HON. JOHN E.
IN THE House OF REPRESENTATIVES
Friday, June 27,
Mr. RANKIN. Mr. Speaker, it becomes
my sad duty to announce to the House the death of the Hon. James Kimble
Vardaman, formerly a Senator from the State of Mississippi, who passed
away in Birmingham. Ala., on June the 25th.
Vardaman was born near Edna. Jackson County, Tex., on July 26, 1861. His
parents were from Mississippi, to which State the family returned in
Young Vardaman grew up in the shadows of the Civil
War, his father having been a soldier in the Confederate Army. He was
educated in the school of hard experience during the dark and trying times
of reconstruction. He studied law at odd times and was early admitted to
the bar, but later turned to journalism and for many years was one of the
leading editors of the State.
He served as a member of the
legislature for several terms. In 1894 he was elected Speaker of the
House, which position he filled with honor and
When the Spanish-American War broke out he
left a wife and four small children to respond to the call of his country.
He was commissioned captain by President McKinley and was promoted to the
rank of major before the war closed.
In 1903 he was
elected governor of his State, in which capacity he served for four years.
His administration stands out conspicuously as one of the cleanest and
most economical in all the history of Mississippi
elected to the Senate in 1911 by a majority of more than 26,000 over two
of the strongest men in the State. He entered the Senate in 1913 and
served with distinction in that august body until March 4.
He was one of the most picturesque figures this
country has yet produced. and was undoubtedly the most popular individual
who has lived in Mississippi within the last half a
He was one of the most loyal friends I have ever
known. As was once said of Robert E. Lee, "He was a friend without
treachery and a public officer without vices." He spurned with contempt
any overtures that were even tainted with the appearance of evil. His
honesty was indeed above reproach. So much so that during the stormy years
of his political career even his enemies vouched for his
He was one of the most courageous men, both
morally and physically, it has ever been my privilege to
He loved the people of Mississippi and they loved
him. He loved the traditions of his State and gloried in her great record
and in the achievements of her distinguished men. He loved his country and
fought for what he thought was the best interest of the American people
and American institutions, regardless of the consequences.
He was one of the most devoted patriots who ever stood beneath the folds
of the American flag.
I have seen him in the pride and
strength of his manhood battling for what he thought was right,
challenging the admiration of both friends and foes.
have seen him in the days of his adversity, when the clouds were low, the
night was dark, when the storm was fierce and "the stars were dead," but I
never saw him falter or refuse to walk the beaten path of duty as God gave
him the wisdom to see it.
"He was a man,
take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon
his like again."