Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Jerry Simpson, Medicine Lodge, Kansas, was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1890, 1892, and 1896; he was defeated in races in 1894 and 1898. Allegedly his first election resulted from his exposure of a naked foot during a campaign speech in which he claimed to be too poor to buy socks. This report traces the life history of Jerry Simpson, emphasizing particularly his relationships with his constituents. The 1890 election campaign is dealt with in sane detail, the apocryphal sockless story being relegated to a footnote. The writer believes abnormal economic conditions caused the election of Jerry Simpson as a protest; returning prosperity resulted in his defeat. A new economic issue caused his comeback in 1896: new prosperity and an outbreak of nationalism retired him in 1898. His career illustrates that a democracy can discover and develop leaders who truly represent the majority of their people and discard them when they have served their purpose.
Copyright 1959 Myron C. Scott
Scott, Myron C., "A Congressman and His Constituents: Jerry Simpson and the Big Seventh" (1959). Master's Theses. 653.