Albert Jeremiah Beveridge (October 6, 1862 – April 27, 1927) was an American
historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are con ...
and US senator from
Indiana Indiana () is a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. ...
. He was an intellectual leader of the
Progressive Era The Progressive Era (1896–1916) was a period of widespread social activism Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct, or intervene in Social change, social, Political campaign, political, Economics, economic, or Natural e ...
and a biographer of Chief Justice
John Marshall John Marshall (September 24, 1755July 6, 1835) was an American politician and lawyer who served as the fourth Chief Justice of the United States, Chief Justice of the United States from 1801 to 1835. Marshall remains the List of Justices of the ...
and President
Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln (; February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, his assassination in 1865. Lincoln led the ...

Early years

Beveridge was born on October 6, 1862, in
Highland County, Ohio
Highland County, Ohio
, near Sugar Tree Ridge; his parents moved to Indiana soon after his birth. Both of his parents, Thomas H. and Frances Parkinson, were of English descent. His childhood was one of hard work and labor. Securing an education with difficulty, he eventually became a law clerk in Indianapolis. In 1887, he was admitted to the Indiana bar, practiced law in Indianapolis and married Katherine Langsdale. After Katherine's death in 1900, Beveridge married Catherine Eddy in 1907. Beveridge graduated from Indiana Asbury University (now
DePauw University DePauw University is a private university in Greencastle, Indiana. It has an enrollment of 1,972 students. The school has a Methodist Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related Christian denomination, ...
) in 1885, with a Ph.B. degree. He was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He was known as a compelling
orator An orator, or oratist, is a public speaker, especially one who is eloquent or skilled. Etymology Recorded in English c. 1374, with a meaning of "one who pleads or argues for a cause", from Anglo-French ''oratour'', Old French ''orateur'' (14th c ...
, delivering speeches supporting territorial expansion by the US and increasing the power of the
federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central federal government ( federalism). In a federation, the self-gover ...

Political career

Beveridge entered politics in 1884 by speaking on behalf of presidential candidate James G. Blaine and was prominent in later campaigns, particularly in that of 1896, when his speeches attracted general attention. In 1899, Beveridge was appointed to the U.S. Senate as a Republican and served until 1911. He supported
Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt Jr. ( ; October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), often referred to as Teddy or his initials T. R., was an American statesman, conservationist, naturalist, historian, and writer, who served as the 26th president of the Unite ...

Theodore Roosevelt
's progressive views and was the keynote speaker at the new Progressive Party convention which nominated Roosevelt for U.S. President in 1912. Beveridge is known as one of the most prominent American imperialism, imperialists. He supported the annexation of the Philippines and, along with Republican leader Henry Cabot Lodge, campaigned for the construction of a new navy. In 1901, Beveridge became chair of the Senate Committee on Territories, which allowed him to support statehood for Oklahoma. However, he blocked statehood for New Mexico and Arizona because he deemed the territories too sparsely occupied by white people. In his opinion, they contained too many Hispanics and Native Americans, whom he described as intellectually incapable of understanding the concept of self-governance.Briley, Ron. “Beveridge, Albert.” Encyclopedia of the United States Congress, Facts On File, 2006, American History, online.infobase.com/HRC/Search/Details/166695?q=albert beveridge. He celebrated the "white man's burden" as a noble mission, part of God's plan to bring civilization to the entire world: "It is racial.... He has marked the American people as His chosen nation...." After Beveridge's election in 1905 to a second term, he became identified with the reform-minded faction of the Republican Party. He championed national child labor legislation, broke with President William Howard Taft over the Payne–Aldrich Tariff Act, Payne–Aldrich Tariff, and sponsored the Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1906, adopted in the wake of the publication of Upton Sinclair's ''The Jungle''. Furthermore, Beveridge joined insurgents in supporting postal savings bank legislation and railroad regulations with the Mann–Elkins Act of 1910. He lost his senate seat to John Worth Kern when the Democrats took Indiana in the 1910 elections. In 1912, when Roosevelt left the Republican Party (United States), Republican Party to found the short-lived Progressive Party, Beveridge left with him and ran campaigns as that party's Indiana nominee in the 1912 race for governor and the 1914 race for senator, losing both. When the Progressive Party disintegrated, he returned to the Republicans with his political future in tatters; he eventually ran one more race for Senate in 1922, winning the primary against incumbent Harry S. New but losing the general to Samuel M. Ralston and would never again hold office. Another contribution towards his political downfall was the fact he was a great critic of Woodrow Wilson. He encouraged Wilson to take a more interventionist policy with the Mexican Revolution but disliked Wilson's League of Nations, which Beveridge felt would undermine American independence. In the twilight of his life, Beveridge came to repudiate some of the earlier expansion of governmental power that he had championed in his earlier career. In one notable address, delivered before the Sons of the Revolution's annual dinner in June 1923, Beveridge decried the growth of the regulatory state and the proliferation of regulatory bodies, bureaus and commissions. "America would be better off as a country and Americans happier and more prosperous as a people," he suggested, "if half of our Government boards, bureaus and commissions were abolished, hundreds of thousands of our Government officials, agents and employees were discharged and two-thirds of our Government regulations, restrictions and inhibitions were removed."


As his political career drew to a close, Beveridge dedicated his time to writing historical literature. He was a member and secretary of the American Historical Association (AHA). His four-volume set ''The Life of John Marshall'', published in 1916–1919, won Beveridge a Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography and connected events in
John Marshall John Marshall (September 24, 1755July 6, 1835) was an American politician and lawyer who served as the fourth Chief Justice of the United States, Chief Justice of the United States from 1801 to 1835. Marshall remains the List of Justices of the ...
's life with his later rulings on the US Supreme Court. Beveridge spent most of his final years after his 1922 defeat writing a four-volume biography of
Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln (; February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, his assassination in 1865. Lincoln led the ...
, only half-finished at his death, posthumously published in 1928 as ''Abraham Lincoln, 1809–1858'' (2 vols.). It stripped away the myths and revealed a complex and imperfect politician. In 1939, the AHA established the Beveridge Award in his memory, through a gift from the widow and from donations from members.

Tolstoy film

In 1901, a decade before Leo Tolstoy died, American travel lecturer Burton Holmes visited Yasnaya Polyana with Beveridge. As the three men conversed, Holmes filmed Tolstoy with his 60-mm camera. Afterwards, Beveridge's advisers succeeded in having the film destroyed, fearing that evidence of his having met with a radical Russian author might hurt his chances of running for the presidency.Wallace, Irving, 'Everybody's Rover Boy', in ''The Sunday Gentleman''. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1965. p. 117.


"In Support of an American Empire" (1900)

"The Russian Advance" (1903)

at Project Gutenberg. * ''The Life of John Marshall'', in 4 volumes (1919)
Volume IVolume IIVolume III
Volume IV
at Internet Archive.
''The Meaning of the Times and other Speeches''
(Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1909) at Open Library. * ''Americans of Today and Tomorrow'' (1908) * ''Pass Prosperity Around'' (1912)
''What is Back of the War?''
(Indianaopolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1916) at Internet Archive. * * ''Abraham Lincoln 1809–1858,'' 2 vols. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin) (1928)


Further reading

* Braeman, John. ''Albert J. Beveridge: American Nationalist'' (1971) * * Wilson, Clyde N. ''Twentieth-Century American Historians'' (Gale: 1983, Dictionary of Literary Biography, volume 17) pp. 70–73

External links

* * *
Albert J. Beveridge Collection, Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library
* {{DEFAULTSORT:Beveridge, Albert J. 1862 births 1927 deaths 20th-century American historians United States senators from Indiana People of the Philippine–American War Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography winners People from Highland County, Ohio DePauw University alumni Indiana Republicans Republican Party United States senators Indiana Progressives (1912) 19th-century American historians Historians from Indiana 20th-century American politicians