|Richard Franklin Pettigrew|
|United States Senator
from South Dakota
November 2, 1889 – March 4, 1901
|Succeeded by||Robert J. Gamble|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Dakota Territory's at-large district
March 4, 1881 – March 3, 1883
|Preceded by||Granville G. Bennett|
|Succeeded by||John B. Raymond|
July 23, 1848|
|Died||October 5, 1926
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
|Alma mater||University of Wisconsin Law School|
Richard Franklin Pettigrew (July 23, 1848 – October 5, 1926) was an American lawyer, surveyor, and land developer. He represented the Dakota Territory in the U.S. Congress and, after the Dakotas were admitted as States, he was the first U.S. Senator from South Dakota.
Pettigrew was born in Ludlow, Windsor County, Vermont, and moved with his parents to Wisconsin in 1854. The family settled in Rock County, near Union, Wisconsin. He studied law in Iowa, and entered the law department of the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1867. He moved to Dakota in 1869 to work with a United States deputy surveyor.
Pettigrew settled in Sioux Falls, where he practiced law and engaged in surveying and real estate. He was a member of the territorial House of Representatives and served on the Territorial council. He was elected as a Republican to the U.S. House, serving from March 4, 1881 - March 4, 1883. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1882, but returned to the territorial council from 1885 to 1889.
When South Dakota was admitted as a state, Pettigrew was elected as South Dakota's first Senator to the United States Senate. He served from November 2, 1889 to March 4, 1901. He introduced a bill to fund the structure, recommending that native Sioux quartzite be used for construction of the state's first Federal building. He was re-elected in 1894, but left the Republican party on June 17, 1896 to join the Silver Republicans, a faction of the Republican Party which opposed the party's position in support of the monetary gold standard. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1900. Pettigrew was a strong opponent of President William McKinley's attempt to annex the Republic of Hawaii against the wise of its many native residents. In a congressional speech, he stated:
The American flag went up on Hawaii in dishonor; it came down in honor, and if it goes up again now it will go up in infamy and shame and this Government will join the robber nations of the world.
In the Presidential Election of 1900, while still in the Senate, he was a delegate and a major figure in the national political convention of the Populist Party held in Sioux Falls that convened on May 9, 1900 and lasted three days. The party endorsed William Jennings Bryan as its candidate.
After his time in the Senate, Pettigrew first practiced law in New York City, but soon returned to Sioux Falls and was active in politics and business until his death in that city. He was interred in Woodlawn Cemetery in Sioux Falls.
Pettigrew left his home to the city of Sioux Falls in his will. Pettigrew's home is maintained by the city of Sioux Falls to this day. The Pettigrew museum is designed to emulate how a person of Pettigrew's stature would have lived at the turn of the century. The house is filled with antiques from the early 1900s and Pettigrew's personal collection of artifacts. The latter because Pettigrew was an amateur archaeologist.
Pettigrew was also instrumental in the founding of many local communities around Sioux Falls, by donating land. Pettigrew and his wife, Bessie, donated land in 1886 to the founding and development of Granite, Iowa in Lyon County. In 1888, he and S.L. Tate both donated more land and were responsible for the founding of South Sioux Falls. He wanted to build a suburb of Sioux Falls to the south and west.
Announced January 12, 2009, Richard F. Pettigrew Elementary School will open fall of 2009 in southwest Sioux Falls.
In 1917, while being interviewed by a journalist from the Argus Leader, Pettigrew offered his opinion that the First World War was a capitalist scheme intended to further enrich the wealthy, and he urged young men to evade the draft. The local United States Attorney secured a felony indictment of Pettigrew for suspicion of violating the Espionage Act of 1917, the same charge for which Socialist leader Eugene V. Debs was then presently serving a ten-year Federal prison sentence.
Pettigrew assembled a high-powered legal defense team headed up by his close personal friend, prominent attorney Clarence Darrow. The trial was repeatedly delayed, and eventually the charge against him was dropped.
Pettigrew had the formal document of indictment framed, and prominently displayed in his home next to a framed copy of the United States Declaration of Independence, where it remains to this day as part of the exhibits of the Pettigrew House & Museum.
All quotes are from Pettigrew's book Triumphant Plutocracy
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Richard F. Pettigrew|
|U.S. House of Representatives|
Granville G. Bennett
|Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
from Dakota Territory's at-large congressional district
March 4, 1881 – March 3, 1883
John B. Raymond
|U.S. Senator (Class 2) from South Dakota
Served alongside: Gideon C. Moody, James H. Kyle
Robert J. Gamble
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