In , he became a member of the National Monetary Commission , a body which sought to study foreign banking systems in search of ways to better the domestic banking system. In , he was appointed to chair the House Committee on Banking and Currency. In , he left the National Monetary Commission and obtained congressional authorization to form a separate committee, which came to be called the Pujo Committee , to investigate the " money trust ". The Pujo Committee found that a cabal of financial leaders were abusing their public trust to consolidate control over many industries.
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The Public Career of Arsene P. Pujo Louisiana Congressman, - Transcribed by Leora White, September A Thesis. Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the. Louisiana State University and. Agricultural and Mechanical. College in partial fulfillment of the. Requirements for the degree of. Master of Arts.
The Department of History. James Carroll Beam. McNeese State College, January, The author wishes to express his gratitude to Professors Donald Millett, William Hair and Burl Noggle for their assistance in the preparation of this thesis.
Professor Millet suggested the topic and rendered assistance in research and Professors Hair and Noggle aided in research and in reading thesis drafts. The writer also wishes to acknowledge his wife whose patience has made completion of the thesis possible. An advocate of the direct primary, he always put his candidacy for public office before the people of his state.
His individualism was apparent throughout his public service. Labor, industrial, and agricultural interests benefited from the legislation he supported and the appropriations he secured. An examination of the public records reveals that Pujo voted for and supported many of the progressive measures characteristic of the period in which he was a representative. At the same time, he supported conservative views which indicated he was not confined in his political thinking.
Pujo gained national recognition when he served as chairman of the Money Trust Investigation of The inquiry revealed that J. Morgan and his associates controlled corporations with assets greater than the assessed value of all the property west of the Mississippi River.
The investigation did not result in any direct legislation, but it did influence laws designed to remedy the existing financial inequities. His adeptness in the interpretation of the Selective Service Act illustrated an inherent understanding of most laws dating back as far as the Louisiana Constitutional Convention of When the war was over, Paul returned to Lake Charles and established a mercantile store in the growing Louisiana town. At that time most supplies were hauled overland by wagon into Lake Charles from Houston, Texas.
His business was successful and he remained a merchant until two years before his death. Arsene LeBleu was a planter and stock raiser and one of the wealthy and influential citizens of his community. The Pujo family made their home at Rose Bluff, a small area located on the Calcasieu River about two miles west of Lake Charles, and spent remainder of their lives in the community. Pujo was prominently identified with the growth of Lake Charles and one of the main streets of the city bears his name.
Although not entirely a self-made man, a friend said of him in Pujo is not the product of any college or university. He is a self-educated and self-made man. He began to learn what he knows at that late period of life when others more fortunate went out of colleges already well equipped for the battle of life; yet he ranks high in the state of Louisiana as a scholar, a writer, an orator and a jurist. He earned his diploma by patient industry, with a fertile brain. Paul Pujo died in and Arsene became administrator of the family estate.
As administrator, he developed an interest in law. Fournet, a Lake Charles attorney, and was admitted to the Louisiana bar before the state supreme court October 23, He immediately began practice in Lake Charles. Pujo began building a home on the northwest corner of Bilbo and Mill streets in Lake Charles in October, Gussie Brown was the daughter of Dr. Samuel Moore Brown. The couple moved into their new home on December 25, The Pujo home was a Lake Charles landmark until it was demolished about Two daughters, Elaine and Mona, were born to the Pujo's.
The summer of was spent in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Arsene, unlike his father, was not a quiet, unassuming man. He was five feet, nine inches in height.
He had three offices and mine was next to the hallway. He always stopped in and chatted awhile. He always had something historical or amusing to relate. I looked forward to his chats. Hunting was his favorite pastime and he was a member of the first gun club in Lake Charles. He used the gun like a pistol. Pujo formed his first law partnership with his former tutor, Fournet, and the firm of Fournet and Pujo continued until Calcasieu, Cameron, and Vernon parishes made up the Twelfth District at that time.
Pujo had been offered the judgeship nomination because his active participation in the fight against the Louisiana State Lottery, but declined in favor of his law partner and former teacher. Moss, E. Miller, Leon Sugar, W. Williamson, C. Liskow, and U. From until the time of his death, he was the senior member of the firm of Pujo, C. Hardin, and Thomas F. As a lawyer, Pujo was highly regarded by members of his profession.
Pujo was a lawyer of unusual ability, eminently successful and in public matters at all times frank and open in supporting what he thought was right or condemning that which he thought was wrong; and tolerant toward the views of others. Pujo an excellent adviser.
Pickrel said, "There is no better trial lawyer in this court than Mr. Pujo nor any more courteous. Once acquainted with the law, he never forgot it. He never let a client tell him how to conduct a case but instead inspired confidence in those who sought his advice.
Numerous trips taken by Pujo for legal purposes were an indication of a large and lucrative practice. During a time when Lake Charles was in the throes of growth and expansion, Pujo was associated with many of the initial movements indicating the city was to develop into an active Louisiana community.
Lake Charles was, as it presently is, the parish seat of Calcasieu Parish. In Calcasieu Parish was the largest parish, territorially, in the state. Its area stretched sixty miles from east to west and seventy miles from north to south.
Although the railroad was coming into its own in the Calcasieu and Southwestern Louisiana community, waterways continued to occupy the time and efforts of Lake Charles leaders. Pujo was a charter member of the board. Being a man of letters, he was often asked to handle correspondence for the board. During April of , a Senate committee in Washington removed all but one harbor improvement in Louisiana from the continuous appropriation system.
Plaquemines Parish was to be the favored area. Subsidies had been voted by Lake Charles to secure an additional railroad from the northwestern part of the state, a plan which was felt would bring the commerce of several states valued at millions of dollars to the Gulf Coast area. The Board of Trade feared that failure to continue river and harbor improvements on the Calcasieu River would result in commerce finding its way to Texas outlets on the Gulf of Mexico.
Louisiana Senator Andrew Price wired Pujo in behalf of the Board stating he would attempt to have the Senate committee put the appropriation for Calcasieu Parish back into the bill. On April 27, again in a wire to Pujo, Price said the Senate committee had decided to leave Calcasieu on the contract system.
His ability at organization, a characteristic demonstrated on future occasions, was obviously, known to and appreciated by Lake Charles citizens. Also in , Lake Charles citizens met to plan a Calcasieu Parish fair. Pujo was then called upon to state the object of the meeting. Pujo said that they had made a mistake in calling on him to state the object of the meeting, as he knew nothing about it other than it was called for the purpose of considering the holding of a fair here; but that he was heartily in favor of the movement.
Pujo was named to a twelve-man organizational committee and at a subsequent meeting of the group, he was asked to prepare a charter for the fair association. He outlined the essential elements of the charter which conformed to charter provisions of the laws of the state. The following evening the charter of the Calcasieu Fair Association was adopted. In these early years of growth, Lake Charles lacked hospital facilities and number of interested citizens were interested in determining the feasibility of establishing a city hospital.
As had been done on similar occasions, the interested persons gathered at the parish courthouse to determine a means of financing the proposal.
Pujo attended the initial meeting and was one of fifteen men appointed to a committee to consider ways and means of financing the project. The committee later recommended that subcommittees be formed to begin solicitation of the necessary funds. Although contributions had been pledged, the hospital project languished and finally died in
Congress and the Money Trust
Students learn about Progressive Era reform by studying critical evidence from an important investigation. From - investment banks, such as J. Morgan and Co. By creating interlocking directorships and trusts see the definition below banks coordinated the activities of many companies to act in concert with the goals of the bank.
The Public Career of Arsene P. Pujo Louisiana Congressman, - Transcribed by Leora White, September A Thesis.
Arsène PAULIN PUJO
Post a Comment. Thursday, March 3, J. Like it or not, the broad influence of our best-known capitalists makes America unique Donald Trump might say great. With the very real possibility of a billion dollar businessman landing in the Oval Office next year, we asked Professor Emeritus and biographer Charles Molesworth to reflect on a very different kind of powerful capitalist in More info American history, one who avoided public statements and hated publicity. Sure, J.