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Mills, Roger Quarles

MILLS, ROGER QUARLES (1832- ), American legislator, was born in Todd county, Kentucky, on the 30th of March 1832. He went to Texas in 1839, studied law, and was admitted to the bar by a special act of the legislature before he was twenty-one. He entered the Confederate army in 1861, took part as a private in the battle of Wilson's Creek, and as colonel commanded the Tenth Texas Infantry at Arkansas Post, Chickamauga (where he commanded a brigade during part of the battle), Missionary Ridge and Atlanta. He served in the national House of Representatives as a Democrat from 1873 to 1892 and in the Senate from 1892 to 1899. He made the tariff his special study, and was long recognized as the leading authority in Congress. As chairman of the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives in 1887-1889 during President Cleveland's first administration, he led the fight for reform. From his committee he reported in April 1888 the " Mills Bill," which provided for a reduction of the duties on sugar, earthenware, glassware, plate glass, woollen goods and other articles, the substitution of ad valorem for specific duties in many cases, and the placing of lumber (of certain kinds), hemp, wool, flax, borax, tin plates, salt and other articles on the free list. This bill was passed by the Democratic House on the 21st of July, and was then so amended by a Republican Senate as to be unacceptable to the house. The tariff thus became the chief issue in the presidential campaign of 1888. In 1891 Mills was a candidate in the Democratic caucus for Speaker of the house, but was defeated by Charles F. Crisp (1845-1896) of Georgia. During the free silver controversy he adhered to the Cleveland section of the Democratic party, and failed to be re-elected when his term in the Senate expired in 1899. He then retired to Corsicana, Texas, where he engaged in business and the practice of law.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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