Nelson Aldrich

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Nelson Wilmarth Aldrich (November 6, 1841 – April 16, 1915) was an American politician and a leader of the Republican Party in the Senate, where he served from 1881 to 1911. He was referred to by the press as the "General Manager of the Nation", dominating all tariff and monetary policies in the first decade of the 20th century. He is most known for the "Aldrich Plan", a clandestine and successful attempt at creating the Federal Reserve.

Early Life and local politics

He was born at Foster, Rhode Island on November 6, 1841. He received an academic education; president of Providence common council in 1871-1873, and of the Rhode Island general assembly in 1875-76 serving the latter year as the state speaker of the house of representatives.

National Politics

He was elected to the United States House of Representatives for the Forty sixth Congress, and reelected to the Forty seventh Congress. On December 5, 1881, he was elected the United States Senate as a Republican to succeed Ambrose E. Burnside, Republican, who had passed away. He was reelected to the senate several times in 1886, 1892, and in 1898.


His son Richard Steere Aldrich became a U.S. Representative, and his daughter, Abby, married John D. Rockefeller, Jr. He was the maternal grandfather of Arkansas Governor Winthrop Rockefeller, New York Governor and Vice President Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller, and banker David Rockefeller.