2d session United States. 59th Congress.

William Henry Flack (late a representative from New York) Memorial addresses, Fifty-ninth Congress, second session, House of representatives, February 24, 1907, Senate of the United States, March 2, 1907 (Volume 2) online

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Online Library2d session United States. 59th CongressWilliam Henry Flack (late a representative from New York) Memorial addresses, Fifty-ninth Congress, second session, House of representatives, February 24, 1907, Senate of the United States, March 2, 1907 (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 3)
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^mSsL"'! house of representatives j'°No"^xo'

William Henry Flack

(Late a Representative from New York)



Fifty-ninth Congress
Second Session


February 24, 1907

March 2, 1907

Compiled under the direction of the Joint Committee on Printing



FEB 31 19C3
D. ot D.




Proceedings in the House 5

Prayer by Rev. Henrj- N. Couden, Ii. D 5, 7

Jleniorial addresses by —

Mr. Sherman, of New York 11

Mr. Goulden, of New York 13

Mr. Minor, of Wisconsin 15

Mr. Bennet, of New York 19

Jlr. Perkins, of New York 21

Mr. Driscoll, of New Y'ork 23

Mr. Fitzgerald, of New York 2.S

l.Ir. Grosvenor, of Ohio 30

Proceedings in the Senate 33

Memorial address by —

Mr. Depew, of New York 37


Death of Representative William H. Flack


S.VTrKDAV, J-\bii(ary _->, igoj.
The House met at 12 o'clock in.

Prayer liy the Chaplain, Re\'. Henry X. Coiulen, as follows:
Infinite and eternal sjnrit, Ciod, our heavenh- Father, in
whom we live and move and have our heint;". We thank Thee
for every aspiration, for every earnest and noble endeavor
which leads on to larger life and civilization, and for that
profound appreciation which enaljles us to recos^^nize the noliil-
ity of soul and real worth in our fellow-men. We thank Thee
for the special order which .sets apart this da)- as a memorial
service to one who became conspictious as a statesman, who by
earnest and faithful endeavor ro.se from the humlile position of
a page on the floor of the United vStates Senate to a member
of that augu.st body, and who by common con.seiit fiecame the
leader of his party, than which no greater enconiium could be
pronounced, no grander monument reared to liis memory,
(irant that his character may ever be an inspiration to noble
and pure living to those who survive him and to those who
come after us, and Thine be the .glory forever. And now.
Almighty Father, we are again moved bv the news of the
death of one of our Congressi<inal familw Comfort, we beseech
Thee, tho.se who are bereft of a dear one, and help us all to
live so that when our time shall come we shall ])ass on and

6 Memorial Addresses: ]]'illiai)t //eurv Mack

hear the word. Well done, <j;oo(1 anil faithful servant, enter into
the joys of thy Lord. Throiii^h Jesus Christ. Amen.

Mr. Knapp. Mr. Speaker, it is with jirofound .sorrow that I
aiuiounce to this Hon.se the death of my colleague, W'ilt.iam
H. l'"l..\CK, of New York, which occurred at his home in Ma-
lone at S.15 this morning. M". Fi.ack was beloved by his
neighbors and immediate coustituency and held in high esteem
b\- his colleagues in this House. At some future time I shall
ask the House to fix a day for eulogies suitable to his life and
character. Mr. Speaker, I now offer the following resolutions.

The Speaker. The Clerk will report the resolutions

The Clerk read as follows;

AVio/rvv/, That the House lias heard « itli profound sorrow of llie death
of Hon. Wil.l.i.vM W. I-'J.ACK, a Representative from the State of New

Resolved, That a committee of fifteen Members of the House, with
such members of the Senate as may be joined, be appointed to attend the

A'esolird, That the Sergeant-at-.-\nns of the House lie authorized and
directed to take such steps as may be neces.siiry for carrying out the pro-
vi.sions of these resolutions, an<l that tile necessary expenses in connection
therewith be paid out of tlie contingent fund of the Hou.se.

A'eso/zvd, That the Clerk coniniunicate these resolutions to the Senate
and transmit a copy thereof to the family of the deceased.

The resolutions were unanimously agreed to.
The Spk.\kek. The Chair announces the following com-

Messrs. Sherman, Littaner, Knapp, Draper, DriscoU, Ka.s.sett, Dwight,
Ryan, Fitzgerald, Gouldcn, Cirosvenor, Jlinor, Watson, How'ell of New
Jersey, and Reynolds.

Mr. K\.\pp. Mr. .Speaker, I offer the following additional


A'esohed, That at the conclusion of the memorial exercises a.ssigned for
the day the Hou.se shall .stand adjourned as a further mark of respect to
the memory of Wii.i.iam H. Ki..\ck.

The resolution was unanimously agreed to.

Proceedings in the Mouse 7

A message from the Senate, by Mr. Piatt, one of its clerks,
announced that the Senate had passed the following resolutions:

Resoh'ed, That the .Senate has heard with profound sorrow the an-
nouncement of the death of Hon. Wii.i,i.\M H. Fi..\CK, late a Representa-
tive from the State of New York.

Resolved, That a committee of six Senators be appointed by the Vice-
President to join a committee appointed on the part of tlie House of Rep-
resentatives to take order for superintending the funeral of the deceased.

Resolved, That the Secretary coninmnicate these resolutions to the
House of Representatives.

Resolved, That as a further mark of respect to the memory of the
deceased the .Senate do now adjourn.

And that in compliance with the foregoing the A'ice-President
had appointed as .said committee Mr. Piatt, Mr. Depew, Mr.
Kean, Mr. Bulkelej', Mr. Dubois, and Mr. Newlands.

The motion of Mr. Gill (that the House do now adjourn)
was agreed to.

Accordingly (at 4 o'clock and 5 minutes p. ni. ) the Hotise

MON'D.VY, February n, 1907.

Mr. SHER>r.\N. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous con.sent that
Sunda}-, February 24, be .set apart for the purpose of pronounc-
ing eulogies upon the life and character of Hon. Wili.I-Vm H.
Fl-\CK, late a Representative from the State of New York.

The .Speaker. Is there objection? [After a pause.] The
Chair hears none.

vSuND.w, February 2^, igoj.

The House met at 10 o'clock a. m.

Prayer by the Chaplain, Kev. Henry X. Coudeu, D. D., as

Lei not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe
also in me.

In mv Father' s house are ?)!a)n' mansions: if it 'were not so,
I li'ould have told you. /go to prepare a place /or you . For

8 Memorial Addresses: Williaiii I/eiiry Flack

we knozi' that if our cartldy iioicse of tliis tabernacle "were
dissolved, we have a Imildimr of God, a Iioiise not made 'with
hin/ds, ttrn/dl i)i the heavens.

For in this -,ee oroan, earnestly desiring to be clothed -with
oiir house -ehieh is from heaven:

// so be tliat being clothed ~ee shall not be found naked.

l^or tee that me in this tabernacle do groan, being bnrdened:
not lor that zee 'eoitld be nnilothcd. but clothed upon, that mor-
tality might be szeallo-d'cd up of life.

Now he that hath lerought us for the selfsame thing is Crod,
'cclio also hath given unto us the earnest of the .Spirit.

/■'or [ am p( rsuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels,
nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able
to separate us from the love of God, 'whicli is in Christ fcsus
our Lord.

Ktenial (rod, our heavenly Father, whose heart goes out
in ajiprolialion and lo\-e to those who seek to do Thy will
and thus add to tlie sum of human happiness and deiiartinn
leave the world a little Itetter that the\' have li\x-d and

We thank Thee for the men whose characters and deeds
we are here to memorialize, men whose gifts and talents
fitteil them in an eminent degree for the onerous duties laid
upon them 1)\' their fellow-eiti/.ens. Let Thy blessing, we
beseeeli Thee, he upon this service, that those who shall
record their tribiue of love and respect ma>' inspire those who
shall come after them to faithful service.

We thank Thee for the hope of immortalitx' which lifts
us in our better moments to larger life and nobler deeds and
which bids us look for'v.ard to ,i brighter world be\'ond the

Proiccd/ito^s III llic House 9

confines of earth. Let Thine everlasting arms be about those
wlio mourn the loss of their dear ones, and in Thine own
good time bring them to dwell t(3gether in one of the many
mansions prepared for those who lci\-e the Lord, and Thine
be the praise forever. Amen .

Mr. Shkrm.vx. Mr. Speaker, I offer the resolutions which
I .send to the desk.

The Clerk read as follows:

Rcsoh'ed, That the lju.siness of the House be suspended an<l that oppor-
tunity be now afforded Jlenibers to pay tribute to the memory of Hon.
William H. Flack, late a Representative from the State of New York.

Resolved, That as a special mark of respect and esteem for Mr. FL-^CK,
the Hou.se, at the conclusion of these proceedings, adjourn.

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

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

The resolutions were unanimously agreed to.


Address of Mr. Sherman, of New York

Mr. .Speaker: W'illiaji Hexrv Flack, for two terms a
Member of this House, departed this life at his home in Malone,
X. Y., on the iiiiirning of February 2 last, in his forty-sixth
year. While the news of his decea.se did not come as a sur-
pri.se to his friends and acquaintances, it was nevertheless a
blow that brousjht to them heartfelt sorrow and deep sympathy
for those he left Isehind. antl for whom he entertained the love
of a husband and father, idealic in its character and profound
in its depth.

Mr. Fl.\.ck, because of his pliysical condition, had not, during
his incumbency of office, made the impress upon this Hou.se of
which he was capable, yet he e\-inced all the qualities of a capa-
ble legislator, and he certainly was an industrious Representa-
tive, especially in matters affecting his district. His fidelity,
his faithfulness, his manliness, his sturdy character were at
once apparent to those with whom he came in contact. Reared
to labor, and touching elbows in his younger days with men
whose range of thought was limited, he .sought a broader en-
vironment and soon attained it. His limited education was
no bar to his progress toward honorable distinction, and he
endeavored in every wa\', and with success, to broaden himself
intellectually. Possessed of a judgment accurate and keen, he
was a close and industrious student and reader, and soon began
to make au impress on the community in which he li\-ed. His

12 Memorial Addresses: Jl'i/liain Hoiry Flaek

political sagacity was unerring- and his advice, which was
freely sought, not alone on political but on other matters, was
as freely bestowed. In business as well as in politics he was
ruggedly honest and every pledge was kept. Those who knew
him are better for having known him and the comnnniit\' where
he lived is better for ha\-ing counted him as an integral and
component part.

Xo )nan can speak ill of him. Xo man can say he was un-
true to a trust or a promi.se. His every act, personally or of-
ficially, was the act of an honest man, and his memory will
abide with those who knew him as that of a man from every
standpoint. His heart, his brain, his endeavor v>-ere all as true
as the needle. Beloved Ijy his intimates, respected by his neigh-
bors and his constituents, admired by tho.se with knowledge of
his reputation, Mr. Flack went to meet his Maker with no
fear of the judgment and, I believe, with no wish that even one
page of his record as a man might be erased or altered .so far as
his relations with his fellow-men were concerned.

He believed in his Goil, in his country, in his home, and in
his friends. His effort was not for narrow betterment — the
betterment of the individual alone — but for the betterment
which affected the individuals and the ctMnmunit\- of which he
was a part. No trumpet announced his comings and goings,
but results told of his being there. He knew his own capacity-
and recognized his limitations. He used the former with judg-
ment and never attempted to go beyond the latter. He was
what he appeared — big of l)od\-, of heart, of brain; true to his
honest nistincts. Without effort .so to do, he made and retained
warm friends. They were drawn, to him by his splendid, manly
qualities, and they staxedwith him fromchoice. To ha\-e been
of his friends was a privilege, the memory of which will be
pleasing and lasting.

Address of Mr. Goii/dcii, of Xczc York 13

Address of Mr. Goulden, of New York

Mr, Speaker: Only those who knew \Villiam Henky
Flack intimately can appreciate the loss sustained by his
luitimely death. It was my good fortune to serve with him
on the Committee on the Merchant Marine and Fisheries during
two Congresses. Service of this character, and especially as
we both came from the Empire State, uiakes companions
of Members.

The late Mr. Flack was a genial, honorable, wholc-.souled
gentleman, a self-made man. He was born in 1861, hence at
his untimely death he was le.ss than 46 years of age — in the
prime of life. .Since his advent in this House his health had
been in rather a precarious condition. Xotwithstandinj; his
physical ailments he was faithful in the dischar.s;e of his duties,
plea.sant and agreeable in his intercourse with his associates.
Of him in his daily work the words of Emerson apph':

Life is too short to waste

The critic's bite or cynic's bark.
Quarrel or reprimand;

'Twill soon be dark:
Up! Jlind thine own aim, and

God speeil the mark.

Being honored by the Speaker with an appointment to attend
the funeral services of the late Mr. Flack, in common with
my colleagues on the committee, I had the opportunity of
observing hi.s standing in the commtniity iu which he was born
and lived.

Upon our arri\-al in Malone on the morning of February 5
a general gloom seemed to pervade the beautiful little moun-
tain city, the capital of Franklin County, X. Y. At noon all

14 Memorial Addresses: IVilliam Henry Flack

the places of Ijusiness closed and remained so imtil after the
funeral. The church was filled with his friends, and the
services, conducted hy four ministers of the gospel, of as many
different creeds, took part in the impressive ceremonies. His
Masonic brethren and other fraternal bodies were pre.sent in
large numbers. The scene was one ne\-er to be forgotten, and
made a lasting impression on his colleagues who were present.
An old friend of his, speaking to a member of the coiimiittee,
.said: " Fi,.\ck was a man in every sense of the word, a model
husband, a loving father, an obliging neighbor, and a kind,
true friend." This was the universal opinion as expres.sed by
friends and neighbors.

He has gone from among us, having cro.s.sed to the other
shore, in the full ho])e of a blessed immortality. We firmly
believe that our loss is his gain. It is a road that we must all
travel, for it is appointed inito man once to die. This decree
is unalterable: all nuist meet the destroyer — death. The
memory of the life and deeds of our late colleague is oius to
cherish and enuilate.

He .sleeps, but in that sleep lieneatU tlie sod

No (Ireani.s .shall come — those dreams that banish sleep;
No watchers then, naught save the eyes of God,

To watch his slumber long, and still, and deep.
Then mourn him not as dead — he can not die —

.\nd mourn him not as .sleeping in that day;
He wakes, he lives, not far in yonder .sky,

lint near us, though not seen, he walks to-d.iy.

His memory will ever abide with his friends, a benediction
and a blessing.

Address of Mr. Minor, of IViscoJisin 15

Address of Mr. Minor, of Wisconsin

Mr. Speaker: M>' acquaintance with our late respected
colleague, Hon. William H. Flack, found its beginning in
the early part of the Fifty-eighth Congress. As a Member
thereof, he was to begin his Congressional life that, so unfor-
tunately for himself and his country, terminated too briefly to
permit him to attain to the higher positions in the House of
Representatives that he certainly would have won had his
health permitted or his life been spared long enough to give
him the experience so nece.s.sary for a Representative in Con-
gress — an experience that can only come from long .service in
the House.

Brother Fl.'VCK was assigned to the Committee on the Mer-
chant Marine and Fisheries, of which I was, and had been for
several years, a member. Here it was that I formed his
acquaintance and learned to respect his sterling qualities. I
early discovered that he was not physically strong. It was
plain that he was a sick man; but his determination to perform
the duties of the position to which he had been assigned, in
spite of phy.sical infirmities, attracted mj' attention and com-
manded the admiration of all his as.sociates on the committee.

We knew that Brother Fl.a.ck attended meetings of the com-
mittee very often when, if he had given more thought to his
physical needs, he would have remained away; but with him it
was a contest between physical weakness and a mental deter-
mination to discharge the duties of his position; it was a ques-
tion that arose between a sick bed and his duty in the committee
room, and duty always won with him.

Brother Fl.\ck was among the most con.scientious of Mem-

1 6 Memorial Addresses: ll'i/liaiii Ileiirv Flack

hers, endowed with a struiij; iiiiiid and a high sense of jiublic
duty; he felt that lie could not evade any responsibihty that
came to him as a member of the conunittee or this House.

Moreover, he realized, as but few new Members do, that all
legislation, to be effective, beneficial, and just, must be care-
fully considered and formulated in the committee room.

Active, intelligent committee work is the foundation ujion
which rests the truly wise measures that govern, build up, and
expand the magnificent moral and industrial institutions of our
country of which we, as a ])eople, may feel justly jiroud.

These laws that are initiated and prepared largely in the
conunittee rooms, and .ilinost inxariably based upon the ])rin-
ciples of wi.sdom, equity, and justice to all men, hold within
their limits more than 80,000,000 of .sovereign people, the
equals of any on earth.

All this, and the truth of this, was ]ironiptly grasped by the
]mre and active mind and great heart of Brother Fi^.vck; not
becau.se of his long service in this national legislative body, for
he was just entering upon his first term; not Ijecause of a col-
lege education, for he had never enjoxed this Idessing; but be-
cause of his endowment with a mind that was ])ractical, :i mind
capable of grasping the logical rather than the theoretical
affairs of American citi/.eii.shiii.

Brother Fi.,\CK was not a man of high ])reten^ions or ot man\-
words, bul Ik- po.ssessed the facult\- of grasping the true situa-
tion as it presented itself, and this enabled him to cast his vote
and lend his influence for what invariably proved to l.)e the
right side of all (juestions that his brief .service permitted him
to aid in soU'ing.

His colleagues on the conunittee realized that for ;i beginner
in legislative work this Member fioni M.ilone, X. V., was nnich
above the average. ICvery Member of the House of Repre-

Address of M^r. Minor, of Jl'isconsiu \j

sentatives who chanced to enjoy liis acquaintance held him in
the highest esteem.

Tliere seemed to be a hidden and m\'sterions power not real-
ized by its possessor that unconsciously drew men to him; they
believed what he thought, even though his thoughts were not
expressed in many words. Men with such gifts are rare,
indeed, but wherever known, in whatever walk of life they are
found, their influence is well-nigli immeasurable, and this
influence is either for good or for evil.

Thanks to the Creator of the Universe for the loftj^ purposes,
pure mind, and love of justice so conspicuous in this man from
Malone, for with such a rich heritage all his might, mind, and
.strength were employed in the discharge of the most exalted
duties of husband, a father, a citizen, and a representative of
the people, whose confidence in him was unbounded.

Mr. Fl.\CK enjoyed the respect of the people in his home
town of Malone, X. Y., to a remarkable degree. I was im-
pressed with this fact from personal observation and coming in
contact with the citizens of Malone. I chanced to be one of the
members of the committee from this body who attended the
funeral of the deceased, and it was gratifying to me to listen
to the many testimonials offered by his fellow-townsmen; the
evidence was uuque.stioned that \\'ii.li-\m H. Fl.\CK was held
in the highest esteem by those who had known him the longest
and whose a.ssociations with him had been the closest.

Where can we look for better assurance of the true worth of
any man than in his own town and among his neighbors with
whom he has mingled for a long period of years?

I thought as I witnessed the sadness visible on every counte-
nance, the genuine mourning that pervaded the very atmos-
phere in Malone, that W. H. Fl.\ck was all that I had believed
him to be — a truly good man.
H. Doc. Sio, 59-2 2

i8 Memorial Addresses: ]\'illia»i Henry Flack

Mr. vSpeaker, William II. Flack, our l)elove(l colleagne, i.s
(lead: his life's burdens are cast off, his cares, his griefs, his
sorrows, his responsibilities, his joys and pleasures are all

He .sleeps, and there is no power to arou.se him till the
trunii>et shall sound that calls to the throne of Him who
reigns supreme over His children of the earth, there to receive
from His hand the final reward or chastisement according to
their deserts.

The body of \Villl\:\i H. Flack lies in the cemetery at
M alone.

The curtain has beer, let down between the living and the
dead, and behind that ini]ienetrable curtain all is mystery.

It is not given to mortal man jiositively to know the habi-
tation of a departed life; we know the tomb that holds the
body; we know not of the spirit that has departed, because no
man hath seen beyond the grave. We who believe in an all-
wise and just Ruler of the Universe, He who holds in his
hands the destiny of men, of nations, and the world, and all
therein, should be content to leave with him the solution of
life, death, and the eternity to follow.

'rhe\' who do right accordingl\' as they are given to see the
right, they who walk in the pathway that leads on lo the
better and noljler things of this life, who do good and avoid
evil deeds, who walk u])rightly before all men, doing unto
others as they would that others should do inito them, may
well alTord I" trust their futme de^tiuN- in the lian(l> of Him
who doelh all things well.

1 sincerel)' believe that these reciuirements were as nearly
met as the frailties of human kind can meet them b>- our late
beloved colleague, \\'ii.ll\m II. Im.ack.

Address of Mr. Beniicf, 1)/ XciO York 19

Address of Mr. Bennet, of New York

Mr. .Speaker: William H. Flack was liorn and lived
and died in PVanklin Ciiuiit\-, in the State of New York. To
those of us who come from tlie shifting; population of a large
city it is hard at times to comprehend the distinction which
public office confers in other portions of the State, where the
population is more .settled. The counties of Clinton, Essex,
Franklin, and St. Lawrence, which comprise the district repre-
sented here by Mr. Flack in the Fifty-eighth and Fifty-ninth
Congresses, do not choose their representatives to public office
lightly. Strongl\' Republican, a nomination there is usuall}-
equivalent to election. There ha\-e been many men there of
whom it can be .said, as of Mr. Flack, that their birth, their
life, and their deatli have all been within the limits of one
county. The habit of wandering is not strong, attachment to
the soil is great; consequently a man in public life there is
known to the voters, and even those who do not know him
personally know of him.

I read in the biography of our late colleague that he helil
.successively- the offices of supervi.sor (being chairman of the
board for two years), county clerk of Franklin County, chair-
man of the Republican county committee, trustee of the village
of Malone, and Representative in Congress. Had he not been
a man in the liest .sen.se of the word he would not have Ijeen so

Knowing, as I do, the character of the men in the northeast
portion of our State, a simple recital of the titles of these
offices means nuich to me. It is the most complete of eulogies.
I rememlier that from the same town of Malone came Con-

20 McDiorial Addresses: JV/7/iiii>! I/i i/ry Flack

gressman Wheeler, who in 1.S76 became Vice-President Wheeler;
and I remember the other many distinguished men who have

1 3

Online Library2d session United States. 59th CongressWilliam Henry Flack (late a representative from New York) Memorial addresses, Fifty-ninth Congress, second session, House of representatives, February 24, 1907, Senate of the United States, March 2, 1907 (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 3)