|United States Senator
March 4, 1879 – March 4, 1897
|Preceded by||Simon B. Conover|
|Succeeded by||Stephen Mallory II|
January 9, 1834|
|Died||August 24, 1910
Wilkinson Call, nephew of Territorial Governor of Florida Richard K. Call and cousin of U.S. Senator from Arkansas James D. Walker, was born on January 9, 1834, in Logan County, Kentucky. He attended and received his education from the common schools and subsequently moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar and entered practice. Call served as adjutant general in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.
Call was elected to represent Florida in the United States Senate as a Democrat on December 29, 1865, but was not permitted to enter office by the Republican majority there, like many other Confederate leaders. He subsequently served as a member of the Democratic National Committee and again practiced law in Jacksonville.
He was elected, again, as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1878, but this time was not prevented from taking the seat. He was reelected to his seat in 1884 and 1890 and served from March 1879 to March 1897. Along with Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, Call became a leader of the Democratic Party's populist agrarian faction, influenced by Florida's agrarian movement of the 1890s. Call actively supported and campaigned for William Jennings Bryan when the latter ran for President of the United States in the 1896 election. Florida Governor William D. Bloxham named John A. Henderson to serve until the state legislature selected a successor for Call. The U.S. Senate, believing Bloxham had overstepped gubernatorial authority, refused to allow Henderson to take office, leaving the matter to the Florida legislature. After several ballots and no decisive victor, Call withdrew and threw his support behind Stephen Mallory II, who won the seat. In the U.S. Senate, Call served as chairman of the Committee on Civil Service and Retrenchment during the 53rd Congress and also served on the Committee on Patents.
Upon retiring from the United States Senate, Call resided in Washington, D.C., until his death on August 24, 1910. He was interred in Oak Hill Cemetery.
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.