2d sess. U. S. 60th Cong..

... Adolph Meyer (late a representative from Louisiana) Memorial addresses, Sixtieth Congress, First and Second sessions. House of representatives, May 10, 1908, Senate of the United States, February 27, 1909 (Volume 1) online

. (page 1 of 6)
Online Library2d sess. U. S. 60th Cong.... Adolph Meyer (late a representative from Louisiana) Memorial addresses, Sixtieth Congress, First and Second sessions. House of representatives, May 10, 1908, Senate of the United States, February 27, 1909 (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 6)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Glass _



60th Congress] HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 1^^"^^^ ,'
2d Session I I INo. 1517

. , 2^ .







(Late a Representative

:rom Louisiana)


Sixtieth Congress
First and Second Sessions


May 10, 1908

February 27, 1909

Compiled under the direction of the Joint Committee on Printing


n. Of n.

"" SI ^'


Proceedings in the House r

Prayer by Rev. Henr>' N. Couden, D. D ^^-j

Memorial addresses by —

Mr. Ransdell, of Louisiana o

Mr. Foss, of Illinois j5

Mr. Clark, of Missouri 21

Mr. Broussard, of Louisiana 24

Mr. Kahn, of California 28

Mr. Pujo, of Louisiana ,j

Mr. Padgett, of Tennessee ,c

Mr. Olcott, of Xew York 40

Mr. Lamb, of Virginia 42

Mr. Spight, of Mississippi ■ . >„

Mr. Watkins, of Louisiana ^2

Proceedings in the Senate -,

Prayer by Rev. Edward E. Hale ^g

Memorial addresses by —

Mr. McEner\-, of Louisiana. 60

Mr. Clapp, of Minnesota. 66

Mr. Perkins, of California ._ 68

Mr. Gallinger, of New Hampshire _ . y,

Mr. Foster, of Louisiana _ -6


Death of Hon. Adolph Meyer


Monday, March g, n)o8.

Thf Housi- nut at 12 o'clock ni.

The Chaplain, Rev. Henry N. Couden, D. D., offered the
following prayer:

Our Father in heaven, once more under the dispensation of
Thv providence we are brought face to face with that mystery
of mysteries which we call death, in the removal of a Member
of this legislative body who for many years ser\'ed with dis-
tinction in his fideUty to duty as a statesman.

We mourn him, but not as dead, since we have been taught to
believe that in the Father's house are many mansions; that
death is not an extinction of being, but the passing from one
room to another.

Be with his colleagues and friends, the bereaved wife and
daughter to comfort and sustain them, that they may look for-
ward with hope to a meeting under more favorable circum-
stances, where the love tie shall never again be broken. "For
I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor
principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to
come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be
able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus,
our Ivord." Amen.

Mr. R.'^NSDELi., of Louisiana. Mr. Speaker, it is my painful
duty to announce the death of my colleague. Gen. Adolph


6 Proceedings in the House

Meyer. At some future time I will ask the House to designate
a day when suitable addresses to his memory may be made. I
now ask that this resolution which I have prepared be presented.

The Speaker. The Clerk will report the resolution.

The Clerk read as follows:

Resolved, That the Ht)use has heard with profound regret of the death
of Hon. Adolph Meyer, a Representative from the State of Louisiana.

Resolved, That the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House be authorized and
directed to pay the necessary expenses in connection with the funeral ul
said Representative.

Resolved, That the Clerk communicate these resolutions to the Senate
and transmit a copy thereof to the family of the deceased.

Resolved, That as a further mark of respect the House do now adjourn.

The Speaker. The question is on agreeing to the resolutions.

The question was taken, and the resolutions were unani-
mously agreed to.

According!}' (at 12 o'clock and 12 minutes p. m.) the House

Wednesd.w, April 8, igo8.

Mr. RansdELL, of Louisiana. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous
consent for the present consideration of the following resolution,
which 1 send to the Clerk's desk.

The Clerk read as follows:

Resolved, That the House of Representatives shall meet at 2 o'clock
p. m., on Sunday, May 10, 1908, for the purpose of having eulogies on
the life, character, and public services of the Hon. Adolph JIevEr, late
a Representative in Congress from the First District of Louisiana.

The resolution was agreed to.

SATfRPAY, May Q, igoS.

The Speaker. If there be no objection, the Clerk \vill read

the order for to-morrow.

The Clerk read as follows:

On motion of Mr. Ransdell, of Louisiana, by unanimous consent,
"Resolved, That the House of Representatives shall meet at 2 o'clock
p. m. on Sunday, May 10, 1908, for the purpose of having eulogies on the

Proceedings in the House 7

life, character, and public services of the Hon. Adolph Meyer, laie a
Representative in Congress from the First District of Louisiana." Reso-
lution agreed to in the House April 8, iqoS.";

The Speaker. The gentleman from Xtbraska [Mr. Pollard|
is hereby designated to act as Speaker pro tempore to-morrow.

Suxn.AV, May 10, iqoS.

The House met at 2 o'clock p. m. and was called to order hv
Mr. Pollard as Speaker pro tempore.

The Chaplain, Rev. Henry N. Couden, D. D., offered the fol-
lowing prayer:

Our Father in heaven, center and source of all our longings,
hopes, and aspirations, we gather here to-day in response to a
jjure and holy desire which springs from the deeps of our being.

Death has claimed for its own one who served for many years
with distinction and fidelity his State and Nation upon the floor
of this House and left behind him a memory which shall not
fade while those who knew him shall live.

We come to thank Thee for what he was and what he did, to
recall the qualities of mind and heart which made him attract-
ive and lovable, and we most ferv^ently pray that his life and
character may be an inspiration to those who knew him and to
those who shall come after us. We thank Thee that Thou dost
live and reign; that love and affection, faith and hope, are
innnortal. Comfort us all, especially those who were boinid to
him bv the ties of kinshi]i — wife and daughter — hv the blessed
promises of our Lord and Master, "and songs of prai'^es we
will ever give to Thee," in His name. Amen.

ilr. RansdELL, of Louisiana. Mr. Speaker, I offer the reso-
lution which I send to the Clerk's desk.

The Clerk read as follows :

Resolved, That the business of the House be now suspended that oppor-
tunity may be given for tributes to the memory of the Hon. Adolph
Meyer, late a Member of this House from the State of Louisiana.

8 Proceedings in the House

Resolved, That, as a particular mark of respect to the memory of the
deceased and in recognition of his distinguished public career, the House,
at the conclusion of these exercises, shall stand adjourned.

Resolved, That the Clerk communicate these resolutions to the Senate.

Resolved, That the Clerk send a copy of these resolutions to the family
of the deceased.

The resolutions were agreed to.

Mr. Davey, of Louisiana, took the chair as Speaker pro


Address of Mr. RansdcII, of Louisiana


Address of Mr. Ransdell, of Louisiana

Mr. Speaker: I rise to pay a tribute of respect to the mem-
orv of my deceased colleague, Hon. Adolpii ^Ieyer, late a
Representative in Congress from the First District of Louisi-
ana, who died at New Orleans on the 8th of March, 1908, and
is honored and momned by his State and nation.

General Meyer was bom at Natchez, Miss., October 19, 1842,
and spent his childhood in that State. He matriculated in the
University of \'irginia, and before graduation left that famous
training school of the South to enter the Confederate army
in 1862. During the trying times of the greatest civil war the
world has ever seen General Meyer played an active, honor-
able part, serving on the staff of Brig. Gen. John S. Williams,
of Kentucky, and holding the rank of adjutant-general when
the war closed. In 1879 he was elected colonel of the First
Regiment, Louisiana National Guard, and in 1881 was appointed
by Governor Wiltz brigadier-general of the First Louisiana
Brigade, embracing all the uniformed militia in the State. In
connection with the organization of the State Militia his serv-
ices were very efficient.

At the outbreak of the Cuban war General Meyer was urged,
on account of his military experience and ability, for a posi-
tion as either brigadier or division commander of southern
volunteers. The following was written by Gen. John S. Wil-
liams, of Kentucky, upon whose staff General Meyer served:

To the President.

Your Excellency : I beg leave to recommend to your favorable con-
sideration Mr. AiiOLPH Mever, of Louisiana, for position of division or
brigade commander of southern volunteers.

lo Memorial Addresses: Adolph Meyer

Mr. Mever served on my staff during almost the entire civil war He
was preeminent for soldierly qualities, the loftiest courage, fidelity, and
endurance. In fact, he seemed a natural-born soldier and commanded
the confidence and admiration of the entire command.

I know of no young officer who manifested more military aptitude;
his resourcefulness in emergencies and t|uickness to avail himself of every
possible advantage and devotion to duty were unsurpassed.

Mr. Meyer's experience in actual war has been supplemented by com-
mand in the Louisiana Militia and National Guard.

I know the appointment would be a good one and highly acceptable
to the southern people.

With sentiments of the highest regard, I am,
Most respectfully, yours,

John S. Williams,
Brigadier-General, Afterwards Commanding Kentucky Division.

May 2, 1908.

At the close of the civil war General 1\Ieyer engaged largely
in cotton planting on the Forest plantation, in Concordia Par-
ish, La. Later he entered the cotton factorage and commission
house of Meyer, Weis & Co., of New Orleans, and afterwards
was a member of the big cotton firm of \'. & A. Mever, which
went out of business some years ago. The other member of
this firm was his twin brother, Victor. There was the deepest
love and devotion between them, and the General was never
the same after Victor's death two years ago. Indeed, another
brother, Cassius, also died within three months of Victor, and
the double loss was a crushing blow to one so fond of his fam-
ily and so warm-hearted as the General. I could see how
deeply he was affected and predicted at the time that he would
not survive his beloved brothers many years.

In the fall of 1868 General Mever married the beautiful and
accomplished ^liss Rosalie Jonas, daughter of the late Abraham
Jonas, of New Orleans, and sister of ex-United States Senator
B. F. Jonas, who survives him. Their only child is a daughter,
Mrs. Louise M. Swift, widow of the late Capt. I'ranklin Swift,
of the United States Navy. Mrs. Meyer was very popular in
congressional circles and entertained delightfully in her ele-

Addiess of Mr. Riuisdell, oj Louisiana ii

gant home on O street. While not much of a society man, Gen-
eral Meyer was very fond of his friends, and nothing pleased
him better than to have a small party of intimates around the
hospitable board over which his cultured wife presided with
such grace and dignity.

In 1890 General Meyer was elected to the Fifty-second Con-
gress, and was reelected every two )^ears since down to and
including the term beginning in 1907. The Fifty-second Con-
gress was the Democratic successor to Reed's "billion-dollar"
Congress, and he has sen,-ed eight full and successive terms
and one-half of the ninth, ranking eighth in length of ser\-ice,
those older than he being Speaker Cannon, sixteen terms;
Bingham, of Pennsylvania, fourteen; Payne, of Xew York,
eleven; Dalzell, of Pennsylvania, and Hepburn, of Iowa, ten;
and Sherman, of New York, nine. Representative Jones, of
Virginia; De Armond, of Missouri, and Livingston, of Georgia,
are the only other Democrats who entered the Fifty-second
Congress with General ^Ieyer.

Speaker Crisp assigned General ;\Ieyer to the Committee on
Naval Affairs, and he has held an important place there ever
since, serving under two distinguished Democratic chairmen,
Hon. Hilary A. Herbert, of Alabama, who became Secretarv of
the Navy during President Cleveland's administration, and
Hon. Amos Cummings, of New^ York. His intimacv with these
gentlemen and with Chairman Boutelle, of Maine, as well as
with Mr. ]\Ietcalf, of California, who left the committee to
reenter the Roosevelt Cabinet, and at length to become vSecre-
tary of the Navy, together with the assistance given by Senator
IMcEnery, on the Naval Affairs Committee of the Senate, ac-
counts for his success in getting large appropriations for the
New Orleans naval station. General Meyer made it his serious
business on entering Congress to have a naval station erected
on the reserve at Algiers, and to have a floating dry dock tied

12 Memorial Addresses: Adolph Meyer

up there for the accommodation of the heaviest battle ships.
He lived to see these things accomplished, and was ever hope-
ful of witnessing the construction ]ilant in full operation, either
building or repairing battle ships.

During his second term in Congress, the Fifty-third, Creneral
Meyer held the chairmanship of the Committee on .MiHtia.
Having had large experience in matters pertaining to the
National Guard, vSpeaker Crisp picked him from among several
to take charge of all militia bills that were introduced.

The Fifty-fourth Congress being Republican, he lost this
chairmanship, but was glad to trade his membership on Militia
for a place on the District of Columbia, which gave him both
social and political prestige in the city of Washington, where
he subsequently purchased a home. These three are practically
the only committee assignments which CTcneral Meyer cared to
hold during his seventeen years in Congress. He was faithful
in the performance of his duties and labored diligently in the
interest not only of New Orleans, but of Louisiana in general.

The services performed by General Meyer, while not notably
brilliant, as one might speak of the services of Reed, Randall,
and Carlisle, of recent years, or those famous statesmen. Clay,
Calhoun, Hayne, and Webster, of an earlier period, were sub-
stantial and will not soon be forgotten. He spoke occasionally,
perhaps once or twice during a session of Congress, in behalf
of some measure or committee report, but he never engaged in
partisan debates, in bickerings over parliamentary rulings, or
in the vaporings which have made some statesmen notorious, if
not ridiculous, because their purpose was simply to make read-
ing matter for their own districts.

General Meyer spoke pleasingly and well, but he had not the
voice that could be heard above the ordinary din of the House.
His powers of conviction, therefore, lay in what was printed
and read in the Record, rather than in what was heard on the

Address of Mr. Rausdell, of Louisiana 13

floor, and in his very ])ersuasive presentation of matters in
personal intercourse and in committee rooms, where the real
work is done.

His work as a member of the Committee on Xa\al Affairs
was of considerable importance. As he was the minority
leader, he was always one of the conferees on the naval appro-
priation bill to settle differences between the two Houses over
amendments. In this position he occasionally fell the em-
barrassment of acting contrary to the wishes of his party, as
expressed on the floor, but he was a firm believer in the great
advantage that is to be derived from the state of readiness
for war and fearlessly supported every recommendation from
the White House for more vessels, more stations, or more men.

General Meyer's special pride was the naval station and dry
dock in New Orleans, the largest in the South and equal to any
in the country. The State owes this great work to the com-
bined efforts of Senator McEnery and himself, ably seconded
bv his New Orleans colleague. Judge Dave\-. He was abso-
lutelv tireless in working for this station and never lost sight
of it under any circumstances.

He was an expert on naval matters, made many strong
speeches oh that subject, and his loss will be keenly felt by
the Naval Committee.

He took most intelligent and active interest in the appro-
priations for the levees of the Mississippi River, the 35-foot
channel at Southwest Pass of the Mississippi, the New Orleans
post-office, the maintenance of the New Orleans mint, the immi-
gration station bill, and everything pertaining to Louisiana.
Always at his post and always watchful, applying to his legis-
lative work the fine business training and acumen acquired by
his long commercial career, he was very successful in getting
results and bore a prominent part in all legislation affecting his
.Stale during the last seventeen years. One of his characteristics

14 Memorial Addresses: Adolph Meyer

was his care and attention to requests and suggestions from the

people of Louisiana, whether residents of his district or not.

All matters received his personal, prompt, and cheerful attention.

His last public work, performed during the closing davs of

the Fifty-ninth Congress, was to secure $25,000 for the Chal-

mette monument. He had labored long and hard for this most

worthy object, and was delighted when success finally crowned

his efforts. In recognition of this service to our nation's historv,

the Louisiana Historical .Society, at a meeting held April 15,

passed the following resolution :

New Orleans, Apn/ 75, ii)oS.
To the members of tlw Louisiana II istorical Society:

Your undersigned committee appointed at the meeting of March 18,
1908, to draft suitable resolutions out of respect to the memory of our
deceased member, Gen. Adolph Meyer, beg leave to report the following:

■' Whereas Divine Providence has removed from our midst our fellow-
member. Gen. Adolph Meyer, who died on March 8, 1908: Therefore be it

"Resolved, That in the death of Gen. Adolph MevER this society lost
one of its most zealous and valued members, whose wise counsel and
advice were very beneficial to the society, and tended in a considerable
degree to the success of our celebration of the one hundredth anniversary
of the transfer of Louisiana from France to the United States, on Decem-
ber 20, 1903: Be it further

" Resolved, That by the death of General Meyer the State of Louisiana
has lost a Memeber of Congress whose place will be hard to fill; that in
the seventeen years of his service in the National House of Representa-
tives he made a record of which anyone might be proud, and the great
dock at New Orleans and the new post-office building, both of which
w'ere obtained largely through his efforts, evince in a high degree the
work he did and the influence he exerted in the halls of Congress; that
his many and steady efforts to procure the completion of the Chalmette
Monument on the battlefield of New Orleans, just below the city, were
finally crowned with success, when on March 4, 1907, immediately before
the adjournment of Congress, the President signed the bill making the
necessary appropriation for the purpose; that this particular work was
made by General Meyer a work of love, and it was, owing to his failing
health, the last pubHc work in which he was engaged, and it is a source of
deep regret to all that his life was not spared that he might see in the
completion of the monument the culmination of his efforts: Be it further

" Resolved, That in all walks of life, whether as citizen, soldier, or states-
man, General Meyer measured -full to the responsibilities imposed upon
him, and all in all we soon shall not see his like again : Be it further

Address of Mr. Ra>isdel/, oj Louisiana 15

"Resolved, That these resolutions he spread upon the minutes of the
society upon a page specially devoted to that purpose; that an engrossed
copy be sent to his bereaved wife and daughter, to whom our heartfelt
sympathies are extended; that a copy be sent to his colleagues in Con-
gress, with the retjuest that same be used when memorial services are had
in his honor, and that copies be furnished to the press of this city and of
Washington "

Respectfully submitted.

\V. O. Hart, Chairman.


H. M. Gill.

Mr. Speaker, I was very fond of General Mever and deeply
deplore his untimely death. He was only 65 years of age, and
with his regular habits and good constitution ought to have
lived many years longer. He was always affable, kind, and
considerate; ever ready to accommodate a colleague, whether
one of the leaders or the most obscure Member of the House.
I frequently called on him during the early years of my ser\'ice,
and never in vain. He was a methodical, careful business man;
carried those qualities into his legislative work, and, knowing
thoroughly what he was about, was able as well as willing to
give efficient aid. In his death this House has lost one of its
most useful Members, and it is not flattery to sav that Loui-
siana will find it very difficult to fill his place.

Long may the memory of Adolph Meyer live in these halls
and in the State and nation he ser\-ed so well. I earnestly
hope and believe that the good work done here by him entitles
General Meyer to a happy and honorable position in his pres-
ent home — that undiscovered country from whose bourne no
traveler has ever returned.

i6 Memorial Addresses: Adolph Meyer

Address of Mr. Foss, of Llinois

Mr. Speaker: The Committee on Naval Affairs, of which
General MeyER was so long a member, at a meeting soon after his
death unanimously adopted the following resolutions, which I
will read :

Whereas the Hon. Adouph Meyer, a Member of the House of Repre-
sentatives from the State of Louisiana, and the oldest member in point of
service on the Committee on Naval Affairs, died in the city of New Orleans
on the 8th day of March, 1908. Be it therefore

Resolved, That, holding his memory in affectionate regard, we, the
members of the Committee on Naval Aft'airs of the House of Representa-
tives, mourn his untimely death.

Resolved, That as Representative and a member of the Committee on
Naval Affairs he exhibited splendid gifts of statesmanship, true patriotism,
stainless integrity, and great wisdom in council, and that in his death the
country has lost a faithful ])ublic servant.

Resolved, That his private life was as pure and gentle as his public
career was noble and distinguished, and that we tender to his family the
sympathy that flows from hearts \vhich are deeply moved with a great
personal sorrow.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be presented to his family
and be spread upon the records of the committee and be printed in the
Congressional Record on the day set aside for eulogies in the House of

Mr. Speaker, I myself desire to pay a brief tribute to the
memory of him with whom I have been so long associated in
the work of building up the Navy. And, first, I desire to speak
of his loyalty to his own constituency, for no man, I think, was
more industrious and anxious to serve the people who elected
him than he, and the many things which he obtained for liis
city testify to the zeal and success with which he labored at all
times for it. The estabhshment of the navy-yard at Algiers
was due entirely to his effort, and I am sure that the great city
of New Orleans will always treasure in fondest memory the man
who so tirelessly worked for her interest.

Address of Mr. Foss, of Illinois 17

But General Meyer's greatest work consisted not so much in
serving the constituency which elected him as it did in serving
that greater constituency which extends from the Atlantic to
tile Pacific and from the Gulf to the Great Lakes. It was his
labors in the upbuilding of the American Navy for which he w ill
be longest remembered. He was the oldest member of the Com-
mittee on Naval Affairs. He had ser\'ed for seventeen vears,
and no man was more familiar with the great subjects pertain-
ing thereto than himself. The many and able reports on naval
subjects which he has written will stand as a monument to his
faithfulness, abiUty, and industry. When he became a member
of the Naval Committee we had not a single battle ship in com-
mission and the tonnage of our new Navy was less than 200,000,
whereas now, when the pending naval bill shall have become
a law, the tonnage of our Navy will reach 850,000. General
Meyer can rightfully be called one of the legislative builders of
the new Navy, because during the seventeen years of his service
upon the committee more than three-fourths of the new Amer-
ican Navy has been built.

I may say that no Member was more intimately acquainted
with General MeyER than myself. I saw a great deal of him in
thf committee room and outside of the Capitol, and I came

1 3 4 5 6

Online Library2d sess. U. S. 60th Cong.... Adolph Meyer (late a representative from Louisiana) Memorial addresses, Sixtieth Congress, First and Second sessions. House of representatives, May 10, 1908, Senate of the United States, February 27, 1909 (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 6)