Joseph A. A. Burnquist
|Joseph Alfred Arner Burnquist|
|Governor Joseph Alfred A. Burnquist in 1922|
|19th Governor of Minnesota|
December 30, 1915 – January 5, 1921
|Lieutenant||George H. Sullivan
|Preceded by||Winfield Scott Hammond|
|Succeeded by||J. A. O. Preus|
July 21, 1879|
|Died||January 12, 1961
|Spouse(s)||Mary Louise Cross|
|Alma mater||University of Minnesota Law School|
Joseph Alfred Arner Burnquist (July 21, 1879 – January 12, 1961) was an American politician. He served in the Minnesota State Legislature from 1909–1911, was elected the 20th Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota in 1912, and then served as the 19th Governor of Minnesota from December 30, 1915 to January 5, 1921. He became Governor after the death of Governor Winfield Scott Hammond. He later served the state as Attorney General from January 2, 1939 until January 3, 1955. He was a Republican.
He was born in 1879 in Dayton, Iowa of Swedish descent and earned his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1905. After a brief time practicing law in St. Paul, he entered politics as a state legislator in 1908. During his second term as lieutenant governor, he succeeded Governor Hammond, who died in office.
Turbulent times surrounded America's entrance into World War I in 1917. Not all Americans supported U.S. involvement in a European war, and this feeling was heightened in Minnesota because of dissatisfaction among farmers and laborers, who were more concerned with domestic policy than with the conflict overseas. Supporters of the war, suspicious of radicals, pacifists, and the foreign-born, acted quickly to stifle dissent. Through the Public Safety Commission—which Burnquist created in 1917 to monitor public sentiment toward the war—he quashed pacifist demonstrations and denounced in his final inaugural message those "few socialistically and anarchistically inclined" who questioned America's involvement in "the world's baptism of blood." The commission, ostensibly nonpartisan, firmly opposed any action its conservative members considered suspect or un-American.
While primarily concerned with war issues, Burnquist also initiated legislation that improved the state highways, disaster assistance programs, labor relations, and, especially the welfare of children. After leaving office he practiced law for 17 years before beginning his lengthy tenure as state attorney general in 1936. Until his death in Minneapolis, Minnesota at 81, Burnquist maintained the bearing and manner of a strong-willed senior statesman.
- Jessica Thompson, Minnesota's Legal Hall of Fame, Law & Politics, Accessed November 28, 2010.
- Biographical information and his gubernatorial records are available for research use at the Minnesota Historical Society.
- Governors of Minnesota
- Minnesota Legislators Past and Present
Winfield Scott Hammond
|Governor of Minnesota
J. A. O. Preus
Samuel Y. Gordon
|Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota
George H. Sullivan
William S. Ervin
|Minnesota Attorney General