Lee Slater Overman
|Lee Slater Overman|
|Lee Slater Overman|
|United States Senator
from North Carolina
|Preceded by||Jeter Connelly Pritchard|
|Succeeded by||Cameron A. Morrison|
January 3, 1854|
Salisbury, North Carolina
|Died||December 12, 1930
|Resting place||Chestnut Hill Cemetery|
Lee Slater Overman (January 3, 1854 – December 12, 1930) was a Democratic U.S. senator from the state of North Carolina between 1903 and 1930. He was the first US Senator to be elected by popular vote in the state, as the legislature had appointed senators prior to passage of the 17th Amendment to the US Constitution authorizing popular elections of senators.
Early life and education
Overman was born in Salisbury, N.C., the son of William H. and Mary E. Slater Overman. He attended Trinity College (now Duke University), Class of 1874, where he was a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity.
Overman became involved in politics and was first elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives.
In 1914, Overman became the first U.S. senator from North Carolina to be elected by popular vote, after passage of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution in 1913 standardized popular election of senators. In 1902 and 1909, Overman had been appointed to the Senate seat by the state legislature..
He wrote and sponsored the Overman Act of 1918, which gave President Woodrow Wilson extraordinary powers to coordinate government agencies in wartime. Overman chaired a Senate committee after World War I to investigate activities during the first Red Scare, which many see as a precursor to the House Un-American Activities Committee.
In 1922, Overman was one of the leaders of a 1 hour, 45 minute filibuster that helped defeat the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill. In his lengthy speech, he said that the bill was a partisan attempt to solidify the Republican hold on the northern black vote, that the bill had been written by a black person, and that ignorant black people in the South would interpret the bill as permission to "commit the foulest of outrages."
- Watson, Jr., Richard L. (July 1959). "Principle, Party, and Constituency: The North Carolina Congressional Delegation, 1917-1919". North Carolina Historical Review 56: 298–323.
- Lee Slater Overman at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Lee Slater Overman at Find a Grave
|United States Senate|
Jeter Connelly Pritchard
|United States Senator (Class 3) from North Carolina
Served alongside: Furnifold McLendel Simmons
Cameron A. Morrison
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