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Jeremiah "Sockless Jerry" Simpson - Page

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Jeremiah Simpson was born on Prince Edward Island, Canada, on March 31, 1842. Simpson and his family relocated to New York State when he was six, and during the Civil War he served in the Illinois Volunteer Infantry, receiving a discharge due to medical reasons. When the war was over, he moved to Indiana and then to Kansas, working as a farmer and cattle rancher. Then, after devastating financial losses, Simpson began his political career by running as a Union Labor Party candidate for the state legislature in 1886 and 1888. Although he lost both of these elections, Simpson rose to the occasion when, in 1889, the newly formed People's (Populist) Party nominated him for Congress. In that election Simpson ran against James R. Hallowell, a Republican attorney who Simpson derided as a wearer of "fine silk hosiery"; Hallowell responded by stating that fine hosiery was better than being sockless. This is how Simpson received the nickname "sockless Jerry." Simpson won the election and a seat in the House of Representatives, going on to serve three terms from 1891 to 1895, and again from 1897 until 1899. He died on October 23, 1905.

Date: Between 1880 and 1905

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Since a number of source refer to Simpson, this photograph can be used as a companion source to a variety of documents relating to the rise of Populism. Also, some of the political cartoons from Judge magazine that have been selected for this standard depict Simpson without socks.

KS:7th:4.2:Populism (2005)

Item Number: 751
Call Number: B Simpson, Jeremiah *3
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 751

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