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Duncan Upshaw Fletcher


In office
March 4, 1909 – June 17, 1936
Preceded by William Hall Milton
Succeeded by William Luther Hill

In office
1893 – 1895
Preceded by Henry Robinson
Succeeded by William M. Bostwick

In office
1901 – 1903
Preceded by J. E. T. Bowden
Succeeded by George M. Nolan

Born January 6, 1859
Americus, Georgia
Died June 17, 1936
Washington, D.C.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Anna Louis Paine
Alma mater Vanderbilt University
Profession Lawyer
Religion Unitarian Universalism

Duncan Upshaw Fletcher (January 6, 1859 - June 17, 1936) was an American lawyer and politician of the Democratic Party. Senator Fletcher was the longest serving U.S. Senator in Florida's history.

Contents

Early Life and Career

Born near Americus, Georgia, he was still an infant when his family moved to Florida. Fletcher studied law at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and after graduating in 1880 he was admitted to the bar the following year and set up a law practice in the city of Jacksonville, Florida. He was a founding member of the Jacksonville Bar Association and its first president. In 1896 Fletcher was one of three attorneys appointed to administer the bar examination to James Weldon Johnson, who in addition to his many other accomplishments was the first black admitted to the Florida Bar by examination. It was Senator Fletcher who motioned that Johnson be admitted to the bar over the objection of another examiner.

Political career

Fletcher became active in municipal politics and was elected to city council in 1887 and served as mayor from 1893 to 1895 and from 1901 to 1903. In 1893 he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives. From 1900 to 1907, Fletcher chaired the Board of Public Instruction of Duval County. In 1908, he served as President of the Gulf Coast Inland Waterways Association and later, the Mississippi to Atlantic Waterway Association.

Senate career

In 1909, Fletcher was elected to the United States Senate by the Florida Legislature, as a member of the Democratic Party where he served and was re-elected for four consecutive terms. In 1913 he was appointed chairman of the United States commission to investigate European land-mortgage banks, cooperative rural credit unions, and the betterment of rural conditions in Europe by President Woodrow Wilson. Fletcher was also appointed as a delegate to the International High Commission by President Wilson. Senator Fletcher served on a number of government committees including the United States Senate Committee on Commerce where he was chairman from 1916 to 1919, the Committee on Commerce subcommittee investigating the Titanic disaster, the high profile Chairmanship of the United States Senate Senate Banking and Currency Committee in 1932 with a mandate to examine the causes of the Wall Street Crash of 1929. His committee, generally known as the Pecora Commission, began a major process of reform of the American financial system and resulted in the passage of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that instituted disclosure laws for corporations seeking public financing plus the 1935 formation of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a mechanism to enforce the provisions of the new Acts. In 1928, Senator Fletcher introduced legislation to create the Everglades National Park, which was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934.

Fletcher died in Washington, D.C. and was interred in the Evergreen Cemetery in Jacksonville.

Senator Fletcher was a trustee of John B. Stetson University and of St. Luke's Hospital Association at Jacksonville. He was vice president of the Children’s Home Society of Florida and honorary president of the Southern Commercial Congress. He was also a member of the American Bar Association and the Florida State Bar Association and president of the Florida Society. In 1907 Senator Fletcher founded the First Unitarian Church in Jacksonville, Florida.

Honors

United States Senate Elections

Florida United States Senate election, 1908

  • Duncan U. Fletcher (D) was nominated for the United States Senate a in primary election on June 16, 1908, and elected by the legislature in its next convening.

Florida United States Senate election, 1914[1]:

  • Duncan U. Fletcher (D) (inc.) - (99.5%)

Florida United States Senate election, 1920

  • Duncan U. Fletcher (D) (inc.) - (69.5%)
  • John M. Cheney (R) - (26.0%)
  • M.J. Martin (Soc.) - (2.5%)
  • G. A. Klock (R-White) - (2.0%)

Florida United States Senate election, 1926

  • Duncan U. Fletcher (D) (inc.) - (77.9%)
  • John M. Lindsay (I) - (12.8%)

Florida United States Senate election, 1932

  • Duncan U. Fletcher (D) (inc.) - (99.8%)

External links

Notes

United States Senate
Preceded by
William Hall Milton
United States Senator (Class 3) from Florida
1909 - 1936
Succeeded by
William Luther Hill
Political offices
Preceded by
Henry Robinson
Mayor of Jacksonville
1893–1895
Succeeded by
William M. Bostwick
Preceded by
J. E. T. Bowden
Mayor of Jacksonville
1901–1903
Succeeded by
George M. Nolan
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