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Henry Cabot Lodge

Henry Cabot Lodge was an American Republican Senator and historian from Massachusetts. Lodge received his PhD in history from Harvard. Lodge was a long-time friend and confidant of Theodore Roosevelt. Lodge had the role (but not the official title) of the first Senate Majority Leader.


  • Lodge was born in Beverly, Massachusetts. His father was John Ellerton Lodge. His mother was Anna Cabot, through whom he was a great-grandson of George Cabot. Lodge grew up on Boston's Beacon Hill and spent part of his childhood in Nahant, Massachusetts where he witnessed the 1860 kidnapping of a classmate and gave testimony leading to the arrest and conviction of the kidnappers. He was cousin to the American polymath Charles Peirce.

  • Education

    • In 1872, he graduated from Harvard College, where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon, the Porcellian Club, and the Hasty Pudding Club. In 1874, he graduated from Harvard Law School, and was admitted to the bar in 1875, practicing at the Boston firm now known as Ropes & Gray.


    • He entered the Senate in January 1893 and stayed there until his death.

      Senator Lodge helped draft several important pieces of legislation, such as the Sherman Anti-Trust Law of 1890, the Pure Food and Drugs Law and, as a protectionist, the tariff measures of 1909. He stood fast against free silver from 1894 to 1900, against all disarmament proposals, and against women's suffrage. Lodge became an ardent supporter of the navy, favored the acquisition of the Philippines, and supported President Theodore Roosevelt's Panama venture. In fact, from 1901 to 1909 Lodge was a firm supporter of the president, especially backing the Roughrider's foreign policy. Both men feared German violation of the Monroe Doctrine in the southern hemisphere and worked hard to guard against such action.

      Senator Lodge's great moment in history, however, was not to come until 1919. In what was billed as the most important Senate decision in half a century, Lodge as chairman of the foreign relations committee led the fight against ratification of the Versailles Treaty and the Covenant of the League of Nations. The senator from Massachusetts from the start had favored harsh terms for the vanquished Central Powers, and specifically advocated a heavy indemnity for Germany. Moreover, Lodge opposed President Wilson's decision to couple the peace treaty with the Covenant of the League of Nations. In speeches that were widely quoted in Europe, the senator warned against Wilson's tactics; the president, in turn, refused to include members of either the Republican party or the Senate in his negotiations in Paris, thereby exacerbating an already tense atmosphere. Lodge made his position well known when he was joined by thirty-six Republican senators in a public denunciation of the Versailles Treaty and the Covenant of the League of Nations. A meeting with Wilson early in 1919 failed to erase their differences: both strong-willed men refused last-minute compromise proposals. In July 1919, the treaty and the covenant were officially sent to the Senate in final form. Lodge used his powers as chairman of the foreign relations committee to add several reservations. The president rejected out of hand any tampering with the original draft of the two documents and, rather than bow to Senate pressure, assured their defeat by ordering Democratic senators to vote against the documents as revised by Lodge. On March 19, 1920, the treaty failed by seven votes to secure the necessary two-thirds vote of the Senate.

      In 1920 Lodge supported Warren Harding, and both men opposed the entry of the United States into the League of Nations; Harding's victory in the presidential election was to Lodge a vindication of his actions with regard to the Versailles Treaty. The

      Senator died on November 9, 1924, at Cambridge, Mass., as senior member of the Senate, titular leader of the Republican majority there, and chairman of the foreign relations committee. Lodge has been credited with literary as well as oratorical skills, and with loyalty toward his friends. His enemies, however, charged that he was ruthlessly vindictive towards them, that he was not always frank in his dealings, that he nurtured personal grudges much too long, and that as a Conservative he was opposed to almost all reforms.


    • Life and Letters of George Cabot
    • This book was originally published prior to 1923, and represents a reproduction of an important historical work, maintaining the same format as the original work.


    Lodge was a vocal proponent of immigration restrictions, for a number of reasons. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, large numbers of immigrants, primarily from Eastern and Southern Europe, were flooding into industrial centers, where the poverty of their home countries was being perpetuated and crime rates were rising. Many of the newcomers were not only poor, but unskilled, illiterate, and non-fluent in English.[citation needed] Lodge feared that unskilled foreign labor was undermining the standard of living for American workers, and that a mass influx of uneducated immigrants would result in social conflict and national decline.

    His position was also influenced by his beliefs about race. In a May 1891 article on Italian immigration, Lodge expressed his concern that immigration by "the races who have peopled the United States" was declining, while "the immigration of people removed from us in race and blood" was on the rise. He considered northern Italians superior to southern Italians, not only because they tended to be better educated, but because they were more "Teutonic" than their southern counterparts, whose immigration he sought to restrict.

    Party affiliation: Republican Party


    • In 1871, he married Anna "Nannie" Cabot Mills Davis, daughter of Admiral Charles Henry Davis. They had three children:

      Constance Davis Lodge (1872–1948), wife of U.S. Representative Augustus Peabody Gardner (from 1892 to 1918) and Brigadier general Clarence Charles Williams (from 1923 to 1948)

      George Cabot Lodge (1873–1909), a noted poet and politician. George's sons, Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., (1902–1985) and John Davis Lodge (1903–1985), also became politicians.

      John Ellerton Lodge (1876–1942), an art curator.

      On November 5, 1924, Lodge suffered a severe stroke while recovering in the hospital from surgery for gallstones. He died four days later at the age of 74. He was interred in the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
    • spouse: Anna "Nannie" Cabot Mills Davis
    Henry Cabot Lodge
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    Born March 12, 1850
    Died November 9, 1924
    (aged 74)
    • 1872
      Harvard College
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
    • 1874
      Harvard College
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
    • 1883 - 1884
      Chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party
      United States
    • March 4, 1887 - March 4, 1893
      Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts's 6th district
      United States
    • March 4, 1893 - November 9, 1924
    • May 25, 1912 - May 30, 1912
      President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate
      United States
    • March 4, 1919 - November 9, 1924
      Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
      United States
    • March 4, 1920 - November 9, 1924
      Senate Majority Leader
      United States


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