beveridge, was dominated by a “marvelous combination” of Aldrich as manager, Allison as conciliator, Spooner as debater, and Platt as builder. Shown here at Aldrich’s Rhode Island estate, the four men were close personal friends as well as political allies.


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