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President William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft served as the 27th President of the United States (1909–1913) Created by: PICRYLDated: 2016
[William Howard Taft and his wife Helen "Nellie" Taft at horse show]
William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857 – March 8, 1930) served as the 27th President of the United States (1909–1913) and as the 10th Chief Justice of the United States (1921–1930), the only person to have held both offices. Taft was elected president in 1908 and was defeated for re-election by Woodrow Wilson in 1912 after Roosevelt split the Republican vote by running as a third-party candidate. William Taft attended Yale and was a member of Skull and Bones secret society. In 1904, Roosevelt made him Secretary of War and he became Roosevelt's hand-picked successor.
After leaving office, Taft returned to Yale as a professor, continuing his political activity and working against war through the League to Enforce Peace. In 1921, President Harding appointed Taft chief justice, an office he had long sought.
"Don't write so that you can be understood, write so that you can't be misunderstood."
1869
1869
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1934
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226 Media in collectionpage 1 of 3
[William Howard Taft, full-length portrait, standing, facing right, in a mason's garb]

[William Howard Taft, full-length portrait, standing, facing right, in...

Copyright Alex. Washn. Lodge #22, A.F.& A.M., Alexandria, Va.

William Howard Taft (seated center) and classmates at the Woodward High School

William Howard Taft (seated center) and classmates at the Woodward Hig...

Photograph shows reproduction of group portrait of Taft and classmates. Title from item. Forms part of: William H. Taft papers (Library of Congress). Accession box no. DLC/PP-1980:167 c2

[William Howard Taft, full-length portrait, standing, facing slightly right, in Masonic regalia]

[William Howard Taft, full-length portrait, standing, facing slightly ...

J155450 U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright by Alex.-Washn. Lodge #22 A.F. & A.M., Alexandria, Va. Photograph by Jameson Studio, Alexandria, Va.

[William Howard Taft seated at table playing cards with his wife and two men on boat enroute to Philippines]

[William Howard Taft seated at table playing cards with his wife and t...

Title devised by Library staff. Forms part of: William H. Taft papers (Library of Congress). Unprocessed in PR 13 CN 1980:167

[William H. Taft, seated in a wicker chair, probably during his tenure as Governor-General of the Philippines]

[William H. Taft, seated in a wicker chair, probably during his tenure...

Title from item. Forms part of: William H. Taft papers (Library of Congress). Accession box no. DLC/PP-1980:167 c3

Mrs. Taft in Filipina costume / Till's Studio, Manila, Escolta 105.

Mrs. Taft in Filipina costume / Till's Studio, Manila, Escolta 105.

Photograph shows studio portrait of Helen Herron Taft in elegant gown. Title from item. Forms part of: William H. Taft papers (Library of Congress). Accession box no. DLC/PP-1980:167 c4

At the Philippines

At the Philippines

Photograph shows William Howard Taft, first civilian Governor-General of the Philippines, and others at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, Saint Louis, Missouri. Title from item. Forms part of: William H. Taft ... more

[William Howard Taft, full length, standing, facing slightly right, with Elihu Root]

[William Howard Taft, full length, standing, facing slightly right, wi...

Photo copyrighted by Clinedinst. This record contains unverified, old data from caption card. Caption card tracings: Shelf. Secretary of War.

Leaving the dock at Yokohama

Leaving the dock at Yokohama

William Howard Taft and his party leaving the dock at Yokohama. Copyright by Burr McIntosh.

Sec. Taft's tug coming up Pasig River

Sec. Taft's tug coming up Pasig River

Photograph shows procession of steamboats carrying Taft and his party from the S.S. Manchuria to Manila. Title from item.

Sec. Taft and Gov. Gen. Wright leaving landing place at Manila

Sec. Taft and Gov. Gen. Wright leaving landing place at Manila

H67079 U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright 1905 by Burr McIntosh.

Vice President Fairbanks and Secretary of War Taft, at the President's lawn party - White House

Vice President Fairbanks and Secretary of War Taft, at the President's...

Photograph showing President Theodore Roosevelt, Vice President Fairbanks, and Secretary of War Taft, at White House lawn party. H62007 U.S. Copyright Office. Title from item. Copyright by Underwood & Underwood.

Miss Roosevelt and the Royal Princesses

Miss Roosevelt and the Royal Princesses

Alice Roosevelt Longworth, and other women and men in formal clothing, on decorated lawn.

Sec. Taft and Gov. Gen. Wright leaving landing place at Manila

Sec. Taft and Gov. Gen. Wright leaving landing place at Manila

Photograph shows Taft and Wright riding in horse-drawn buggy. Title from item.

Back from Bololand / L.M. Glackens.

Back from Bololand / L.M. Glackens.

Illustration shows a large William H. Taft wearing a stars and stripes turban, with a large knife labeled "The Big Bolo" stuck in his belt, a notice attached stating "For Stand Patters"; he is speaking to a gro... more

"Bill, ye'd better go up to the barn an' git some more fodder" / J.S. Pughe.

"Bill, ye'd better go up to the barn an' git some more fodder" / J.S. ...

Illustration shows Theodore Shonts milking a cow labeled "Canal Commission" that is feeding on a mixture of hay and money labeled "Appropriation"; Shonts has a bucket labeled "Progress" between his knees. Willi... more

Simple solution of the Panama labor problem / Ehrhart.

Simple solution of the Panama labor problem / Ehrhart.

Illustration shows a frenzy of activity as many politicians and capitalists join the labor forces to construct the Panama Canal; Theodore Shonts, chairman of the Isthmian Canal Commission, is standing on the ri... more

Miss Roosevelt waving "goodbye" at Kobe, on the way to Manchuria

Miss Roosevelt waving "goodbye" at Kobe, on the way to Manchuria

Alice Roosevelt waving good-bye from boat at Kobe, Japan. H67762 U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright by Burr McIntosh.

[William Howard Taft, full-length portrait, seated on rocking chair, facing right, with two other men]

[William Howard Taft, full-length portrait, seated on rocking chair, f...

H84019 U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright by Underwood & Underwood. No. U-95376.

Secretary Taft's party dinner

Secretary Taft's party dinner

H74730 U.S. Copyright Office Copyright claimant's address: Chicago. Copyright deposit; Geo. R. Lawrence Co.; March 1906.

[(Left to right) Robert C. Ogden, Senator William Howard Taft, Booker T. Washington and Andrew Carnegie, standing on the steps of a building, at the Tuskegee Institute's 25th anniversary celebration]

[(Left to right) Robert C. Ogden, Senator William Howard Taft, Booker ...

Title devised by Library staff. (Source: M. Kreisel, American Women photographers, 1999, p. 120) Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection (Library of Congress).

The large-ical candidate / Zim.

The large-ical candidate / Zim.

William Howard Taft standing at door of "the Presidency," holding paper from Justice Brewer recommending him for the Presidency, and saying, "I wonder if Justice Brewer was joking?" Illus. in: Judge, v. 51, 190... more

When Taft is president / Frank A. Nankivell.

When Taft is president / Frank A. Nankivell.

Illustration shows William H. Taft globe-trotting from the "Washington White House" to the "Guam White House", the "Philippine White House, the "Hawaiin [sic] White House", the "Cuban White House", and the "Por... more

The sword of Theodore / Keppler.

The sword of Theodore / Keppler.

Illustration shows a sword labeled "Nomination" stuck deeply into a tree with Theodore Roosevelt and Jacob Riis resting on a large branch, Roosevelt is grinning like the Cheshire cat; on the far right are stand... more

[Political cartoons related to Secretary of War William H. Taft running for president]

[Political cartoons related to Secretary of War William H. Taft runnin...

Two political cartoons on one sheet: cartoon on left by Clifford Berryman published in the Washington Star, April 28, 1907, shows Taft leaving a dog labeled "Politics" behind in Washington, D.C., as he travels ... more

[William Howard Taft, three-quarter length portrait, seated, facing slightly left]

[William Howard Taft, three-quarter length portrait, seated, facing sl...

H93580 U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright by Geo. Prince. No. 3.

Exercising the mounts / Frank A. Nankivell 1907.

Exercising the mounts / Frank A. Nankivell 1907.

Illustration shows a bloated William Jennings Bryan with a paper extending from a pocket labeled "Membership Fat Man's Club. W.J. Bryan", riding a diminutive Democratic donkey and William H. Taft riding a dimin... more

"I've got a permit" / L.M. Glackens.

"I've got a permit" / L.M. Glackens.

Illustration shows William H. Taft sitting on the shore of a small fishing hole labeled "Nomination Pool", holding a fishing pole, he has a jug of "White House Apple Jack" next to him; a sign on the right state... more

The Courtship of Bill Taft / Keppler.

The Courtship of Bill Taft / Keppler.

Cartoon showing the Republican Party as Priscilla asking Theodore Roosevelt, dressed as a pilgrim, "Why don't you speak for yourself, Theodore?". Illus. in: Puck, 1907 April 24, p. 8-9. Possibly by Joseph Keppl... more

Heaven protect Taft! - there's a reason / L.M. Glackens.

Heaven protect Taft! - there's a reason / L.M. Glackens.

Illustration shows a vignette cartoon depicting ways to protect President Taft from the weather, the public, and from poisoning and other possible assassination methods. The "Reason", the cartoon states, is Vic... more

William Howard Taft and family

William Howard Taft and family

Mr. Taft and son standing; Mrs. Taft seated, outdoors. H112720 U.S. Copyright Office This record contains unverified, old data from caption card. Caption card tracings: Family groups 1908; Pres. I.; Shelf.

"The winning of the West" / Will Crawford.

"The winning of the West" / Will Crawford.

Illustration shows William H. Taft on horseback during a tour of the American West where he is making a campaign stop to address a gathering of cowboys, farmers, lumberjacks, and businessmen. Taft's clothing an... more

[William Howard Taft, standing on back of railroad car and looking out at crowd, probably during campaign tour]

[William Howard Taft, standing on back of railroad car and looking out...

H116751 U.S. Copyright Office. Underwood & Underwood photo. No. U-114989.

[William Taft and family in Washington, D.C. home]

[William Taft and family in Washington, D.C. home]

Includes William Taft, Mrs. Taft, and children, Helen, Charley, and Robert. H112468 U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright by Clinedinst, Washington, D.C.

Taft at the phone

Taft at the phone

William Howard Taft, three-quarters length portrait, facing front, using telephone.

[William H. Taft posed, full-length, standing, facing front, with three other men]

[William H. Taft posed, full-length, standing, facing front, with thre...

H113481 U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright by Waldon Fawcett.

Northfield, Minn. Elephant greeting Taft. Sept. 26

Northfield, Minn. Elephant greeting Taft. Sept. 26

Woman with flag on elephant behind train. George Grantham Bain Collection. No. 470-23.

Making medicine / Will Crawford.

Making medicine / Will Crawford.

Illustration shows William H. Taft and William Jennings Bryan as Native Americans sitting by their tipis, Taft heating his full dinner pail over a small fire, and Bryan beating on a drum labeled "Discontent". J... more

William H. Taft's old homestead

William H. Taft's old homestead

Snow view in Cincinnati, Ohio.

[U.S. Capitol at night with stars, Taft as moon, about to eclipse William Jennings Bryan as sun]

[U.S. Capitol at night with stars, Taft as moon, about to eclipse Will...

H115334 U.S. Copyright Office. On verso: 27. W.D. Magee, Monticello, Iowa.

The republican hare and the democratic tortoise / L.M. Glackens.

The republican hare and the democratic tortoise / L.M. Glackens.

Illustration shows a turtle with the face of William Jennings Bryan and a rabbit with the face of William H. Taft in a race. Title from item. Caption: The Tortoise If that chap only goes to sleep, I'll win out... more

The rival salvationists / Keppler.

The rival salvationists / Keppler.

Illustration shows an annoyed Uncle Sam sitting against a full moon with his hands over his ears, caught between the noise of the "G.O.P. Salvation Army" with William H. Taft on the bass drum and James S. Sherm... more

[William Howard Taft, half length, seated, facing slightly left, "at his desk in War Dept"]

[William Howard Taft, half length, seated, facing slightly left, "at h...

Photograph shows William Howard Taft, half length portrait, seated, facing slightly left, at his desk in War Dept. H112401 U. S. Copyright Office. Stereo copyrighted by H.C. White Co., 1908. Title from item. No... more

William Howard Taft for President of the United States.  1908

William Howard Taft for President of the United States. 1908

Campaign handbill(?), with head-and-shoulder portrait of William Howard Taft on shield. H113810 U.S. Copyright Office.

[William Howard Taft, three-quarters length, seated, facing left]

[William Howard Taft, three-quarters length, seated, facing left]

Photo copyrighted by G.V. Buck. This record contains unverified, old data from caption card. Caption card tracings: Shelf. Presidents.

The statesman's playtime--Hon. William H. Taft on the golf links, at Hot Springs, Va.

The statesman's playtime--Hon. William H. Taft on the golf links, at H...

H120827 U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright by Keystone View Co. No. 16511.

[William Howard Taft, three-quarters length, half-right profile]

[William Howard Taft, three-quarters length, half-right profile]

Photo copyrighted by Chickering. This record contains unverified, old data from caption card. Caption card tracings: Shelf.

Taft in Iowa

Taft in Iowa

William Howard Taft campaigning from back of train. George Grantham Bain Collection. No. 470-28.

The great renunciation / L.M. Glackens.

The great renunciation / L.M. Glackens.

Illustration shows the Republican elephant labeled "G.O.P." wearing an engagement ring and William H. Taft wearing a tuxedo, embracing; Taft is smiling, while the elephant is weeping as it holds up a portrait o... more

[William Howard Taft, standing on back of railroad car and shaking hands, during campaign tour]

[William Howard Taft, standing on back of railroad car and shaking han...

H116750 U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright by Underwood & Underwood. No. U-114986.

Crowd trying to shake Taft hand, South Dakota

Crowd trying to shake Taft hand, South Dakota

George Grantham Bain Collection. No. 478-12.

[William Taft and party - 3 men sitting and 4 men standing]

[William Taft and party - 3 men sitting and 4 men standing]

H117263 U.S. Copyright Office No copyright renewal. This record contains unverified, old data from caption card. Caption card tracings: Pres. I.; Shelf.

Crowd to greet Wm. H. Taft, De Witt, Nebraska, 1908

Crowd to greet Wm. H. Taft, De Witt, Nebraska, 1908

Crowd running along railroad tracks to greet Taft during his campaign tour. George Grantham Bain Collection.

[William Howard Taft, half length, seated, right profile "at his desk in War Dept"]

[William Howard Taft, half length, seated, right profile "at his desk ...

Photograph shows a half-length portrait of William Howard Taft, seated, right profile at his desk in the War Dept., Washington, D.C. H110117 U.S. Copyright Office Stereo copyrighted by H.C. White Co., 1908. Tit... more

The expected / Kep.

The expected / Kep.

Illustration shows Puck as the attending physician to the birth of Uncle Sam's child; Puck emerges from the birthing room to inform Uncle Sam that the child is a boy named Bill. Title from item. Caption: Uncle ... more

Taft at Mitchell

Taft at Mitchell

William Howard Taft, half-length portrait, standing, facing slightly right, speaking. Copyright by George Grantham Bain. No. 3029. Bain News Service photograph. George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress).

Taft crowd, Norfolk, Neb., 9/30/08

Taft crowd, Norfolk, Neb., 9/30/08

Supporters of William H. Taft walking along railroad tracks. George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress).

[William Howard Taft, three-quarter-length portrait, seated, facing left, talking on a telephone as he receives news about his nomination as the 1908 Republican presidential candidate from President Theodore Roosevelt] / Harris & Ewing, Washington, DC.

[William Howard Taft, three-quarter-length portrait, seated, facing le...

Title devised by Library staff. Publication date based on copyright statement: "Copyright 1909 by Harris & Ewing, Washington, DC." Photograph from a series known as "The Evolution of a Smile." Forms part of: Ge... more

The smile that won't come on / L.M. Glackens.

The smile that won't come on / L.M. Glackens.

Illustration shows President William H. Taft speaking from the back of a railroad caboose to a large crowd of skeptical mid-westerners that also includes Jonathan P. Dolliver, Robert M. La Follette, and Albert ... more

[William Howard Taft, 1857-1930; workmen clearing snow in front of reviewing stand at White House on Inauguration Day, March 4, 1909]

[William Howard Taft, 1857-1930; workmen clearing snow in front of rev...

Photo by Bain News Service, N.Y.C. Title and other information transcribed from unverified, old caption card data and item. George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Caption card tracings: Shelf.

Discharged as cured / Albert Levering.

Discharged as cured / Albert Levering.

Illustration shows a man labeled "Consumer" walking with crutches labeled "Free Oil" and "Free Hides", and heavily wrapped with bandages labeled "Free Valerianic, Free Cerium, Free Acorns, Gambier, Fossils, Fre... more

[William Howard Taft and ex-Pres. Roosevelt entering Capitol to take oath of office]

[William Howard Taft and ex-Pres. Roosevelt entering Capitol to take o...

H123828 U.S. Copyright Office. This record contains unverified, old data from caption card, with subsequent revisions. Caption card tracings: Shelf. Presidential inaugurations.

A bad outlook for harmony / L.M. Glackens.

A bad outlook for harmony / L.M. Glackens.

Illustration shows President Taft struggling to conduct an orchestra composed of two groups of musicians, on the left, playing the "Eastern Conservatism" on stringed instruments are "Root, Crane, Smoot, Depew, ... more

[William Howard Taft, 1857-1930, full, standing with arms on hips, holding golf club, facing front]

[William Howard Taft, 1857-1930, full, standing with arms on hips, hol...

H129367 U.S. Copyright Office. Photo by Geo. Grantham Bain. Title and other information transcribed from unverified, old caption card data and item. George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Captio... more

Keeping step to fife and drum. Inaugural parade, Washington, D.C., March 4, 1909

Keeping step to fife and drum. Inaugural parade, Washington, D.C., Mar...

H124246 U.S. Copyright Office No. 8887. Copyrighted 1909 by E.W. Kelley. Title from item.

[William H. Taft, posed seated, facing front, with wife, son, and daughter, in front of house]
[William Howard Taft, seated, facing front, with family on porch steps]

[William Howard Taft, seated, facing front, with family on porch steps...

Photograph shows William Howard Taft, seated, facing front, with family on porch steps. H121836 U.S. Copyright Office Stereo copyrighted by H.C. White Co., in 1909. No. 13011. This record contains unverified, o... more

[William H. Taft, seated on porch, with group of women and men]

[William H. Taft, seated on porch, with group of women and men]

J132387 U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright by E. Chickering, Boston. No. 1.

The unheeded telltale / K.

The unheeded telltale / K.

Illustration shows President Taft as a railroad brakeman standing atop a freight car labeled "Administration Route", he is waving to a woman labeled "Reactionary Politics" driving an automobile, the train is he... more

Troop A, Ohio -- President's escort MCH. 4109

Troop A, Ohio -- President's escort MCH. 4109

Photograph shows President Taft's inauguration calvary escort. George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress) Title from item.

Troop A, Ohio National Guard on Capitol ground during Taft inauguration, Mar. 4, 1909

Troop A, Ohio National Guard on Capitol ground during Taft inauguratio...

Photograph shows soldiers on horseback on Capitol grounds during inauguration of William H. Taft; crowds of spectators also on grounds. Copyright 1909 by Harris & Ewing. Title from item.

[President William Taft with unidentified group]

[President William Taft with unidentified group]

J134574 U.S. Copyright Office. Title from copyright record. Copyrighted by A. F. Daniel, 1909.

A May-day-dream / L.M. Glackens.

A May-day-dream / L.M. Glackens.

Illustration shows President William H. Taft sitting on a tree branch labeled "Cost of Living", which bends lower under his weight, above a smiling man labeled "Consumer" lying on the ground dreaming of the com... more

The leader / Keppler.

The leader / Keppler.

Illustration shows President Taft leading the Republican elephant in circles creating a rut; among those riding the elephant are Joseph G. Cannon, Nelson W. Aldrich, and James S. Sherman. Title from item. Illus... more

Another Saint Patrick? / L. Glackens.

Another Saint Patrick? / L. Glackens.

Cartoon showing William H. Taft, dressed as St. Patrick, carrying a club, with "his policies" wrapped around it, walking toward Aldrich and Cannon as reptitles, Rockefeller as train, land grafter and ship subsi... more

Genial President Taft and Mrs. Taft returning to White House

Genial President Taft and Mrs. Taft returning to White House

President William Howard Taft and his wife riding in horse-drawn carriage with mounted escort enroute to the White House after inauguration on March 4th. H129106 U.S. Copyright Office. Title from item. No. 16952.

[William Howard Taft, Pres. U.S., full, seated, facing slightly left, with group of Japanese and Americans, Japan]

[William Howard Taft, Pres. U.S., full, seated, facing slightly left, ...

Photo copyrighted by Chickering. This record contains unverified, old data from caption card. Caption card tracings: Shelf.

Taft, President reading at desk in White House

Taft, President reading at desk in White House

H A43736 U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright by Clinedinst, Washington, D.C.

Judge speaks / Zim.

Judge speaks / Zim.

"Judge" holding "Roosevelt policy," pointing to "Taft policy" on war, and saying to William Howard Taft, "You're big enough to have your own policies - and they are good enough for the American people." Illus. ... more

Taft Inauguration

Taft Inauguration

President William Howard Taft and his wife Helen during inaugural parade, March 4, 1909. A snow storm forced the inauguration to take place inside the Capitol and it took 6,000 men half the night to cleared ove... more