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Francis G. Newlands

In office
March 4, 1903 – December 24, 1917
Preceded by John P. Jones
Succeeded by Charles B. Henderson

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Nevada's At-Large district
In office
March 4, 1893 – March 3, 1903
Preceded by Horace F. Bartine
Succeeded by Clarence D. Van Duzer

Born August 28, 1846(1846-08-28)
Natchez, Mississippi
Died December 24, 1917 (aged 71)
Washington, D.C.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Clara Adelaide Sharon
Residence Reno
Profession Attorney, Politician

Francis Griffith Newlands (August 28, 1846 [1] – December 24, 1917) was a United States Representative and Senator from Nevada.


Early life

Newlands was born in Natchez, Adams County, Mississippi, on August 28, 1846, the son of James Birney Newlands (ScotlandQuincy, Adams County, Illinois, 1851) and wife Jessie Barland (Scotland – living in 1867), who married secondly Ebenezer Moore, Mayor of Quincy, Adams County, Illinois, who died in October, 1866.

He studied at Yale University and the Columbian College Law School (now the George Washington University Law School), Washington, D.C. and was admitted to the bar in 1869.

Career in the West

Francis G. moved to San Francisco, California in 1870 and came to work for William Sharon, one of the discoverers of the Comstock Lode in Virginia City, Storey County, Nevada, who later also became Newlands's father-in-law, through the marriage in San Francisco, California, on November 19, 1874 to his daughter Clara Adelaide Sharon (San Francisco, California, 1854 – San Francisco, California, February 17, 1882). Their daughter Frances Newlands (San Francisco, California, November 21, 1880 – Berlin, August 21, 1907) married in Washington, D.C., May 6, 1905 Leopold Waldemar von Bredow (Bredow bei Nauen, October 31, 1875 – Lausanne, October 1, 1933), and they were the maternal grandparents of Chris Strachwitz.[1]

In 1888 he moved to Nevada to serve Sharon's interests and continued to practice Law.

In the late 1880s, Newlands and his partners began the aggressive acquisition of farmland in northwestern Washington, D.C. and southern Montgomery County, Maryland, for the purpose of developing a residential streetcar suburb for Washington, D.C.. (See Washington streetcars.) They founded the Chevy Chase Land Company in 1890, and its eventual holdings are now known as Chevy Chase, Washington, D.C. and Chevy Chase, Maryland.


He served as a Democratic Representative for Nevada between 1893 and 1903.

While a congressman, he wrote the Newlands Resolution, which was an act of the United States Congress to annex the Republic of Hawai'i and create the Territory of Hawai'i.

It was approved on July 4, 1898 and signed on July 7 by President of the United States William McKinley. Newlands became well known for his support of irrigation, land reclamation as well as free silver. Newlands is most famous for the 1902 Newlands Reclamation Act, which funded irrigation projects throughout much of the American West.


Later he became a Democratic United States Senator for Nevada in 1903 and served until his death at Washington, D.C. on December 24, 1917. He was the only Democratic Senator to vote against the nomination of Louis Brandeis to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court


Newlands's former mansion in Reno would later become a local landmark. Many famous people, such as Barbara Hutton in 1935, stayed at the house while awaiting their divorce paperwork to be finalized by George Thatcher, a local lawyer who had purchased the building.


  1. ^ Ancestry of Chris Strachwitz
United States Senate
Preceded by
John P. Jones
United States Senator (Class 3) from Nevada
Served alongside: William M. Stewart, George S. Nixon, William A. Massey, Key Pittman
Succeeded by
Charles B. Henderson
Political offices
Preceded by
Moses E. Clapp
Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Interstate Commerce
Succeeded by
Ellison D. Smith
South Carolina
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Horace F. Bartine
United States House of Representatives, Nevada At-Large
Succeeded by
Clarence D. Van Duzer


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