The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950 Page: 38
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
ably the best-educated member of the Texas delegation. He was
a graduate of the University of Texas Law School, and had a
master of laws degree from the Yale Law School, where he won
honors as a debater and orator. He was no novice in Congress,
having served in the lower house for ten years before going to
the Senate in 1912.6 He was to prove a staunch Wilsonite in the
Among the southern congressmen who disagreed with the Wil-
son philosophy at one time or other was Robert L. Henry, who
had served in the House since 1897. In 1913, forty-nine-year-old
Henry was regarded as one of the foremost progressive Demo-
crats. He was a firm friend and disciple of William Jennings
Bryan. As chairman of the Committee on Rules of the House,
he would be able to bring to the fore special rules permitting
speedier legislative action. Texas born and bred, Henry was tall,
angular, and broad-shouldered. His high forehead, firm mouth,
keen eyes, and soft and gentle voice gave the impression at once
of boyish enthusiasm, of frank cordiality, and of fairness. On the
floor he was fearless and defiant in debate and could be quite
eloquent. His voice would often become sharp and bitter when
arguing a point. He was a defender of the farmer and believer
in the Populist sub-treasury scheme. "I demand that the farmers
shall be able to get money on their crops," said Henry, "that
the banks shall issue it to them when they show their warehouse
receipts for the cotton, corn, or wheat which they have but
which they do not wish to sell immediately."7
6Congressional Directory, 63rd Cong., Ist Sess., 113.
7Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1927 (Washington, 1928),
logo; "Men We Are Watching," Independent, LXXIV (May 22, 1913), 1134. Henry
was an early supporter of Wilson in Texas. See Link, "The South and the Demo-
cratic Campaign of 1912," 71-7s.
Henry stated his political commandments in this form:
"Thou shalt thrust into the penitentiary all those who violate the anti-trust law.
"Thou shalt battle to the last gasp to rescue the people from those who practice
"Thou shalt recognize the farmer as the backbone and the sovereign of this
"Thou shalt carry out every campaign and platform pledge.
"Thou shalt maintain the tariff, not with a free-trade tendency, but only for the
collection of revenue.
"Thou shalt wipe out Wall Street's gambling in cotton."-"On His Way to the
Senate," Cosmopolitan, LV (November, 1913), 797-799.
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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/m1/56/: accessed March 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.