STEWART, William Morris (1827-1909)

STEWART, WILLIAM MORRIS, a Senator from Nevada; born in Galen, near Lyons, Wayne County, N.Y., August 9, 1827; moved with his parents to Mesopotamia Township, Trumbull County, Ohio; attended Lyons Union School and West Farmington Academy; teacher of mathematics at Lyons Union School; attended Yale College 1849-1850; moved to San Francisco, Calif., in 1850 and engaged in gold mining in Nevada County; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1852 and commenced practice in Nevada City, Calif.; district attorney 1852; attorney general of California 1854; moved to Virginia City, Nev., in 1860; involved in early mining litigation and in the development of the Comstock lode; member, Territorial council 1861; member of the State constitutional convention in 1863; upon the admission of Nevada as a State into the Union was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1864; took oath of office on February 1, 1865; reelected in 1869, and served until March 3, 1875; did not seek reelection; chairman, Committee on Pacific Railroads (Forty-second Congress), Committee on Railroads (Forty-third Congress); resumed the practice of law in Nevada and California; again elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1887; reelected in 1893 and 1899, as a Silver Republican, and served from March 4, 1887, to March 3, 1905; chairman, Committee on Mines and Mining (Fiftieth through Fifty-sixth Congresses), Committee on Indian Affairs (Fifty-seventh and Fifty-eighth Congresses); declined to be a candidate for reelection in 1905; died in Washington, D.C., April 23, 1909; remains were cremated and the ashes deposited in Laurel Hill Cemetery, San Francisco, Calif.; remains removed and deposited in Cypress Lawn Cemetery, Colma, Calif..

Nevada Historical Society
Reno, NV
Papers: 1866-1908 (bulk 1886-1907). 22 feet. Chiefly letters by and to Stewart, scrapbooks, and books pertaining to silver issues, politics, legal matters, publishing, and family business. Includes correspondence of his secretary, Charles J. Kappler, and 7 volumes of newspapers.

Stanford University Libraries
Special Collections
Stanford, CA
Papers: 1873-1896. .5 linear foot. Legal documents relating to real estate holdings in Alameda County.

University of Nevada
Special Collections
Reno, NV
Papers: In Clair Hofer Hewes papers; and Samuel Post Davis correspondence, 1883-1912.

University of West Florida
Pensacola, FL
Papers: 3 items in the John Crary papers.

  • Drabelle, Dennis. "The Tarnished Silver Senator." American History 41(December 2006): 53-59.
  • Elliott, Russell R. Servant of Power: A Political Biography of Senator William M. Stewart. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1983.
  • Hermann, Ruth. Gold and Silver Colossus: William Morris Stewart and His Southern Bride. Sparks, NV: Dave's Printing & Publishing, 1975.
  • Hulse, James W. "Idaho versus Nevada: The 1887 Struggle Between Nevada's Senator and Idaho's Governor.'' Idaho Yesterdays 29 (Fall 1985): 26-31.
  • Johnson, David A. "A Case of Mistaken Identity: William M. Stewart and the Rejection of Nevada's First Constitution.'' Nevada Historical Society Quarterly 22 (Fall 1979): 186-98.
  • Mack, Effie Mona. "William Morris Stewart, 1827-1909.'' Nevada Historical Society Quarterly 7 (1964): 1-121.
  • Robinson, William Hedges Jr. "Mark Twain: Senatorial Secretary.'' American West 10 (January 1973): 16-17, 60-62.
  • Stewart, William M. Analysis of the Functions of Money. Washington: W. Ballantyne & Sons, 1898.
  • ___. Reminiscences of Senator William M. Stewart, of Nevada. Edited by George Rothwell Brown. New York: Neale Publishing Co., 1908.