Tennessee’s ‘Unholy Trinity:’ Walter ‘Pete’ Haynes

Tennessee’s ‘Unholy Trinity:’ Walter ‘Pete’ Haynes

By Ray Hill For decades the Tennessee General Assembly was largely ruled by three men: Walter M. “Pete” Haynes of Decherd; I. D. Beasley of Carthage and James H. Cummings of Woodbury.  Known as the “Unholy Trinity”, the three men were powerful legislators and highly important in their respective communities.  Beasley, Haynes and Cummings were […]

Walter Chandler

Walter Chandler

By Ray Hill Walter Chandler enjoyed a long and productive political career, serving as a state legislator, congressman and mayor of Memphis.  Chandler was also a highly successful attorney and was responsible for the Baker vs. Carr lawsuit that guaranteed Americans the right of one man, one vote. A native of Jackson, Tennessee, Walter Chandler […]

Crump Goes To Congress, V

Crump Goes To Congress, V

By Ray Hill After Congress had adjourned in 1933, Edward Hull Crump, congressman from Tennessee’s Tenth District, took his wife on a three-month tour of Europe. The Crumps returned on September 26, 1933 and the Congressman stopped off in his Washington office to clear off his desk. Crump had a talk with James A. Farley, […]

Crump Goes To Congress, IV

Crump Goes To Congress, IV

By Ray Hill Edward Hull Crump, leader of the Shelby County political machine and congressman from Tennessee’s Tenth District, had been a strong and early supporter of New York governor Franklin D. Roosevelt for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1932. Crump was one of several prominent Tennesseans who worked hard for Roosevelt’s nomination, including senators […]

Crump Goes To Congress, III

Crump Goes To Congress, III

By Ray Hill Edward H. Crump, undisputed leader of the Shelby County machine and congressman from Tennessee’s Tenth District, was the primary focus during an especially bitter battle for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 1932. Former governor Malcolm Patterson, a highly tarnished figure and seventy-one years old, had the support of the administration of Governor […]

Crump Goes To Congress, II

Crump Goes To Congress, II

By Ray Hill Edward H. Crump, leader of the Shelby County political machine, had decided to go to Congress in 1930. The incumbent, Hubert Fisher, had not been ready to retire despite the fact he was quite nearly entirely deaf. Relations between Crump and his long-time friend Senator Kenneth McKellar were strained as the Memphis […]

Crump Goes To Congress, I

Crump Goes To Congress, I

By Ray Hill   Edward Hull Crump, master of the machine that ruled Memphis and Shelby County for decades, held a variety of elected offices – – – Mayor of Memphis, county Trustee, but most have forgotten he was also elected to Congress.  Elective office was not essential to either Crump’s rule or ego; in […]

Congressman Robert Crosser of Ohio

Congressman Robert Crosser of Ohio

By Ray Hill For so many of us, members of Congress from other states are of little interest, yet so many of those faceless individuals have compelling stories and remain in the House of Representatives for decades, accruing seniority and power.  Robert Crosser served in Congress for thirty-eight years and it would likely have been […]

Louis Rabaut of Michigan

Louis Rabaut of Michigan

 By Ray Hill There were several Congressional districts across the country largely populated by immigrants.  There were districts in New York City with a heavy Italian population, while similar districts in Illinois and Michigan were inhabited by Polish citizens.  Across the Midwest there were states where German-Americans were an important constituency.  Most of the Congressional […]