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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Stafford, William Henry 1869 - 1957

Definition: lawyer, politician, Congressman, b. Milwaukee. He graduated from Harvard Univ. (LL.B., 1893; A.B., 1894), was admitted to the bar (1894), and set up a law practice in Milwaukee. A Republican, Stafford was first elected to Congress in 1902, and was subsequently re-elected to this office frequently, often alternating with Wisconsin Socialist Victor L. Berger (q.v.). He represented Wisconsin's 5th Congressional District (1903-1911, 1913-1919, 1921-1923, 1929-1933). Although sympathetic to the Progressive cause in Wisconsin, Stafford never fully aligned himself with that movement, instead managing his own political campaigns. He was noted for his opposition to government spending, and also claimed that he never received campaign contributions. In Congress, Stafford opposed U.S. entry into World War I, was an early supporter of independence for the Philippines, and introduced legislation to abolish "lame duck" sessions of Congress. After leaving Congress in 1933, he retired to his private law practice in Milwaukee. Who's Who in Amer., 27 (1952); Biog. Dir. Amex. Cong. (1950); Milwaukee journal, Apr. 23, 1957.

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]
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