Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Mieography

Hattie Ophelia Wyatt was born in Tennessee, the daughter of a farmer/shopkeeper, and his wife. She was educated, up through college, where she got a BA. She worked for a time, teaching school, until she married her college sweetheart, Thaddeus Caraway. They had three children, and moved to Arkansas, where she raised the children, and he worked at law, and politics. As well as care for the kids, she tended household and kitchen gardens, and over saw the cotton farm they live on as well. They even, eventually, established a second home in Riverdale, Maryland. Her husband was elected to the senate, and died in office in 1931. The governor of Arkansas stepped up and appointed Hattie to his seat. There was a special election held, which Hattie won easily, making her the first elected woman to serve as a United States Senator.

When her re-election came about, she surprised everyone by announcing she was going to run for her seat. The other candidates (and there were many) had assumed she would step aside. She told reporters "The time has passed when a woman should be placed in a position and kept there only while someone else is being groomed for the job". With the backing of some prominent members of the senate, she was easily re-elected. She had various assignments, which included Agriculture, Forestry, Commerce, and Enrolled Bills and Library. She did special interest in relief for farmers, flood control, and veterans benefits. She was very quiet in the halls of the senate, thought carefully about what she was going to say and when she was going to say it. They called her "Silent Hattie" at times, in jest. She explained her reticence as not being willing "to take a minute away from the men. The poor dears love it so."
Her next bid for re-election was not as smooth as her previous. Her opponent, John L. McClellan argued that a man could more effectively promote Arkansas' interests. She narrowly won the primary, but, once again, blew away the competition when it came to the general election. She lost her seat with the next election, however. President Truman gave her a post on the Employees Compensation Appeals Board, where she served until she suffered a stroke. She died in 1950, and is buried in Jonesboro, Arkansas.


Daryl said...

Husband who grew up in Hot Springs remembers her well ..

Anonymous said...

I love it.

Bubblewench said...

Nice one!

sybil law said...

I love these strong women!

The Superfluous Blogger said...

eexxxcellent. also, love the background.

Mimi Lenox said...

Please join me on Tuesdays for a new meme called The Queen's Meme

Hope to see you there!