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OATES, William Calvin

OATES, William Calvin
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
1835–1910

Biography

OATES, William Calvin, a Representative from Alabama; born at Oates Cross Roads, near Troy, Pike County, Ala., November 30, 1835; pursued elementary studies at home and attended an academy at Lawrenceville, Ala.; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1858 and practiced in Abbeville, Ala., from 1859 to 1861; during the Civil War entered the Confederate Army as captain of Company G, Fifteenth Regiment, Alabama Infantry, in July 1861; appointed colonel in the Provisional Army of the Confederacy May 1, 1863; resumed the practice of law in Abbeville in 1865; delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1868; member of the State house of representatives 1870-1872; unsuccessful candidate for the nomination for Governor in 1872; member of the State constitutional convention in 1875; elected as a Democrat to the Forty-seventh and to the six succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1881, until November 5, 1894, when he resigned, having been elected Governor; chairman, Committee on Revision of the Laws (Forty-eighth through Fiftieth Congresses), Committee on Expenditures in the Post Office Department (Fifty-second and Fifty-third Congresses); unsuccessful candidate for the United States Senate in 1897; Governor of Alabama 1894-1896; brigadier general of Volunteers in the Spanish-American War and stationed at Camp Meade, Pa.; resumed the practice of law; died in Montgomery, Ala., September 9, 1910; interment in Oakwood Cemetery.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Alabama Department of Archives and History

Montgomery, AL
Papers: 1880-1904, 1 folder. The papers of William C. Oates include letters, a broadside, notes, and a receipt. There are two letters. In the first, 1880 July 4, from Oates, in Abbeville, Barbour Co., Ala., to Col.?, is discussed a bill introduced into the U.S. Congress by Hilary A. Herbert in which the U.S. Senate would decide in the occasion that two governments should be established in the same state in opposition to each other. Oates revealed his position on that issue, and his friendship with Herbert. In the second, 1896 Jan. 8, from Oates to Governor Joseph F. Johnston, is discussed the $300,000 loan at six percent interest Oates contracted for the state of Ala., $100,000 on his note as governor, and $200,000 on Ala. Auditor's warrants. The loan was made through General R.N. Nelson with a New York bank, the Mercantile National Bank, via a note. There is a copy of the note at the bottom of the letter. The broadside, 1896, entitled "Open Letter by the Governor," presents Oates position on the $300,000 loan after the Populist paper, "The Plain Truth," accused him and several others of personally profiting from the loan. The notes, n.d., detail Ala. participation in the Civil War, including a listing of major generals and brigadier generals, some comparisons between the Union and Confederate armies and prison deaths, and an estimation of the monetary cost of the war.
Papers: In the Alabama Governor (1882-1886: E.A. O'Neal) appointments files, 1882-1886, 10 folders. Correspondents include William C. Oates.
Papers: In the Alabama pamphlets collection, 1821-1961, 13 cubic feet. Persons represented include William C. Oates.
Papers: In the Alabama Securities Commissioner (1935-1969) Case files, 1919-1949, 63 cubic feet. Much of the correspondence was generated by William C. Oates who served as Commissioner from 1919 to ca.1935.
Papers: In the Thomas Goode Jones papers, 1861-1914, 10 cubic feet. Persons represented include William C. Oates.
Papers: In the Wheeler family papers, 1809-1943, 70 cubic feet. Persons represented include William C. Oates.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Oates, William Calvin. Against the Appropriation for the Hennepin Canal. [Washington: Government Printing Office, 1884].

------. Backbone Railroad Land Grant. Washington: [Government Printing Office], 1884.

------. Contested election. Washington: N.p., 1888.

------. Fitz-John Porter. [Washington: Government Printing Office, 1884].

------. Mississippi Overflow. A Plea for the Constitution. Washington: [Government Printing Office], 1884.

------. Speech of Governor William C. Oates of Alabama, delivered at Chattanooga, Tenn., September 20th, 1895, on the battles of Chichamauga and Chattanooga. Montgomery, Ala.: Roemer Printing Company, 1895.

------. Speeches of William C. Oates, a Delegate from the State-at-large, in the Constitutional Convention of Alabama held at Montgomery in 1901 . [Montgomery ?: N.p., 1903?]

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