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SOUTH CAROLINIANA LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY SOUTH CAROLINIANA SOCIETY
MODERN POLITICAL COLLECTIONS 2001
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Butler Black Hare Papers, 1900-1966
Dubbed the "New Idol of Liberty" by the English-language Filipino Nation, Butler Black Hare (1875-1967) achieved international standing for his work in shepherding the Philippines to independence. Serving South Carolina's Second District in the United States House of Representatives from 1925 to 1933 and the Third District from 1939 to 1947, Hare also worked on issues important to the South Carolina farmers. He introduced legislation after the Great Depression to insure bank deposits and sponsored legislation prohibiting commission merchants from dumping spoiled produce without prior inspection.

One of nine children, Hare was born near Leesville on 25 November 1875. His father was a Confederate veteran and tenant farmer. Hare grad-uated from Newberry College in 1899 and held several jobs, including positions as secretary for state representatives George and Theodore Croft and as a professor at Leesville College. In 1910 he earned a law degree from George Washington University. He practiced law in Saluda, edited the journal Rural Economics, and worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture before his election to Congress in 1924. Previously, Hare had made an unsuccessful bid for the House of Representatives in 1906.

During Hare's first period of congressional service, he sponsored major fiscal and agricultural legislation as described above. His tenure cul-minated in the chairmanship of the House Insular Affairs Committee, 1932-1933. In this capacity, he authored the Philippine Independence Act, which began the process of granting independence to the Philippines, a United States possession since 1898.

Redistricting after the 1930 census caused South Carolina's House dele-gation to be reduced from seven to six, and Hare chose to return to his law practice in Saluda rather than seek another term in the House. He return-ed to Congress in 1938, however, when he defeated incumbent John Taylor. Appointed to the House Appropriations Committee, Hare con-centrated on securing better postal service for his district, advocating the creation of a highway system, supporting poll taxes, and opposing New Deal legislation such as the establishment of the Fair Employment Practices Committee. He was selected to join a group of legislators to tour Europe and assess its post-World War II condition.

Defeated in his 1946 bid for reelection by William Jennings Bryan Dorn, Hare lived the rest of his life in Saluda practicing law. He died on 30 December 1967 and was survived by his wife, Kate Etheredge, and son, Robert Hayne Hare. Another son, James Butler Hare, had died in 1966.

The collection consists of one linear foot of material arranged in four series: general papers, speeches, photographs, and clippings. The bulk of the collection consists of speeches and clippings, 1928-1932 and 1942-1947, and relates to Hare's service in Congress. General papers, most of which date between 1910 and 1932, consist chiefly of constituent letters on issues before Congress, including the cancellation of European debts and the Home Loan Bank Bill, and copies of legislation introduced by Hare. Speeches, dating chiefly between 1942 and 1947, reflect Hare's interest in such topics as military highways, postal affairs, and states' rights. Hare was particularly concerned with labor and gave numerous speeches about strikes and the nature of the federal government's obligations to working men. His strong religious beliefs are evident in many speeches, including those on education and racial prejudice. Hare's defense of the poll tax and other states' rights issues are also well-represented in his speeches.


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