The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958 Page: 475
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The Democratic Presidential Primary Election of 1924 475
highest honor. In 1912 the Alabama congressman had been an
active candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.?
He had begun that year as a favorite son candidate of Alabama
and had emerged as the preference of most of the Southern dele-
gations. At the convention he fought the good fight during forty-
six ballots, yielding gracefully at the end to the superior strength
and greater popularity of Governor Woodrow Wilson. A dozen
years later when he chose to run again, he felt confident of pick-
ing up where he had left off before-that is, as a favorite son of
the South-and emerging from the national nominating conven-
tion as the favorite son of the entire party.
Underwood was more than a local figure in Alabama politics.
He was a loyal and faithful party worker at the national level.
From 1895 to 1915 he represented Alabama's Ninth Congressional
District in the House of Representatives, where he served with
distinction. There the party caucus chose him Democratic floor
leader from 1911 to 1915. During the Sixty-third Congress (1913-
1915) he was also chairman of the House Ways and Means Com-
mittee and as such piloted the Underwood-Simmons Tariff of
1913 through the House. In 1915 the electorate of Alabama ad-
vanced him to the Senate, where he eventually served two terms,
ended in 1927 by a voluntary retirement because of failing health.
From 1921 to 1923 he was minority leader of the Senate. For
thirty-two years he was a conscientious representative who worked
hard for the good of his constituents, his party, and the national
welfare. His posts of party leadership were rewards for faithful
service, even though frequently he did not represent the more
liberal point of view within the party.
Personally, Underwood was a quiet, efficient worker. He was
of average build, with an easily recognized round, full, clean
shaven face. His dress was conservative, and his manner was dig-
nified without aloofness. In his office, the clean desk top betrayed
a businesslike efficiency. On the floor of Congress he was a skilled
parliamentarian, and in debate Underwood revealed himself as
a man of even temperament and strong convictions.2
lA. S. Link, "The Underwood Presidential Movement of 1912," Journal of
Southern History, XI, 230-245.
2Other biographical data about Underwood (1862-1929) may be found in Bio-
graphical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1949 (Washington, 1950), 1943;
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958, periodical, 1958; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101164/m1/579/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.