Scholar and politician, Henry Cabot Lodge was born in Boston in 1850. He received one of the first PhD degrees in history and government from Harvard and became a professor of history as well as editor of the North American Review. In the 1880s he ran for political office, first in the state legislature and then in the U.S. Congress. Elected to the United States Senate in 1892, he remained in office until his death in 1924. During his Senate career, Lodge served as president pro tempore and chair of the Republican Conference (which also made him de facto majority leader). As chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the Republican Lodge opposed Democratic President Woodrow Wilson over the post-World War I Treaty of Versailles. The bitter debate between the two men led to the Senate’s rejection of the treaty in 1919 and 1920. Despite his busy legislative career, Lodge found time to write many books and articles, including The Senate and the League of Nations, a personal memoir of the important treaty debate.
Martin P. Paone Senate Historical Office
In 1929 the Senate established the offices of party secretariesan elected secretary for the majority and the minority parties. Carl Loeffler became the first Republican secretary and Edwin Halsey took that post for the Democrats. Party secretaries aid senators in many ways, including serving as principal staff members at party conferences. Spending most of their time in the Senate Chamber, party secretaries assist leadership in scheduling floor activities and advising senators on the progress of a bill. In a recent oral history interview, former Democratic Party secretary Martin Paone recalled working with Senate leaders of both parties, including Robert C. Byrd, Robert Dole, and George Mitchell.
Robert La Follette Library of Congress
When President Woodrow Wilson presented his negotiated Treaty of Versailles to the Senate in 1919, the agreement faced immediate Senate opposition. At issue was a controversial proposal establishing a League of Nations to assure peace through collective action. In particular, Article X of the League’s proposed covenant required each participating nation to “respect and preserve as against external aggression the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all Members.” Some senators sought to amend the treaty through reservations, but one group of senators–“The Irreconcilables”–opposed the treaty in any form. Led by William Borah of Idaho, the group also included Wisconsin’s Robert La Follette and California’s Hiram Johnson.
The Directory provides information about former and current senators.