The New Student's Reference Work/President Wilson and Cabinet
PRESIDENT WILSON'S CABINET
The secretary of the treasury, William Gibbs McAdoo, is a Southerner by birth and education. A native of Georgia, he was born in Marietta, October 31, 1863. He was educated at the University of Tennessee and practiced law in that state until 1892 when he removed to New York where he soon demonstrated the same ability as a business executive which he had previously shown in his profession. He became president and director of the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Company, and after a number of others had failed, he completed the tunnel under the North River through which subway trains now run from the Jersey shore to the heart of New York City.
The appointment of Franklin Knight Lane to one of the most important cabinet positions is said to have been the result of a letter written by Mr. Lane recommending another man for the position. His letter showed such understanding of the problems with which he would be called upon to deal that this, together with his eight years' record as a member of the Interstate Commerce Commission, made the president feel it his duty to offer him the portfolio. Mr. Lane was born in Prince Edward Island, Canada, July 15, 1864 and graduated from the University of California in 1886.
The secretary of war, Lindley Murray Garrison is a native of the state in which President Wilson distinguished himself as governor. He was born in Camden, November 28, 1864. A lawyer by profession, he was very close to Governor Wilson in New Jersey and drafted the anti-trust bill passed by the New Jersey legislature shortly before the governor's retirement from office to take the presidential chair.
Josephus Daniels, secretary of the navy, is a newspaper man. Although he studied for the law and was admitted to the Bar in 1885, he never practiced. At the time of his appointment he was owner and editor of the Raleigh News and Observer. He was chief clerk of the interior department from 1893 to 1904. He was born at Washington, N. C., May 18, 1862.
To James Clark McReynolds, attorney general, belongs the distinction of having served under President Wilson's two predecessors, Mr. Taft and Mr. Roosevelt. He held the position of first assistant attorney general, and the knowledge of the trust question and the ability in dealing with it which he displayed led to his retention in this branch of the public service. Mr. McReynolds is a Kentuckian. He was born in Elkton, February 3, 1862, is a graduate of the Vanderbilt University and of the law department of the University of Virginia. He practiced in Nashville and was assistant professor of law at Vanderbilt for three years.
Postmaster General, Albert Sidney Burleson, is a native of Texas where he was born in 1863. He received his education at the Agricultural and Mechanical College, Baylor University, and the University of Texas. After distinguishing himself as a member of the legal profession, which he entered in 1884, he was elected to Congress in 1891 and served six successive terms. He was a strong supporter of Mr. Wilson at the Baltimore Convention.
William Cox Redfield, secretary of commerce, is a native of New York. He was born in Albany, June 18, 1858, and received a grammar and high school education at Pittsfield, Mass. He entered the manufacturing business in Brooklyn in 1883. This led him to a scientific study of manufacturing and business efficiency. His appointment is said to have been made as the result of a conversation on the tariff between Mr. Wilson and himself when the former was president of Princeton. Mr. Wilson was impressed with the practical value of Mr. Redfield's knowledge and experience in dealing with the tariff and other phases of our commercial life.
Like the President himself the secretary of agriculture, David Franklin Houston is a college man and a Southerner. Born in North Carolina in 1866 and graduating from the State University he made a special study of agriculture, became head of the Texas College of Agriculture (1894-1902) and made a record for practical achievement which indicated him to the president as the man for the important portfolio which he was given. At the time of his appointment he was chancellor of Washington University, St. Louis.
The secretary of the newly created Department of Labor, William Bauchop Wilson, was born in Blantyra, Scotland in 1862, came to America at the age of eight and at nine was working in the Pennsylvania coal mines. From 1900 to 1908 he was secretary and treasurer of the United Mine Workers. His long and successful service as an officer of his union, and his experience as a member of Congress to which he was elected in 1907, especially recommended him as the first representative of the great labor interests of our country to occupy a seat in the president's cabinet.