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Pen used to sign the Smith-Lever Bill

Pen used to sign the Smith-Lever Bill

Descriptive Summary

Title: Pen used to sign the Smith-Lever Bill
Creator: Smith, Hoke, 1855-1931
Creator: Georgia State College of Agriculture
Creator: Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924
Inclusive Dates: 1914
Language: English
Extent: 0.1 Linear Feet (1 item in portfolio)
Collection Number: ms1343
Repository: Hargrett Library

Collection Description

Historical Note

"Extension was formalized in 1914, with the Smith-Lever Act... It established the partnership between the agricultural colleges and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide for cooperative agricultural extension work." -- "History." USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. (Retrieved March 2, 2010)

Woodrow Wilson regarded himself as the personal representative of the people. "No one but the President," he said, "seems to be expected ... to look out for the general interests of the country." He developed a program of progressive reform and asserted international leadership in building a new world order. In 1917 he proclaimed American entrance into World War I a crusade to make the world "safe for democracy." Wilson had seen the frightfulness of war. He was born in Virginia in 1856, the son of a Presbyterian minister who during the Civil War was a pastor in Augusta, Georgia, and during Reconstruction a professor in the charred city of Columbia, South Carolina. After graduation from Princeton (then the College of New Jersey) and the University of Virginia Law School, Wilson earned his doctorate at Johns Hopkins University and entered upon an academic career. In 1885 he married Ellen Louise Axson. Wilson advanced rapidly as a conservative young professor of political science and became president of Princeton in 1902. His growing national reputation led some conservative Democrats to consider him Presidential timber. First they persuaded him to run for Governor of New Jersey in 1910. In the campaign he asserted his independence of the conservatives and of the machine that had nominated him, endorsing a progressive platform, which he pursued as governor. He was nominated for President at the 1912 Democratic Convention and campaigned on a program called the New Freedom, which stressed individualism and states' rights. In the three-way election he received only 42 percent of the popular vote but an overwhelming electoral vote. Wilson maneuvered through Congress three major pieces of legislation. The first was a lower tariff, the Underwood Act; attached to the measure was a graduated Federal income tax. The passage of the Federal Reserve Act provided the Nation with the more elastic money supply it badly needed. In 1914 antitrust legislation established a Federal Trade Commission to prohibit unfair business practices. After the Germans signed the Armistice in November 1918, Wilson went to Paris to try to build an enduring peace. He later presented to the Senate the Versailles Treaty, containing the Covenant of the League of Nations, and asked, "Dare we reject it and break the heart of the world?" But the election of 1918 had shifted the balance in Congress to the Republicans. By seven votes the Versailles Treaty failed in the Senate. The President, against the warnings of his doctors, had made a national tour to mobilize public sentiment for the treaty. Exhausted, he suffered a stroke and nearly died. Tenderly nursed by his second wife, Edith Bolling Galt, he lived until 1924. -- Biography of Woodrow Wilson (Retrieved March 30, 2009)

"Hoke Smith, a trial attorney and publisher of the Atlanta Journal, was most influential as the leader of Georgia's Progressive movement during his years as governor (1907-9, 1911) and as a U.S. senator (1911-21)." - "Hoke Smith." New Georgia Encyclopedia. (Retrieved September 3, 2008)

Scope and Content

The collection consists of a pen framed with the following inscription enclosed: "Pen used by President Woodrow Wilson in signing H.R. Bill No. 7951, familiarly known as the Smith-Lever Extension Measure. This pen was presented to Hon. Hoke Smith, Senior Senator from Georgia, and presented by him to the Georgia State College of Agriculture, Athens, as a token of his esteem and appreciation of its efficient work for the cause of agricultural education in Georgia and the South. It is to be kept as a historical memento of the passage of an epoch-making measure. May 21, 1914."

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available by special permission only. Please contact Head of Manuscripts Dept. for further inquiry.

Preferred Citation

Pen used to sign the Smith-Lever Bill, MS 1343. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.

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