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Chester I. Long Papers

Ms. Collection No. 42
Microfilm MS 573—MS 601



The 31 rolls of this microfilm publication contain correspondence, speeches, notebooks, scrapbooks, and other papers of Chester Isaiah Long, attorney, legislator, United States representative and senator from Kansas.


“For half a century he had been one of Kansas’ leading citizens,” the Wichita Eagle stated at the time of Chester I. Long’s death in 1934. “His acquaintance was nationwide and among his close friends he counted Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Charles Evan Hughes, Nicholas Longworth, Uncle Joe Cannon and practically every man of prominence at Washington for more than 30 years.”

The man so eulogized was born in Perry County, Pennsylvania, on October 12. 1860, the youngest son of Abraham G. and Mary L. (Cauffman) Long. In 1865 the family moved to Daviess County, Missouri, and here young Long received his elementary education in the public schools and informal law training at the hands of an uncle who raised the boy after the death of his father.

In 1879 Chester Long moved to Paola, Kansas, to attend normal school. After his graduation in 1880 he read law in the Topeka, Kansas, firm of Peck, Johnson and McFarland and was admitted to the bar in 1885. He immediately moved to Medicine Lodge, Kansas, and commenced the practice of his profession. Ten years later, in 1895, he married a former Paola classmate, Anna Bache.

Apparently Long’s first engagement with politics occurred in 1888 when he assisted in the successful opposition to the election of Jeremiah Simpson to the state Legislature. Simpson, not yet known as “Sockless Jerry,” was running on a Union Labor-Democratic fusion ticket. Within two years the People’s Party was successfully launched in Kansas and Populist Simpson was sent to the United States House of Representatives. Long, a Republican, was elected to the Kansas Senate in 1889 to fill an unexpired term which ended in 1893. In 1892 he opposed Simpson’s bid for reelection to Congress but failed. In 1894 Long tried again and this time won, only to be ousted by Simpson in 1896. Two years later the Republican once more bettered Sockless Jerry and was reelected in 1900 and 1902.

As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee Long was actively involved in the debates on Constitutional questions and tariff matters concerning the territorial acquisitions made after the Spanish-American War. He was especially prominent in the discussions relating to Constitutional control over Puerto Rico and in the Cuban reciprocity controversy.

Though reelected to the House in 1902, Long was chosen United States senator by the Kansas Legislature on January 27, 1903. He therefore resigned his House seat effective March 4 and moved into the Senate chamber. Here he was active in the organization of the Interstate Commerce Commission and on several occasions was an able defender of the commission on the senate floor. He was considered an expert on tariff matters and was often consulted about railroad legislation.

During Long’s service in the Senate the Kansas primary law became effective and in the first such election, held in August, 1908, progressive Joseph L. Bristow defeated conservative Long. The senator had been denounced for not supporting Theodore Roosevelt’s progressive program in Washington. Too, he had lost the support of William Allen White, a fatal mistake in Kansas Republican politics.

After his senatorial career ended, Long returned to Kansas and interested himself in business and legal matters. He moved to Wichita in 1911 and became the senior partner in the law firm of Long, Houston, Cowan and Depew. He was made chairman of the commission to revise the general statutes of Kansas in 1921 and the next year was elected president of the Kansas Bar Association. He ran for Congress again in 1924 but was defeated.

In 1925 he moved to Washington, D. C., and became a partner in the law firm of Long, St. Lewis and Nyce. He served as president of the American Bar Association in 1925-1926, succeeding his friend Charles Evans Hughes. Until his death, which occurred in Washington on July 1, 1934, Long maintained law offices in Wichita and the District of Columbia, practicing in both places.

“The politics of Long was the politics of the time,” a Topeka editor wrote at his death. William Allen White considered him the most brilliant person, next to John James Ingalls, that Kansas ever sent to Congress.

Scope and Content

The papers of Chester I. Long were given to the Kansas State Historical Society by his daughter, Mrs. W. E. Stanley of Wichita, on February 4, 1941. The collection consists of 27 document boxes and 27 bound volumes of correspondence, papers and speeches, one large notebook and three scrapbooks.

Though the beginning date of the collection is 1890 there is little material concerning Long’s career in the state Legislature and his first term in Congress. After he became a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, in 1899, the correspondence becomes abundant.

The collection is arranged in three series. The first consists of unbound correspondence and papers, arranged chronologically, covering the period January 1, 1890, to December 31, 1928. Until February, 1900, outgoing letters are interfiled in this series. Only a scattering of letters appears after 1917.

Undated material, arranged alphabetically by writer, follows dated. Miscellaneous matter, including fragments and small printed items, complete the series.

The second series consists of bound carbon copies of Long’s letters which were written between February 14, 1900, and December 28, 1917. These carbons, filmed in their bound condition, are arranged chronologically.

The third series contains the notebook and scrapbooks. The notebook is an example of Long’s meticulously assembled data concerning Kansas constituents. A sampling of major categories within the notebook illustrates his appreciation of statistical information on voters. Included are these sections:

  • Eighty-four pages of lists of officers of Kansas banks arranged alphabetically by
    town in which located.
  • “Places visited in 1907,” giving place, occasion and date of visit.
  • “Roster of State Officers and Employees in Departments.”
  • “List of P. O. Patrons, Ellinwood, Kansas” giving name and political affiliation.
  • List of friendly and possibly friendly persons, alphabetically by towns in Butler
    County, Kansas.
  • Names of persons living in Seneca, Kansas, giving occupation; arranged
  • List of working Republicans and influential people in various Kansas towns.
  • List of newspapers published primarily for African Americans giving name of paper,
    name of editor, location, circulation, and a short statement of policy;
    arranged by states.
  • “Some Kansans in Washington,” 1908.
  • “Legislature 1907-1909 by Congressional Districts.”
  • Unidentified list of names arranged by counties and townships in Kansas,
    giving political affiliation.

The first of the scrapbooks is concerned with Long’s 1924 congressional campaign though some unrelated personal clippings are included. The final two scrapbooks deal with Long’s tenure as president of the American Bar Association in 1925 and 1926.

Unidentified lists of names of people in each Kansas county [ca. 1906-1908?] are in this collection (box 35) but do not appear on the microfilm.

In filming the collection targets have been kept to a minimum and are used only to indicate enclosures, retakes, etc. Targets containing editorial comment, except for the introduction, have not been included. Enclosures have been photographed immediately after covering letters whenever possible. The date of an original letter is used for arrangement location when the answer thereto is written on the same sheet. Any dates supplied by the editors have been penciled in brackets in the upper right hand corner of the letter’s first page. Question marks in these brackets denote some dissatisfaction with the reliability of the supplied date.

A helpful secondary work relating to the collection is: Raymond L. Flory, “The Political Career of Chester I. Long,” unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Kansas, 1955.

Contents List

MS 573 Roll 1 – Correspondence, January 1, 1890-May 31, 1901.

MS 574 Roll 2 – Incoming correspondence, June 1, 1901-September 30, 1901.

MS 575 Roll 3 – Incoming correspondence, October 1, 1901-June 30, 1902.

MS 576 Roll 4 – Incoming correspondence, July 1, 1902-October 31, 1902.

MS 577 Roll 5 – Incoming correspondence, November 1, 1902-February 12, 1903.

MS 578 Roll 6 – Incoming correspondence, February 13, 1903-March 16, 1903.

MS 579 Roll 7 – Incoming correspondence, March 17, 1903-May 31, 1903.

MS 580 Roll 8 – Incoming correspondence, June 1, 1903-September 30, 1903.

MS 581 Roll 9 – Incoming correspondence, October 1, 1903-June 30, 1904.

MS 582 Roll 10 – Incoming correspondence July 1, 1904-May 31, 1905

MS 583 Roll 11 – Incoming correspondence, June 1, 1905-February 28, 1906.

MS 584 Roll 12 – Incoming correspondence, March 1, 1906-January 22, 1907.

MS 585 Roll 13 – Incoming correspondence, January 23, 1907-May 31, 1907.

MS 586 Roll 14 – Incoming correspondence, June 1, 1907-Jjanuary 31, 1908.

MS 587 Roll 15 – Incoming correspondence, February 1, 1908-August 15, 1908.

MS 588 Roll 16 – Incoming correspondence, August 16, 1908-February 28, 1909.

MS 589 Roll 17 – Incoming correspondence, March 1, 1909-July 31, 1909.

MS 590 Roll 18 – Incoming correspondence, August 1, 1909-March 31, 1910.

MS 591 Roll 19 – Incoming correspondence, April 1, 1910-October 31, 1910.

MS 592 Roll 20 – Incoming correspondence, November 1, 1910-September 30, 1914.

MS 593 Roll 21 – Incoming correspondence, October 1, 1914-December 31, 1928; undated correspondence and miscellaneous matter.

MS 594 Roll 22 – Outgoing correspondence, February, 1900-December, 1901.

MS 595 Roll 23 – Outgoing correspondence, January, 1902-January, 1904.

MS 596 Roll 24 – Outgoing correspondence, February, 1904-December, 1906.

MS 597 Roll 25 – Outgoing correspondence, January, 1907-August, 1908.

MS 598 Roll 26 – Outgoing correspondence, September, 1908-June, 1909.

MS 599 Roll 27 – Outgoing correspondence, July, 1909-May, 1910.

MS 600 Roll 28 – Outgoing correspondence, June 1910-December, 1912.

MS 601 Roll 29 – Outgoing correspondence, January 1913-December, 1917; miscellaneous papers; biographical material; cipher code; Republican Party platforms, 1896 (Barber County), 1902
(state of Kansas), 1908 (United States), and an undated proposal submitted by Samuel Gompers; article by Long refuting William Allen White’s “The Strange Case of Senator Long”; Kansas Seventh Congressional District party polls by counties; unidentified list of names by Kansas counties; “List of Delegates to the State Republican Convention,” not dated; notes and information sheets on various issues before Congress: railroad rate legislation, Philippine Island revenue, 1902 Brussels sugar conference, Cuban reciprocity, seating of house members; Keene’s cement; list of New York buildings, their architects and builders; list of lawyers by state, showing membership in the American Bar Association; brief on the indictment of Glenn Hostutler for doctoring the books
of the First National Bank of Excelsior Springs, Mo., 1908; unidentified manuscript endorsing Hoover and Curtis for president and vice-president, 1928.

MS 602 Roll 30 – Speeches, 1894-1909, 1925-1928; undated speeches.

MS 603 Roll 31 – Undated speeches; notebook containing unidentified lists of names, 1907-1908; scrapbook, 1924; American Bar Association Scrapbook I; American Bar Association scrapbook II.

Editor: Joseph W. Snell
Assistant Editor: Mrs. Eunice L. Schenck
Microfilm Technician: George T. Hawley

Additional Information for Researchers

Use of the Collection

The Chester I. Long papers are the property of the Kansas State Historical Society. Brief quotations are authorized without restriction but publication of any major portion of the material on this film must be approved in writing by an officer of the Society. Literary rights were not conveyed to the Kansas State Historical Society at the time of donation, but in accordance with copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) are now presumed to be in the public domain.

It is suggested that the following citation be made to this microfilm publication: “Chester I. Long Collection (microfilm edition), Library and Archives Division, Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka.”

Availability of the Microfilm Publication

The microfilm edition of the Chester I. Long collection may be used in the Research Room of the Kansas State Historical Society, borrowed through interlibrary loan or purchased. A copy of this pamphlet is included in the purchase price of the film. Borrowers also receive the pamphlet which must be returned with the film.

Please address all inquiries and orders regarding this or any other Kansas Historical Society film publication to Microfilm Publications, Kansas State Historical Society, 6425 SW 6th Avenue, Topeka, KS 66615-1099.