1899 Note: Idaho Silver Republican Congressman Edgar Wilson - Indian War Veteran
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1899 Note: Idaho Silver Republican Congressman Edgar Wilson - Indian War Veteran:
1899 Typed Note on House of Representatives Stationary: Idaho Congressman Edgar Wilson responds to Indian War veteran Jason Wheeler in Albany, Oregon. Jason Wheeler (1823-1907) had come across the continent from New York to Oregon in 1847 and immediately volunteered to fight against the Cayuse Indians. He was wounded and treated at the Whitman Mission. He was the first publicly chosen sheriff of Linn County, Oregon; mined along the American River in California in 1849 and returned to Oregon, settling in Albany where he was a three term councilman and mayor while running a livery stable. He served in the Oregon legislature in 1878 and was appointed Indian Agent at Warm Springs by Grover Cleveland. He was later president of the Willamette Valley and Cascade Mountain wagon road. Wheeler took it upon himself to lobby for pensions for Indian Wars veterans, particularly in the "Northwest" who had not been part of an "official" American military unit. He felt since Mexican War veterans, Civil War veterans, even recent Spanish-American War veterans were getting pensions, Indian Wars men should not be excluded. Paper is cut unevenly at bottom and is 7" x 7 1/2". Heading is House of Representatives December 29,1899. Wilson claims that long before Wheeler has sent his letter, Wilson had introduced a bill "for the pensioning of these veterans up to and including Rogue River War" [Series of wars 1855-1856 in southwestern Oregon] Wilson asks Wheeler and his committee to support Wilson's bill. He also says many of the veterans live in Idaho and he has taken a special interest in the matter. Edgar Wilson (1861-1915) [see #2 from internet] was born in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, graduated from the University of Michigan in 1884 and came west to Boise, Idaho to practice law. He was chosen city attorney in 1887; district attorney in 1888 and served in the Idaho constitutional convention in 1890. Wilson was elected as a Republican to the United States House of Representatives in 1894 as an at-large member [served the whole state[ and served 1895-1897.He was nominated for a seat on the Idaho Supreme Court so he did not run in 1896. He was not chosen so he ran again serving from 1899-1901 as a Silver Republican. A Silver Republican was a member of a small part of the Republican Party in the 1890s that supported bimetallism or pegging the dollar to a bimetallic standard [silver and gold] as opposed to the general Republican position of a gold standard. Bimetallism was favored by many Democrats but not all and in 1896 some Silver Republicans supported William Jennings Bryan. Most Silver Republicans who backed bimetallism were from the West and in states where silver was mined like Idaho. He resumed his law practice in Boise in 1901. In 1907 oddly enough,banker and Republican Wilson was one of the attorneys along with Clarence Darrow for Big Bill Haywood, the Western Federation of Miners/Socialist agitator accused of murder. Apparently Wilson had been considered for a Federal judgeship by the Roosevelt Administration but there were rumors of heavy drinking and breaking furniture one night in a Boise bordello and so he was passed over. The Haywood team had no scruples about his behavior knowing only that he was a good lawyer and former law partner of the court judge Fremont Wood. Haywood was acquitted. A nice item signed by a Congressman from early Idaho. Sent flat.