The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950 Page: 36
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
While only two of Texas' congressmen (including the two
senators) were chairmen of major committees during the first
Wilson administration, two others headed committees only slight-
ly less important, while several were high-ranking members of
major committees. In the Senate, Charles Allen Culberson was
chairman of the Judiciary Committee, while in the House, Robert
Lee Henry headed the important Rules Committee. Of lesser
importance were the House committees on Indian Affairs and
Irrigation of Arid Lands, chairmaned by Texans John H. Ste-
phens and William R. Smith respectively. James L. Slayden was
chairman of the Library Committee, Alexander White Gregg of
the War Claims Committee, and Martin Dies of the Railways and
Canals Committee in the House. While he was in charge of no
major committee, junior-Senator Morris Sheppard ranked high
on several committees, including those on Agriculture and For-
estry, Commerce, and Immigration. Several Texas representatives
were in a similar position on important committees. The more
outstanding of those were Joe Henry Eagle of Banking and Cur-
rency, Oscar Callaway of Insular Affairs, Sam Rayburn of Inter-
state and Foreign Commerce, Jack Beall of Judiciary, George F.
Burgess of Rivers and Harbors, John Nance Garner of Ways and
Means, and James Slayden of Immigration and Naturalization.2
Despite the fact that there were seven freshmen (including
Senator Sheppard) in the Texas delegation in 1913, the average
length of service for the twenty members was over six years.
Three representatives had served sixteen years, while Culberson
had been in the Senate thirteen years. Eight members of the
Lone Star State delegation had been in office at least a decade.3
Considering the size and seniority of its delegation in 1913, Texas
does not seem to have obtained as many prize committee posi-
tions as did certain other southern states, such as Virginia, Ala-
bama, and Georgia. This can be partially explained by the great
interest of men like Burgess, Stephens, and Smith in matters
involving river and harbor improvement, Indian affairs, and the
irrigation of arid lands, which were of great local importance but
of only secondary significance when viewed from a national angle.
2Official Congressional Directory, 63rd Congress, 2nd Session (second edition,
February, 1914), 163-168, 187-194.
Bibid., 63rd Cong., 1st Sess. (first edition, April, 1913), 138.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950, periodical, 1950; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101126/m1/54/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.