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John Shafroth

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Subject: Jones–Shafroth Act, Colorado's 1st congressional district, Will Shafroth
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John Shafroth

John Franklin Shafroth
United States Senator
from Colorado
In office
March 4, 1913 – March 3, 1919
Preceded by Simon Guggenheim
Succeeded by Lawrence C. Phipps
18th Governor of Colorado
In office
January 12, 1909 – January 14, 1913
Preceded by Henry A. Buchtel
Succeeded by Elias M. Ammons
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Colorado's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1895 – February 15, 1904
Preceded by Lafe Pence
Succeeded by Robert W. Bonynge
Personal details
Born (1854-06-09)June 9, 1854
Fayette, Missouri
Died February 20, 1922(1922-02-20) (aged 67)
Denver, Colorado
Political party Republican (1895-1897)
Silver Republican (1897-1903)
Democratic (1903-1922)
Alma mater University of Michigan
Profession Law

John Franklin Shafroth (June 9, 1854 – February 20, 1922) was a United States Representative, Senator, and Governor from Colorado. Born in Fayette, Missouri, he attended the common schools and graduated from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1875. He studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1876 and commenced practice in Fayette. He moved to Denver, Colorado in 1879 and continued the practice of law. He was city attorney from 1887 to 1891 and was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-fourth Congress as a Representative. He then joined other Colorado officials such as Senator Henry M. Teller, splitting from the Republicans to join the Silver Republican third party, on whose ticket he was reelected to the Fifty-fifth, Fifty-sixth, and Fifty-seventh Congresses;[1] he presented credentials as a Democratic Member-elect to the Fifty-eighth Congress and served from March 4, 1895, until his resignation on February 15, 1904, when he declared his conviction that his opponent, Robert W. Bonynge, had been duly elected – after which he was often referred to (sometimes admiringly, sometimes sarcastically) as "Honest John."[2]

Shafroth was Governor of Colorado from 1908 to 1912, and was instrumental in bringing in Colorado's ballot initiative institutions. In 1912, he was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate, where he served one term from March 4, 1913, to March 3, 1919; he was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1918. While a Senator, Shafroth was chairman of the Committee on Pacific Islands and Puerto Rico (Sixty-third through Sixty-fifth Congresses), the leading Senate sponsor of the Jones-Shafroth Act of 1917 which granted citizenship to Puerto Ricans, and a member of the Committee on the Philippines (Sixty-fifth Congress). After leaving the Senate, he served as chairman of the War Minerals Relief Commission from 1919 to 1921.

John F. Shafroth died in 1922 and was interred in Fairmount Cemetery in Denver. His personal and official papers are archived at several locations including the Colorado State Archives (gubernatorial papers), the Colorado Historical Society Library, and the Denver Public Library's Western History and Genealogy Department.


External links

  • Governor John F. Shafroth Collection at the Colorado State Archives
  • Find a Grave
Preceded by
Lafayette Pence
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Colorado's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Robert W. Bonynge
Political offices
Preceded by
Henry Augustus Buchtel
Governor of

Succeeded by
Elias Milton Ammons
Preceded by
Simon Guggenheim
United States Senator (Class 2) from Colorado
Served alongside: Charles S. Thomas
Succeeded by
Lawrence C. Phipps

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