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Joe Cannon was one of the most powerful Speakers of the House in American history. Until a Progressive-Democratic coalition stripped him of the power in 1910, Cannon presumed to appoint all members of all House committees. (I saw one pathetically groveling missive in which a Congressman shamelessly begged Cannon to place him on the Ways and Means Committee.)

This next document isn’t especially significant. It’s merely an attestation from the Clerk of the House that Cannon appointed fourteen named members of the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization on December 11, 1905:

Those individuals were Benjamin Howell (R-NJ), Robert Adams, Jr. (R-PA), Augustus Gardner (R-MA), Burton French (R-ID), Robert Bonynge (R-CO), Frederick Stevens (R-MN), Ira Wood (R-NJ), William Bennett (R-NY), Everis Hayes (R-CA), Jacob Ruppert, Jr. (D-NY), John Burnett (D-AL), J. Edwin Ellerbe (D-SC), John (not James) M. Moore (D-TX), and Thomas Bell (D-GA). No historical notables, but I assume the Committee played a major role in drafting the Naturalization Act of 1906, the first major revision of naturalization procedures in over a century.

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