Thomas Brackett Reed (October 18, 1839 – December 7, 1902), occasionally ridiculed as Czar Reed, was a U.S. Representative from Maine, and Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1889–1891 and from 1895–1899. He was a powerful leader of the Republican Party, and during his tenure as Speaker of the House, he served with greater influence than any Speaker who came before, and he forever increased its power and influence for those who succeeded him in the position.

Born in Portland, Maine, Reed attended public school, including Portland High School, before graduating from Bowdoin College in 1860. He studied law. After college, he went on to become a acting assistant paymaster,for the United States Navy, from April 1864, to November 1865, and was admitted to the bar in 1865. He practiced in Portland, and was elected to the Maine House of Representatives, in 1868 and 1869. He served in the Maine Senate in 1870 but left to serve as the state's Attorney General 1870–72. Reed became city solicitor of Portland 1874–1877, before being elected as a Republican to the Forty-fifth and to the eleven succeeding Congresses, serving from 1877, to September 4, 1899, when he resigned.

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Thomas Brackett Reed Quotes

To say that a thing has never yet been done among men is to erect a barrier stronger than reason, stronger than discussion.
Thomas Brackett Reed (1839-1902), U.S. Republican politician. Speech, April 12, 1878, to the House of Representatives.
They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge.
Thomas Brackett Reed (1839-1902), U.S. lawyer, politician. Quoted in The Life of Thomas Brackett Reed, ch. 21, Samuel W. McCall (1914). Referring to two colleagues in the House of Representatives.

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