Teller, Henry Moore

Teller, Henry Moore,

1830–1914, American statesman, b. Allegany co., N.Y. A lawyer, he practiced in Colorado after 1861. He commanded a militia district in the Civil War period. When Colorado became (1876) a state, Teller was elected U.S. Senator as a Republican. He resigned in 1882 to become Secretary of the Interior under President Arthur. Teller returned (1885) to the Senate and was reelected in 1891. As the leader of a group of silver Republicans, Teller supported William J. Bryan, Democratic and Populist candidate for President in 1896, and was returned to the Senate as an independent silver Republican. In 1902, he was elected on the Democratic ticket. In 1898, he secured the adoption of the Teller Resolution to the declaration of war against Spain, which pledged the United States to an independent Cuba.


See biography by E. Ellis (1941).

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Teller, Henry Moore

(1830–1914) U.S. senator; born in Granger, N.Y. He went out to the Colorado Territory during its gold rush period and practiced law in Central City (where the main hotel is named for him). Elected as one of the new state's first two senators (Rep., Colo.; 1877–82), he resigned to serve as secretary of the interior under President Chester Arthur (1882–85). He returned to the U.S. Senate (1885–1909), the first three terms as a Republican; his advocacy of bi-metalism—the use of silver as well as gold to back U.S. money—led him to switch to the Democratic Party for his final term. Although he introduced the 1898 resolution that led the U.S.A. into the Spanish-American War, he opposed the U.S.A. pursuing war in the Philippines, and in his later years he supported more progressive social policies.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.