Thursday, May 9, 2013

A State Senator and His Committees

After serving as mayor of Northampton in 1910 and 1911, Coolidge was elected to the Massachusetts State Senate. He would serve four years before being elected Lieutenant Governor and Governor.
In 1912, Coolidge was appointed to the Cities, Agriculture, and Legal Affairs Committees. He chaired the last two. In the summer, he also led a special recess committee, the Western Mass. Trolleys Committee. These appointments were good for a freshman senator since they related to his background and experience.

He had been the mayor of a small city and a lawyer so the first and third appointments made sense. In Boston, Western Mass still means agriculture so this committee was appropriate.

In 1913, his committees changed completely to the Municipal Finance, Rules, and Railroads Committees (chair). His assignments still seem to fit his background quite well.

During his last two years in the senate (1914-1915), he was its President, a position of great influence, not least of which was the power to appoint members to committees. The museum has a letter in its collection from Coolidge to a fellow Senator asking his preferences for committee assignments.

Note: The display at the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library and Museum about his Senate career has been refurbished recently so the next few posts will highlight some of the new information.