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NELSON W. ALDRICH - SIGNATURE(S) CO-SIGNED BY: WILLIAM P. SHEFFIELD, JONATHAN CHACE - DOCUMENT 34909
NELSON ALDRICH, WILLIAM SHEFFIELD and JONATHAN CHACE
Signatures of three U.S. Senators from Rhode Island, one of them a major
architect of America's modern financial system.
Signatures: "Jonathan Chase/Rhode Island", "Wm P Sheffield/Rhode Island",
"Nelson W. Aldrich/Rhode Island", 1p, 7½x4½ album leaf. WILLIAM PAINE
SHEFFIELD (1820-1907), a longtime state legislator, was appointed to fill
the US Senate seat vacated by the death of Senator Henry Nelson (1884-1885). He
did not seek election to a full term. Instead, JONATHAN CHACE (1829-1917)
won the seat in a special election, was re-elected in 1888, but resigned to
pursue business interests in 1889. Before serving in the Senate, Chace had
represented Rhode Island in the House for two terms (1881-1885). The third
signer was to have a more lasting impact on US history. NELSON ALDRICH
(1841-1915), a Civil War veteran, was Speaker of the Rhode Island House of
Representatives (1876-1877), a U.S. Representative (1879-1881) and U.S. Senator
(1881-1911). A Republican like Sheffield and Chace, Aldrich was a very
powerful Senator, using his seat on the Finance Committee to exert great
influence on US economic policy. An advocate of high protective tariffs and
co-author of the Payne-Aldrich Tariff of 1909, Aldrich secured
exemption of fine art from import duties, a great benefit to American art
museums. Although he had previously called a proposed income tax "communistic,"
Aldrich became convinced of its necessity and introduced the Sixteenth
Amendment to the US Constitution, allowing taxation of income (previously
ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court). In 1908, the Aldrich-Vreeland
Act created a National Monetary Commission, the predecessor of the Federal
Reserve system as the US central bank. Aldrich's daughter married John D.
Rockefeller, Jr. Their son Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller became Vice
President under President Ford. Irregular left edge where page was removed from
an album. Lightly toned at edges. Otherwise, fine condition.
For more documents by these signers click the names below:
NELSON W. ALDRICH WILLIAM P. SHEFFIELD JONATHAN CHACE
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