Thomas Staples Martin
Original Author: Government Printing Office
Created: 1922
Medium: Photograph
Publisher: The Internet Archive

Thomas Staples Martin

Thomas Staples Martin was a longtime U.S. senator (1895–1919) and de facto leader of the Virginia Democratic Party prior to the ascendancy of Harry F. Byrd Sr. and the Byrd Organization. Martin was a relatively unknown Confederate army veteran and Charlottesville-based railroad attorney prior to his election. His leadership of the party was notorious for accusations of bribery, voter fraud, and corruption, and helped bring forth the calls for reform that led to the Constitutional Convention of 1901–1902. Martin died while still in office; this image appears in a subsequent tribute to him published by the U.S. Congress.