LORIMER, William (1861-1934). An archive of correspondence.
Comprising 3 TLSs and one ALS from Lorimer, March-November 1906, all on Committee on Rivers and Harbors House of Representatives U.S. stationery, requesting free passes on the Rock Island Railroad from Benjamin S. Cable. Also with 2 carbon copies of letters from Cable and a TLS from Mary Lorimer. (Complete list available on request.)
ONE OF ILLINOIS' MOST CORRUPT POLITICIANS
Lorimer was born in Manchester England and immigrated to the United States in 1866; his family first settled in Michigan before arriving in Chicago in 1870.
He was elected as a Republican to the first of two non-consecutive terms in the U. S. House of Representatives in 1894, where he served from 1895-1901 and 1903-1909. Known as the "Blond Boss" in Chicago, he helped arrange for U. S. Senator Albert J. Hopkins to be blocked from re-election, and a coalition of Illinois state House Democrats and Republicans named him to fill the vacant seat.
In 1910, The Chicago Tribune ran a scathing admission by Illinois Assemblyman Charles A. White that Lorimer had paid him $1,000 for his vote: "Democratic Legislator confesses that he was bribed to cast vote for Lorimer for United States Senator." He was ousted from his seat on July 10, 1912, and in 1913, the Seventeenth Amendment, establishing the popular election for United States Senators, was ratified. On his return home to Chicago, Lorimer was greeted by a parade.
Property from the Collection of Scott Petersen
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