Library of Congress
SIMMONS, Furnifold McLendel (1854-1940)
Senate Years of Service: 1901-1931

SIMMONS, FURNIFOLD MCLENDEL, a Representative and a Senator from North Carolina; born on his father's plantation near Polloksville, Jones County, N.C., January 20, 1854; attended a private school and Wake Forest (N.C.) College; graduated from Trinity College (now Duke University), Durham, N.C., in 1873; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1875; moved to New Bern, Craven County, N.C., in 1876 and commenced the practice of law; elected as a Democrat to the Fiftieth Congress (March 4, 1887-March 3, 1889); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1888 to the Fifty-first Congress and for election to Congress in 1890; resumed the practice of law in New Bern; appointed by President Grover Cleveland as collector of internal revenue for the fourth district of North Carolina 1893-1897; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1900; reelected in 1906, 1912, 1918 and 1924 and served from March 4, 1901, to March 3, 1931; unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1930; chairman, Committee on Disposition of Useless Executive Papers (Sixty-first Congress), Committee on Engrossed Bills (Sixty-first and Sixty-second Congresses), Committee on Finance (Sixty-third through Sixty-fifth Congresses), Committee on Additional Accommodations for the Library of Congress (Sixty-sixth Congress); resided in New Bern, N.C., until his death there on April 30, 1940; interment in Cedar Grove Cemetery.

Duke University
Durham, NC
Papers: Correspondence in William Preston Few papers, 1885-1951. Finding aid.

Duke University
Special Collections Library
Durham, NC
Papers: 1890-1931. Ca. 75,000 items. Official correspondence, press releases, subject files, legal and financial papers, photographs, and portrait. Topics include routine political matters such as appointments and requests, campaigns, veterans' legislation, reform politics and the southern position during Theodore Roosevelt's administration, the Underwood-Simmons tariff, Wilsonian reforms, financing of World War I, the southern defection from Alfred E. Smith (1928), and machine politics. Finding aid.
Papers: Material on Nunn's political relationship with Simmons in Romulus Armistead Nunn papers, 1722-1960 (bulk 1900-1960).

East Carolina University
Joyner Library
Greenville, NC
Papers: Correspondence in James Yadkin Joyner papers, 1850-1954; and Charles O'Hagen Laughinghouse papers, 1855-1930. Finding aid.

Emory University
Robert W. Woodruff Library
Atlanta, GA
Papers: Correspondence in Charles H. Herty papers, 1884-1938.

North Carolina Division of Archives and History
Raleigh, NC
Papers: 1913. 1 item. Printed copy of Tariff Act of 1913 presented to Simmons as chairman of Finance Committee, with excerpts from Congressional Record and autographs and comments of senators and President Woodrow Wilson. Also miscellaneous items and photographs in various collections.

Syracuse University
George Arents Research Library
Syracuse, NY
Papers: Correspondence in David Bennett Hill papers, 1885-1910.

  • Rippy, J. Fred, ed. F.M. Simmons: Statesman of the New South. Durham: Duke University Press, 1936.
  • Watson, Richard L., Jr. "Furnifold M. Simmons: `Jehovah of the Tar Heels'?'' North Carolina Historical Review 44 (April 1967): 166-87.
  • ___. "Furnifold M. Simmons and the Politics of White Supremacy.'' In Race, Class, and Politics in Southern History: Essays in Honor of Robert F. Durden, edited by Jeffrey J. Crow, Paul D. Escott, and Charles L. Flynn, Jr., pp. 126-72. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989.
  • ___. "A Political Leader Bolts--F.M. Simmons in the Presidential Election of 1928.'' North Carolina Historical Review 37 (October 1960): 516-43.
  • ___. "Principle, Party, and Constituency: The North Carolina Congressional Delegation, 1917-1919.'' North Carolina Historical Review 56 (July 1979): 298-323.
  • ___. "A Southern Democratic Primary: Simmons vs. Bailey in 1930.'' North Carolina Historical Review 42 (January 1965): 21-46.