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The Resignation of Parliamentarian Asher Hinds

March 03, 1911
The Resignation of Parliamentarian Asher Hinds Hinds, Asher. Hinds’ Precedents of the House of Representatives, volume 1.  (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office), 1907. As clerk at the Speakers Table, Asher Hinds published five volumes of House precedents. His publication contained rich historical documentation of procedure and practice in the House of Representatives.
On this day, Parliamentarian Asher Hinds resigned his position to become a Representative from the State of Maine. The long time clerk at the Speaker’s table, as the position was then known, served nearly 20 years as an expert advisor on House procedure. The author of the House rules series known as, Hinds’ Precedents, Asher Hinds began his service under Speaker Thomas Brackett Reed of Maine. In 1910, Representative Miles Poindexter of Washington State mentioned the well-respected House employee to the Washington Post as a possible successor to Joseph Cannon of Illinois as Speaker. Poindexter stated, “The whole trouble in which the House finds itself is caused by the joining of the power of the Speaker with that of the leader of the majority. The English plan of having an expert parliamentarian instead of a politician as a presiding officer is the only correct one.” While Hinds was never elected Speaker, he served three terms in the House from 1911 to 1917. After spending 20 years behind the scenes of Congress, Hinds’s maiden speech in early April 1911 on the House Floor was an hour-and-half long address on trade policies with Canada. At the conclusion of his speech, the Maine Representative received congratulatory remarks from both sides of the aisle.

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