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Sen. Benjamin Tillman

Former Senator for South Carolina

Tillman was a senator from South Carolina and was a Democrat. He served from 1907 to 1919.

He was previously a senator from South Carolina as a Democrat from 1901 to 1907; and a senator from South Carolina as a Democrat from 1895 to 1901.


Tillman had an altercation on February 22, 1902 in which he accused Sen. McLaurin of treachery, then McLaurin accused Tillman of lying. Tillman then attacked McLaurin physically. After a fight almost broke out again, the Senate censured them both 54-12.

Feb. 22, 1902 Senate referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections and both senators were declared in contempt of the Senate and would not be allowed to speak on the floor except at the request of another senator. Another senator did so and both apologized although in such an unpleasant manner the fight almost broke out again
Feb. 28, 1902 Committee on Privileges and Elections recommended that both should receive the same punishment even though Tillman started it. The punishment was censure and the suspension of duties they'd already been experiencing
Feb. 28, 1902 Senate censured 54-12, with 22 senators not voting
Photo of Sen. Benjamin Tillman [D-SC, 1907-1919]

Voting Record

Missed Votes

From Dec 1895 to Jul 1918, Tillman missed 1,603 of 3,094 roll call votes, which is 51.8%. This is much worse than the median of 29.3% among the lifetime records of senators serving in Jul 1918. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses and major life events.

Show the numbers...

Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: