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Stephen Mallory White

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American statesman; born at San Francisco , California, 19 January, 1853; died at Los Angeles , California, 21 February, 1901. His parents were William F. White and Fannie J. (Russell), natives of Limerick, Ireland, and distinguished California pioneers of 1849. He was a grand-nephew of Gerald Griffin, the poet and novelist, and a cousin of Stephen Russell Mallory, Secretary of the Navy of the Southern Confederacy. He was educated at the Jesuit Colleges of St. Ignatius in San Francisco and Santa Clara at Santa Clara, California. In 1874 he was admitted to the bar. He was a noted orator, a profound student, and was gifted with great natural ability which he employed with tireless energy as a lawyer and in the service of his country. In 1886 he was elected, as a Democrat, state senator, lieutenant governor (1888), and United States senator (1893). In the latter capacity he served for six years and during that time was one of the leaders who forced the Pacific railroads to pay their enormous debt to the Government and who urged the construction of the Panama Canal. His most valuable service to the nation while in the United States Senate was his learned exposition of the complex questions of international and constitutional law involved in the war with Spain and in the annexation of Hawaii and of the Philippines to the United States. These studies have been included in two volumes, published since his death, "Stephen M. White, His Life and Work" (Los Angeles, 1902), and have taken rank as classics among treatises on civil government. He was one of the lawyers who represented the Church in the claim against Mexico growing out of the "Pious Fund of the Californias". In 1896 the Democratic party in California endorsed him for President of the United States, but he declined to enter the contest. He was a devout though unobtrusive Catholic all his life, and died while suffering from overwork. The people of the United States have, by popular subscription, erected a life-size statute of Senator White in bronze at Los Angeles, where his remains repose.


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