William P. Frye

William Pierce Frye (September 2, 1830 – August 8, 1911) was an American politician from the state of Maine. Frye, a member of the Republican Party, spent most of his political career as a legislator, serving in the Maine House of Representatives and then U.S. House of Representatives, before being elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served for 30 years; dying in office. Frye was a member of the Frye political family, and was the grandfather of Wallace H. White, Jr. and the son of John March Frye. He was also a prominent member of the Peucinian Society tradition.

William Pierce Frye
William P. Frye - Brady-Handy
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
February 7, 1896 – April 27, 1911
Preceded byIsham G. Harris
Succeeded byRotating pro terms
United States Senator
from Maine
In office
March 18, 1881 – August 8, 1911
Preceded byJames G. Blaine
Succeeded byObadiah Gardner
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1871 – March 17, 1881
Preceded bySamuel P. Morrill
Succeeded byNelson Dingley, Jr.
Maine Attorney General
In office
GovernorJoshua Chamberlain
Preceded byJohn A. Peters
Succeeded byThomas Brackett Reed
Member of the Maine House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
BornSeptember 2, 1830
Lewiston, Maine
DiedAugust 8, 1911 (aged 80)
Lewiston, Maine
Political partyRepublican
Alma materBowdoin College
ProfessionLaw, politics


Mrs William P. Frye
Mrs. William P. Frye

Frye was born in Lewiston, Maine, in Androscoggin County. He attended public schools there and graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick in 1850. Frye studied law and was later admitted to the bar. He began practicing in Rockland, Maine in 1853 but later returned to Lewiston, and practiced law there. Frye played a role in founding Bates College in Lewiston and served as a longtime trustee of the College. Frye received a LL.D. from Bates in 1881.

Frye served in the Maine House of Representatives from 1861 to 1862 and again in 1867. He was later elected as the mayor of Lewiston, holding that position from 1866 to 1867, when he became the state attorney general. Frye left the attorney general post in 1869. He was elected as a Republican in 1870 to the U.S. House of Representatives. Frye served in the 42nd Congress and the five succeeding Congresses from March 4, 1871, to March 17, 1881, when he resigned after being elected Senator to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of James G. Blaine. He served over 30 years in the Senate (March 18, 1881 – August 8, 1911), and was reelected in 1883, 1889, 1895, 1901, and 1907.

During his tenure in the Senate, Frye served as its President pro tempore from the 54th62nd Congress. The Vice Presidency was vacant twice during that time: November 21, 1899–March 4, 1901, following the death of Garret Hobart, and September 14, 1901–March 4, 1905, after Theodore Roosevelt succeeded to the presidency. Frye resigned as president pro tempore due to ill health a couple of months before his death. Electing his successor proved difficult for the Senate, as the Republicans, then in the majority, were split between progressive and conservative factions, each promoting its own candidate. It took several months for a consensus way forward to emerge. At the time of his resignation he had served longer in that position then anyone else, 15 years, 2 months, 21 days.

Frye was also the chairman of the Rules Committee (47th49th Congress). Frye also was a member of the Commerce Committee (50th62nd Congress) and a member of the commission which met in Paris in September 1898 to adjust the Treaty of Paris between the United States and Spain, ending the Spanish–American War.

Frye died in Lewiston in 1911. He is interred in the Riverside Cemetery. The Sen. William P. Frye House near Bates College in Lewiston is on the National Historic Register.

See also


  • United States Congress. "William P. Frye (id: F000398)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • Kestenbaum, Lawrence. "Frye, William Pierce (1830–1911)." The Political Graveyard. [1]
  • William P. Frye, late a senator from Maine, Memorial addresses delivered in the House of Representatives and Senate frontispiece 1913

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
John A. Peters
Maine Attorney General
Succeeded by
Thomas Brackett Reed
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Samuel P. Morrill
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 2nd congressional district

March 4, 1871 – March 17, 1881
Succeeded by
Nelson Dingley, Jr.
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
James G. Blaine
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Maine
March 18, 1881 – August 8, 1911
Served alongside: Eugene Hale and Charles F. Johnson
Succeeded by
Obadiah Gardner
Political offices
Preceded by
Isham G. Harris
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
February 7, 1896 – April 27, 1911
Succeeded by
Rotating pro tems
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Eugene Hale
Dean of the United States Senate
March 4, 1911 – August 8, 1911
Succeeded by
Shelby Moore Cullom
1896 United States elections

The 1896 United States elections elected the 55th United States Congress. Republicans won control of the Presidency and maintained control of both houses of Congress. The election marked the end of the Third Party System and the start of the Fourth Party System, as Republicans would generally dominate politics until the 1930 elections. Political scientists such as V.O. Key, Jr. argue that this election was a realigning election, while James Reichley argues against this idea on the basis that the Republican victory in this election merely continued the party's post-Civil War dominance. The election took place in the aftermath of the Panic of 1893, and featured a fierce debate between advocates of bimetallism ("free silver") and supporters of the gold standard.In the Presidential election, Republican former Governor William McKinley of Ohio defeated Democratic former Representative William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska. McKinley took the Republican nomination on the first ballot, while Bryan took the Democratic nomination on the fifth ballot (at age 36, he became youngest presidential nominee of a major party), defeating former Missouri Representative Richard P. Bland and several other candidates. Bryan's Cross of Gold speech, in which he advocated for "free silver," helped deliver him the Democratic nomination, and also attracted the support of the Populist Party and the Silver Republican Party. Though Bryan carried most of the South and the West, McKinley won a comfortable margin in both the electoral college and the popular vote by carrying the Northeast and the Great Lakes region.

Democrats won major gains in the House, but Republicans continued to command a large majority in the chamber. The Populists also won several seats, holding more seats in the House than any third party since the Civil War.In the Senate, the Republicans maintained their plurality, keeping control of the same number of seats. The Democrats lost several seats, while the Silver Republicans established themselves for the first time with five seats. Republican William P. Frye won election as President pro tempore.

1911 in the United States

Events from the year 1911 in the United States.

47th United States Congress

The Forty-seventh United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1881, to March 4, 1883, during the first and only year of James Garfield's presidency, and the first two years of his successor, Chester Arthur's tenure. The apportionment of seats in this House of Representatives was based on the Ninth Census of the United States in 1870. The House had a Republican majority; the Senate was evenly divided.

61st United States Congress

The Sixty-first United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, DC from March 4, 1909, to March 4, 1911, during the first two years of William H. Taft's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Twelfth Census of the United States in 1900. Both chambers had a Republican majority.

62nd United States Congress

The Sixty-second United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, DC from March 4, 1911, to March 4, 1913, during the third and fourth years of William H. Taft's presidency.

The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Twelfth Census of the United States in 1900. Additional House seats were assigned to the two new states of New Mexico and Arizona. The size of the House was to be 435 starting with the new Congress coming into session in 1913. The Senate had a Republican majority, and the House had a Democratic majority.

Dean of the United States Senate

The Dean of the United States Senate is an informal term for the Senator with the longest continuous service, regardless of party affiliation. This is not an official position within the Senate, although customarily (since 1945) the longest-serving member of the majority party serves as President pro tempore.

The current Dean is Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

Eugene Hale

Eugene Hale (June 9, 1836 – October 27, 1918) was a Republican United States Senator from Maine.


Frye is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Channing Frye (born 1983), basketball player

Charlie Frye (born 1981), football player for the Oakland Raiders

Don Frye (born 1965), mixed martial arts fighter

Donna Frye (born 1952), San Diego city councilwoman

Dwight Frye (1899–1943), American actor

Jack Frye (1904–1959), American aviation pioneer

John Frye (1933–2005), Scottish footballer

Joseph Frye (1712–1794), colonial American soldier and general

Marilyn Frye (born 1941), American philosophy professor and feminist theorist

Mark Frye (born 1957), contemporary American composer

Northrop Frye (1912–1991), Canadian literary critic

Richard N. Frye (1920–2014), American scholar of Iranian history

Sean Frye (born 1966), American child actor

Shirley M. Frye, American mathematics educator

Soleil Moon Frye (born 1976), American actress best known for playing Punky Brewster

Taylor Frye (1864–1946), American politician and educator

Thomas Frye (c. 1710–1762), Anglo-Irish painter

Thomas Frye (Rhode Island) (1666–1748), Deputy Governor of colony of Rhode Island

Virgil Frye (1930–2012), American actor

Walter Frye (died 1474), English Renaissance composer

William P. Frye (1830–1911), U.S. Senator from Maine

List of chairmen of the House Republican Conference

This is a list of Republican Conference Chairmen of the United States House of Representatives.

Maine Attorney General

The Maine Attorney General is the chief legal advisor and prosecutor of the State of Maine. The constitutional basis of the office is Article IX, Section 11 of the Maine Constitution, and the holder of the position is chosen biennially by the Maine Legislature in joint session. Maine is the only state to select its attorney general in such a manner.

The powers of the Attorney General are derived from the Maine Revised Statues Annotated, Title 5, Chapter 9. These include representing the State in civil actions, investigating and prosecuting homicides, advising district attorneys, and providing written opinions on matters of law at the request of the Governor or the Legislature. The Attorney General is empowered to appoint deputy and assistant attorneys general, who serve at the Attorney General's pleasure.

Nelson Dingley Jr.

Nelson Dingley Jr. (February 15, 1832 – January 13, 1899) was a journalist and politician from the U.S. state of Maine.

Dingley was born in Durham, Maine and attended the common schools at Unity, Maine and Waterville College (now Colby College). He graduated from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1855, where he was a founding member of the Psi Epsilon Chapter of the Zeta Psi Fraternity. He then studied law, received an LL.D. from Bates College, and was admitted to the bar in 1856. However, he never practiced law and instead became proprietor and editor of the Lewiston, Maine Journal, holding this post for more than twenty years. He was a member of the Maine House of Representatives 1862–65, 1868, and again in 1873, serving as speaker in 1863 and 1864. He was the 34th Governor of Maine in 1874 and a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1876 and 1880.

Dingley was elected as a Republican to the 47th Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of William P. Frye. He was then reelected to the 48th and to the seven succeeding Congresses, serving from September 12, 1881, until his death in Washington, D.C., before the close of the 55th Congress. Reputedly "destitute of humor but soundly versed in finance", Dingley was chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means in the 54th and 55th Congresses. The tariff schedule of 1897, known as the Dingley Tariff, was framed under his direction to counter the lower rates set forth in the 1894 Democratic Wilson–Gorman Tariff Act. The Dingley Tariff raised tariff rates and granted the President authority to invoke reciprocity when negotiating trade treaties.

Dingley had been reelected to the 56th Congress and was succeeded by Charles E. Littlefield upon his death in Washington, D.C. on January 13, 1899. He is interred in Oak Hill Cemetery, near Auburn, Maine.

Obadiah Gardner

Obadiah Gardner (September 13, 1852 – July 24, 1938) was an American politician from the U.S. state of Maine. Gardner was a businessman and member of the Democratic Party who served in several minor state executive positions before serving in the United States Senate.

Sen. William P. Frye House

The Senator William P. Frye House is a historic house on 453-461 Main Street in Lewiston, Maine. Built in 1874, it is a fine example of Second Empire architecture in the city, designed by local architects Fassett & Stevens for William P. Frye, a mayor of Lewiston and a United States Senator. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

The United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation is a standing committee of the United States Senate. It is empowered with legislative oversight of the Coast Guard and Merchant Marine, interstate commerce, communications, the Internet, highways, aviation, rail, shipping, transportation security, oceans, fisheries, climate change, natural disasters, science, sports, tourism, consumer protection, economic development, technology, competitiveness, product safety, insurance, and standards and measurement. The committee also has jurisdiction over coastal zone management, inland waterways (except construction), the Panama Canal and other interoceanic canals, and commerce aspects of Continental Shelf lands.The Committee is one of the largest in the Senate with 27 members in the 115th Congress. It is composed of seven subcommittees, and the Committee Chairman is Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and its Ranking Member is Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA). The majority office is housed in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, and the minority office is located in the Hart Senate Office Building.

United States Senate Committee on Rules

The United States Senate Committee on Rules is a defunct Congressional committee, replaced by the United States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.

United States congressional delegations from Maine

These are tables of congressional delegations from Maine to the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives. Maine became a state on March 15, 1820.

William Frye (disambiguation)

William Frye may refer to:

William P. Frye (1830–1911), American politician from Maine

William F. Frye (1929–1988), American attorney and politician from Oregon

William Frye (MP) (died 1427), English politician

William P. Frye (1901), a sailing ship

William Frye (1921–2017), American film and television producer

William H. Stevens

William H. Stevens (1818–1880) was an American architect from Lewiston, Maine.

William P. Frye (1901)

William P. Frye was a four-masted steel barque named after a US Republican politician of the same name, from the state of Maine. Built by Arthur Sewall & Co of Bath, Maine she was sunk by the Imperial German Navy raider SMS Prinz Eitel Friedrich in 1915. She was the first U.S. vessel sunk during World War I.

Class 1
Class 2
Commerce and Manufactures
Interstate Commerce
Interstate and Foreign Commerce/Commerce
Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Rules and Administration

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