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ALDRICH, Nelson Wilmarth

ALDRICH, Nelson Wilmarth
Library of Congress


ALDRICH, Nelson Wilmarth, (father of Richard Steere Aldrich, cousin of William Aldrich, grandfather of Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller, and great–grandfather of John Davison Rockefeller), a Representative and a Senator from Rhode Island; born in Foster, R.I., November 6, 1841; attended the public schools of East Killingly, Conn., and the Academy of East Greenwich, R.I.; entered the wholesale grocery business in Providence; during the Civil War enlisted as a private in Company D, First Regiment, Rhode Island National Guard, in 1862; member of the city council 1869-1874, serving as president in 1872 and 1873; member of the State house of representatives in 1875 and 1876, elected speaker in 1876; elected as a Republican to the Forty-sixth and Forty-seventh Congresses and served from March 4, 1879, to October 4, 1881, when he resigned to become Senator; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Ambrose E. Burnside; reelected in 1886, 1892, 1898, and 1904, and served from October 5, 1881, to March 3, 1911; was not a candidate for reelection in 1911; chairman, Committee on Transportation Routes to the Seaboard (Forty-eighth and Forty-ninth Congresses), Committee on Rules (Fiftieth through Fifty-second, Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth Congresses), Select Committee on Corporations Organized in the District of Columbia (Fifty-third Congress), Committee on Finance (Fifty-fifth through Sixty-first Congresses); chairman, National Monetary Commission (1908-1912); retired to Providence, R.I.; died in New York City, April 16, 1915; interment in Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, R.I.

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

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External Research Collections

Brown University

Providence, RI
Papers: 10 to 25 items in various collections including correspondence in the Augustus Mendon Lord papers, 1795-1908; and 1 letter (May 2, 1890) to Horatio R. Storer regarding opposition to transfer of Fish Commission to Agriculture Department.

Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library

New York, NY
Papers: 1 letter (December 12, 1881) in the Aldrich family collection; 3 official letters (April-September 1888) in the William Mason Grosvenor papers, 1828-1916; 1 official letter (January 11, 1882) in the Edward Morse Shepard collection. Finding aid.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: 1777-1930. 143 containers. Correspondence, journal (1906) relating to the Hepburn bill, appointment books (1906-1909), drafts of speeches with related notes and memoranda, financial papers, scrapbooks, clippings and printed material chiefly relating to his congressional service. Includes papers of Aldrich's biographer, Nathaniel W. Stephenson, which contain interview notes, correspondence from Carter Glass and other senators, analyses of legislation of the era, and photographs. Available on 73 microfilm reels. Finding aid.

New-York Historical Society

New York, NY
Papers: 1886-1888 and no date. 8 letters. Personal and official correspondence. Finding aid.

Rhode Island Historical Society

Providence, RI
Papers: 2 autograph letters (188l, 1885); photographs; and portraits.

Rockefeller Archive Center

North Tarrytown, NY
Papers: In the John D. Rockefeller family letterbooks, 1877-1918, on microfiche; in the Office of the Messrs Rockefeller, Rockefeller Boards records, 1899-1961, portions restricted until January 1, 1998; and in Aldrich papers, 73 microfilm reels of originals in the Library of Congress. Finding aid.

University of Michigan
Bentley Historical Library

Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: Correspondence in the Henry Howland Crapo papers, 1830-1920. Finding aid.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives

New Haven, CT
Papers: Correspondence in the Paul Moritz Warburg papers, 1904-1932.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Stephenson, Nathaniel W. Nelson W. Aldrich: A Leader In American Politics. 1930. Reprint. New York: Kennikat Press, 1971.

Sternstein, Jerome L. "Corruption in the Gilded Age Senate: Nelson W. Aldrich and the Sugar Trust." Capitol Studies 6 (Spring 1978): 13-37.

___. "King Leopold II, Senator Nelson W. Aldrich, and the Strange Beginnings of American Economic Penetration of the Congo." African Historical Studies 2:2 (1969): 189-204.

Wicker, Elmus. The Great Debate on Banking Reform: Nelson Aldrich and the Origins of the Fed. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2005.

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