Great Leaders and National Issues of 1896/Chapter 8/Teller

VIII. Political Giants of the Present Day—

Henry Moore Teller

Henry Moore TellerEdit

U. S. Senator from Colorado—Champion of Free Silver Coinage


Henry Moore Teller is of Dutch descent and was born at Granger, Allegheny county, N. Y., May 23, 1830. He received a good academic education, and while in attendance at the academy taught school at intervals in order to help pay the expenses of his education.

Excellent SuccessEdit

Having completed his course at the academy, he took up the study of law under the instruction of Judge Martin Grover, and was admitted to the bar January 5, 1858, at Binghamton in his native State. Like many other young men, Mr. Teller formed the idea that the West offered a wider field for success, although his first move was not very far in that direction. He located at Morrison, Whitesides county, Illinois, and began the practice of his profession. He had been a hard student and was well grounded in his profession. He met with excellent success, but became convinced that he had not gone as far west as was best for him. Accordingly, in April, 1861, he emigrated to Colorado, which is still his home.

In that Territory he found a congenial field for his ability and energy, not only in law, but in business enterprises. The legal firm which he formed was H. M. & W. Teller. Fully alive to the vast possibilities of the new country, Mr. Teller became interested in its development. He originated and pushed to a successful issue the Colorado Central Railroad. He drew the charter and presented it to the Territorial Legislature in 1865, and for five years he was president of the company. He infused his own energy and spirit into the management of the line, and gave new proof of his exceptional ability as an organizer and thorough railway manager. The finances could not have been conducted with better judgment and he quickly made the railroad the leading one in the Territory.

During the Indian troubles of 1863, Mr. Teller was appointed brigadier-general of the militia, serving with much acceptability for two year, when he resigned.

A Power in PoliticsEdit

Although originally a Democrat, Mr. Teller joined the Republican party in 1855, when it was in its infancy. He became a power in politics, commanding the respect and confidence of all classes. He never sought office and did not seem to care for political honors, but in 1876, upon the admission of Colorado as a State, he was placed in nomination as one of the first United States Senators, and, without any effort on his part, was elected. In drawing for the long and short terms, he secured the short one and took his seat December 4, 1876. He was re-elected the same month, and served until April, 1882, when he was appointed Secretary of the Interior by President Arthur, serving until March 3, 1885, when he was again elected to the United States Senate to succeed Nathaniel P. Hill, Republican. Senator Teller took his seat March 4, 1885, to be elected once more in 1890. His term expires March 3, 1897.

A Pronounced “Silver Man”Edit

Senator Teller has long been a prominent Free Mason and Knight Templar. He was Grand Master of Colorado for seven years, and was also Grand Commander of the Knights Templar of the same State. His career shows his popularity with the people. His integrity has never been questioned. He is genial, with an attractive manner, laborious in his profession, and with a charitable nature. More persons than would be suspected have received valuable aid at his hands, and the toiler, no matter how humble, knows that he has one of the best and truest friends in him. As a representative of the sentiments of Colorado, Senator Teller, it need hardly be said, is a pronounced “silver man,” as he has proved times without number in the warm debates and struggles which have taken place during the last few years in Washington. His ability, forceful logic, and commanding courage have given him a national reputation and a popularity which places him at the head of the champions of his financial ideas, and with scarcely a rival in the great West.