Charles Aubrey Eaton
|Charles Aubrey Eaton|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 4th district
March 4, 1925 – March 3, 1933
|Preceded by||Charles Browne (D)|
|Succeeded by||D. Lane Powers (R)|
|New Jersey's 5th congressional district|
March 4, 1933 – January 3, 1953
|Preceded by||Percy Hamilton Stewart (R)|
|Succeeded by||Peter Hood Ballantine Frelinghuysen, Jr. (R)|
|President||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|President||Harry S. Truman|
March 29, 1868|
near Pugwash, Nova Scotia, Canada
|Died||January 23, 1953
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Resting place||Hillside Cemetery, Plainfield, New Jersey|
United States (1896-)
|Spouse(s)||Mary Winifred Parlin, daughter of a wealthy Natick merchant. (m. June 26, 1895)|
|Relations||Cyrus S. Eaton, nephew
William R. Eaton, nephew
Dlarion Aubrey Eaton, & al.
|Parents||Stephen Eaton, shipbuilder & farmer
Mary Desiah Parker Eaton
|Alma mater||Acadia University, Nova Scotia, B.A. 1890, D.D. 1907
Newton Theological Institution, B.D. 1893
McMaster University, M.A. 1896
Baylor University D.D. 1899
Charles Aubrey Eaton (March 29, 1868 – January 23, 1953) was a Canadian-born clergyman and politician who rose to lead prominent congregations at Natick, Massachusetts, 1893–1895; Bloor Street, Toronto, 1895–1901; Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, 1901–1909; and at Madison Avenue, New York City, 1909-1919. Eaton served in the United States House of Representatives from 1925–1953, representing the New Jersey's 4th congressional district from 1925–1933, and (as a result of redistricting based on the 1930 Census) the 5th district from 1933-1953.
Charles Aubrey Eaton was born in Pugwash, Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1868. His early life was marred by poverty and ill health that interfered with his education, but as the result of a religious conversion experienced under the influence of a clergyman he met as a young man, he was inspired to recover lost ground, and he eventually graduated from Acadia University, a Baptist institution in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, where he studied divinity. He became known in the cities where he preached for lively, exhortative, and often humorous oratory.
In 1904, Eaton's commitment to evangelism got him arrested on the streets of Cleveland, Ohio, for persistently ignoring by-laws prohibiting street preaching. However, he wanted to extend his ministry beyond the churches, into which many of the spiritually needy never stepped. At the same time, Eaton was the preacher at Euclid Avenue Baptist Church, situated on Cleveland's 'millionaire's row,' and as a result he came to the attention of John D. Rockefeller, a summer resident of Cleveland who attended church there. They became lifelong friends, and this connection influenced Eaton's future path. It also influenced that of another well-known Canadian who went on to have an outstanding career in the United States, his favorite nephew, Cyrus S. Eaton. He introduced him to Rockefeller in 1901, when Cyrus was still a university student. Cyrus went on to work for Rockefeller, and eventually become one of Cleveland's first citizens, and one of America's premier industrialists. Charles moved to North Plainfield, New Jersey in 1909, and started a dairy farm, while at the same time preaching to a prominent New York City Baptist congregation. The area in which he lived separated from North Plainfield in 1926, and the Borough of Watchung, New Jersey was founded there. He lived there until his death.
He was sociological editor of the Toronto Globe (1896–1901), associate editor of Westminster (1899–1901), special correspondent for The Times, New York Tribune, and Boston Transcript while in Toronto. He was editor of Leslie’s Weekly (1919, 1920), and (while director of labor relations at General Electric's National Lamp Works) editor of Light (1923–1924).
Charles Eaton acquired added prominence as a result of his work as a motivational speaker for the War Production Board during World War I, helping to quell labor unrest and promote the values of patriotism and self-sacrifice among shipyard workers in a time of national emergency. He had tinkered with journalism for many years as a part-time columnist while he was preaching, and his next career challenge took him into the occupation full-time. As a sample of his political opinions in 1920, Charles Eaton wrote in Leslie's Magazine, of which he was then editor, that “The fundamental idea of our American civilization is this: any man who has the stuff in him can, by his own energy, thrift, industry and courage, rise to any height he may choose. His only limit is his own weakness. He, himself, is in a class by himself. There is no other class here… This is the greatest experiment ever made by man. It is a new idea fit to be developed only in a new world. It is the American idea.”
Eaton was then associated with the General Electric Company as counselor in industrial relations, and the fundamental principles which he worked out were adopted by GE in developing their progressive policies.
In 1924, Eaton was elected as a Republican to the 69th U.S. Congress and to the thirteen succeeding Congresses, serving until 1952. He rose to become chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (Eightieth Congress), and served on the Select Committee on Foreign Aid (Eightieth Congress). Eaton signed the original United Nations Charter in San Francisco as part of a delegation representing the United States Government. He helped gain support for the Marshall Plan—also known as the Economic Cooperation Act of 1948—which was passed by Congress in 1948 by a vote of 329 to 74. For several years, he served in Congress alongside his nephew William R. Eaton, a Representative from Colorado.
Eaton was a steadfast opponent of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. However, he was frequently invited to the White House for meetings with both presidents Roosevelt and Truman because of his sharp understanding of international politics.
In 1993, Community Church Press published a 171 page study of Eaton's life and political career written by Rev. Ronald J. Miller, a New Jersey clergyman, entitled Prophet in the House.
- "Charles Aubrey Eaton" (fee, via Fairfax County Public Library). Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1977. GALE|BT2310014222. Retrieved 2011-06-14. Gale Biography In Context.
- "C. A. Eaton is Dead. Ex-Congressman ... Entered House in 1924. Republican of New Jersey, 84. Did Not Seek Re-election in 1952". New York Times. January 24, 1953. "Charles Aubrey Eaton, who served fourteen consecutive terms as a Republican member of the House Representatives from New Jersey, died here early today ..."
- Obituary, Time (magazine), February 2, 1953. Accessed September 9, 2007.
- "Clouts from Clergymen", Time (magazine), October 28, 1935. Accessed September 9, 2007.
- "Charles Eaton Dead". Associated Press in Lewiston Morning Tribune. January 24, 1953. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
- Charles Aubrey Eaton at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Charles A. Eaton Papers at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University
- Find-A-Grave bio for Charles Aubrey Eaton
- Political Graveyard info for Charles Aubrey Eaton
|United States House of Representatives|
|U.S. House of Representatives
4th District of New Jersey
D. Lane Powers
Percy Hamilton Stewart
|U.S. House of Representatives
5th District of New Jersey
Peter Frelinghuysen, Jr.