Familiar Faces in the Crowd

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I was checking out some background information in one of my favorite resources today…

I found this on Ebay. It isn't Emmett's, but Emmett absolutely had one of these on his desk. This copy belonged someone named "T. Wolf," who was the secretary of Henry Barnhart, of Indiana in 1914.

I found this on Ebay. It isn’t Emmett’s, but Emmett absolutely had one. This copy belonged someone named “T. Wolf,” who was the secretary of Henry Barnhart, of Indiana in 1914.

…when I discovered something interesting in it (other than what I was looking for).

This:

The seating chart for the U.S. Senate for the 63rd Congress.

The seating chart for the U.S. Senate for the 63rd Congress.

This is the key to the U.S. Senate seating chart, above.

This is the key to the U.S. Senate seating chart, above.

 

There is a seating chart for the House side:

The seating chart for the House is...blank!

The seating chart for the House is…blank!

Right before the 63rd Congress, the House side went through a major renovation. There used to be desks at each seat, but they were replaced with just seats (cane-bottomed chairs). Even so, there must be some organization or order to this kind of seating; we are talking about uptight Washington, D.C.,…right?

So, I checked on that. Here’s what I found:

Dang. Source: Architect of the Capitol.

Dang. No seating chart to identify Emmett’s official seat. Source: Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives.

THEN, I remembered a really good photo of a Joint Session of Congress called by Woodrow Wilson in December, 1913. Emmett WAS there; I can confirm that.

Here’s the photo of that session, taken in the House Chamber.

This shot of the joint session shows the Democratic side of the House facing the camera.

This shot of the joint session shows the Democratic side of the House facing the camera.

Of course, both Senators and Congressmen are seated in this session, so the seating chart wouldn’t have mattered, anyway. But, I know we are looking at the faces of Democrats. And, Emmett in there.

The photo is good, so, I’ll try to identify Emmett in the crowd. I zoomed in on this photo, and picked out a few likely contenders:

WW_congress_1913-boxes

I’ll start with the red circle on the right. Here’s what this fellow looks like, when you zoom in on the photo. Then, I took a look at the guy on Could Be Emmett’s right:

 

Emmett, right; Duncan, left.

Could Be Emmett, right; Could Be Duncan, left.

Could Be Emmett.

 

 

 

 

 

At first, the reason I didn’t think this was Emmett was because he was sitting up front, a freshman Congressman. Everyone around him is more senior that he is, and I don’t Emmett would have had the hubris to just go up and take the front seat amid Senators and more senior congressmen at a Joint Session of Congress. He would have deferred to his elder statesmen.

Duncan U. Fletcher. Source: Wikipedia

Duncan U. Fletcher. Source: Wikipedia

Unless…a senior Senator, who was also a family friend, who knew Emmett from boyhood, invited him to sit with him… and that senior Senator happened to be Duncan Fletcher.

Fletcher used to come over to the Wilson family house in Chipley and sit on the front porch with Dr. Wilson to talk politics whenever he was in the area. It was said that Fletcher and Dr. Wilson were considered good friends.

Of course, I don’t know if that is Fletcher. But, it looks like him, and, given the family relationship, it very well could be Emmett sitting up front with Duncan Fletcher.

The next photo that I thought was probably Emmett was the blue square fellow. Here’s the close-up of that person:

He's sitting in the back row. The hair looks right.

He’s sitting in the back row. The hair looks right.

The fellow in the red square is harder to distinguish, but again, it could be him. The hair is correct. The slouch, however, makes me wonder:

Possible Emmett slouching in attendance.

Possible Emmett slouching in attendance.

The blue oval captured two gentlemen; I thought perhaps the one on the right was more likely to be Emmett, but the hair is parted down the middle (not Emmett’s hairstyle), and the man on the left is not Emmett at all:

Maybe Emmett, but wrong hair.

Maybe Emmett on the right, but wrong hair.

The chances of seeing Emmett in this photo seemed high: He was the youngest U.S. Congressman at the time.

He’d have stood out, a young face in a sea of older gentlemen.

===

UPDATE: My friend Nancy called to my attention another fellow in the very back of the room, on the right, next to a fellow who is trying to hear Woodrow Wilson speak:

guy in back

The fellow has the right hair to be Emmett, and is sufficiently young enough-looking to fit the description.

I wish I knew which of these fellows was our Emmett. But, it is nice knowing he’s there, somewhere. Also, it adds another Emmett photo to my collection!

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