Senator George Perkins

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Dec 12, 1999
Sen. George Perkins served on Senator Smith's committee, in 1912, and participated in the Titanic disaster investigation. He was a Republican from California. His company, Goodall, Perkins and Co., was agent for the Pacific Coast Steamship Co. Does anyone known anything about Pacific Coast Steamship? Did it have any connection with IMM?

Mark Baber

Jul 4, 2000
The New York Times, 27 February 1923

Sailor and Miner Served California for 22 Years
OAKLAND, Cal., Feb. 26---Former United States Senator George C. Perkins, 84, died at his home here today.

Geirge [sic] Clement Perkins served twenty-two years in the United States Senate. He was born in Kennebunkport, Me., Aug. 23, 1839, and he reached California as a 'fore-the-mast hand on an American sailing ship. The coming Senator was only 13 years old when he left his Maine home to become a sailor. For several years he followed the sea, visiting many of the ports of the world. His ship touched at San Francisco and, caught in the gold fever, he turned prospector.

As a country merchant young Perkins became interested in politics and was elected to the State Senate in 1869 and to the Governorship ten years later. In 1893 he was appointed United States Senator to serve out the unexpired term of the late Leland Stanford. Subsequently he was elected.

Since his retirement from the Senate in 1915 Mr. Perkins has lived at Oakland. He amassed a fortune in various enterprises, including whale fishing.


Mark Baber

Jul 4, 2000
Congressional Directory, 62d Congress, 3d Session, December 1912

GEORGE CLEMENT PERKINS, Republican, of Oakland, was born at
Kennebunkport, Me., in 1839; was reared on a farm, and attended public
school until his thirteenth year, when he shipped on board a sailing
ship for New Orleans, and followed the calling of a sailor on ships
engaged in the European trade. In 1855 he shipped "before the mast" on
the sailing ship Galatea, bound for San Francisco, where he arrived in
the autumn of that year. Since that time he has been engaged in
mercantile business, banking, farming, mining, whale fishery, and
steamship transportation. He has been president of the Chamber of
Commerce of San Francisco; also of the San Francisco Art Association; is
a director of the California Academy of Sciences and other public
institutions. He has also been grand master of the grand lodge, F. & A.
M. of California; also grand commander of the grand commandery of the
Knights Templar, State of California; he is also a member of the
California Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion. In
1869 he was elected to the State Senate, serving eight years; in 1879 he
was elected governor of California, serving until January, 1883; was
appointed, July 26, 1893, United States Senator to fill, until the
election of his successor, a vacancy caused by the death of Hon. Leland
Stanford, and took his seat August 8; 1893. In January, 1895, having.
made a thorough canvass before the people of his State, he was elected
by the legislature on the first ballot to fill the unexpired term. In
the fall election of 1896 he was a candidate before the people of
California for reelection, and received the indorsement of the
Republican county conventions that comprised a majority of the
senatorial and assembly districts in the State. When the legislature
convened in joint convention (January, 1897) for the purpose of electing
a United States Senator, he was reelected on the first ballot. In
January, 1903, he was again reelected on the first ballot for the term
of six years, receiving every vote of the Republican members of the
legislature. His election was made unanimous on motion of a Democratic
member of the legislature. Again, in 1909, he was reelected on the first
ballot for another term of six years, receiving every Republican vote
except two, and at the same time receiving Democratic support. At the
time of his election in 1897, 1903, and 1909 he was absent from the
State attending to his congressional duties in Washington. His term of
service will expire March 3, 1915.
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