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Thaddeus H. Caraway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thaddeus H. Caraway
Thaddeus H. Caraway.jpg
United States Senator
from Arkansas
In office
March 4, 1921 – November 6, 1931
Preceded byWilliam F. Kirby
Succeeded byHattie Caraway
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1913 – March 3, 1921
Preceded byRobert B. Macon
Succeeded byWilliam J. Driver
Personal details
Thaddeus Horatius Caraway

October 17, 1871 (1871-10-17)
Springhill, Stoddard County, Missouri, USA
DiedNovember 6, 1931(1931-11-06) (aged 60)
Little Rock, Arkansas
Resting placeOaklawn Cemetery in Jonesboro, Arkansas
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Hattie Wyatt
ChildrenPaul Caraway; Forrest Caraway; Robert Caraway
ParentsTolbert and Mary Ellen Caraway
ResidenceJonesboro, Arkansas
Alma materDickson (Tennessee) Normal College
OccupationEducator; Lawyer

Thaddeus Horatius Caraway (October 17, 1871 – November 6, 1931) was a Democratic Party politician from the U.S. state of Arkansas who represented the state first in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1913 to 1921 and then in the U.S. Senate from 1921 until his death.

Life and career

Caraway was born on a farm near Springhill in Stoddard County in southeastern Missouri, the youngest of three children. His father, Tolbert Caraway, was a country physician and Confederate veteran; his mother was Mary Ellen Caraway.[1] When he was six months old, Tolbert Caraway was assassinated in a feud, and the family was left impoverished. Thaddeus worked as a farmhand from the age of seven, then later as a railroad section hand, a farm tenant, and as a sharecropper. He studied at night and attended the common schools as a boy.[2]

His wife, Hattie Wyatt Caraway, who would go on to be the first woman elected to a full term as a United States senator.
His wife, Hattie Wyatt Caraway, who would go on to be the first woman elected to a full term as a United States senator.

In 1883, he moved with his parents to Clay County in northeastern Arkansas. In 1896, he graduated from Dickson College in Tennessee, and taught in country schools until 1899. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1900, having launched his practice in Osceloa in Mississippi County in eastern Arkansas. Later that year he moved to Lake City in Craighead County, Arkansas, and in 1901 he moved again, to Jonesboro, the county seat of Craighead County. Each time he continued his practice. In 1902, he married the former Hattie Wyatt, whom he had met at Dickson College. Together they had three children, Robert Easley, Forrest, and Paul Wyatt.[1][2]

From 1908 to 1912, Caraway served as the prosecuting attorney for the state's second judicial circuit.[2] He was elected to Congress in 1912 from the Arkansas's 1st congressional district, taking office as a representative in 1913 and serving until 1921. Rather than seek renomination in 1920, he chose to run for the Senate as a Wilson Democrat, and won; he was reelected in 1926.[3] That same year, he purchased Riversdale at Riverdale Park, Maryland.

In Congress, Caraway was a progressive and a reformer.[1] He was a vocal critic of the Harding administration and the Teapot Dome scandal and he chaired a worked for laws requiring disclosure of activities by lobbyists. He co-authored the McNary–Haugen Farm Relief Bill which would have provided price supports for farm products, although it was vetoed by President Calvin Coolidge. He supported American entrance into the League of Nations, bonuses for World War I veterans, as well as the Eighteenth (Prohibition), Nineteenth (Women's Suffrage), and Twentieth (Lame Duck) amendments.[2][4] On May 15, 1921 he introduced a bill to prohibit the enlistment of African-Americans in the US Army and US Navy. Furthermore, during the 66th Congress Caraway offered H.R. 8112, which proposed segregating public and private transportation in Washington D.C. During the same Congress, Caraway sponsored H.R. 8113, which directed the "Commissioners of the District of Columbia to set apart certain sections, streets, blocks, or parts of blocks of the District of Columbia in which shall reside members of the Negro race only, and other sections... in which members of the Negro race shall not reside..."

He served until his death from a blood clot in his coronary artery. He died in Little Rock on November 6, 1931, and lay in state in the Arkansas State Capitol on November 8. He is buried in Jonesboro. His widow, Hattie Caraway, was appointed to fill his seat by Governor Harvey Parnell and was elected, with critical help from U.S. Senator Huey Pierce Long, Jr., of Louisiana, to fill out his term, becoming the first woman elected to the Senate and only the second to ever serve as a senator.[5]

Literary connection

Despite Caraway's admirable accomplishments, during his early days as a senator he also gained national prominence for being a "modest and self-contained" man; a politician with "the shortest sketch in [the] Congressional Directory." And the headline of a story detailing this distinction was later found pasted in the personal scrapbooks kept by iconic American author F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose masterwork The Great Gatsby is narrated by Nick Carraway, a protagonist whose surname was originally spelled "Caraway" in Fitzgerald's earliest draft of the Gatsby novel.[6]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Thaddeus Horatius Caraway (1871–1931)". The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Retrieved February 17, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d "Senator Caraway Dies in Hospital". The New York Times. November 7, 1931. p. 1. Retrieved February 17, 2010.
  3. ^ United States Congress. "CARAWAY, Thaddeus Horatius (id: C000139)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  4. ^ "Double-Barreled Attack on "Lame Ducks"". The New York Times. February 1, 1925. p. XXI. Retrieved February 17, 2010.
  5. ^ Magdalena E. Thorne. Women in Society: Achievements, Risk, And Challenge. Nova Science Publishers, 2004. ISBN 978-1-59033-942-8; p. 14
  6. ^ Churchwell, Sarah (2014). Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby. New York: The Penguin Press. p. 119. ISBN 978-1-59420-474-6.

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
William F. Kirby
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Arkansas
(Class 3)

1920, 1926
Succeeded by
Hattie Wyatt Caraway
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert B. Macon
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 1st congressional district

March 4, 1913 – March 3, 1921
Succeeded by
William J. Driver
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
William F. Kirby
 U.S. senator (Class 3) from Arkansas
March 4, 1921 – November 6, 1931
Served alongside: Joseph T. Robinson
Succeeded by
Hattie Caraway
This page was last edited on 14 June 2020, at 19:52
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