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Fred Thomas Dubois is Born

Today in Masonic History Fred Thomas Dubois is born in 1851.

Fred Thomas Dubois was an American politician.

Dubois was born on May 29th, 1851 in Palestine, Illinois. Dubois' father who was a former judge and state legislator was close friends with President Abraham Lincoln. From 1870 to 1872 Dubois attended Yale College before entering into business until 1875.

In 1875 Dubois was appointed to the board of railroad and warehouse commissioners of Illinois, holding the position for one year. In 1880 he moved to the Idaho Territory.

In 1882, Dubois was appointed to be the United States Marshall for the Idaho Territory. As the U.S. Marshall he launched a successful campaign to disenfranchise Mormon voters in the territory on the grounds they were violating the law by practicing polygamy. In 1886, he ran successfully to be the Congressional Delegate from the Idaho Territory. This left him in the position to be able to arrange a plan for the two United States Senate seats coming available in 1890 when Idaho became a state. He arranged for one Senate seat to be taken by Governor George Shoup. The seat was not up for election 1894. The other seat was up for election in 1891, the seat was filled William J. McConnell until the election when the legislature put Dubois into the seat. Dubois became the first full term Senator from the state of Idaho.

In the Senate, Dubois generally focused on legislation to help Idaho. He was also a supporter of bimetallism, in this case silver and gold. In 1896 he left the Republican party to join the Silver Republican faction. The divide in the party over bimetallism caused Dubois to lose his seat in the Senate. It also caused Dubois to change party affiliations. After resign to rejoin the Republican Party, it was thought Dubois' political career was over. Instead, in 1900, Dubois was elected for a second time to the United States Senate, this time as a Democrat. To this day, Dubois is the only Senator from Idaho to serve as both a Republican and a Democrat.

In his second term in the Senate, Dubois was focused on opposing Imperialism and Mormonism. He led a group of Senators trying to force the Mormon Senator from Utah to resign. In opposition to Imperialism, Dubois opposed efforts to make the Philippines, which had been annexed by the United States during the Spanish American War, a United States Territory. Initially supporting independence for the Philippines, then suggesting it be sold to Japan. He was mostly opposed to the Philippines becoming a territory because he saw it as a threat to various products of Idaho.

Dubois also broke with most Democrats of the time and supported President Teddy Roosevelt on his agenda of environmental conservationism.

Dubois' second term in the United States Senate ended in 1907, when many back in Idaho were opposed to his anti-Mormon stance. When he was replaced in the United States Senate, Dubois remained in Washington, D.C. There he entered various businesses and tried his hand at writing. None of which was successful.

Dubois passed away on February 14th, 1930.

Dubois was a member of Portneuf Lodge No. 18 in Pocatello, Idaho.

This article provided by Brother Eric C. Steele.