2d session United States. 59th Congress.

John Henry Ketcham (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 online

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Online Library2d session United States. 59th CongressJohn Henry Ketcham (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 → online text (page 1 of 5)
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John Henry Ketcham

(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


APR 8 1908
D. otD.




Proceedings in the House of Representatives 5

Prayer by Rev. Henry N. Couden, D. D 5,7

Memorial addresses —

Address by Mr. Payne, of New York 11

Address by Mr. Sherman, of New York 16

Address by Mr. Goulden, of New York 19

Address by Mr. Keifer, of Ohio 21

Address by Mr. Hull, of Iowa 27

Address by Mr. Parker, of New Jersey 30

Address by Mr. Fitzgerald, of New York 32

Address by Mr. Driscoll, of New York 3S

Address by Mr. Southard, of Ohio 43

Address by Mr. Parsons, of New York 49

Address by Mr. Bennet, of New York 51

Address by Mr. Cannon, of Illinois 53

Address by Mr. Grosvenor, of Ohio 55

Address by Mr. Knapp, of New York 56

Proceedings in the Senate 61

Address by Mr. Depew, of New York 65

Death of Representative John H. Ketcham


Monday, December J, igo6.

This being the day designated by the Constitution for the
annual meeting of Congress, the Members of the House of
Representatives assembled in their Hall for the second session
of the Fifty-ninth Congress, and at 12 o'clock m. were called
to order by the Speaker.

The Rev. Henry X. Couden, D. D., Chaplain of the House,
1 (ffered the following prayer :

Eternal God, our heavenly Father, source of all good, our
hearts instinctively turn to Thee for wisdom, strength, and
guidance as we thus gather from all sections of our Union here
under the Dome of its Capitol to conclude the work of the
Fifty-ninth Congress. We bless Thee for the laws with which
Thou hast surrounded us, for the intelligence with which Thou
hast endowed us, for the riches which have come down to us
out of the past, for the splendid opportunities of the present,
and for the bright hopes and promises of the future. Grant,
O most merciful Father, that these, Thy servants may strive
diligently to conform their resolves and harmonize their enact-
ments with the laws which Thou hast ordained.

Let Thy richest blessings descend upon the Speaker of this
House, that with characteristic zeal, energy, and courage he
may guide through all its deliberations to the highest and best


6 Proceedings in the House

Illumine from on high the minds of those who sit in judg-
ment upon the laws enacted by the Congress that their
decisions may be wise and just. Bless, we beseech 'Thee, the
President of these United States, liis advisers, and all others in
authority, that the affairs of state may be wisely administered
and the laws of the land faithfully executed, that the coordi-
nate branches of the Government, thus working together and
working with Thee, may fulfill in larger measure the ideals
conceived of our fathers in "a government of the people, by
the people, and for the people," that righteousness, truth,
justice, peace, and good will may obtain, to the honor and
glory of Thy holy name.

The empty seats on the floor of this House remind us of the
strong-minded, pure-hearted, noble men who occupied them,
but have been called to the higher life since last we met. We
thank Thee for their genial presence so long among us, the
work the> accomplished for State and nation, the sweet
memory and illustrious examples left behind them. Be very
near, O God, our Heavenly Father, to the bereaved families.
Uphold, sustain, and comfort them by the blessed hope of the
immortality of the soul.

Impart, we emplore Thee, more of Thyself unto us all, that
we may become indeed and in truth sons of the living God
after the similitude of Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord and
Master. Amen

Mr. Payne. Mr. Speaker, it becomes my sad duty to an-
nounce the death of the Hon. Johx H. Ketcham, one of the
oldest Members of the House by length of service. At some
future day I shall ask the House to set aside a time to pay
tribute to his memory. At this time I offer the following
resolution, which I send to the Clerk's desk.

Proceedings in the House 7

The Clerk read as follows:

Resolved, That the House has heard with profound sorrow of the
death of Hon. John H. Kktcham, a Representative from the State of
New York in seventeen Congresses.

The resolution was agreed to.

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

The resolutions were agreed to. Accordingly, in pursuance
thereof, the House (at 12 o'clock and 54 minutes) adjourned
until to-morrow at 12 o'clock noon.

Saturday, January 26, tqoj.

Mr. Payne. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent for the
adoption of the order which I send to the Clerk's desk.

The Speaker. The gentleman from New York asks unani-
mous consent to adopt the order which the Clerk will read.

The Clerk read as follows:

Ordered, That Sunday, February 24, 1 9. .7. at the conclusion of the
addresses on the life, character, and public services of Hon. H. C.
Adams, shall be set apart for memorial addresses on the life, character, and
public services of Hon. John H. Kktcham, late a Representative from
the Twenty-first Congressional district of the State of New York.

The Speaker. Is there objection?
There was no objection.

Sunday, February 24., rpoy.
The 1 1' >use met at to o'clock a. m.

Prayer by the Chaplain. Rev. Henry X. Couden, I>. D., as

Let nol your heart be troubled: ye believe in Cod. believe

also in me.

In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so,
I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. For
we know that if your 'earthly house of this tabernacle were

8 Proceedings in the House *

dissolved, we have an building of God, a house not made with

hands, eternal in the heavens.

For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with
our house which is from heaven:

If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.

For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened:
not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that
mortality might be swallowed up of life.

Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God,
who also hath ;jiven unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

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 Cod, which is in Christ Jesus
our Lord.

Eternal God, our heavenly Father, whose heart goes out in
Ipprobation and love to those who seek to do Thy will and
thus add to the sum of human happiness, and, departing, leave
the world a little better that they have lived and wrought.

We thank Thee for the men whose characters and deeds we
are here to memorialize, men whose gifts and talents fitted
them in an eminent degree for the onerous duties laid upon
them by their fellow-citizens. Let Thy blessing, we beseech
Thee, be upon this service, that those who shall record their
tribute of love and respect may inspire those who shall come
after them to faithful service.

We thank Thee for the hope of immortality which lifts us in
our better moments to larger life and nobler deeds, anil which
bids us look forward to a brighter world beyond the confines of
earth. Let Thine everlasting arms be about those -who mourn
the loss of their deal ones, and in Thine own good time bring

Proceedings in the House 9

them to dwell together in one of the many mansions prepared

for those who love the Lord, and Thine be the praise forever.

Mr. Payne. Mr. Speaker, I call up the resolutions which
I have sent to the Clerk's desk.

The Clerk read as follows:

Resolved, That the business of the House be now" suspended, thai

opportunity may be given for tributes to the memory of Hon. John II.
Kktcham, late a Member of this House fromjhe State of New York.
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 <>t' tile memorial exercises of this day shall
stand adjourned.

olved, That the Clerk communicate these resolutions t" the

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

The resolutions were unanimously agreed to.

Mr. Payne. Mr. Speaker, there were a number of gentle-
men who desired to take part in these exercises to-day who
are necessarily absent; but I understand general leave to
print has already been granted.

The SPEAKER pro tempore Mr. Knapp). The Chair is
informed that leave has already been granted.

Address of Mr. Payne, of New York

Address of Mr. Payne, of New York

Mr. Speaker: Johx H. KeTCHAM was born December 21,
1832, and had nearly reached the age of 74 years at the time of
his death last November. He was brought up in a very small
rural community, his father being a general storekeeper and
farmer. He was from English stock, his ancestors having
migrated to this country with the Pilgrim Fathers. His edu-
cation was in the district school and ill the academy, giving
him in those early days few advantages of education. He had,
however, the opportunity which falls to a boy on the farm of
self-education. He passed his boyhood working upon the farm
by day and studying at night. This gave him a vast amount
of information and a broad education, which contributed much
to his success in life. Afterwards he became a fanner, devel-
oping a marble quarry upon his farm, which brought out his
unusual capacity for business and genius for success.

At an early age he became a political leader in his town,
having been elected supervisor in i^.s,^, before he had attained
his twenty-first birthday. This office, of 110 mean importance
and a source of education, was held by Mr. K.KTCIIA.M until
he was elected to the State senate in 1N57. He was only 25
years of age at this time, and is said to have been the young-
est man who ever held this important position. He was
reelected to this office two years later.

In the summer of isoj he became interested in raisins;
troops, and soon raised a regiment, so great was his zeal and
industry. He was unanimously chosen colonel of this
ment. which was known as the One hundred and fiftieth

12 Memorial Addresses: John Henry Ketcham

New York Infantry Volunteers. He had no previous military
experience, but by his close study of military affairs he soon
gained the education and experience which fitted him to become
a model officer. His regiment took an active part in the battle
of Gettysburg, and here General Kktciiam was severely
wounded. Afterwards he joined General Sherman in the
fame his march to the sea, and was again wounded at Argyle
Island, in the Savannah River. The surgeon ordered an
amputation of his leg to save his life, but Colonel Kktciiam
resisted this, preferring to take his chances of death rather
than go through life with a single limb. As a result of
this wound he was not able to return to the Army. I have
ol ,taiiied from the Office of The Military Secretary a state-
ment i if his service, which is as follows:

War Department,
The Military Secretary's Office.
Statement of the military service oj Bvt. Maj. Gen. John II. Ketcham,
formerly colonel One hundred and fiftieth New York Infantry Volun-
teers, and brigadier-general of volunteers.

It is shown by the official records ili.it John H. Ketch \m was mustered
into service October 11. 1862, as colonel of the One hundred ami fiftieth
New York Infantry Volunteers, to serve three years; that he was present
with his regiment to Decembei jl, [863, and that on January 31, 1864, in
addition to the command of his regiment, he was commanding a detach-
ment of the Third Brigade, hirst Division, Twelfth Army Corps.

It appears that in January, 1S64, several soldiers on duty in the Depart-
ment of the -Cumberland were murdered by guerrillas and that a tax was
levied upon the property of all disloyal citizens living within a circuit of
[0 miles of the place of the murder, and that the proceeds of the tax were
divided among the dependent families, if the murdered soldiers. On Feb-
ruary 16, 1S64, Colonel Ketcham was commended for the manner in
which he had discharged his portion of the duties in connection with the
1 1 hi of the tax and was designated to proceed to the State of New
York with a portion of the money so collected, to be divided between the
families of two of the soldiers so murdered. The records show that he
was absent from his regiment on duty on February 29, [864.

After his return to the regiment he was present with it until October 15,
1S64, when he received a leave of absence, from which he returned Decem-
ber 19, 1S64. On December 21, 1.S64, while in command of his regiment,

Address of Mr. Payne, of New York 13

he was severely wounded in the thigh in battle near Savannah, Ga.
A leave of absence for thirty days was granted him January 1 1, 1S65, on
account of the wound so received, and the leave '>f absence was extended
for twenty days on surgeon's certificate of disability.

< in March 2, 1865, he tendered his resignation in letter of that date, in
which he stated that he had been in the military service for two and one-
half years to his j;reat pecuniary disadvantage; that he had been elected
.1 Member of the next Congress, and that he was therefore reluctantly
compelled to tender his resignation in order that he might in the mean-
time attend to his family and his business. His resignation was accepted,
and he was honorably discharged in orders dated March 2, 1865.

He was brevetted brigadier-general of volunteers December 6, 1864;
was assigned to duty according to his brevet rank in orders dated January
12, 1S65, and was brevetted major-general of volunteers March 13, [865,
both brevets being conferred for gallant and meritorious service during
the war.

It is also shown by the records that lie was appointed a brigadier-general
of volunteers October 23, 1865, to rank from April \ , 1S65; that he ai
the appointment December 1, 1865; that he resigned December 2, [865,
and that his resignation was accepted in orders dated December 5, 1N65,
to take effect December 2, 1S65.

In connection with the recommendations for his appointment as briga-
dier-general of volunteers numerous favorable and highly commendatory
statements relative to hi- military services were made by his commanding
officers. On August 7, [863, Brig. Gen. Henry H. Lockwood stated as

|i ill'iW s

"Col..nel KeTCHAM served in my brigade at the battle before Gettys-
burg with great credit. He was conspicuous for gallantry and good con-
duct and handled his regiment with skill and ability."

On September 1. 1863, Maj. Gen. Robert C. Schenck referred to the
service of Colonel KETCHAM in the following language:

"He was in my command for six months befoi tnsferred with

his regiment to the Army of the Potomac, and all the while under my
immediate observation, and in every respect, in all the relations of an
officer and gentleman, he proved himself possessed of qualities entitling
him to confidence and esteem."

t >n September 2'). [863, Brig. Gen. A. S. Williams, commanding the
First Division, Twelfth Army Corps, stated as follows:

"Colonel Ketcham has been under my command from the battle of
Gettysburg, inclusive, to this time-. He is an energetic, faithful, and capa
hie officei Ills attention to his duties is marked by superior judgment
and professional know

Under date November^ to, 1863, Maj. Gen. H. W. Slocum, commanding
the Twelfth Corps. Army of the Cumberland, stated tint l

SAW was under his command at the battle of Gettysburg when the

14 Memorial Addresses: John Henry Ketcham

regiment, although comparatively new, did excellent service and was
handled by Colonel KETCHAM with much skill. General Slocum also
stated that on all occasions since joining the corps Colonel KETCHAM
had given evidence of possessing those traits of character most necessary
to success as a military man.

On November 3, 1864, Colonel Ketcham was recommended by Maj.
Gen. George H. Thomas, commanding the Department of the Cumber-
land, for appointment as brevet brigadier-general of volunteers. In sub-
mitting the recommendation General Thomas stated that it was made
because of gallant and faithful service in the field in the campaign against
Atlanta, a campaign as unprecedented as it was brilliant ; that his service
entitled him to honorable recognition by the Government, for whose main-
tenance he dared and accomplished so much. General Thomas stated
further that the recommendation was made because of the officer's effi-
ciency in command of his regiment, his uniform gallantry in all the battles
of the campaign, and his soldierly qualities, evinced both in the discipline
of his command and in the ready and prompt manner in which he had
always performed his duty.

By authority of the Secretary of War :


The Military Secretary.

While General Kktcham was still at the front with General
Sherman, he was nominated and elected to the Thirty-eighth
Congress. He served at this time five consecutive terms, but
was beaten for the Forty-third Congress, in 1873, during the
Greeley campaign. The contest between himself and Hon.
John K. Whitehouse was a memorable one, which has not been
forgotten throughout the Empire State. General Ketcham
was then appointed a Commissioner of the District of Columbia
by President Grant, and in this office accomplished some of the
most important work of his life. He brought to the office his
wonderful and untiring industry and business tact. He was a
real friend of the District and his administration was heartily
approved by the leading citizens of Washington. At the end
of four years he resigned, having been elected to the Forty-fifth
Congress. He held office for nine successive terms and de-
clined a nomination for the Fifty-third Congress. Subsequently
he returned to the Fifty-sixth Congress and had served con-

Address of Mr. Payne, of New York 15

tinuously since. Although his service was not continuous, he
was here for thirty-four years, probably the longest service of
any man who had ever been a Member of the House of Repre-

I met some of his constituents at Saratoga in October last,
who told me that the "old General" was confined to his bed
and would probably die ; but they said the convention would
meet in his district the following week and, if there was a breath
of life in his body, they would renominate him by acclamation.
They showed an honest, heartfelt pride in this act of loyalty
and devotion to one who had been so long their chief. He
was renominated, but died on the first Sunday in November,
two days before election.

General Ketcham was a generous, warm-hearted, liberal
man. He would go further to do a favor for a friend than any
other man whom I have ever known. He was loyal and
devoted to his own party, but generous and kind to those who
opposed him. Frequently the opposition made no nomination
against him. Often it was said that both party conventions
contained only the loyal and devoted friends of General
Ketcham. He had good common sense, business sagacity.
and prudence. He was a quiet man. who never took the time
of the House in debate, but whose advice and opinions were
sound. (

He was married in 1858 to Augusta Belden, to whom four
children were born, three of whom, with his widow, now sur-
vive the General.

He had a warm place in the affections of all the people of
his district, and his loss was greatly mourned. He had many
friends on both sides of this Chamber, especially among those
who had served with him long and knew him well. He left
behind him the record of a long, busy, useful, and marvelously
successful life.

16 Memorial Addresses: John Henry Ketcham

Address of Mr. Sherman, of New York

Mr. Speakek : To l>ear the burden of years cheerfully,
patiently, resignedly, and uncomplainingly is a crown of glory
of its own. When a man nears the goal of threescore and ten,
he must, perforce, stop to think of that which lies beyond ;
take stock of what life has brought to him and ponder on
what is to come.

To some this brings sorrow and grief; the parting seems all
ton near. To others it brings profound joy, because of phys-
ical or mental ailments, or because of a deep and abiding faith
it seems useless or painful to tarry longer here. But he who
approaches the mysterious change calmly, bravely, and cheer-
fully, whose physique and well-spent life enable him to con-
tinue those habits of industry acquired in days gone by ; to
meet his friends and associates each day as genially and as
pleasantly as, when a youth, life was full of promise; to fear
neither the presence of the messenger of death nor seek a
nearer acquaintance with him — such an one is to be admired
and beloved and must necessarily attract his younger associates
as an example when their burden grows heavier year by year
and the end of the struggle, perhaps not yet in sight, still
reposes just a littk wa\ over j-onder hill.

Let us not forget this lesson and this example when to-day
we pay tribute to the memory of our beloved colleague. John
H. KETCHAM. In him were found these qualities to a singular
degree. He was a valiant warrior. Death nor life possessed
tenor for him. During all his years he had faced every situa-
tion as it arose. To meet it, to encounter it. to triumph over
it was his custom and his delight. Through poverty to distin-

Address of Mr. Sherman, of New York 17

guished honors he progressed, steadily and unchanged. His
kindly, genial manner never forsook him. His industry never
tired. His faithfulness to private or public trust went unchal-
lenged. His big heart, filled to the brim with human kind-
ness, withered not. His patriotism and love of country
responded to the call to arms and his spurs were won on the
field of battle, simply to be laid away as mementos of duty done
and not as evidence for self-exaltation or as souvenirs to
humiliate a vanquished foe.

At his home, as a neighbor and a friend, he was a father
to the young, an elder brother to the middle-aged, and a
companion and comforter to those who had longest known
him. In his district he was a champion to whom all appealed,
irrespective of party, and no appeal went unanswered. Iu
this Hall he performed service worthy of his country and
himself, and at the same time gave to us all an inspiration
that the pathway toward the valley was not one to be trod
in fear or loneliness.

Now that he has departed we miss him much. We sorrow
because we shall never more meet and greet him, but we
more than ever appreciate and realize what he was to us,
what this House and his district suffers in his loss. Honest,
faithful, true, and loyal, he was a pillar of strength to be
counted upon iu calm or storm.

It were needless to speak in detail of General Ketciiam's
work. The records of his thirty-four years of service in
Congress will carry these details down to posterity. It were
useless to tell of his achievements for his district. No man
lives there but can tell of them. It were waste of time to
recount his heroic deeds during three long years of weary
inarching, bloody battles, and starvation camps in the civil
II. Doc. 811, 59-2 2*

[8 Memorial Addresses: fnlm Henry Ketcham

war, for in the archives of the great granite building at the
utlier end of the avenue they rest secure, to be read and
admired by his children's children. In every position which
he occupied General Ketcham made a record. He placed
himself squarely and clearly on every proposition, and now
that he is gone that record, like his memory, lives to stimu-
late and to beckon us onward to nobler aspirations and
higher ambitions.

I can not better close my weak tribute to our departed friend
than by reading the following in eulogy of him from the
Hudson i N. V. ) Republican:

('■in. John H. KETCH \m was of the old sohool. He learned his politics
from the old masters. ( »ver fifty years of public service have brought him
to his grave with an unsullied name. Sincere in his ways and honest in
his methods, he stands out like the fir tree in the forest. What hosts of
men have gone to Congress since he first went, climbed to the to]., and

1 3 4 5

Online Library2d session United States. 59th CongressJohn Henry Ketcham (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 → online text (page 1 of 5)