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Charles W. Fairbanks

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Title: Charles W. Fairbanks  
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Subject: United States presidential election, 1916, Theodore Roosevelt, 1916 Republican National Convention, United States presidential election, 1904, James S. Sherman
Collection: 1852 Births, 1918 Deaths, Associated Press Reporters, Burials at Crown Hill Cemetery, Guggenheim Fellows, Indiana Lawyers, Indiana Republicans, Ohio Wesleyan University Alumni, People from Union County, Ohio, Republican Party (United States) Vice Presidential Nominees, Republican Party United States Senators, Republican Party Vice Presidents of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt Administration Cabinet Members, United States Presidential Candidates, 1904, United States Presidential Candidates, 1908, United States Presidential Candidates, 1916, United States Senators from Indiana, United States Vice-Presidential Candidates, 1904, United States Vice-Presidential Candidates, 1916, Vice Presidents of the United States
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Charles W. Fairbanks

Charles W. Fairbanks
26th Vice President of the United States
In office
March 4, 1905 – March 4, 1909
President Theodore Roosevelt
Preceded by Theodore Roosevelt
Succeeded by James S. Sherman
United States Senator
from Indiana
In office
March 4, 1897 – March 4, 1905
Preceded by Daniel W. Voorhees
Succeeded by James A. Hemenway
Personal details
Born Charles Warren Fairbanks
(1852-05-11)May 11, 1852
Unionville Center, Ohio
Died June 4, 1918(1918-06-04) (aged 66)
Indianapolis, Indiana
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cornelia Cole Fairbanks
Alma mater Ohio Wesleyan University
Signature Cursive signature in ink

Charles Warren Fairbanks (May 11, 1852 – June 4, 1918) was an American politician who served as a Senator from Indiana from 1897 to 1905 and the 26th Vice President of the United States from 1905 to 1909.


  • Early life 1
  • Early career 2
  • Senator 3
  • Vice President 4
  • Hughes' running mate 5
  • Death 6
  • Legacy 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Early life

Born in a log cabin near Delaware, Ohio, Fairbanks's ancestry traced back to Puritan followers of Oliver Cromwell, with Jonathan Fayerbankes the first family member to reach America in 1632. The son of a wagon-maker, Fairbanks in his youth saw his family's home used as a hiding place for runaway slaves. After attending country schools and working on a farm, Fairbanks attended Ohio Wesleyan University, where he graduated in 1872. While there, Fairbanks was co-editor of the school newspaper with Cornelia Cole, whom he married after both graduated from the school.[1]

Fairbanks, Alaska is named after Charles W. Fairbanks.[2]

Early career

Charles W. Fairbanks as Vice President of the United States

Fairbanks' first position was as an agent of the Associated Press in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, reporting on political rallies for Horace Greeley during the 1872 presidential election.[3] Fairbanks then moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he briefly attended law school before his admittance to the Ohio bar in 1874. He then moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, the same year.

During his early years in Indiana, Fairbanks was paid $5,000 a year as manager for the bankrupt Indianapolis, Bloomington and Western Railroad. With the assistance of his uncle, Charles W. Smith, whose connections had helped him obtain the position, Fairbanks was able to become a railroad financier, and served as counsel for millionaire Jay Gould.

Fairbanks in his office

Prior to the 1888 Republican National Convention, federal judge Walter Q. Gresham sought Fairbanks' help in seeking the nomination for U.S. President. While the bid was ultimately unsuccessful, Fairbanks began to take an even greater interest in politics, falling short in a campaign for the United States Senate in 1893.

He was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1896, after having delivered the keynote address during the convention that nominated William McKinley for President.


During his eight years in the U.S. Senate, Fairbanks served as a key adviser to McKinley during the Spanish–American War and was also the Chairman of the Committee on Immigration and the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds. In 1898, Fairbanks was appointed a member of the United States and British Joint High Commission which met in Quebec City for the adjustment of Canadian questions, including the boundary dispute about Alaska.

Vice President

Fairbanks and Theodore Roosevelt.

Fairbanks was elected Vice President of the United States in 1904 on the Republican ticket with Theodore Roosevelt and served all four years. Fairbanks sought the Republican nomination for President but Roosevelt (who chose not to seek reelection) supported William Howard Taft as his potential successor in 1908, sending Fairbanks back to the practice of law. In 1912, Fairbanks supported Taft's re-election against Roosevelt's Bull Moose candidacy.

Hughes' running mate

In 1916, Fairbanks was in charge of establishing the platform for the Republican party. In 1916, he sought the Republican presidential nomination, and although he failed in that bid, he did win the nomination for vice president as the running-mate of Charles Evans Hughes on June 10. Five months later, Hughes and Fairbanks lost a close election to the Democratic incumbents Woodrow Wilson and Thomas Marshall. Fairbanks is the most recent former Vice President to seek reelection for a non-consecutive term (with Adlai Stevenson I before him). Fairbanks once again resumed the practice of law in Indianapolis, but his health started to fail.


He died of nephritis in his home on June 4, 1918.[4] He was interred in Crown Hill Cemetery.


The city of Fairbanks, Alaska, and the Fairbanks North Star Borough it lies within; the Fairbanks School District in Union County, Ohio; Fairbanks, Minnesota; Fairbanks, Oregon; and Fairbanks Township, Michigan, are named after him. On Friday, May 15, 2009, an Ohio historical marker was dedicated in Unionville Center, commemorating Fairbanks' birthplace.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Harvey, Official Proceedings of the Republican National Convention, 1904, pp 23 - 32, Original from Harvard University, Digitized Oct 26, 2007
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Indiana Statesman Succumbs to Intestinal Nephritis After Long Illness at His Home. His Political Career Began After He Was a Successful Railroad Attorney. Adept in Platform Making. Reporter for The Associated Press. Attorney for Jay Gould. Beginning of His Political Career. Roosevelt's Running Mate.".  
  5. ^ Patrick Dundr, Fairbanks historical marker, Marysville Journal-Tribune, May 16, 2009

External links

  • The life and speeches of Hon. Charles Warren Fairbanks : Republican candidate for vice-president
  • "Charles W. Fairbanks".  
Political offices
Preceded by
Theodore Roosevelt
Vice President of the United States
March 4, 1905 – March 4, 1909
Succeeded by
James S. Sherman
United States Senate
Preceded by
Daniel W. Voorhees
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Indiana
March 4, 1897 – March 4, 1905
Served alongside: David Turpie, Albert J. Beveridge
Succeeded by
James A. Hemenway
Party political offices
Preceded by
Nicholas M. Butler
Republican vice presidential nominee
Succeeded by
Calvin Coolidge
Preceded by
Theodore Roosevelt
Republican vice presidential nominee
Succeeded by
James S. Sherman
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