Colonel William A. Phillips

James Mann (right) with Speaker of the House Champ Clark.

James Robert Mann (October 20, 1856 – November 30, 1922) was an American legislator and U.S. Representative from Illinois, 1897–1922. He was a member of the Republican party, and served as House Minority Leader from 1911 to 1919.[1]

Early life

James Robert Mann was born near Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois on October 20, 1856. His older brother was Frank Irving Mann (1854-1937) farmer, editor of the Prairie Farmer news publication, and author of The Farmers Creed.

James attended University of Illinois and graduated in 1876. He graduated from Union College of Law in 1881 and became a lawyer in Chicago. Mann held several local political offices before serving in the House of Representatives.

Professional life

He was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1881 and commenced his practice in Chicago. He held several local offices before being elected as a congressman:

  • Member of the Oakland Board of Education in Chicago (1887)
  • Attorney for Hyde Park and the South Park commissioners of Chicago
  • Chairman of the Illinois State Republican convention (1894)
  • Member of the City Council of Chicago (1892–1896)
  • Master in chancery of the Superior Court of Cook County
  • Chairman of the Republican county conventions at Chicago (1895, 1902)
  • Elected as Republican (1896) to the 55th Congress with 13 successive terms

Service in the House

  • Chairman, Committee on Elections No. 1 (58th – 60th Congresses)
  • Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce (61st Congress)
  • Committee on Women Suffrage (66th Congress)
  • Minority Leader (62nd – 65th Congresses)

Notable legislation

Congressman Mann was one of the sponsors of the Mann-Elkins Act, which gave more power to the Interstate Commerce Commission to regulate railroad rates. He is probably best known for his authorship of the Mann Act of 1910, which was a reaction to the "white slavery" issue and prohibited transportation of women between states for purposes of prostitution. He introduced legislation that became the Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906.

He was considered to be a leader in the cause of amending the United States Constitution to grant suffrage to women. However, he was quoted as saying, "'They should have been at home where they belonged,' referring to the women in the pageant."[2] He was a leading opponent of the Harrison Act and Prohibition, despite the popularity of such legislation amongst his fellow Midwestern progressives.


Congressman Mann died in Washington, D.C. of pneumonia on November 30, 1922 at age 66 before the close of the 67th United States Congress.[1] He was interred in Oak Woods Cemetery in Chicago.

See also


  1. ^ a b "James R. Mann Dies in Washington Home After Week's Illness, Ending in Pneumonia". New York Times. December 1, 1922. Retrieved 2014-08-04. Representative James R. Mann of Illinois, for nearly twenty-six years a member of the House, and during most of that time a leader of the Republican Party, died at his home here at 11:15 o'clock tonight.
  2. ^

Further reading

  • Ellis, L. Ethan. "James Robert Mann: Legislator Extraordinary". Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 46 (Spring 1953): 28-44.
  • Extended bibliography – United States Congress website

External links

Media related to James Robert Mann (Illinois) at Wikimedia Commons

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress document: "MANN, James Robert".

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
J. Frank Aldrich
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Martin Emerich
Preceded by
John J. Feely
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Morton D. Hull