Teller, Henry M

Senate Years of Service: 1876-1882; 1885-1897; 1897-1901; 1901-1909
Party: Republican; Republican; Silver Republican; Democrat

Teller, Henry Moore, a Senator from Colorado; born in Granger, Allegany County, N.Y., May 23, 1830; attended Rushford and Alfred Academies in New York; taught school; studied law and was admitted to the bar in Binghamton, N.Y., in 1858; moved to Illinois in 1858 and to Colorado in 1861; major general of Colorado militia 1862-1864; involved in railroad and real estate development; upon the admission of Colorado as a State into the Union in 1876 was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate; reelected, and served from November 15, 1876, until his resignation on April 17, 1882, to accept a Cabinet position; chairman, Committee on Civil Service and Retrenchment (Forty-fifth Congress), Committee on Pensions (Forty-seventh Congress); appointed Secretary of the Interior in the Cabinet of President Chester Arthur 1882-1885; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1885 and 1891, as a Silver Republican in 1897, and as a Democrat in 1903, and served from March 4, 1885, to March 3, 1909; declined to be a candidate for renomination; chairman, Committee on Mines and Mining (Forty-ninth Congress), Committee on Patents (Fiftieth through Fifty-second Congresses), Committee on Privileges and Elections (Fifty-second Congress), Committee on Claims (Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth Congresses), Committee on Private Land Claims (Fifty-sixth through Sixtieth Congresses); member of the United States Monetary Commission 1908-1912; engaged in the practice of law until his death in Denver, Colo., February 23, 1914; interment in Fairmount Cemetery.


Dictionary of American Biography ; Ellis, Elmer. Henry Moore Teller: Defender of the West . Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Printers, 1941; Holsinger, M. Paul. “Henry M. Teller and the Edmunds-Tucker Act.” Colorado Magazine 48 (Winter 1971): 1-14.

Dawson, Thomas F. Senator Teller, a Brief Account of His Fifth Election to the United States Senate, Together with a Sketch of the Preceding Political Events in the Contest for Bimetalism in the National Campaign of 1896. Washington: Judd & Detweiler, 1898.

Ellis, Elmer. Henry Moore Teller, Defender of the West . Caldwell, ID: Caxton Printers, 1941.

___. “The Silver Republicans in the Election of 1896.” Mississippi Historical Review 18 (March 1932): 519-34.

Holsinger, M. Paul. “Henry M. Teller and the Edmunds-Tucker Act.” Colorado Magazine 48 (Winter 1971): 1-14.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

Henry M. Teller was Grand Master of Masons seven terms - serving as the third Grand Master in 1863 and then again from 1867 to 1872 inclusive.

"He stood upon the heights, one of the really great men of the nation.  ... a statesman in the highest sense. . . gifted with prophetic vision…. wise in counsel, cool, calm, and skillful in debate, tolerant always of the opinions of others, ever ready to give credit for good intentions, but slow to criticize or censure."

Henry M Teller
Henry M. Teller

These were the attributes of this Mason of Chivington Lodge No.6 which brought him the honors and dignity of being Governor of his state, United States Senator, and Secretary of the Interior in the Cabinet.

"His influence on Masonry in the formative years of the Craft in Colorado and as a conservative, uplifting force at nearly every Grand Communication for over fifty years, will be felt more and more strongly with the passing years."

He became first Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar when it was organized in 1876. He was Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the Scottish Rite in Colorado for nearly thirty-two years, being crowned an active member of the Supreme Council in 1882.