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Josiah William Bailey (September 14, 1873 – December 15, 1946) was a Democratic U.S. senator from the state of North Carolina between 1931 and 1946.

Josiah William Bailey
Josiah W. Bailey.jpg
United States Senator
from North Carolina
In office
March 4, 1931 – December 15, 1946
Preceded byFurnifold McL. Simmons
Succeeded byWilliam B. Umstead
Personal details
Born(1873-09-14)September 14, 1873
Warrenton, North Carolina
DiedDecember 15, 1946(1946-12-15) (aged 73)
Raleigh, North Carolina
Political partyDemocratic



Born in Warrenton, North Carolina, he grew up in Raleigh and graduated from Wake Forest College (now Wake Forest University). Before turning to a career in law, Bailey was editor of the Biblical Recorder, a newspaper for North Carolina Baptists.

Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1930 by defeating longtime Democratic Senator Furnifold McLendel Simmons, Bailey earned a reputation as a conservative while in office. In 1937, he coauthored the bipartisan Conservative Manifesto, a document criticizing President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal and proposing more conservative alternatives. Among other things, the Manifesto called for lower taxes and less spending.[1]

During his time in office, he served as chairman of two different committees: the Committee on Claims and later the Committee on Commerce.

Bailey died in office in 1946.


Historical marker in front of his Raleigh home

He was well known for his quotes, especially for two:

They who forgive most shall be most forgiven.

Since we humans have the better brain, isn't it our responsibility to protect our fellow creatures from, oddly enough, ourselves?

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

  • United States Congress. "Josiah Bailey (id: B000046)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • The "Conservative Manifesto" from the North Carolina History Project
  • Biblical Recorder Column on Bailey at the Wayback Machine (archived September 28, 2007)
  • "Taking on FDR: Senator Josiah Bailey and the 1937 Conservative Manifesto" by Troy Kickler, December 13, 2006
  • Raleigh News & Observer Column on Bailey's Friendship with Huey Long[dead link]
  • Josiah William Bailey at Find-A-Grave


  • Finley, Keith M. Delaying the Dream: Southern Senators and the Fight Against Civil Rights, 1938–1965 (Baton Rouge, LSU Press, 2008).

Further readingEdit

  • Moore, John Robert. Senator Josiah William Bailey of North Carolina: A Political Biography. Durham: Duke University Press, 1968.