News and Tribune

Lifestyles

June 11, 2013

NEW ALBANY BICENTENNIAL: Michael C. Kerr

(Continued)

NEW ALBANY —

Coming from Southern Indiana during the time immediately following the Civil War, Kerr did display an intense racial bias. Against black suffrage and the amendments granting such rights, the Indiana congressman made inflammatory statements against people of color, warning against “mongrel schools” and forced association. In his 1998 book “The Smart Culture: Society, Intelligence and Law,” Robert L. Hayman quoted Kerr as having said, “Is it statesmanship to introduce into the body of electors, the governing and law making classes, the most inferior, ignorant, and corruptible races on earth?”

Despite his racial intolerance, Kerr continued to advance his career in politics through hard work, honesty and trust. In 1874, his congressional allies elected him U.S. Speaker of the House. Undertaking the requirements of the new role weighed on the New Albanian. His health had begun to decline during this time, as evident by reports from his peers. Throughout the legislative session, Kerr visibly deteriorated to the point he needed to take some time to recuperate. After only serving one term as speaker, he died shortly after the session ended. 

During the memorial addresses on Capitol Hill, fellow Indiana Congressman William Holman eulogized Kerr and noted his achievements as well as his legacy. 

“Michael C. Kerr is dead. The record of a good life is complete,” Holman said. “May that record perpetuate his virtues and services he has rendered to his country as long as time shall endure.” 

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyles
LOCAL MAGAZINES
Easter 2014 photos


Click on any photo to purchase it.

SPECIAL CONTENT
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
2013 Photos of the year


Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.