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Edward Prentiss Costigan


In office
March 4, 1931 – March 3, 1937
Preceded by Lawrence C. Phipps
Succeeded by Edwin C. Johnson

Born July 1, 1874(1874-07-01)
King William County, Virginia
Died January 17, 1939 (aged 64)
Denver, Colorado
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Harvard University
Profession Law

Edward Prentiss Costigan (July 1, 1874–January 17, 1939) was a Democratic Party politician who represented Colorado in the United States Senate from 1931 until 1937.

He graduated from Harvard University in 1899 and began work as a lawyer in Denver in 1900.

Costigan was a founding member of the Progressive Party in Colorado in 1912, but lost the election for governor. President Woodrow Wilson appointed Costigan as a member of the United States Tariff Commission in 1917. He was elected to the United States Senate as a Democrat in 1930. Oscar L. Chapman managed his campaign.

Costigan-Wagner Bill

Costigan and Robert F. Wagner sponsored a federal anti-Lynching law. In 1935 attempts were made to persuade President Franklin D. Roosevelt to support the Costigan-Wagner Bill. However, Roosevelt refused to support a bill that would punish sheriffs who failed to protect their prisoners from lynch mobs. He believed that he would lose the support of the white voters in the South, and therefore lose the 1936 presidential election.

The Costigan-Wagner bill received support from many members of Congress but the Southern opposition managed to defeat it. However, the national debate that took place over the issue helped to bring attention to the crime of lynching.

External links

United States Senate
Preceded by
Lawrence C. Phipps
United States Senator (Class 2) from Colorado
1931–1937
Served alongside: Walter Walker, Karl C. Schuyler, Alva B. Adams
Succeeded by
Edwin C. Johnson
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