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George Hoar: A Featured Biography

George Hoar

First elected to public office at age 25, Republican George Frisbie Hoar served in the Massachusetts state legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives before his election to the U.S. Senate in 1877. A man of extraordinary intellect, Hoar was selected as a House manager in the impeachment proceedings against Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876 and was also appointed a member of the Electoral Commission, established by Congress to settle election disputes in the presidential race of 1876. He was a vocal opponent of the direct election of senators but progressive on other issues including civil rights, women’s suffrage, and anti-trust laws. He co-authored the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890. As chairman of the Committee on Privileges and Elections, Hoar sponsored the resolution in 1882 that established the first Senate committee to consider the issue of woman suffrage, helped craft the Presidential Succession Act of 1886, and worked tirelessly but unsuccessfully to obtain a floor vote for a bill to protect voting rights for African American men in 1891. As an anti-imperialist, Hoar spoke out against the acquisition and occupation of the Philippine Islands after the Spanish-American War, a position that put him at odds with his own party. He died in office in 1904.

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