Eugene Hale

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Eugene Hale
Eugene Hale - Brady-Handy.jpg
United States Senator
from Maine
In office
March 4, 1881 – March 3, 1911
Preceded by Hannibal Hamlin
Succeeded by Charles F. Johnson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 5th district
In office
March 4, 1869 – March 3, 1879
Preceded by Frederick A. Pike
Succeeded by Thompson H. Murch
Personal details
Born (1836-06-09)June 9, 1836
Turner, Maine, USA
Died Script error: The function "death_date_and_age" does not exist.
Washington, D.C., USA
Political party Republican
Alma mater Bates College
Profession Politician, Lawyer

Eugene Hale (June 9, 1836 – October 27, 1918) was a Republican United States Senator from Maine.


Born in Turner, Maine, he was educated in local schools and at Maine's Hebron Academy. He was admitted to the bar in 1857 and served for nine years as prosecuting attorney for Hancock County, Maine. He was elected to the Maine Legislature 1867–68, to the U.S. House of Representatives 1869–79, serving in the 41st and four succeeding Congresses. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1878 to the 46th Congress.

He was elected to succeed Hannibal Hamlin in the U.S. Senate in 1881; reelected in 1887, 1893, 1899 and 1905 and served from March 4, 1881, to March 3, 1911. During his time in the Senate, he served several committees, chairing, during various Congreses, the U.S. Senate Committee on the Census, the U.S. Senate Committee on Private Land Claims, the U.S. Senate Committee on Printing, the U.S. Senate Committee on Naval Affairs, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations and the U.S. Senate Committee on Public Expenditures. He was Republican Conference Chairman from 1908 to 1911.

Eugene Hale

Although he declined the post of United States Secretary of the Navy in the Rutherford B. Hayes administration (and had previously declined a Cabinet appointment under Ulysses S. Grant), Senator Hale performed constructive work of the greatest importance in the area of naval appropriations, especially during the early fights for the "new Navy." "I hope", he said in 1884, "that I shall not live many years before I shall see the American Navy what it ought to be, the pet of the American people." Much later in his career, he opposed the building of large numbers of capital ships, which he regarded as less effective in proportion to cost and subject to rapid obsolescence.

He was served as a member of the National Monetary Commission. Hale received an LL.D. from Bates College in 1882.

During the late 1890s, Hale and Senator George F. Hoar of Massachusetts were the most vocal opponents of American intervention into the ongoing insurrection in Cuba. Hale disdained expansionism and jingoism and often challenged claims made by senators on Cuban military victories and Spanish atrocities. He so frequently engaged in verbal jousts with Cuban sympathizers in the Senate that they unfairly accused him of parroting Spanish propaganda and called him "The Senator from Spain."

Senator Hale retired from politics in 1911 and spent the remainder of his life in Ellsworth, Maine, and in Washington, D.C., where he died. He is buried at in Woodbine Cemetery, Ellsworth, Maine.

Two ships were named USS Hale for him. He was the father of Frederick Hale, also a U.S. Senator from Maine, and of diplomat Chandler Hale.

Gertrude Atherton's novel Senator North (1900) was based on Eugene Hale.[1]


  1. Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit, Michigan: Gale. 2003. ISBN 978-0-7876-3995-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Eugene Hale was also a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Theta chapter).

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Frederick A. Pike
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 5th congressional district

March 4, 1869 – March 3, 1879
Succeeded by
Thompson H. Murch
United States Senate
Preceded by
Hannibal Hamlin
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Maine
March 4, 1881 – March 3, 1911
Served alongside: William P. Frye
Succeeded by
Charles F. Johnson
Honorary titles
Preceded by
William B. Allison
Dean of the United States Senate
August 4, 1908 – March 3, 1911
Succeeded by
William P. Frye