BORAH, William Edgar (1865-1940)

BORAH, WILLIAM EDGAR, a Senator from Idaho; born on a farm near Fairfield, Wayne County, Ill., June 29, 1865; attended the common schools of Wayne County and Southern Illinois Academy at Enfield; attended the University of Kansas at Lawrence until 1889; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1890 and commenced practice in Lyons, Kans.; moved to Boise, Idaho, in 1891 and practiced law; unsuccessful candidate on the Silver Republican ticket for election in 1896 to the Fifty-fifth Congress; unsuccessful candidate for nomination as United States Senator in 1903; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1907; reelected in 1913, 1918, 1924, 1930, and again in 1936, and served from March 4, 1907, until his death in Washington, D.C, on January 19, 1940; chairman, Committee on Education and Labor (Sixty-first, Sixty-second, Sixty-seventh, and Sixty-eighth Congresses), Committee on Indian Depredations (Sixty-third and Sixty-fourth Congresses), Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Justice (Sixty-fifth Congress), Committee on Interoceanic Canals (Sixty-sixth and Sixty-seventh Congresses), Committee on Foreign Relations (Sixty-eighth through Seventy-second Congresses); unsuccessful candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 1936; funeral services were held in the Chamber of the United States Senate; interment in Morris Hill Cemetery, Boise, Idaho.

Albertson College of Idaho
Caldwell, ID
Papers: 30 cartoons.

Boise State University Library
Boise, ID
Papers: Correspondence in the Thomas C. Stanford papers, 1889-1945.

Columbia University
Oral History Project
New York, NY
Oral History: Discussed in interviews with James A. Farley and Burton K. Wheeler.

Cornell University
Rare Book and Manuscript Collections
Ithaca, NY
Papers: Correspondence in the Frank Ernest Gannett papers, [ca. 1859]-1958.

Harvard University
Houghton Library
Cambridge, MA
Papers: In the Oswald Garrison Villard papers, 1856-1949.

Herbert Hoover Library
West Branch, IA
Papers: 1921-1928. 1 folder.

Idaho State Historical Society
Boise, ID
Papers: 1890-1907. 24 feet. Correspondence, legal papers, drafts of addresses, and notes relating mainly to Borah's legal practice. Also 1 cubic foot of bound speeches (1899-1940), photographs, and 2 feet of Borah political cartoons (1922-1942). Finding aid.
Additional Papers: 56 letters to James R. Stotts, 1930-1949 (bulk 1934-1939), concerning legislation and foreign affairs; published interview (1932) by S. J. Woolf; correspondence in Idaho, governor's records (1923-1927); Margaret Cobb Ailshie papers, 1872-1959; Robert Raymond McKaig papers, 1917-1957; John M. Haines papers, 1912-1915; C.H. Lingenfelter papers, 1902-1949; Ernest George Eagleson papers, 1902-1955; Charles P. McCarty papers, 1902-1911; E.G. Davis papers, 1910-1920.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1905-1940 (bulk 1912-1940). 360 linear feet. Senate and office files, correspondence, reports, memoranda, speeches, statements, patronage files, and photographs. Topics include antitrust legislation, constitutional interpretation, foreign policy, World Court, League of Nations, military affairs, New Deal, National Recovery Administration, China's war with Japan, the Lausanne Settlement, and neutrality legislation. Also 11 microfilm reels of scrapbooks (ca. 1904-1939) located at University of Idaho. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: Correspondence in Florence Becker papers, 1891-1969; and Theodore Roosevelt papers, 1780-1962. Finding aid.

Massachusetts State Library
Boston, MA
Papers: 60 letters from Borah and notes for a book about Borah in Robert Morris Washburn papers, 1925-1939.

New Jersey Historical Society
Newark, NJ
Papers: Correspondence in Joseph P. Bradley papers, 1836-1937; and Reeve Schley papers, 1670-1969.

Oregon Historical Society
Portland, OR
Papers: Correspondence in Joseph Nathan Teal papers, 1879-1955. Finding aid.

Radcliffe College
Schlesinger Library
Cambridge, MA
Papers: In Mary Ware Dennett papers, 1894-1948; Margaret Stephenson Roberts papers, 1896-1952; Justine Wise Polier papers, 1892-1990; and Pauline Newman papers, 1903-1982. Finding aid.

State Historical Society of Wisconsin
Madison, WI
Papers: In the Alexander Gumberg papers, 1904-1939; Raymond Robbins papers, 1878-1954; Theodore Roosevelt papers, 1885-1918; and Foreign Policy Association records, 1918-1986.

University of Idaho Library
Special Collections and Archives
Moscow, ID
Papers: 1903-1947. 14 linear feet. Scrapbooks of news clippings covering his political career, cartoons, correspondence, photographs, and recordings of four speeches.
Additional Papers: In Ruth Kirkpatrick Stone letters, 1928-1946; 4 letters (1921-1922) to Doremus Scudder; 21 letters (1922-1939) between Borah and other congressmen; and correspondence in State Bank of Commerce records, 1901-1911.

University of Michigan
Bentley Historical Library
Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: Correspondence in the Arthur Hendrick Vandenberg papers, 1884-1974; Frank Murphy papers, 1908-1949; and Horace LaFayette Wilgus papers, 1879-1935. Finding aid.

University of Virginia
Alderman Library
Charlottesville, VA
Papers: Undetermined quantity (1880-1961) in various collections including the William Gordon McCabe papers, 1757-1920.

Washington State University
Pullman, WA
Papers: In the Claudius Johnson papers, 1901-1958. 7 feet. Chiefly correspondence with William Borah and others regarding Johnson's book, Borah of Idaho.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives
New Haven, CT
Papers: Correspondence in the William Kent family papers, 1768-1961; Harry Weinberger papers, 1915-1942; National American Woman Suffrage Association records, 1839-1961 (bulk 1890-1930); Edwin Montefiore Borchard papers, 1910-1950; Henry Lewis Stimson papers, 1846-1966; Charles Robinson Smith papers, 1890-1930; and James Elisha Babb memorial collection, 1860-1942.
Research Libraries Information Network In addition to the institutions listed above, items are also cataloged in collections at: American Irish Historical Society, New York, NY; Eastern Washington State Historical Society, Spokane, WA; Hagley Museum and Library, Greenville, DE; Latah County Historical Society, Moscow, ID; Manhattan College, Cardinal Hayes Library, Bronx, NY; Rutgers University Libraries, New Brunswick, NJ; Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, PA; University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, IA; and University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Ashby, [Darrell] LeRoy. The Spearless Leader: Senator Borah and the Progressive Movement in the 1920's. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1972.
  • ___. "William E. Borah and the Politics of Constitutionalism.'' Pacific Northwest Quarterly 58 (July 1967): 119-29.
  • Berger, Henry W. "Laissez Faire for Latin America, Borah Defines the Monroe Doctrine.'' Idaho Yesterdays 9 (Summer 1965): 10-17.
  • Berman, Averill J. "Senator William Edgar Borah: A Study in Historical Agreements and Contradictions.'' Ph.D. dissertation, University of Southern California, 1955.
  • Borah, Mary. Elephants and Donkeys: The Memoirs of Mary Borah as Told to Mary Louise Perrine. Moscow: University Press of Idaho, 1976.
  • Borah, William Edgar. American Problems: A Selection of Speeches and Prophecies. Edited by Horace Green. 1924. Reprint. St. Clair Shores, MI: Scholarly Press, 1970.
  • Braden, Waldo W. "William E. Borah's Years in Kansas in the 1880s.'' Kansas Historical Quarterly 15 (November 1947): 360-67.
  • Brune, Lester H. "Borah and the Airplanes.'' Idaho Yesterdays 12 (Spring 1968): 22-24.
  • Burke, Robert E. "Hiram Johnson's Impressions of William E. Borah.'' Idaho Yesterdays 17 (Spring 1973): 2-11.
  • Church, Frank. "Borah the Statesman.'' Idaho Yesterdays 9 (Summer 1965): 2-9.
  • Cooper, John M., Jr. "William E. Borah, Political Thespian.'' Pacific Northwest Quarterly 56 (October 1965): 145-53. Comments by Claudius O. Johnson and Merle W. Wells, and Cooper's reply, follow on pp. 153-58.
  • DeBenedetti, Charles. "Borah and the Kellogg-Briand Pact.'' Pacific Northwest Quarterly 63 (January 1972): 22-29.
  • Godfrey, Donald G., and Val E. Limburg. "The Rogue Elephant of Radio Legislation: Senator William E. Borah." Journalism Quarterly 67 (Spring 1990): 214-224.
  • Griffith, Will. "Senator at Large--William E. Borah.'' In Idols of Egypt, edited by Will Griffith, pp. 61-76. Carbondale, IL: Egypt Book House, 1947.
  • Grover, David. "Borah and the Haywood Trial.'' Pacific Historical Review 32 (February 1963): 65-77.
  • Hewes, James E., Jr. "William E. Borah and the Image of Isolation.'' Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, 1955.
  • Hill, Thomas Michael. "The Senate Leadership and International Policy from Lodge to Vandenberg.'' Ph.D. dissertation, Washington University, 1970.
  • Horowitz, David A. "Senator Borah's Crusade to Save Small Business from the New Deal.'' Historian 55 (Summer 1993): 693-708.
  • Johnson, Claudius O. Borah of Idaho. 1936. Reprint, with new introduction. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1967.
  • ___. "When William E. Borah Was Defeated for the United States Senate.'' Pacific Historical Review 12 (June 1943): 125-38.
  • ___. "William E. Borah: the People's Choice.'' Pacific Northwest Quarterly 44 (January 1953): 15-22.
  • Kneeshaw, Stephen John. "Borah and the Outlawry of War: Another Look.'' Idaho Yesterdays 27 (Spring 1983): 2-10.
  • Maddox, Robert J. "Borah and the Battleships.'' Idaho Yesterdays 9 (Summer 1965): 20-27.
  • ___. William E. Borah and American Foreign Policy. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1970.
  • ___. "William E. Borah and the Crusade to Outlaw War.'' Historian 29 (February 1967): 200-220.
  • McKenna, Marian C. Borah. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1961.
  • Pinckney, Orde S. "Lion Triumphant.'' Idaho Yesterdays 3 (Summer 1959): 12-15, 18-24.
  • ___. "William E. Borah: Critic of American Foreign Policy.'' Studies on the Left 1 (1960): 48-61.
  • ___. "William E. Borah and the Republican Party, 1932-1940.'' Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, 1958.
  • Toth, Charles W. "Isolationism and the Emergence of Borah: An Appeal to American Tradition.'' Western Political Quarterly 14 (June 1961): 555-68.
  • U.S. Congress. Memorial Services Held in the House of Representatives and Senate of the United States, Together with Remarks Presented in Eulogy of William Edgar Borah, Late a Senator from Idaho. 76th Cong., 3d sess., 1940. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1941.
  • Vinson, John Chalmers. William E. Borah and the Outlawry of War. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1957.
  • Weinberger, James M. "The British on Borah: Foreign Office and Embassy Attitudes Toward Idaho's Senior Senator, 1935-1940.'' Idaho Yesterdays 25 (Fall 1981): 2-14.