David R. Francis
|David R. Francis|
|United States Ambassador to Russia|
May 5, 1916 – November 7, 1917
|Preceded by||George T. Marye Jr.|
|Succeeded by||William Christian Bullitt, Jr. (Ambassador to the Soviet Union, 1933)|
|President of the Organizing Committee for the Summer Olympic Games|
October 28, 1900 – September 3, 1904
|IOC President||Pierre de Coubertin|
|Preceded by||Pierre de Coubertin|
|Succeeded by||Edward Battell|
|20th United States Secretary of the Interior|
September 3, 1896 – March 5, 1897
|Preceded by||Hoke Smith|
|Succeeded by||Cornelius N. Bliss|
|27th Governor of Missouri|
January 14, 1889 – January 9, 1893
|Lieutenant||Stephen H. Claycomb|
|Preceded by||Albert P. Morehouse|
|Succeeded by||William J. Stone|
|26th Mayor of St. Louis, Missouri|
April 14, 1885 – January 2, 1889
|Preceded by||William L. Ewing|
|Succeeded by||Edward A. Noonan|
October 1, 1850|
Richmond, Kentucky, United States
|Died||January 15, 1927
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
|Resting place||Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri, United States|
|Children||John David Perry Francis
David Rowland Francis, Jr.
Charles Broaddus Francis
Talton Turner Francis
Sidney Rowland Francis
|Parents||John B. Francis
Eliza Caldwell Rowland Francis
|Alma mater||Washington University in St. Louis|
David Rowland Francis (October 1, 1850 – January 15, 1927) was an American politician and diplomat. He served in various positions including Mayor of St. Louis, the 27th Governor of Missouri, and United States Secretary of the Interior. He was the U.S. Ambassador to Russia between 1916 and 1917, during the Russian Revolution of 1917. He was a Wilsonian Democrat. His biographer summarizes his personality:
- David R. Francis was a brash, opinionated, stubborn, smart, sometimes foolish, straight-talking, quick-acting, independent-minded, proud, self-made man who represented the United States in Russia for two and a half years, during the most tumultuous era in that country's history. Much of his activity has been shrouded in myth – some of that heroic, more of that comic and tragic.
Francis was born in Richmond, Kentucky, on October 1, 1850, the son of Eliza Caldwell (née Rowland) and John B. Francis. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1870 where he was number two on the rolls of the Alpha Iota Chapter of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He was a successful businessman in St. Louis and served as the president of the Merchant's Exchange.
On January 20, 1876, he married the former Jane Perry, a granddaughter of former Missouri State Treasurer James Earickson. They had six children: John David Perry, David Rowland, Jr., Charles Broaddus, Talton Turner, Thomas, and Sidney Rowland Francis.
He was elected Mayor of St. Louis, Missouri in 1885. In 1888 he was elected Governor of Missouri, becoming the only Mayor of St. Louis elected Governor of the state. Francis served as the United States Secretary of the Interior under President Grover Cleveland between 1896 and 1897.
World's Fair 1904
Francis was one of the main promoters of the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904, serving as President of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Historians generally emphasize the prominence of themes of race and empire, and the Fair's long-lasting impact on intellectuals in the fields of history, art history, architecture and anthropology. From the point of view of the memory of the average person who attended the fair, it primarily promoted entertainment, consumer goods and popular culture.
The 1904 Summer Olympics were held in combination with that Exposition, and by overseeing the opening ceremony, Francis became the only American to open an Olympic Games who never served as President or Vice-President of the United States.
In 1910, Francis was arrested for non-payment of taxes, but released on bail.
In 1895, the University of Missouri dedicated David R. Francis Quadrangle in honor of the former governor who is credited with keeping the university in Columbia after the fire of Academic Hall in 1892. Francis insisted that the state's land-grant university remain in a central location, rather than moving to Sedalia, as many state legislators desired. Instead, Sedalia was awarded the Missouri State Fair as compensation. A bronze bust of Francis' face sits at the south end of Francis Quad near the steps of Jesse Hall. A popular MU student tradition is to rub Governor Francis' nose before taking a test in order to get an A.
The track/soccer/football stadium at Washington University in St. Louis, as well as the adjacent gymnasium, are named in Francis' honor. Francis Field was the site of the 1904 Summer Olympics; Francis attended the opening ceremony and officially opened the games as the representative for the host nation.
- Harper Barnes (2001). Standing on a Volcano: The Life and Times of David Rowland Francis. Missouri History Museum. p. 11.
- Missouri State Treasurer-Past Treasurers Biography
- James Gilbert, Whose Fair? Experience, and Memory, and the History of the Great St. Louis Exposition (2009)
- Gov. Francis Gives $200 Bail, at the Tacoma Times (via Chronicling America); published March 12, 1910; retrieved April 14, 2014
- "Installed". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 14 April 1885. p. 2.
- "The City Hall Change". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 2 January 1889. p. 10.
- Barnes, Harper. (2001). Standing on a volcano: the life and times of David Rowland Francis (St. Louis: Missouri Historical Society Press in association with the Francis Press. ISBN 1-883982-13-8).
- Francis, David Rowland. The universal exposition of 1904. (Louisiana purchase exposition Company, 1913). online
- Francis, David Rowland. Russia from the American Embassy, April, 1916-November, 1918 (C. Scribner's Sons, 1921). ￼￼
- Francis, David Rowland, and Jamie H. Cockfield. (1981). Dollars and diplomacy: Ambassador David Rowland Francis and the fall of tsarism, 1916-17 (Durham: Duke University Press).
- Francis, David Rowland, Robert Chadwell Williams, and Robert Lester. (1986). Russia in transition: the diplomatic papers of David R. Francis, U.S. Ambassador to Russia, 1916-1918 (Frederick, Md: University Publications of America).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to David R. Francis.|
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
David R. Francis
- David R. Francis at St. Louis Public Library: St. Louis Mayors.
- Standing on a Volcano: The Life and Times of David R. Francis by Harper Barnes, October 2001. ISBN 1-883982-17-0.
- Missouri State Archives. David Rowland Francis, 1889-1893
William L. Ewing
|Mayor of St. Louis, Missouri
Albert P. Morehouse
|Governor of Missouri
William J. Stone
Michael Hoke Smith
|U.S. Secretary of the Interior
Served under: Grover Cleveland
Cornelius Newton Bliss
George T. Marye
|United States Ambassador to Russia
Last ambassador to Russian Empire
Pierre de Coubertin
|President of Organizing Committee for Summer Olympic Games