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Henry M. Teller: A Featured Biography


Teller, Henry

Henry M. Teller, prominent lawyer and major general of the Colorado militia, came to the Senate in 1876 when Colorado was admitted to the Union. He left the Senate after his first term to serve as secretary of the interior under President Chester Arthur. He was again elected to the Senate in 1885 and subsequently won three more terms, representing Colorado in the Senate for over 25 years. Serving as a Republican for his first three terms, Teller changed parties in 1896 to become a Silver Republican—a third party which supported the use of silver in currency as opposed to the Republican backed gold standard. He ended his career as a Democrat. Teller worked tirelessly on issues of public lands, Indian policy, and the monetary system—as a prominent supporter of bimetallism. He served on the major committees of Rules, Judiciary and Appropriations and was chairman of the Private Land Claims Committee and the Select Committee on the Five Civilized Tribes of Indians.