Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Elwyn B. Robinson


Edwin Fremont Ladd, a native of :Maine, migrated to North Dakota in 1890 to join the chemistry faculty of the Agricultural College. In the following three decades, his work in the pure-food crusade and in the fight for fair grain grading and reasonable rail rates earned him a reputation for personal courage and devotion to agriculture. His reputation led the Nonpartisan League to endorse him for the United States Senate in 1920. Following his victory over Senator Asle J. Gronna in the Republican primary, Ladd defeated his Democratic opponent in the general election.

From his entry into the Senate in 1921 to his death in 1925, Ladd continued to demonstrate both his courage and his devotion to agriculture. He courageously resisted attempts to suppress 1the Teapot Dome investigation. He stood firm on his unpopular advocacies of recognition of Soviet Russia and private development of Muscle Shoals. As an advocate of aid to agriculture, Ladd supported high agricultural tariffs, increased appropriations for agricultural research, the building of a St. Lawrence Seaway, and the expansion of agricultural credit. He joined the Farm Bloc and generally supported its attempts to improve· agricultural conditions.

Ladd's independence and strength of conviction often brought him to oppose administration policies. He was soon recognized as a rebel and was seldom consulted on appointments. His dissatisfaction with the Republican administrations led him to support Robert N. LaFollette's presidential candidacy in 1924. He was subsequently expelled from the Republican caucus and stripped of his seniority privileges.

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