Legislative Branch

Guide to House Records: Chapter 7: Industrial Arts and Expositions (1903-1927)

Chapter 7. Records of the Commerce Committees and Its Predecessors

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Records of Committees Relating to Claims 1794-1946 from Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States

Committees discussed in this chapter:
Records of the Committee on Industrial Arts and Expositions (1903-1927) History and Jurisdiction

7.83 The committee's origin can be traced to the select committee by the same name established in 1901 at the beginning of the 57th Congress with "jurisdiction on all matters (excepting those relating to the revenue and appropriations) referring to the centennial of the Louisiana purchase and to proposed expositions."66 On November 9, 1903, its status was changed to that of a standing committee, but its jurisdiction remained unchanged. In 1911 its jurisdiction statement was changed to eliminate the reference to the centennial of the Louisiana purchase. On December 5, 1927, as part of H.Res. 7 the House voted not to reauthorize the committee. In the 1930's Clarence Cannon reported that the committee's former jurisdiction was "now largely exercised" by the Committee on Foreign Affairs. 7

Records of the Committee on Industrial Arts and Expositions, 58th-69th Congresses (1903-27)


Record TypeVolumeCongress (dates)
Minute Books5 vols.59th-63d (1905-15)
Docket Books5 vols.59th-63d (1905-15)
Petitions & Memorials6 in.60th-63d (1907-09), 66th (1919-21)
Committee Papers7 in.58th-61st (1903-11), 63d (1913-15), 66th-68th (1919-25)
Bill files10 in.58th-60th (1903-09), 62d-63d (1911-15), 66th-69th (1919-27)
TOTAL:2 ft. and 10 vols. ( 1 ft.)

7.84 Minute books exist for five Congresses only. The most complete entries are for meetings of the 59th Congress held in 1906. The volume for the 60th Congress (1907-9) contains full copies of bills pasted into the book. Docket books exist for the same five Congresses. The number of entries per book range from a high of 16 for the 59th Congress (1905-7) to a low of 3 for the 61st Congress (1909-11). Entries are arranged in chronological order.

7.85 The subject emphasis of petitions and memorials shifted from Congress to Congress. The great majority of petitions and memorials relate to one of the following: Requests from the 60th and 63d Congresses (1907-9 and 1913-15) that exposition fair grounds be closed on Sundays (60A-H14.1, 63A-H10.1); the rivalry between partisans of San Francisco, San Diego, and New Orleans for the site of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (61A-H12.3); appeals for Federal sponsorship of an Negro-oriented exposition commemorating the semi-centennial of the end of American slavery (60A-H14.3, 61A-H12.2); endorsements of American participation in Italian expositions (61A- H12.1); opposition to the appointment of a commission and the appropriation of $7,500,000 for celebration of a century of Anglo-American peace (62A-H12.1); and support for the erection of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, as opposed to building a commemorative highway in his name (62A- H12.1).

7.86 In quantity, nearly half of the committee papers consist of the prepublication composite copy of pamphlets for U.S. Government exhibits at the Brazilian Centennial Exposition, 1922-23, as well as background papers relating to the printing of the document (68A- F20.1). Another file consists of the manuscript copy of the final report on the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition (59A-F37.2). Other files include copies of bills and resolutions referred to the committee (59A-F37.1, 61A-F23.5, 66A-F20.1), printed hearings from 1911 on the Olympic games (61A- F23.2) and on the proposed 1915 Panama Canal commemorative exposition (61A-F23.4), and presidential transmittals of documents concerning the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company (58A-F38.1) and the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (61A-F23.1).

7.87 Although bill files exist for nine Congresses, they generally consist of nothing more than printed bills, resolutions, and reports. Files for the 68th and 69th Congresses (1923-27) also contain of both manuscript and printed copies of reports as well as background correspondence (68A-D13, 69A-D13). The bill file for the 63d Congress (1913-15) primarily concerns efforts by R. R. Wright, president of the Georgia State Industrial College for Colored Youths, and others to secure Federal backing for an exposition to celebrate the semi-centennial of emancipation; the file includes brief notes on the subject from President Woodrow Wilson (63A-D9).

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6 Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, 57th Cong., 1st sess., Dec. 2, 1901, p. 8.

7 Clarence Cannon, Cannon's Precedents of the House of Representatives of the United States, (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1935), vol. 7, p. 840.

Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to the Records of the United States House of Representatives at the National Archives, 1789-1989: Bicentennial Edition (Doct. No. 100-245). By Charles E. Schamel, Mary Rephlo, Rodney Ross, David Kepley, Robert W. Coren, and James Gregory Bradsher. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1989.