Claude Kitchin Edit Profile
Brother of William Walton K. B.L., Wake Forest College, 1888.
In Congress, he served on the House Ways and Means Committee, chairing the Committee from 1915 to 1919. From 1915 to 1919 he was House majority leader. From this position he opposed the Wilson administration's "Preparedness" crusade, seeking unsuccessfully to hold down the growth in size of the army and navy.
He was one of the representatives who voted against declaring war on Germany in April 1917. Indeed, his example and speech against American entry probably swelled the number of dissenters to 50. He threw himself into the war effort thereafter but remained a critic of some of the administration's war policies, especially regarding taxation policies.
He championed an "excess profits" tax that was steeply progressive over a policy of selling Liberty Bonds that shifted the financial burden of the war onto future generations. After giving an impassioned speech in 1920 he suffered a severe stroke, from which he never recovered.
First elected in 1900, after his party secured a constitutional amendment excluding blacks from the ballot boxes of the state, a campaign in which he served as a leading orator, he served in Congress as a member of the Democratic Party until his death.
Married Kate B. Mills, November 13, 1888.