Edwin S. Broussard

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Edwin S. Broussard
Senator Edwin Broussard seated.jpg
United States Senator
from Louisiana
In office
March 4, 1921 – March 4, 1933
Preceded by Edward J. Gay
Succeeded by John H. Overton
Personal details
Born (1874-12-04)December 4, 1874
Loreauville, Louisiana, U.S.
Died November 19, 1934(1934-11-19) (aged 59)
New Iberia, Louisiana, U.S.
Resting place St. Peter's Cemetery,
New Iberia, Louisiana, U.S.
Political party Progressive
Democratic
Spouse(s) Marie Patout
(m. 1904; his death 1934)
Children 6
Relatives Robert F. Broussard (brother)
Alma mater Tulane University Law School

Edwin Sidney Broussard, I (December 4, 1874 – November 19, 1934), was a United States senator from Louisiana, with serve for two terms from March 5, 1921, to March 3, 1933.

Early life[edit]

Broussard was born in the village of Loreauville, Louisiana, and attended public schools. He graduated in 1896 from the Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He taught for two years thereafter in the public schools of Iberia and St. Martin parishes.[1]

Career[edit]

At the outbreak of the Spanish–American War, Broussard volunteered for the United States Army. A captain in Cuba, in 1898 and 1899, he accompanied the Taft Commission to the Philippine Islands in 1899 and served as an assistant secretary. He returned to the United States in 1900 and graduated the next year from the Tulane University Law School in New Orleans. In 1901, he was admitted in 1901 to the bar and established his practice in New Iberia, the Iberia Parish seat of government.[1]

Broussard was prosecuting attorney for the Louisiana 19th Judicial District from 1903 to 1908. Between 1914 and 1916, he affiliated with the Progressive Party, formed by Theodore Roosevelt, who had gained national attention for organizing the Rough Riders in the Spanish-Americna War. Broussard opposed the New Orleans Democratic party machine, known as the Old Regulars. Broussard ran unsuccessfully in 1916 for lieutenant governor on an intra-party Progressive ticket with gubernatorial candidate John M. Parker, another Roosevelt loyalist. Broussard lost to Fernand Mouton. Parker was defeated that year too by Ruffin G. Pleasant of Shreveport, but rebounded to victory for governor in 1920 as a Democrat.[1]

In 1920, Broussard was elected as a Democrat to fill the seat vacated two years earlier by his late brother, U. S. Senator Robert F. Broussard. He defeated conservative former Governor Jared Y. Sanders, Sr. Broussard was a strong advocate of the sugar tariff and federal flood control projects important to his state. He was reelected in 1926 by defeating Sanders once again and with the then support of Louisiana Public Service Commissioner and later Governor Huey Pierce Long, Jr. The Ku Klux Klan rallied against Broussard because of his Roman Catholicism in support of Sanders. He was denied renomination in the 1932 Democratic primary election by Huey Long's choice for the position, John Holmes Overton of Alexandria in Rapides Parish.[1]

Long had backed Broussard in 1926 and Broussard had supported Long for governor in 1928 but not for senator in 1930. Broussard had called upon Long as senator-elect to resign as governor and turn over the office to Lieutenant Governor Paul N. Cyr, a Long former ally turned opponent. Long remained senator-elect for more than a year, however, and did not work well with Broussard as his fellow senator. Broussard even praised his own former opponent, Jared Y. Sanders, whom Long had helped Broussard to defeat. Long by then considered Broussard "a conservative" in the mold of Sanders and favored the more moderate Overton as Broussard's Senate replacement.[2]

In his autobiography, Every Man a King, Long took credit for Broussard's re-election to his second Senate term: "I supported him, and he hasn't a friend in the state who would say that he could have been elected to the Senate in 1926 if it had not been for me. ... Are his attacks on me a return of such favors? Is that the way some people have of repaying others for help that they get from them? ... Now Senator Broussard attacks me, without cause, and praises J. Y. Sanders. ..."[2]

After his defeat, Broussard resumed his law practice and tended to banking and financial affairs in New Iberia, where he died in 1934 and is interred there at St. Peter's Cemetery.[1]

Personal life[edit]

On June 5, 1904, Broussard married Marie Clair Patout (1878–1945),[3] the daughter of Felix Patout (1834–1918)[4] and French woman Claire Tate (1854–1913).[5] The couple had six children, including Mary Louise Broussard Brown (1910–2010); John Dorville Broussard (1913–1989); Edwin S. Broussard, II; George P. Broussard (1916–1977), a veterinary medicine researcher; and Eugene D. Broussard (1917–2008).[1][3]


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Edwin Sidney Broussard", A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. 1 (1988), Louisiana Historical Association publication, pp, 113–114.
  2. ^ a b Huey Pierce Long, Jr., Every Man a King: The Autobiography of Huey P. Long (New Orleans: National Book Club, Inc., 1933), pp. 256-257.
  3. ^ a b "Marie Clair Patout Broussard". Findagrave.com. Retrieved January 21, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Felix Patout". Findagrave.com. Retrieved January 21, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Claire Tate Patout". Findagrave.com. Retrieved January 21, 2017. 
United States Senate
Preceded by
Edward James Gay
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Louisiana
1921–1933
Served alongside: Joseph E. Ransdell, Huey Pierce Long, Jr.
Succeeded by
John H. Overton