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Albert Jeremiah Beveridge papers

Identifier: MSD-1885-001

Collection Statement

The Albert J. Beveridge papers are divided into four series. Series 1, scrapbooks, most are arranged chronologically. The scrapbooks are composed of clippings. Loose clippings are also included with Series 1. Series 2, correspondence, 1881-1927, arranged chronologically. Series 3, writings, consist of speeches, articles and pamphlets arranged chronologically. Series 4, general papers consist of four subseries; 1a, biographical material, 1b, campaign material, 1c photographs and 1d ephemera.


  • 1881 - 1935

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Usage Restrictions

Copyright interests for this collection have been transferred to DePauw University.

Biographical Sketch

United States Senate, 1899-1911, Republican. Albert Jeremiah Beveridge was born on a farm on the border of Adams and Highland counties, Ohio, October 6, 1862, the son of Thomas H. and Francis E. (Parkinson) Beveridge. Albert was the only child of this union, but there were seven children by Thomas’ first wife, Elizabeth. The Beveridge family moved to Illinois following the Civil War. After Thomas Beveridge’s business failed in 1874, Albert was forced to go to work to help support the family. He held a series of manual labor jobs including plowboy, railroad laborer, logger and teamster. Although Albert’s father, soured by his business failures, was not close to his son, Albert’s mother did much to encourage him. Mother and son remained close throughout her life.

At 15 Albert was able to attend Sullivan High School graduating in 1881. While his dreams of attending college were temporarily thwarted, a former employer, Edward Anderson, lent him fifty dollars for tuition. This loan combined with savings Beveridge accumulated the previous year, allowed him to enter Indiana Asbury University in the fall of 1881. While Beveridge entered the university very poor and had to work odd jobs in town to fund his education, his best source of income became prizes received for winning oratorical contests. His greatest success was winning the Interstate Oratorical Contest in the spring of his senior year. Beveridge had been indifferent to the Christian faith until his junior year when his friend, Samuel Brengle, later a top leader in the Salvation Army, won him over. He attended a revival at Locust Street Methodist Episcopal Church the next day and responded to the altar call.

He met his wife, Katherine Langsdale, while a student. She had entered Indiana Asbury’s academy in 1880, but did not attend the university. They married November 24, 1887. Katherine died June 18, 1900. Beveridge married Catherine Eddy of Chicago, August 7, 1907. They had two children, Albert J. and Abby Spencer.

Following graduation from DePauw University with a Ph.B. in 1885, and a year in land speculation in Kansas, Beveridge read law in the office of ex-Senator Joseph E. McDonald in Indianapolis and was admitted to the bar in 1887. He remained with the firm until he went into private practice. He made friendships with many Republican legislators and earned a reputation as a talented speaker. His break came when he won a case argued before the Indiana Supreme Court and then another argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1892. Beveridge turned down a request to run for state attorney general in 1893, but accepted a bid for U.S. Senator in 1898. He served two terms, 1899-1911, but failed in his run for a third.

While a senator he was involved in the writing and passage of several laws including his ground breaking meat inspection and child labor legislation. The meat inspection law was the direct result of Beveridge, having read Upton Sinclair’s book The Jungle, convincing President Roosevelt to take up the industry reform cause. It was the beginning of Beveridge’s leadership in the progressive movement of the Republican party. After service in the Senate, Beveridge served as chairman of the Progressive National Convention in Chicago in 1912.

He was the author of numerous publications, but is best known as the author of the definitive Life of John Marshall, 1916. His unfinished biography of Abraham Lincoln was later published and a portion of it in manuscript form is part of this collection. He received additional academic honors as follows: A.M., DePauw, 1888; LL.D., DePauw, 1902; University of Pennsylvania, 1920; Lafayette College, 1921; and Brown University, 1921. He died April 27, 1927 at his home in Indianapolis and was buried at Crown Hill Cemetery.


5.57 Cubic Feet (7 document cases, 4 flat boxes, 4 volumes, 1 oversize speech)

Language of Materials


See also:

1. Carhart, Joseph - material for reference to Beveridge Greencastle Herald - Oct. 12, 1909 -- LaFollette sees Beveridge; Oct. 22, 1909 -- Beveridge gives advice

2. Murlin document case for a 7 page paper by W.W. Sweet entitled, "Albert J. Beveridge, Historian"

3. Murlin collection - letters from Beveridge and Murlin's reply, DC 111, folder 5-Jan. 29, 1925; Jan. 31, 1925; May 12, 1925

4. Longden collection - letters to and from Beveridge, Jan. 31, 1925; Feb 6, 1925; Jan. 30, 1925

5. Hughes collection - September 15, 1905 letter Tilden, Richard Arnold - "The Senatorial Career of Albert Jeremiah Beveridge", 1928 Microfilm #140

6. Jesse Weik - DC 1504 November 18, 1910 letter Ritter DC November 24, 1926

7. "Beveridge Research"in folder in Oxnam file 1930-31

Articles by Herold T. Ross: 1. "Beveridge the Debater", The Forensic, 1931 pp. 89-90

2. "The Education of an Orator" Quarterly Journal, 1932 pp. 70-82

3. "Beveridge! Orator of Nationalism" The Forensic, 1933

4. "Oratorical Career of Albert J. Beveridge", Archives of Speech, September 1936, 69 pp.

5. "Albert J. Beveridge" History and Criticism of American Public Address, McGraw-Hill, 1943, Chapter 32 pp. 919-941

6. "Albert J. Beveridge at DePauw", 1935 typed manuscript and

microfilm #140

Albert Jeremiah Beveridge papers Class of 1885
Wesley Wilson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives of DePauw University and Indiana United Methodism Repository

Roy O. West Library
405 S. Indiana St.
Greencastle Indiana 46135 United States