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Full text of "William Richardson (late a representative from Alabama) Memorial addresses delivered in the House of representatives of the United States, Sixty-third Congress, third session. Proceedings in the House January 31, 1915"

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(Late a Representative from Alabama) 






Proceedings in the House 
January 31, 1915 

Proceedings in the Senate 
April 1, 1914 





D. of D. 
MAR 31 1916 




Proceedings in the House 5-43 

Prayer by Rev. Henry N. Couden, D. D 6,8 

Memorial addresses by — 

Mr. Christopher C. Harris, of Alabama 11 

Mr. James R. Mann, of Illinois 17 

Mr. William C. Adamson, of Georgia 20 

Mr. Everis A. Hayes, of California 23 

Mr. Richard W. Austin, of Tennessee 25 

Mr. John L. Burnett, of Alabama 29 

Mr. Thetus W. Sims, of Tennessee 32 

Mr. J. Thomas Heflin, of Alabama 35 

Mr. S. Hubert Dent, jr., of Alabama 37 

Mr. Joseph W. Byrns, of Tennessee 39 

Mr. John W. Abercrombie, of Alabama 42 

Mr. Oscar W. Underwood, of Alabama 47 

Proceedings in the Senate 49-50 

Tributes by the — 

Committee on Pensions of the House 51 

Governor of Alabama 52 

Board of Commissioners of Huntsville, Ala 54 

Huntsville Bar Association 54 

Huntsville (Ala.) Mercury-Banner 55 

Judge Edward B. Almon, of Tuscumbia, Ala. 56 



Proceedings in the House of Representatives 

Tuesday, March 31, 191k. 

Mr. Underwood. Mr. Speaker, it is my sad duty to an- 
nounce to the House the death of my colleague, the Hon. 
William Richardson, of Alabama, who died this after- 
noon at 3 o'clock at Atlantic City, N. J. 

At another time I shall ask the House to set aside a day 
upon which to hold services in respect to his memory. I 
now oif er a resolution, which I send to the Clerk's desk. 

The Speaker. The gentleman from Alabama [Mr. 
Underwood] offers a resolution, which the Clerk will 

The Clerk read as follows : 

Resolved, That the House has heard with profound sorrow of 
the death of Hon. William Richardson, a Representative from the 
State of Alabama. 

Resolved, That a committee of 20 Members of the House, with 
such Members of the Senate as may be joined, be appointed to 
attend the funeral. 

Resolved, That the Sergeant at Arms of the House be authorized 
and directed to take such steps as may be necessary for carrying 
out the provisions of these resolutions, and that the necessary 
expense in connection therewith be paid out of the contingent 
fund of the House. 

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

The Speaker. The question is on agreeing to the reso- 

The resolution was unanimously agreed to. 


Memorial Addresses : Representative Richardson 

The Speaker. The Chair announces the following com- 
mittee on the part of the House to attend the funeral: 
Mr. Taylor of Alabama, Mr. Burnett, Mr. Dent, Mr. Black- 
mon, Mr. Abercrombie, Mr. Adamson, Mr. Johnson of 
Kentucky, Mr. Carr, Mr. Key of Ohio, Mr. Stedman, Mr. 
Walsh, Mr. Dupre, Mr. Mann, Mr. Stevens of Minnesota, 
Mr. Esch, Mr. J. R. Knowland, Mr. Sells, Mr. Greene of 
Vermont, Mr. Kiess of Pennsylvania, and Mr. Murdock. 

Mr. Underwood. Mr. Speaker, I offer a further reso- 

The Speaker. The gentleman from Alabama offers 
another resolution, which the Clerk will report. 

The Clerk read as follows: 

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

The Speaker. The question is on agreeing to the reso- 

The resolution was unanimously agreed to; accordingly 
(at 7 o'clock and 35 minutes p. m.) the House adjourned 
until to-morrow, Wednesday, April 1, 1914, at 12 o'clock 

Wednesday, April 1, 191k. 
The House met at 12 o'clock noon. 

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

O Thou infinite, eternal source of life and light and love, 
we bless Thee for the profound faith which brings us to 
Thee for consolation in sorrow and grief, for the hope 
which penetrates the veil and gives us a glimpse of the 
bright beyond. Questions of great moment pertaining 
to the now may divide us in honest judgment, but the 
death of one of our number unites us in sorrow and 
sympathy. A picturesque, sturdy, noble, patriotic soul 
has been called from the scenes of this life to the realms 


Proceedings in the House of Representatives 

of eternity. His work is done, and well done. He leaves 
behind him a worthy record, which has well fitted him 
for a place of usefulness in a sphere of activities beyond. 
We bless Thee for his life, his work, his example. May 
his memory live in our hearts and inspire us to faithful 
service. Comfort us, his many friends, and the dear 
children he leaves behind him, with the blessed hope of 
the immortality of the soul, where in a brighter realm 
love will meet love, to dwell together forever; and Thine 
be the praise, through Him who taught us to put our trust 
in Thee, our God, and our Father. Amen. 

The Journal of the proceedings of yesterday was read. 

Monday, January 4, 1915. 

Mr. Underwood. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent 
for the present consideration of the order which I send 
to the Clerk's desk. 

The Speaker. The gentleman asks unanimous consent 
for the present consideration of a resolution, which the 
Clerk will report. 

The Clerk read as follows : 

Resolved, That Sunday, January 31, 1915, be set apart for 
services upon the life, character, and public services of Hon. 
Joseph F. Johnston, late a Senator from the State of Alabama, 
and of the Hon. William Richardson, late a Representative from 
the State of Alabama. 

The Speaker. Is there objection? 
There was no objection. 
The resolution was agreed to. 


Memorial Addresses : Representative Richardson 

Sunday, January 31, 1915. 

The House met at 12 o'clock noon and was called to 
order by Mr. Underwood, Speaker pro tempore. 

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

Infinite and eternal energy, our God and our Father, out 
of whose heart came life and all its possibilities, the 
wisdom that illumines, the faith that sustains, the hope 
that cheers, the love which binds us together into friend- 
ship and families; we are here to-day because of these 
indissoluble ties in memory of two souls who have an- 
swered the summons and passed into the great beyond 
from whence no traveler returns. To recall their deeds, 
sing their praises is to put an estimate on their virtues. 
We thank Thee that the good in man lives to inspire 
others to the nobler virtues. These men were chosen 
servants of the people because in them was ability, in- 
tegrity, honesty, zeal, high ideals, and lofty purposes, and 
though they have passed on they live in the hearts of their 
countrymen. May those who knew- and loved them best 
look forward to a reunion in one of the Father's many 
mansions where the ties of friendship and love will never 
again be severed. And songs of praises we will ever give 
to Thee in the name of Him who taught us faith, hope, 
love. Amen. 

The Speaker pro tempore. The Clerk will read a letter 
from the Speaker. 

The Clerk read as follows : 

„ ^ January 29, 1915. 

Hon. South Trimble, 

Clerk of the House: 

I hereby designate Hon. Oscar W. Underwood, of Alabama, as 

Speaker pro tempore to preside on Sunday, January 31, 1915. 

Your friend, 

Champ Clark. 


Proceedings in the House of Representatives 

The Speaker pro tempore. Without objection, the ap- 
proval of the Journal of yesterday will be postponed until 
to-morrow. [After a pause.] The Chair hears none. The 
Clerk will read the special order. 

The Clerk read as follows : 

On motion of Mr. Underwood, by unanimous consent, 
Ordered, That Sundaj', January 31, 1915, be set apart for 

services upon the lives, character, and public services of Hon. 

Joseph F. Johnston, late a Senator from the State of Alabama, 

and Hon. William Richardson, late a Representative from the 

State of Alabama. 

Mr. Blackmon assumed the chair as Speaker pro 

Mr. Underwood. Mr. Speaker, I offer the resolutions 
which I send to the Clerk's desk. 

The Clerk read as follows: 

Resolved, That the business of the House be now suspended 
that an opportunity may be given for tribute to the memory of the 
Hon. Joseph F. Johnston, late a Member of the United States 
Senate from the State of Alabama, and to the memory of the Hon. 
William Richardson, late a Member of the House of Representa- 
tives from the State of Alabama. 

Resolved, That as a further mark of respect to the memory of 
the deceased and in recognition of their eminent abilities as dis- 
tinguished public servants, the House at the conclusion of these 
memorial proceedings shall stand adjourned. 

Resolved, That the Clerk communicate these resolutions to the 

Resolved, That the Clerk be instructed to send a copy of these 
resolutions to the families of the deceased. 

Mr. Underwood. Mr. Speaker, I move the adoption of 
the resolutions. 

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



Address of Mr. Harris, of Alabama 

Mr. Speaker : There are occasions when the inmost feel- 
ings of the heart may find but poor expression in mere 
words. Especially is this true in moments of exalted joy 
or in the hour of personal grief, and it is with the latter 
emotion that I rise to pay my humble tribute to the 
memory of one whom I had the privilege of counting as 
a cherished friend. We were born in adjoining counties 
in the State of Alabama, and our later lives were spent in 
cities but 25 miles apart. In our youth the same blue 
bending skies smiled upon us, our hearts thrilled to the 
same emotions, our eyes fed on the same delightful scenes, 
and our ears drank in the same music of the crooning 
minor strains that softly came from the lips of the simple 
negroes who picked the snowy harvest of our cotton fields 
or gathered the golden ears of the ripened corn. When 
the dark clouds of war burst in their fury over the land we 
loved we donned the same uniform and fought for the 
same principles, and when at last the cause we both had 
bled for was lost we returned to our homes to face the 
same duties and to solve the same problems. Both of us 
chose the law as our profession, and, living in the same 
circuit, practiced in the same courts for many years. So 
when William Richardson died I lost not only my Repre- 
sentative in the Congress of the United States, but a 
brother lawyer, a companion in arms, and a lifelong 
friend. It is therefore with a heavy heart that I approach 
this duty, a duty which stirs many memories of the past 
and brings to recollection the personality of one of the 


Memorial Addresses : Representative Richardson 

bravest, truest, noblest sons that Alabama ever gave to 
the world. 

Rut few men in this House, and but few living in this 
day and generation, can realize and understand the tre- 
mendous difficulties and almost unsurmountable obstacles 
which confronted a young man of Judge Richardson's 
age when the Civil War closed. 

Reared in riches and luxury up until about 18 years of 
age, when he enlisted in the Confederate Army, with his 
education only fairly commenced, he emerged from that 
terrible war to return home to find the beautiful sur- 
roundings which he left in devastation and ruin, with all 
species of property swept away except the land, and with- 
out hope of help from any quarter to face the uninviting 
future, and you may be sure it took a brave heart and 
resolute mind for him to overcome such difficulties and 
build up such a splendid record which he has left to the 

William Richardson was born in Athens, Ala. His 
father and mother were natives of Virginia. His mother 
was the daughter of Capt. Nicholas Davis, also a Vir- 
ginian by birth, who became a distinguished citizen of 
Limestone County, Ala., and who was a member of the 
convention that met in Huntsville to draft the constitution 
under which Alabama was admitted as a State in 1819. 
Capt. Davis was a boyhood friend of Henry Clay and a 
lifelong supporter of that great statesman. On his father's 
side Judge Richardson was the descendant of a distin- 
guished family of lawyers and planters. 

As a boy William Richardson was educated in the 
schools of Athens, Ala., and later in Wesleyan University 
of Florence. When only a little over 16 years of age he 
enlisted in the Confederate Army as a private, but was 
soon promoted to ;> captaincy for conspicuous gallantry. 
He was severely wounded at the battle of Shiloh and was 
made a prisoner of war, but upon his recovery escaped, 

Address of Mr. Harris, of Alabama 

and after much hardship made his way to Nashville, 
Tenn. From there he attempted to get through the Union 
lines to rejoin his command. His companion in this 
attempt was James Paul, a daring Confederate spy, of 
whose identity young Richardson was in complete igno- 
rance. The two were captured by Union soldiers, and 
incriminating papers being found on the person of Paul, 
both were taken to Murfreesboro, Tenn., imprisoned, 
court-martialed, and condemned to be shot. On the very 
night before the morning set for their execution they were 
rescued by that wizard of the saddle, Gen. Nathan B. 
Forrest, who had learned of their capture, and with a 
force of 1,100 men suddenly attacked the town, forced 
his way to the prison, released the captives, and escaped 
with them. 

Capt. Richardson was again seriously wounded, at 
Chickamauga, where he lay on the battle field for six days 
and was kept alive during this time by his faithful negro 
servant. Before his full recovery Gen. Lee had sur- 
rendered and young Richardson returned to his Alabama 
home. He studied law, was admitted to the bar, and soon 
gained an enviable reputation as a brilliant advocate and 
an eloquent speaker. Entering the field of politics, he was 
elected a member of the State legislature from his native 
county in 1874. Soon thereafter he removed to Huntsville, 
and in 1875 became probate judge of Madison County, 
which office he held until 1886. In 1890 he became a 
candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor, 
and in the convention at Montgomery, although one of the 
leading candidates, having carried every county in the 
State north of Birmingham, he withdrew his name in 
order to harmonize the factional differences of his party. 

From 1886 until he was elected to Congress in 1900 he 

practiced his profession and was recognized as one of the 

ablest lawyers in the State. His natural eloquence and 

analytical mind* made him especially effective in jury 


Memorial Addresses : Representative Richardson 

cases, and he was ranked by many of his brother lawyers 
as one among the leading criminal lawyers in Alabama. 

On the 2d of July, 1900, Judge Richardson was nomi- 
nated for the short term in Congress to succeed Gen. 
Wheeler, resigned, and from his election in the following 
November to the day of his death, March 31, 1914, he 
served the people of the eighth congressional district of 
Alabama in this House. That he served his people faith- 
fully and well is perhaps best attested by the fact that for 
almost 14 years he had practically no opposition. Seldom 
is such universal approbation given to a public servant, 
and perhaps seldom has it been so well deserved. Of his 
service to the country while a member of this body I 
need not speak. Almost all of the Members present served 
with him and know of his ability, his loyalty, his justice, 
and his absolute freedom from prejudice and narrowness 
of mind. His services as chairman of the Committee on 
Pensions gained for him the esteem and approbation of 
his colleagues, irrespective of party lines. Democrats, 
Republicans, and Progressives alike admired him for his 
courage, his ability, his integrity, and his patriotism. 
Sectional prejudice found no room in his great heart, and 
the veterans who had worn the blue always found in him 
a sympathetic companion and a staunch friend. 

Before he had reached manhood's meridian Judge 
Richardson had the great misfortune to lose his beloved 
wife, and thenceforth his private life was devoted to the 
tender care of his five children — four daughters and a 
son. His devotion to his children was beautiful and only 
equaled by theirs to him. Strong and fearless as a man, 
as a father he was all tenderness and love, and perhaps 
the only pride he ever exhibited was that called forth by 
his children. May the grief which still wrings the hearts 
of those children be softened by the gentle hand of time 
to a blessed and hallowed memory to serve as a guide 
and a benediction to the end of their days. 


Address of Mr. Harris, of Alabama 

Judge Richardson's service to the district which he so 
well represented in this House will never be forgotten by 
his constituents. At a recent meeting of the Tennessee 
River Improvement Association, held in the city of 
Decatur, Ala., on the 3d day of December, the following 
preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted: 

Whereas since the last annual meeting of this association the Hon. 
William Richardson, one of its most influential and active 
members, has passed into the beyond: Therefore be it 
Resolved by the delegates assembled in annual meeting of the 
Tennessee Fiver Improvement Association, That the death of Judge 
Richardson is a great loss to this association and a deep sorrow 
to each and all of its members, and that we hereby express our 
appreciation of his wise counsel and earnest endeavors in behalf 
of the purposes and object of this association upon the floor of 
our conventions, before the Rivers and Harbors Committee of the 
Congress of the United States, and as an influential Member of 
Congress from the eighth district of Alabama, where his fund of 
accurate and useful information and his aptness in communicat- 
ing the same was of untold value in our battle for recognition by 
Congress of the commercial value of the Tennessee River. 

Resolved further, That in sorrow we miss his presence here 
to-day. He was a chivalrous, loyal, broad-minded, courtly, and 
lovable gentleman. 

Resolved finally, That these resolutions be spread on the minutes 
of this association, and that a copy be sent to members of his 
family and be published as the secretary of this association may 

Mr. Speaker, the ranks are growing very thin now, the 
ranks of men with eyes growing dim and hair grown gray, 
who served in that great fraternal struggle which tried 
their souls, the ranks of the veterans of the Civil War. I 
miss them sadly as they fall out, one by one, at the stern 
command of death. A feeling of loneliness creeps over 
those of us who still are left, and the thought comes to me 
that not very many days are left before we, too, must hear 
the soft, sweet notes of " taps." And yet I know that 

4095°— 15 2 [15] 

Memorial Addresses : Representative Richardson 

the old veterans are still unafraid. They do not believe 
with the orator who said that — 

Every life, no matter if its every hour is rich with love and 
every moment jeweled with a joy, will at its close become a 
tragedy as sad and deep and dark as can be woven of the warp 
and woof of mystery and death. 

For them death is no tragedy deep and dark, for I know 
they believe that for him who suffers it is but the opening 
of a portal to the dawn of a grander, richer, more glorious 
existence, and that when the final summons comes to each 
of them in turn he may be sure that his loving comrades 
who have gone before will meet him with outstretched 
spirit hands to clasp again the hand of him they loved on 
earth and bid him welcome as he touches the unknown 
shore. And so believing, I say in all hope and in all 
reverence to my companion in arms and friend, good-by, 
good-by, until we meet again. 


Address of Mr. Mann, of Illinois 

Mr. Speaker: During my 18 years of service in this 
House Alabama has had an exceedingly strong represen- 
tation both upon this floor and upon the floor of the 
Senate. I shall not recount the names of the distinguished 
gentlemen who have represented that State here and in 
the Senate, but I am very sure that during that period of 
time no other State has had a stronger representation than 
the State of Alabama, and I doubt very much whether any 
other State on the average has had the same degree of 
capacity in its membership in the two bodies as the State 
of Alabama, and I am glad to say that I think the strength 
of the representation of the State in the two bodies will 
continue. We are about to send from this House to the 
other body one of the strongest men who has ever sat in 
either body, and I believe the system which they have 
in that State of returning many of their strong men has 
been a great benefit to the country, and among the men 
who have been sent by that State there has been no other 
one who had a gentler soul, a sweeter disposition, and a 
more pleasing companionship than Mr. Richardson. I 
had the honor of serving with him for many years on the 
Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce during 
a time when that committee had charge of many im- 
portant matters of legislation. The Revenue-Cutter 
Service was reorganized; the Public Health Service was 
reorganized; the Lighthouse Service was reorganized; 
the Life-Saving Service was greatly extended; the De- 
partment of Commerce and Labor was created; the 
Bureau of Corporations was organized; the powers of 
the Interstate Commerce Commission were made ade- 


Memorial Addresses : Representative Richardson 

quate; the Panama Canal was provided for and largely 
constructed, and in all of these matters Mr. Richardson 
had very great prominence. He was in the minority dur- 
ing that time, but in that great committee partisan con- 
siderations do not have very much influence, and the 
advice and help of Mr. Richardson were constantly sought 
and always freely given. 

His disposition was of such a character that all who 
knew him loved him, and those who came most closely 
in contact with him loved him most. He and I served 
on several conference committees where the difficulties 
were many, and it was through his influence and help that 
many of the good things in the legislation which came 
from our committee were enacted into law. 

When he died I was a member of the committee ap- 
pointed by this body to attend the funeral exercises. It is 
the only time I have left the House on an occasion of that 
character. It was a source of pride to me to be there when 
the final obsequies were enacted. I myself do not look 
with dread upon death. Mr. Richardson had lived a long 
and useful life. He was entitled to leave us and go to the 
other world and be at rest. And at these funeral exer- 
cises one of the most affecting scenes which I have ever 
witnessed occurred. At practically the close the ex- 
Confederate veterans, who were there to pay their tribute 
to their comrade, formed in line and marched around 
the burial plot— old men who had served as comrades of 
Mr. Richardson in the great struggle. And among these 
men was a Senator of the United States, Senator Thornton, 
of Louisiana, a member of the Senate committee, and 
bringing up the rear of the procession, as one of the men 
who had taken, at least, a humble part, was an old colored 
man — a procession of old men who had taken part in the 
war, composed of those who loved him, and paying their 
last tribute to him, from a distinguished Senator of the 


Address of Mr. Mann, of Illinois 

United States to a humble colored laborer. All who knew 
him loved him, whether of high or low degree. And there 
can be no more pleasant recollection for those who remain 
behind than to know that the one who has departed has 
been revered, respected, and loved by all. 


Address of Mr. Adamson, of Georgia 

Mr. Speaker: It is not my purpose to speak of Senator 
Johnston, although I knew him well and loved him well, 
personally and officially, for 10 or 15 years, and greatly 
admired his character and great ability. I was more 
intimately associated, however, with Judge Richardson, 
of whom I wish to speak. 

Mr. Speaker, although Judge Richardson was illustrious 
in the State of Alabama and to a large extent known 
throughout the Union before he came to Congress, I had 
never enjoj^ed the pleasure of his personal acquaintance 
until he succeeded the late lamented Gen. Wheeler in 
Congress as the Representative of the eighth district of 
Alabama. During that term I became acquainted with 
him and was glad when at the beginning of the next term 
he became associated with me on the great Committee on 
Interstate and Foreign Commerce of the House. 

His industry, his great talents, and wide learning, with 
his discriminating legal mind, admirably fitted him for 
usefulness on that committee. From the beginning he 
took a leading part in its deliberations, grappling with 
masterful familiarity the manifold and multifarious ques- 
tions involving every phase, condition, and instrumen- 
tality of interstate and foreign commerce. It was his lot 
to participate in some of the most important legislation 
that has marked the development of this great country in 
the last half century, in all of which he did his part and 
did it well, like a man, a lawyer, a patriot, and a states- 

At the beginning of the Sixty-second Congress, when 
the Democrats organized the House, Judge Richardson 
was made chairman of the Committee on Pensions, but 


Address of Mr. Adamson, of Georgia 

continued his membership on the Committee on Inter- 
state and Foreign Commerce until the end of that Con- 
gress, when a rule was adopted limiting eligibility to 
membership on one of the large committees. Thereupon, 
much to the regret of all the members of our committee, 
he gave up his place with us and continued as chairman 
of the Committee on Pensions until his death. 

As one of the committee designated by the Speaker to 
attend the funeral of Judge Richardson I was much 
gratified to find our estimate of Judge Richardson shared 
by the people of his home town and district, who mani- 
fested their affection for him and their grief over his loss 
by assembling in thousands to pay a last tribute of respect 
and affection by casting a flower and a tear on his grave. 

He was a good man, a good lawyer, a good friend, an 
industrious student. He loved his country, and possessed 
all the elements to make a great Congressman. May it be 
the good fortune of this Republic to find many others like 
him to steer the ship of state through perilous storms and 
breakers to a haven of peace, prosperity, and glory, and 
perpetuate forever the greatest Republic ever known to 

Not only in the piping times of peace did Judge Rich- 
ardson exhibit his exalted character, exemplifying a 
splendid manhood and capacity to grapple with the great 
questions of life, but he had illustrated the valor of a 
warrior and patriot on the tented field. He followed the 
ill-fated but glorious flag of the Confederacy through four 
years of hardship and valor, under the leadership of the 
greatest military heroes who ever led marshaled armies 
to glory. He was several times wounded, and when he 
had suffered and fought through the unsuccessful conflict, 
the cause in which he gloried having gone down before 
overwhelming numbers and unlimited resources, he laid 
down his sword in that good faith which characterized 
his compatriots throughout the South and veritably ended 


Memorial Addresses: Representative Richardson 

the war at Appomattox, although some people on the 
other side, more familiar with fighting battles with ink 
and execrations than with sword and bullets, failed to 
recognize the end of the war. 

Having failed in their efforts to secede and preserve 
and reestablish the ideal government originally planned 
by the framers of the Union itself, he and the other leaders 
and heroes of the South immediately renewed their 
allegiance to the Union; and from 1865 to the day of his 
death he labored with unabated energy, patriotism, and 
devotion, with ability and zeal rarely equaled, to promote 
the prosperity and happiness of the State of Alabama and 
the greatness and glory of the Republic of the United 
States of America. 


Address of Mr. Hayes, of California 

Mr. Speaker: During our service together in this House 
I came to know Hon. William Richardson, of Alabama, 
well. He was one of the squarest, ablest, kindliest, and 
sweetest men I ever knew. In his young manhood he had 
played his part in the titanic struggle between the States. 
The marks of two wounds, which he bore in his body, 
were mute evidence of the fidelity, zeal, and courage with 
which he served the cause of the Confederacy. Some of 
the unusual trials and sufferings which he endured dur- 
ing his four years of service in the army have been re- 
counted here to-day. A nature less noble and lovable 
than his would have been embittered by these terrible 
experiences. But William Richardson was incapable of 
harboring hatred or bitterness or revenge. When the 
cause for which he had fought was lost, he adjusted 
himself to the new conditions and did his part in work- 
ing out the great problems of his country. How well he 
performed his part after he came to this House most of us 
who are here can testify. He was incapable of sectional 
prejudice, and in the discharge of his official duties had 
an eye single to the welfare of the people of every section 
of his country. He was modest almost to a fault, but 
always faithful to every duty, which he discharged with 
signal ability. 

It is a splendid tribute to the judgment and discrimina- 
tion of his constituency that they were loyal to him to the 
end, and returned him to this House term after term with- 
out serious opposition. He fully merited their confidence. 
It is a pleasure and a privilege to render this public tribute 
to his beautiful, lovable, and noble character, and make 
this feeble acknowledgment of the value to this* House 
and to his country of his public services. 


Memorial Addresses: Representative Richardson 

It should be a source of great pride and satisfaction to 
his friends and dear ones that without respect to party 
and without exception his colleagues who have served 
with him in this great historic body will always remem- 
ber him, not only with respect for his unsullied character 
and admiration for his abilities, but with the tenderest 
feeling of affection for him as a man and a friend. 

None knew him but to love him, 
None named him but to praise. 


Address of Mr. Austin, of Tennessee 

Mr. Speaker : In the death of our late colleague, Judge 
William Richardson, the State of Alabama lost one of its 
best and most faithful public servants; the Nation an able 
and patriotic defender; the men who served in the Mexi- 
can War, the Union and Confederate Armies, and in the 
Spanish-American War a true and tried friend; and this 
House a beloved and honored Member. 

I knew Judge Richardson from my early boyhood days, 
being natives of adjoining counties in Alabama, and while 
he and my father were not of the same politics and on 
opposite sides during the Civil War, they were lifelong 
friends. The district which Judge Richardson served with 
signal honor and ability for 14 years borders on the south- 
ern boundary line of Tennessee, no great distance from 
the district which has favored me with a seat in this body. 

Many of the pioneer settlers of northern Alabama or 
the Tennessee Valley came from eastern Tennessee, and 
were of the brave, strong, and industrious Scotch-Irish 
stock. The great Tennessee River flows through the two 
districts, uniting our sections by one of nature's great 
agencies of commerce and development. There are many 
common ties between our people, and in the passing of 
Judge Richardson I lost not only a true friend but my 
constituents one who was ever ready to cooperate with 
their Representative in promoting and advancing the 
interests of east Tennessee. 

A short time after my election to Congress in 1908, 
Judge Richardson, with a strong delegation, visited my 
district, attending the Tennessee River Improvement As- 
sociation at Harriman, Tenn. He made a most favorable 
impression on all who came in contact with him, and I 


Memorial Addresses : Representative Richardson 

gratefully remember the kind and generous reference he 
made to me in his speech on that occasion, and his kind 
assurance that he would aid me in every possible way 
when I reached Washington City and entered upon my 
official duties. Like all of his promises, it was faithfully 

His career in Congress was but a repetition of the 
course he had followed as a Confederate soldier, as a 
practicing attorney, as a State lawmaker, as a judge— one 
of conscientious devotion to duty. He was an untiring 
worker, an unselfish patriot, and an incorruptible states- 
man; an honorable, manly, brave man, and generous to 
a fault. The possession of these qualities is the explana- 
tion of his lasting hold upon the hearts and affections 
of the splendid people of the eighth district of Alabama. 
The Republican leader of this House, Mr. Mann, of Illinois, 
has just mentioned a great number of important, far- 
reaching constructive pieces of national legislation our 
late colleague aided in preparing and passing, and for 
which this and future generations will owe a debt as long 
as the Republic lives. Of the countless thousands who 
joined the Confederacy and fought under the Stars and 
Bars, Judge Richardson was one of the very first to forget 
and forgive, and I am sure was proud and happy that we 
were once more a prosperous, reunited, and happy 
people. He not only lived to see this, but was a strong 
factor in aiding and bringing it about. 

In this connection I could not possibly present a higher, 
grander tribute to this man of kind, generous, and 
chivalrous deeds than to close my imperfect tribute by 
quoting a speech which he delivered in this House on 
January 21, 1901, when the bill was under consideration 
to establish a national soldiers' home near Johnson City, 
Tenn.— a noble, patriotic, speech, for which the people of 
eastern Tennessee will revere, honor, and love his memory 
for all time. 


Address of Mr. Austin, of Tennessee 

Judge Richardson said : 

" Mr. Speaker : I am grateful to the distinguished chair- 
man of the Military Committee [Mr. Hull] for the courtesy 
extended me. As an ex-Confederate soldier, I am glad to 
have this opportunity of bearing testimony in this public 
manner of my high regard, esteem, and respect for the 
Federal soldiers. It is true that the district in Alabama 
that I have the honor to represent lies but a short distance 
from where this home is to be established, and, not only 
speaking for myself, but for all classes of my people, I 
say, without hesitancy, that we welcome the establishment 
of homes in the South for disabled Federal soldiers. Since 
the close of our great Civil War I have been a sincere 
and earnest advocate of fair, just, and liberal pensions, 
as well as national homes for the disabled Union soldiers. 
It gives me pleasure to support a bill of this kind appro- 
priating $250,000, and even if you should make the amount 
$350,000, I would cheerfully do likewise. 

" I believe, Mr. Speaker, that this is the way — yea, the 
best way — to reconcile whatever troubles or heartburn- 
ings there may have been in the South, and especially 
in the locality where it is proposed to establish this home. 
There has never been any trouble, Mr. Speaker, between 
the Federal soldier and the Confederate. The history of 
the world has never presented a parallel to the welding 
of the lives and friendships that has taken place in the 
last 30 years between Federal and Confederate soldiers. 
The effect of these friendly associations between brave 
men who had met each other on bloody fields of battle is 
bearing fruit as our numbers daily are passing away. 
When His Excellency the President of the United States 
[Mr. McKinley] made his tour, some two years since, 
through the South and said the time would soon come 
when the Government would take care of the graves of 
the Confederate soldiers, this sentiment was greeted and 
welcomed by millions of brave and true men in the South. 


Memorial Addresses : Representative Richardson 

We knew that the President was sincere. He spoke it 
not only as President, but as a brave soldier. I sincerely 
believe, Mr. Speaker, that the location of this home in east 
Tennessee, and steps of this kind which are being in- 
augurated and approved, will yet lead to the consum- 
mation of the desire which exists in the conservative mind 
of the North and the South to see a home built which will 
admit both Federal and Confederate disabled soldiers. 
Such a home, of course, should be under the rule and 
government of the Federal homes law. 

" I would welcome that time. One of the first bills, Mr. 
Speaker, introduced by me in this House was to establish 
a home of that kind in the vicinity of the beautiful city of 
Huntsville, Ala., the most attractive section of the Ten- 
nessee Valley. Such a measure, Mr. Speaker, will do more 
to allay the passions and prejudices produced by the war 
than anything else that we can do. The soldiers of the 
Grand Army of the Republic, the Confederate soldier, 
Republicans and Democrats, among our people, all speak 
out for such a home. I am glad that this home proposed 
by the bill under consideration will be established in that 
beautiful and historic section of east Tennessee. And 
for myself let me say, as an ex-Confederate soldier, 
treasuring the memories, as I reverently do, that are dear 
to my heart in connection with that wonderful struggle, 
honoring the brave men who fought on the other side, it 
gives me an amount of pleasure that I can not express 
in the few minutes allowed me to-day to cast my vote 
for this bill. [Loud and long applause.]" 


Address of Mr. Burnett, of Alabama 

Mr. Speaker: Judge William Richardson was a native 
of Limestone County, Ala. He, like Senators Morgan, 
Pettus, and Johnston, was an actor in the most terrific 
drama that was ever played on the American stage. 

In war and in peace he knew no standard but honor 
and no watchword but duty. He came of a long line of 
splendid southern ancestors, and every heart throb and 
pulse beat was for his people and his native State. 

When a young man the call to arms was sounded, and 
young Richardson unsheathed his sword and never re- 
turned it to its scabbard until the history of the end of the 
Confederacy had been written in blood and glory. 

He was severely wounded at the Battle of Chickamauga 
and carried with him to his death the effects of that awful 
wound. What he suffered from that shot no one but God 
and he knew, as he never paraded his troubles before his 

He was captured during the war and, as I now recollect 
the story, was condemned to be shot as a spy. He was 
in his cell with a comrade one night awaiting the execu- 
tion of the death sentence, which was to be carried out 
next morning at sunrise, when he heard the clattering of 
hoofs outside, and he said to his comrade, " That's For- 
rest's men." Sure enough it was. That wizard of the 
saddle had heard of the sad plight of these two Con- 
federates, and he made a raid on the town where they 
were incarcerated and released them. 

When the titanic struggle was ended Judge Richardson 
returned to a wrecked and ruined country. A few of his 
friends joined with those who conspired to complete the 
financial ruin of our State, and then young Richardson 


Memorial Addresses : Representative Richardson 

again threw himself into the breach and helped to drive 
out those who would fatten on a prostrate foe. 

With the eye of an eagle, he was ever watchful of the 
interests of Alabama; with the courage of a lion, he never 
quailed before her oppressors; with the heart of a 
maiden, his sympathies were ever with the distressed; and 
the night was never too dark nor the day too cold for him 
to go the length of his cable tow to aid a struggling 

His home was in Huntsville, one of the most cultured 
cities of the South. Among lawyers he always stood at 
the head of the list; among statesmen he always stood 
the peer of any. In civic life and in devotion to home 
and friends he had no superior. 

Refore we had emerged from the dark days of recon- 
struction he was elected by the people of his county as 
judge of the probate and county courts of Madison County, 
and held that honored position until 1886. He was elected 
to fill the unexpired term of the gallant Joe Wheeler in 
the Fifty-sixth Congress, and had an honorable career 
in this body until God called him. Much of the most im- 
portant legislation of the time he was here bears the in- 
fluence of his mind. His work for Muscle Shoals and the 
Tennessee River was ardent and indefatigable. If the 
scheme for water-power development and the opening of 
that great stream is ever consummated, the people of the 
Tennessee Valley ought to erect a monument to the name 
of William Richardson. 

In his early married life he lost his wife, and with four 
beautiful little daughters and a baby boy he started life 
anew, with a sad and dreary heart. 

His devotion to the memory of that companion and 
his love for his little ones restrained him from ever mar- 
rying again. He reared his daughters himself, in his own 
homes and his devotion to them was perfectly beautiful. 


Address of Mr. Burnett, of Alabama 

On account of the proximity of our districts and the fact 
that we lived at the same hotel in Washington much of 
the time that he was in Congress I perhaps enjoyed more 
intimate relations with him than any other Member of the 

We came into the Fifty-sixth Congress at nearly the 
same time. As he filled out an unexpired term he entered 
a few months later than I did. During our long and 
intimate acquaintance I always found him every inch a 
man. Devoted to his family, loyal to his district and his 
people, true to his friends, true to himself, devoted to the 
memory of the lost cause, his like will not always be 

His memory will long be kept green by those who loved 
and honored him. 

Earth was poorer and heaven was richer when this 
noble friend was called to God. 


Address of Mr. Sims, of Tennessee 

Mr. Speaker : It was my good fortune when I was only 
about 15 or 16 years of age to live in Waterloo, Ala., in a 
county in the congressional district which our departed 
friend, Judge Richardson, represented. The district which 
he represented was the eighth district of Alabama, and 
the one that I have the honor to represent is the eighth dis- 
trict of Tennessee, and in addition to the fact that each 
is the eighth district in our respective States they are 
contiguous. One of the counties of my district borders 
on one of the counties of that district, and from earliest 
childhood I have known more Alabamians than people 
from any other State in the Union, and nearly all of them 
came from the eighth district of that State. Consequently, 
having lived in Alabama, -and having associated with her 
people intimately, although I never knew Judge Richard- 
son while I lived in Alabama or before I came to this 
body, I felt an interest in him, which was brought about 
largely by the conditions I have just described. 

In addition to that he had two brothers living in Nash- 
ville, Tenn., prosperous business men, and men who 
always took a lively and active interest in the political, 
moral, and general welfare of our State. I knew both of 
those gentlemen before I met Judge Richardson, and they 
were no ordinary men. Consequently, Judge Richardson 
seemed to me very much as a Tcnnesseean. When he 
entered this body, being the successor of the distinguished 
Confederate general, Joseph Wheeler, and having been a 
Confederate soldier himself, all these things added to the 
interest I already felt in him. From the time I first knew 
Judge Richardson to the last time I ever joined him in 
service in this House and in service upon the Interstate 


Address of Mr. Sims, of Tennessee 

and Foreign Commerce Committee, of which we were 
members for two terms prior to his death, nothing ever 
occurred that did not add to the good feeling and high 
opinion which I had of him. And every act of his life 
after my acquaintanceship with him was such as to make 
one feel more kindly toward him until it grew into real 

During the latter part of his life, when he would try 
to discharge his public duties, and when it was evident 
to everyone he was not able to do so, I often asked him 
not to go to the committee meetings, because he did not 
look strong enough, and told him that we would do the 
work for him, but he was always insistent, and went to 
his labors when he ought not to have done so. The former 
distinguished chairman of the Committee on Interstate 
and Foreign Commerce, the gentleman from Illinois, Mr. 
Mann, and also the present distinguished chairman, the 
gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Adamson, have paid 
tribute to his efficient and hard work upon that com- 
mittee. He was absolutely independent in thought, and 
in the many hearings that occurred before that committee, 
when he and I were members, we would often differ, and 
sharply differ, as to certain propositions and theories and 
as to what ought or ought not to be in the proposed legis- 
lation, but always with a courtesy and dignity on his part 
that left no stings, but made you think all the more of the 
man and admire all the more his courage to thus so 
sharply differ with men who loved him and whom he 
in turn loved. On the floor of this House I have some- 
times, but not often, differed with him as to what was 
good legislation and beneficial to our country and as to 
what was bad as we saw it, but I always knew that he was 
just as sincere and honest in his views upon the questions 
which were then being discussed as I claimed to be 
myself. And although an older man, he was easy to 
become acquainted with, and the longer you knew him 

Memorial Addresses : Representative Richardson 

the more he grew upon you, until it became a positive 
pleasure to me to associate with him not only in the duties 
that were common to us but in every way that men and 
friends can be associated. 

As such associate and companion in legislative labors 
I feel that I have sustained a great loss, and such no doubt 
is the feeling of all who were so closely associated with 
him as to know his true value as a Member of this House. 
He was one of those men that was so impressive in his 
genial yet strong personality that he will always remain 
firmly fixed in the minds of all who were so fortunate as 
to have known him intimately. Any constituency in any 
State could well be proud of so able and so good a Repre- 
sentative in this body, and if the able gentleman who has 
been chosen to represent the good people of the eighth 
district of Alabama serves his constituents as well, as ably, 
and as faithfully as did Judge Richardson, I predict for 
him a long term of distinguished service in this body. 


Address of Mr. Heflin, of Alabama 

Mr. Speaker: It has long been the custom of both 
branches of Congress to hold memorial services in honor 
of the men who died while serving their country as Mem- 
bers of Congress. It is a splendid custom, and I com- 
mend its observance to all those who are to come after 
us. It is fitting that the deceased Member's colleagues 
should have the privilege of recounting his deeds and 
commending his virtues, and, Mr. Speaker, we are here 
to-day to pay to the memory of a once brave and able 
Member of Congress the tribute of our respect and esteem. 

It is comforting to the brave soldier to know that if he 
dies in battle far away from home and loved ones that 
some of his comrades will tell the story of his valor and 
heroism, and, Mr. Speaker, it is comforting to a Member 
of Congress to know that when he has answered his last 
roll call and gone from the forum of congressional debate 
that his colleagues will say something of his work here 
and speak of his service to his country. 

Mr. Speaker, the service here is often strenuous, always 
exacting, and trying at times on both the ability and 
moral stamina of the Member. It is ours to promote the 
general welfare — to benefit the country by our service 
and to guard the Constitution so that we may bequeath 
to posterity, unhampered and unimpaired, the priceless 
heritage of civil and religious liberty. Here we have to do 
with the great problems that affect the destiny of our 
country and the welfare of the human race, for, as Jeffer- 
son has said, " One single good government is a blessing 
to mankind." Here men have given the best years of 
their lives striving earnestly to be of value to their day 
and generation, and here they have rendered noble serv- 
ice to their country. 


Memorial Addresses : Representative Richardson 

The man whose memory we honor to-day was an able 
and faithful public servant. He was a splendid repre- 
sentative of the South " when knighthood was in flower." 
Judge Richardson, when but a beardless youth, entered 
the Confederate Army, and no braver soldier ever donned 
a uniform or drew a battle blade. Believing that the 
State had the right to secede, that sovereignty resided 
with the State, and that to the State allegiance was due, 
he endured the hardships and privations of the Con- 
federate soldier, and participated in a struggle where the 
mingled blood of brothers, North and South, cemented 
the sections in the bonds of an everlasting union. 

He accepted in good faith the arbitrament of the sword, 
and this faithful follower of the Stars and Bars became 
the devoted defender of the Stars and Stripes, and here 
in the Hall of the National Congress he counseled with 
men of the Union Army and together they worked for 
the good of the Republic. 

He was a loyal friend, an able and faithful represent- 
ative of his people, and a splendid type of the American 


Address of Mr. Dent, of Alabama 

Mr. Speaker : It is always painful to contemplate death, 
but as death is inevitable it is meet and proper that those 
of us who linger behind should by some appropriate 
ceremony pay our respects to the memory of the friends 
and associates who have preceded us to the grave. It is 
more than difficult, Mr. Speaker, to do justice to such an 
occasion, but it is a privilege which the living have to 
make the attempt. Nothing that we can say here will add 
either to the name or to the fame of those whose spirits 
have winged their flight to the unknown realm above, 
but we can at least recall their virtues so that those who 
come after them may profit thereby. 

It is in this spirit that I shall attempt briefly to speak 
of the life and character of the late Judge William Rich- 
ardson. Notwithstanding the fact that considerably more 
than a score of years separated our lives, I know that 
there was a bond of friendship between us. Upon practi- 
cally all political questions Judge Richardson and I were 
in entire accord, and our personal relations were of the 
most friendly character. I recall distinctly my first intro- 
duction to Judge Richardson. It was when he was a 
candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor 
of the State of Alabama. I recall his appearance and his 
manner. I well remember the dignified black suit and the 
immaculate white shirt — a style of dress that he was wont 
to wear unto the day of his death. I well recall also his 
pleasing conversation and his most cordial manner. It 
was years afterwards, however, that we met as colleagues 
in this body. It was then that I came to know Judge 
Richardson, and knowing him, to honor, to respect, to 
admire, aye, to love him. Judge Richardson was a modest 


Memorial Addresses : Representative Richardson 

and a courageous gentleman. He possessed that kind of 
courage which is always associated with modesty — the 
finest type of courage to be found among men. Judge 
Richardson was a patriot, if by patriotism we mean a 
fearless, intelligent, and conscientious devotion to what 
one believes to be to the best interest of his country. His 
record as a Confederate soldier, as a private citizen, as a 
Member for many years of this body, speaks for itself, 
and is above reproach. His remarkable career in the 
Confederate Army he never capitalized politically, and 
even in private conversation with his closest friends he 
was diffident in speaking of it. 

Judge Richardson belonged to the old, chivalrous school 
of southern gentlemen — men who were neither boisterous 
nor ostentatious, as is often pictured by inimical critics of 
the South, but men who fearlessly discharge their duty, 
let the consequences be what they may. He was kept in 
Congress by a fond constituency until claimed by death. 
Among others, I attended the funeral in his home city 
of Huntsville, where his remains were interred. I saw 
gathered there, from all the ranks of life and from all 
over the Tennessee Valley, a great concourse of people to 
pay tribute to his memory. I saw gray-haired, wrinkled, 
and decrepit Confederate veterans, when his coffin was 
lowered in the grave, march solemnly around it and drop 
in it a sprig of green. I saw delicate, refined, and sj T m- 
pathetic women cover the new-made grave with all the 
varieties of flowers that spring puts forth in that sunny 
clime, and when I turned away with head uncovered and 
eyes moistened with tears, I said, " Surely, as I firmly 
believe, if there be a kingdom of the righteous, the soul 
and the spirit of Judge Richardson is now resting in 


Address of Mr. Byrns, of Tennessee 

Mr. Speaker: When I entered the Sixty-first Congress, 
among the first, if not the very first of those who had seen 
prior service in Congress, to greet and cordially welcome 
me as a colleague was the Hon. William Richardson, of 
Alahama. From that time until his death he was my good 
friend, and I profited greatly from his helpful advice and 
suggestions. The particular interest that he took in me 
from the outset was no doubt largely influenced by the 
fact that in my home city there lived two brothers and a 
sister who were among its most influential and prominent 
citizens, and who had commended me to him. So deep 
was my appreciation of his generous friendship and his 
kindly and helpful advice, so great my admiration for 
his many noble qualities as a man and as a distinguished 
Member of this body, that I could not let this opportunity 
pass without paying a brief, though necessarily inade- 
quate, tribute to his memory. It is not my purpose to 
speak of the life of Judge Richardson, or to refer par- 
ticularly to the great service which he rendered to his 
State and the Nation. I will leave that to others who 
served for a longer time with him in Congress. We have 
just listened to an excellent address by his successor in 
Congress and his lifelong and intimate friend, Hon. C. C. 
Harris, who has pictured to us the high sense of duty 
which prompted every act of Judge Richardson through 
all the years of his life. 

Indeed, Mr. Speaker, this high sense of honor and duty 
was the guidepost which directed him at every turn in 
the pathway of his life. It governed and sustained him, 
when, as a mere boy during the Civil War, he was cap- 
tured at Murfreesboro, Tenn., and ordered to be executed 


Memorial Addresses : Representative Richardson 

within a few hours, being saved from such a fate only by 
the timely and unexpected arrival of that wizard of the 
saddle, Gen. Bedford Forrest. His neighbors will tell you 
that this same high principle controlled him during all the 
subsequent years of his life while he lived among them 
as an honored friend and neighbor. It was surely so, 
Mr. Speaker, after he became a Member of this House, 
where, as one of its most useful, faithful, and influential 
Members, he devoted so many years of his life in splendid 
service to his State and the Nation. It was particularly 
so during the last few months of his life, when dread 
disease had taken hold of him and death was haunting 
his footsteps. Feeble though he was, he insisted on attend- 
ing the sessions of the House and giving personal atten- 
tion to the needs and wishes of those whom he directly 
represented. To a man of his high ideals I am quite sure 
it must have been a consolation that he was permitted to 
pay the debt which we must all ultimately pay while 
actively engaged in the service of his country, leaving 
behind him as a heritage to his family not only a high and 
honorable name, but also an enviable record of earnest 
and faithful devotion to duty. And, Mr. Speaker, what 
better fate could befall any man? We all must face 
death at some time, and I know of no better end than 
that which fell to the lot of our distinguished colleague 
and friend. He died after a long life of usefulness, rich 
in honors and richer in the love and affection of all who 
knew him. 

Mr. Speaker, I have never feared death very much. 
Sooner or later it must come to us all. For the same rea- 
son I do not believe that the majority of mankind actually 
fear death. We dread it rather because of the uncertainty 
and the fear that the record of our lives may not be such 
as to entitle us to receive the reward of another and an 
infinitely more happy life. But there can be no such fear 
as lo our deceased colleague. He was called upon to 


Address of Mr. Byrns, of Tennessee 

perform much service in this life, and it can be truthfully 
said that he was faithful to every trust, whether great or 
small, and we have the promise of the Divine Master that 
such a man shall be ruler over many things in the great 

Mr. Speaker, I know of no man who more truly lived 
up to the injunction of the poet: 

So live that when thy summons comes to join 
The innumerable caravan which moves 
To that mysterious realm where each shall take 
His chamber in the silent halls of death, 
Thou go not, like the quarry slave at night, 
Scourged to his dungeon, but sustained and soothed 
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave 
Like one that wraps the drapery of his couch 
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams. 


Address of Mr. Abergrombie, of Alabama 

Mr. Speaker: This is a solemn hour, and it furnishes 
occasion for serious reflection. 

Once more we have been reminded of the verity of 
the biblical decree, " It is appointed unto men once to 
die." From that divine edict there is no escape. 

Death is the final and common conqueror. With im- 
perial and impartial tread it enters the gilded palace and 
the lowly hovel. Its awful presence stills the tongue of 
criticism, silences the voice of anger, restrains the pen 
of censure, softens the heart of hatred, and turns our 
thoughts toward those things the contemplation of which 
elevates the mind, quickens the conscience, and purifies 
the soul. 

How strange it is that we think seriously of death only 
when confronted by death ! 

In the death of our friend and colleague, Representa- 
tive William Richardson, his district lost a brilliant and 
faithful servant, the State of Alabama a loyal and dis- 
tinguished son, the United States a devoted and useful 
officer, the cause of liberty a prudent and zealous cham- 
pion. Throughout a long and active life, given chiefly 
to the public service, he was ever a shining example of 
loyalty to purpose, of devotion to country, and of faithful- 
ness to duty. 

He died in Atlantic City, N. J., on the 31st day of 
March, 1914, at the age of 74 years 10 months and 23 days. 
His birthplace was Athens, Ala., and the date of his birth 
was the 8th day of May, 1839. His health had been failing 
for some time, and his death was not unexpected by his 
family and friends. 


Address of Mr. Abercrombie, of Alabama 

As was true generally of the youth of that time in that 
new country, his opportunities for the acquisition of an 
education were limited; but, availing himself industri- 
ously of the means within his reach, after attending 
school in his home town, then a mere village, he entered 
and in due season graduated with highest honors from 
the Wesleyan University at Florence, Ala., an institution 
now long nonexistent. The colleges and universities of 
that time in all parts of the country were far below those 
of to-day in both admission and graduation requirements. 
As a matter of fact, the higher institutions of that day were 
not superior, if, indeed, they were equal to the secondary 
schools of the present. 

The wonder is that so many who came up under the 
conditions of that period were able to overcome ap- 
parently insurmountable obstacles and acquire the educa- 
tion necessary for success and distinction in all the fields 
of human endeavor. Representative Richardson belonged 
to that class of men who succeed regardless of untoward 
conditions. He possessed the rare powers of concentra- 
tion and application, and these combined with a strong 
intellect enabled him to acquire much knowledge. He 
was a man of great learning. 

Not long after leaving college he enlisted as a private 
in the Army of the Confederacy, in which he served with 
great prowess from 1861 to 1865. He was wounded 
three times, once desperately, and was promoted to the 
rank of captain on account of conspicuous gallantry on 
the field of battle. A unique and harrowing experience 
was his during that sanguinary conflict. While traveling 
unknowingly with a spy he was arrested by Federal 
soldiers, and, with the spy, condemned to be executed at 
sunrise on the following day. Only a timely rescue by 
Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest saved his life. In the per- 
formance of duty danger had no terror for him. He was 
among the bravest of the brave. 

Memorial Addresses : Representative Richardson 

When the war ended he returned to his home and 
studied law, which was his profession for the remainder 
of his life, and in which he won signal success. Having 
served a term in the Legislature of Alabama he removed 
to Huntsville, which was his home thereafter. He was 
for many years judge of probate, and his friends still 
boast that his record was the best ever made in that 

He was a candidate for the gubernatorial nomination 
of his party in 1890 and was defeated by only a small 
number of votes. Four years later he served as delegate 
at large to the Democratic national convention. On the 
3d day of July, 1900, following the resignation during 
the Fifty-sixth Congress of Gen. Joseph Wheeler, who 
for many years had represented that district, the eighth 
Alabama, he was nominated unanimously by his party 
for both the unexpired and the succeeding term in the 
House of Representatives, and he served continuously 
thereafter until the date of his death in the Sixty-third 

His health began to fail about two years ago, prior to 
which time he took a prominent part in the proceedings 
of the House and participated in many of the debates, 
always with credit to himself. He served on some of the 
most important committees and at the time of his death 
was chairman of the Committee on Pensions. In his 
capacity as a Member of Congress he had to do directly 
with those who to him had been both foe and victor in 
time of war, and from the very beginning of his service 
here he had their confidence and esteem. In no other 
Government than this glorious Republic could a thing 
like that have happened. It shows how completely the 
animosities of the great war have passed away. 

In this connection I am reminded of a bill passed dur- 
ing this Congress in furtherance of the feeling of amity 


Address of Mr. Abercrombie, of Alabama 

to which I have referred. How appropriate and how 
beautiful it was for a Representative from Pennsylvania 
[Mr. Graham] to introduce, and by unanimous vote in 
both House and Senate, to secure the passage of a bill 
having for its object the complete obliteration of sectional 
prejudice so far as that can be done by law. I. refer to 
the act repealing the statute requiring proof of loyalty to 
the Union of those who seek reimbursement for damages 
sustained during the Civil War. The speech made by 
Mr. Graham when that bill was under consideration in 
the House was one of the most eloquent and patriotic that 
was ever delivered in Congress or elsewhere. I wish it 
could have been heard by every citizen of this great 

As a public speaker Representative Richardson dis- 
played oratorical ability of a high order. In debate he 
was ready, poised, argumentative, and fair, and on all oc- 
casions was lucid, instructive, eloquent, and convincing. 
As an orator he was in demand throughout Alabama, 
especially on patriotic occasions, and he never failed to 
measure up to the expectations of his audience. 

But, Mr. Speaker, in view of what others have said, it 
is unnecessary for me to dwell longer upon the details 
of the remarkable career of our late friend and colleague. 
From the date of his entrance into the combat of life his 
record was one of achievement, and in its every stage 
discloses a brilliant mind, a determined will, a cultivated 
conscience, and a generous soul, all of which go to con- 
stitute a well-rounded character, and are absolutely es- 
sential for real success. A born leader of men, he was 
ever accorded preferment by his fellows. His career 
illustrates the power of a combination of intelligence, 
character, and application, and will stand as a perennial 
inspiration to the youth of the land. 


Memorial Addresses : Representative Richardson 

A good and great man was lost to the world when 
William Richardson died. True to himself, true to his 
country, true to his God, he abides with Him — 

Who shines in the sun, refreshes in the breeze, 
Glows in the stars and blossoms in the trees, 
Lives through all life, extends through all extent, 
Spreads undivided and operates unspent. 


Address of Mr. Underwood, of Alabama 

Mr. Speaker: My affection and respect for the person 
and character of our friend and colleague Wdlliam 
Richardson will not permit me to indulge in mere words 
of praise. He was my friend and comrade for many 
years. I knew and loved him for his charming person- 
ality, his high character, and his eminent abilities. He 
early realized the responsibilities of life as a soldier in the 
War between the States, and with courage he met every 
responsibility from that hour to the day of his death. 
Tried in many and important public and private stations, 
he was faithful in all. Courteous and kindly in manner, 
he was determined and persistent in purpose and action. 
Tolerant and conservative always, he had fixed principles 
to guide his course through life and positive convictions 
that he maintained on all public questions. He thought 
clearly and always expressed himself forcefully. He was 
a hard worker, a diligent seeker after the truth. Pos- 
sessed of rare good judgment and great common sense, 
he was a safe counselor. He made friends through life 
because people believed in him and trusted him. He 
carried conviction with what he said because he himself 
was convinced before he acted. He was a leader of men 
because his leadership was marked by courage and 
honesty of purpose. He was respected by all who knew 
him because he deserved it. He loved his country and 
was a true American, but he was primarily a son of the 
Southland, bound in heart and memory to the history and 
traditions, the honesty and good repute of the old South. 
He honored his native State of Alabama, and Alabama 
honored him to the day of his death. Great as is the 
history of Alabama and her many distinguished sons, 

4095° — 15 4 [47] 

Memorial Addresses : Representative Richardson 

there never trod on Alabama soil a more knightly gentle- 
man than William Richardson, and there sleeps not 
beneath Alabama's sod a more loyal, gentle, and brave 
son than her late Representative. 

Then, in accordance with the resolution heretofore 
adopted (at 2 o'clock and 22 minutes p. m.), the House 
adjourned until to-morrow, Monday, February 1, 1915, at 
12 o'clock noon. 


Proceedings in the Senate 

Wednesday, April 1, 191k. 

A message from the House of Representatives, by J. C. 
South, its Chief Clerk, communicated to the Senate the 
intelligence of the death of Hon. William Richardson, 
late a Representative from the State of Alabama, and 
transmitted resolutions of the House thereon. 

The Presiding Officer (Mr. Lea of Tennessee) laid 
before the Senate the following resolutions of the House 
of Representatives, which were read: 

In the House of Representatives, 

March 31, 1914. 

Resolved, That the House has heard with profound sorrow of 
the death of Hon. William Richardson, a Representative from 
the State of Alabama. 

Resolved, That a committee of 20 Members of the House, with 
such Members of the Senate as may be joined, be appointed to 
attend the funeral. 

Resolved, That the Sergeant at Arms of the House be authorized 
and directed to take such steps as may be necessary for carrying 
out the provisions of these resolutions, and that the necessary ex- 
pense in connection therewith be paid out of the contingent fund 
of the House. 

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

Mr. Overman. Mr. President, I offer the resolutions 
which I send to the desk, and ask that they may be read. 

The resolutions were read, considered by unanimous 
consent, and unanimously agreed to, as follows: 

Resolved, That the Senate has heard with profound sorrow the 
announcement of the death of the Hon. William Richardson, late 
a Representative from the State of Alabama. 

Resolved, That a committee of six Senators be appointed by the 
Presiding Officer, to join the committee appointed on the part of 

Memorial Addresses : Representative Richardson 

the House of Representatives, to attend the funeral of the deceased 

Resolved, That the Secretary communicate these resolutions to 
the House of Representatives and transmit a copy thereof to the 
family of the deceased. 

The Presiding Officer appointed under the second reso- 
lution as the committee on the part of the Senate Mr. 
Bankhead, Mr. Thornton, Mr. Robinson, Mr. Gronna, Mr. 
Poindexter, and Mr. Crawford. 

Mr. Overman. Mr. President, I move as a further mark 
of respect to the memory of the deceased Representative 
that the Senate take a recess until to-morrow at 11 o'clock 
and 50 minutes a. m. 

The motion was unanimously agreed to, and (at 4 
o'clock and 40 minutes p. m.) the Senate took a recess 
until to-morrow, Thursday, April 2, 1914, at 11 o'clock 
and 50 minutes a. m. 

Tuesday, February 2, 1915. 
A message from the House of Representatives, by J. C. 
South, its Chief Clerk, announced that the House trans- 
mitted to the Senate resolutions of the House on the life 
and public services of Hon. Joseph F. Johnston, late a 
Senator from the State of Alabama, and also on the life 
and public services of Hon. William Richardson, late a 
Representative from the State of Alabama. 




[Resolutions adopted by the Committee on Pensions of the House 
of Representatives, Apr. 17, 1914.] 

Whereas by Divine Providence our colleague William 

Richardson, a man greatly beloved, entered into the 

rest that remaineth for the people of God on March 31, 


Resolved, That we, the members of the Committee on 
Pensions of the House of Representatives, of which com- 
mittee he was chairman for three years, record our affec- 
tion for this gentle and considerate public servant. 

For almost half a century he was engaged in affairs of 
national interest. 

As a soldier of the Confederacy he bore with him to 
the grave the wounds received while battling for the 
cause he had espoused. He was one of the survivors of 
that great conflict who lived to see a country reunited. 

For 15 years the people of Alabama selected him to 
represent them in the House of Representatives, where 
he unselfishly gave his strength, his wisdom, and his 
heart to the interests of his constituents. 

Whether upon the field of battle or in the Halls of 
Congress he was always a courageous fighter, and for his 
fairness his opponents loved him. 

Thus as a soldier and a statesman he became schooled 
in his early years as a man of affairs. This accounts for 
his wonderful breadth of view and splendid judgment in 
dealing with the perplexing problems of state. 


Memorial Addresses : Representative Richardson 

Resolved, That we extend our sympathy to the bereaved 
family, not in a formal way, but with heartfelt sincerity. 
Their grief is ours. Under his guidance we were wisely 
advised. We deem it a privilege to bear witness to his 
work and worth. The inspiration of his life will linger 
long in our hearts. We are thankful that his lot was cast 
with ours through so many eventful years. 

It is our prayer that God will abundantly bless and care 
for the family he so dearly loved. 

Ah, God, for a man with heart, head, hands, 
Like some of the simple great ones gone 
Forever and ever by; 
One still strong man in a blatant land, 
Whatever they call him, what care I? 
Aristocrat, autocrat, democrat — one 
Who can rule, and dare not lie. 

Edward Keating, 


William H. Murray, 
Sam R. Sells, 
Frank L. Greene, 
Subcommittee of the Committee on Pensions, 

House of Representatives. 


[Proclamation issued by the governor of Alabama, the Hon. 
Emmet O'Neal, at Montgomery, Ala., Apr. 1, 1914.] 

It becomes my painful duty to make official announce- 
ment to the people of Alabama of the death of Hon. 
William Richardson, a Member of Congress from the 
eighth congressional district, which occurred at Atlantic 
City on Tuesday, March 31. 

Judge William Richardson has long been one of the 
most commanding figures in the political life of the State, 
an eminent lawyer, a profound student of economic and 


governmental questions, with all that polish, culture, 
grace, and charm of manner typical of the old South. 

He never surrendered his honest convictions to the 
demands of selfish expediency of time-serving opportu- 
nity, and in every great political contest, from the era of 
reconstruction to the hour of his death, his leadership was 
acknowledged and his great abilities recognized. 

Since 1898 he has represented his district in Congress, 
and no Member of that body ever more completely won 
or deserved the respect, the confidence, and affection of 
his constituents. 

He was ever alert to the interests of his people, ever at 
the post of duty, and he consecrated to their services his 
great abilities and easily won distinction as one of the 
strongest and most influential and useful Members that 
ever represented the State in the Halls of Congress. 

Alabama has been fortunate in the long array of dis- 
tinguished names that have been written on the rolls of 
Congress, yet in all that long list no name will shine 
brighter with purer ray serene than William Richardson, 
of Alabama. 


A brave Confederate soldier, a splendid type of that 
great civilization "which commenced with Washington 
and ended with Lee," Alabama never had a son more 
loyal or devoted to her interests, or one whose name is 
more entitled to illustrate the brightest pages of her 

In evidence therefore of the State's appreciation of his 
long and distinguished career, I, Emmet O'Neal, governor 
of the State of Alabama, do issue this proclamation, and 
order the State's flag to be placed at half mast on the 
Capitol and the building to be draped in mourning. I 
further direct that on the day of the funeral all offices in 
the Capitol building be closed in respect to his memory. 


Memorial Addresses : Representative Richardson 

by the huntsville board of commissioners 

[Resolutions adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the City 
of Huntsville, Ala., Apr. 2, 1914.] 

Whereas Judge Richardson, Congressman from the eighth 
congressional district of Alabama, departed this life on 
March 31; and 
Whereas the funeral services of this beloved statesman 
will take place in the city of Huntsville, Ala., on Friday, 
April 3, at 2 o'clock p. m. : Now, therefore, be it 
Resolved by the Board of Commissioners of the City of 
Huntsville, Ala., That as an evidence of the esteem in 
which this man was held and out of respect to his mem- 
ory all business houses in the city of Huntsville are re- 
quested to be closed during the time of said funeral, viz, 
on Friday, April 3, from the hours of 2 o'clock until 4 
o'clock p. m. 

R. L. O'Neal, 
J. D. Humphrey, 
M. H. Lanier, 



[Resolutions adopted by the Huntsville Bar Association Apr. 
2, 1914.] 

Whereas death has taken from the active walks of life, 
after a long and distinguished career in public life, 
our beloved fellow citizen, neighbor, and friend, Hon. 
William Richardson, who for many years was a lead- 
ing member of the Huntsville bar, and justly recognized 
as one of the ablest and most eloquent advocates in Ala- 
bama, for 12 years judge of probate of Madison County, 
and perhaps the best in the State, and for the past 15 
years the able Representative of this the eighth con- 
gressional district in the lower House of Congress, and 
always and at all times tjie public-spirited, liberal, 


honest, and progressive citizen, the true and loyal 

friend, the devoted husband, loving and affectionate 

father: Therefore be it 

Resolved, That we, his neighbors, friends, and brother 
lawyers, bow in recognition, but with sad and sorrowful 
hearts to this dispensation of the all-wise and inscrutable 
Providence; be it further 

Resolved, That the Chair appoint a committee of three 
for the respective courts of record in Madison County and 
the United States court to present to said court these reso- 
lutions and request that the same be spread upon the 
minutes of the same; be it further 

Resolved, That a copy of the resolutions be furnished 

the press for publication, and also the family of Judge 


R. E. Spragins, Chairman, 

Ben P. Hunt, 

R. E. Smith, 



[Editorial in the Huntsville Mercury-Banner of Apr. 2, 1914.] 

Huntsville has upon her roll of honor the names of 
many eminent sons, but it is doubtful if the death of any 
one was ever more generally regretted and the sorrow of 
our loss more deeply and keenly felt than in the death of 
William Richardson. The public is familiar with his 
long official career characterized by eminent ability, 
capable efficiency, and the most loyal fidelity to every 
trust. He was a man of unquestioned courage, mental, 
moral, and physical. Perhaps the dominating element 
of the man was his strong, native common sense, which 
gave him almost unerring judgment. He was a positive 
character. In all of his many political and legal battles 
he asked no quarter and gave none. 


Memorial Addresses: Representative Richardson 

But it was in the close ties of intimate friendship and 
the sweet relations of the home where the tender, gentle, 
affectionate, and patient nature of this strong man showed 
themselves in all their charm, strength, and beauty. He 
was a most attractive, interesting, and lovable man in 
these relations and we speak as one who thus knew him 
for long years, both in his joys and in his greatest sorrows. 
He was a most obliging neighbor, a friend loyal and 
true, and as a husband and father he displayed the best 
of his great nature. As a citizen he lived on a high plane, 
and in the 31 years we knew him he never failed to re- 
spond to any call for the betterment and uplift of his 
home city and county. In this respect his life record 
could well be emulated by our every citizen. As a public 
official it will not be out of place to say he approximated 
the ideal. He was judge of probate of Madison County 
when we first knew him, and it is no exaggeration to say 
he was the best the county ever had. He took great pride 
in beautifying and caring for the court square. And in 
no relation of life did his fine nature shine out more 
nobly than in his watchful, faithful attention to the inter- 
ests of the widows and orphans when their interests 
became intrusted to his care in the probate court. 

He has won and richly deserves every respect and 
honor his people can pay his memory, and in this last 
tribute they do honor themselves. Peace to his ashes. 


[From the Huntsville (Ala.) Mercury-Banner of Apr. 2, 1914.] 

Judge Edward B. Almon, candidate for Congress, out of 
respect to the memory of the late Judge William Rich- 
ardson, has canceled his speaking engagement at the Elks' 
Theater here to-night and also his appointments on the 
day of the funeral. 



Speaking of Judge Richardson, Judge Almon said : 
"No man more sincerely mourns the death of Judge 
Richardson than I do. He was perhaps the most useful 
man in the eighth congressional district, and, until his 
health failed a year ago or more, the man most active 
in the upbuilding of this section. 

" I knew him as a man and as a great and useful public 
servant, and shall always honor his memory. The State 
and the Nation have, in his death, sustained a great loss."