2018 Spring Newsletter

and charming personality. White, saying “never had he met anyone who could charm a hostile audience as effectively as did Curtis.” In 1892, he was elected to the U S House despite an overwhelming victory of the opposite party in the election in Kansas that year. National Republican lead er Thomas Reed took a liking to Curtis, “The Indian” and made him one of his party leaders. As a leader in the House he impressed others with his skills and insight. He spent lots of his efforts on the Committee of Indian Affairs.

By early 1907 Curtis was elected a Kansas Senator. He was active in tariff laws and Republican agendas. In 1918 he led the floor fight for the 19th Amendment that would eventu ally give women the right to vote. He was head of the Kan sas delegation to the 1920 National Convention that would nominate Warren Harding His leadership in politics gave him recognition through the Harding and Coolidge years. As a Senator from Kansas he was very able and successfu in getting desired legislation passed. He earned the title of Majority Leader. He began to aspire to the office of Pres ident. In 1924, when Coolidge withdrew from seeking re election, Curtis considered running for president. However, his wife became very ill and died later that summer, thus he chose to suspend his efforts. In 1928 he was given the nod to be a Vice-Presidentialrunning mate of Herbert Hoover. Many had support Curtis for President,but Hoover had won the nominationand selected him as his best choice to help the ticket. They won and Curtis spent his four years as Vice-President presiding in the Senate and was “declared the most competent man in Congress” so exclaimed many newspapers. 1932 brought defeat to the Hoover/Curtis team as the Depression had ended the Republican control of Congress and the Presidency. He remained in Washing ton after the defeat, practicing law and working politics. He was described by some as being “part Kaw and one-hun dred per cent Republican” He died in 1936, having served as the most successful Native American politician to date.

by Larry Lybarger,

Charles Curtis presenting an award to Amelia Earhart

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