Guide to the Papers of John Wingate Weeks, 1843 - 1976Manuscript ML-1


John Wingate Weeks was born on April 11, 1860, in Lancaster, NH. Educated in the public schools of Lancaster, he attended the US Naval Academy from which he graduated in 1881. He left the Navy in 1883, and received a position as land commissioner of the Florida Southern Railroad. In 1888, Weeks moved to Boston, where he co-founded the financial firm of Hornblower and Weeks. He also served in the Massachusetts Naval Brigade and joined the Volunteer Navy during the Spanish-American War. In 1899, Weeks became an alderman in Newton, MA, and in 1903, he became mayor. In 1904, he was elected to the House of Representatives where he was a member of the Banking and Currency Committee which shaped the Aldrich-Vreeland Currency Law. He also served as the chairman of the Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads, figured prominently in the enactment of the White Mountain Appalachian Forestry Law and was the author of the Weeks-McLain Law which protected migratory and insectivorous birds. In 1913, he was elected to the Senate where he served on the Military Affairs Committee and took active part in framing Federal Reserve Act. After failing to be reelected in 1918, Weeks retired from elective politics but continued to play a major part in the Republican Party on a national level. In 1921, he came out of retirement to serve as Secretary of War under Presidents Harding and Coolidge, a post he held until 1925 when a stroke forced him to retire once again. Weeks died in 1926 at the age of 66.

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