Bristow, Joseph

Bristow, Joseph (Little)

(1861–1944) U.S. senator; born near Hazel Green, Ky. Settling in Kansas (1879), he acquired several newspapers there and rose in the Republican Party, becoming assistant postmaster general (1897–1905); his investigation of corruption in the postal system exposed several Republican legislators and forced his resignation. Aligning himself increasingly with the more progressive wing of the Republicans, he served a term in the U.S. Senate (Rep., Kans.; 1909–15) where his most notable achievement was to help write what became the 17th Amendment, providing for the direct election of senators.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.