Henry Fountain Ashurst

U.S. Senator from Arizona (1874–1962)

Henry Fountain Ashurst (September 13, 1874May 31, 1962) was an American Democratic politician and one of the first two Senators from Arizona. Largely self-educated, he served as a district attorney and member of the Arizona Territorial legislature before fulfilling his childhood ambition of joining the United States Senate. During his time in the Senate, Ashurst was chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs and the Judiciary Committee.

Henry Fountain Ashurst

Quotes edit

  • It is still an open question as to whether mankind or insects shall ultimately inherit the earth. It is my opinion that mankind … has about a 50-50 chance....
  • I suffer from cacoethes loquendi, a mania or itch for talking, and from vanity . . . and morbidity, and, as is obvious to everyone who knows me, an inborn, an inveterate flair for histrionics. … I am pachydermatous. … I am a veritable peripatetic bifurcated volcano on behalf of Democratic principles.
  • No man is fit to be a Senator... unless he is willing to surrender his political life for great principle.
    • "Ashurst, Defeated, Reviews Service". New York Times (September 12, 1940), p. 18.
  • … I shall not waste any time on such miserable twaddle as to say that I ought to have been elected. … It is the undoubted right of the people to change their servants, and to remove one and displace him with another at any time they choose, for a good reason, for a bad reason, or for no reason at all. If we are to remain a free people, it is the duty of public servants not grumpily and sourly to accept the verdict of the majority, but joyously to accept that verdict. . . .
  • There has never been superadded to these vices of mine the withering, embalming vice of consistency.
    • "Arizona's Pioneer Senator". New York Times (June 1, 1962)
  • I could throw 56-pound words clear across the Grand Canyon. As a matter of course, I went into politics.
  • Whoever in his public services is handcuffed and shackled by the vice of consistency will be a man not free to act as various questions come before him from time to time; he will be a statesman locked in a prison house, keys to which are in the keeping of days and events that are dead. Let me quote Emerson: 'A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen.'
    • Johnson, James W. (2002). Arizona Politicians: The Noble and the Notorious, illustrations by David `Fitz' Fitzsimmons, University of Arizona Press. p 112.
  • Poker teaches self-reliance, self-control, self-respect, self-denial, and independence. But when cards are wild or are given fictitious authority, the noble game is robbed of its romance, grace and stimulation and degenerates into a gambling scheme.
    • Johnson, James W. (2002). Arizona Politicians: The Noble and the Notorious, illustrations by David `Fitz' Fitzsimmons, University of Arizona Press. p 118.

Attributed edit

  • You send me to Washington to represent you in the senate. But you do not send me there because you are interested in grave questions of national or international policy. When I come back to Arizona, you never ask me any questions about such policies; instead you ask me: “What about my pension?” or “What about that job for my son?” I am not in Washington as a statesman. I am there as a very well paid messenger boy doing your errands. My chief occupation is going around with a forked stick picking up little fragments of patronage for my constituents.
    • Reported in Thomas C. Donnelly, Rocky Mountain Politics (1940), p. 283; reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989).

External links edit

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