Martin to Cannon

Martin to Cannon/tiles/non-collection/c/c_011imgtile1.xml
Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration


In 1905, Eben Martin of South Dakota composed this letter to Speaker of the House Joseph Cannon lobbying him for a committee appointment for the 59th Congress. Unlike most Representatives who wanted prestigious placements, Martin was seeking an appointment as Chairman to one of the “less important” committees. During the 59th Congress, he retained his seats on the Committee on Public Lands and on the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds. The committees would have had value to his constituents in the still-developing state of South Dakota, which was granted statehood in 1889, and he was reappointed to the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Justice. His request was at least partially fulfilled: In 1906, during floor debate related to janitorial and clerical allotments for the House’s committees, Representative John Stephens of Texas stated that no clerk was needed for the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Justice because “it never meets and never had a bill before it.”

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