Date Original



This collection contains a letter.

Biographical/Historical Note

John Newton Tillman was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the Third District of Arkansas in the Sixty-Fourth through the Seventieth Congresses, serving from 1915 to 1929. John N. Tillman was born near Springfield, Missouri, on December 13, 1859, to Newton J. Tillman and Mary Mullins Tillman. The family moved to Arkansas when he was a child, and he attended the local common schools before graduating from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Washington County in 1880. Following graduation, Tillman taught school while also studying law. He read law in the office of Judge J. M. Pittman until Pittman was elected circuit court judge, at which point Tillman studied with local lawyers Holsinger and Hall. In 1882, he was appointed county examiner of the schools in Washington County. Tillman was admitted to the bar in 1883, and he began a private law practice in Fayetteville. He served as the clerk of the circuit court of Washington County from 1884 to 1889. He was married to Temple Walker in 1885, and they had three children. Tillman soon entered the political arena and was immediately successful, winning election to the Arkansas Senate, where he served from 1888 to 1892. As a state senator, he was best known for his sponsorship of the Separate Coach Law of 1891, also known as the Tillman Act, legislation that called for railroads to maintain “equal but separate and sufficient” passenger trains and waiting rooms throughout the state. Tillman returned to the electoral arena, and in 1914, running as a Democrat, he won election to a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He won reelection in six subsequent elections, only once receiving less than sixty percent of the vote and on multiple occasions running unopposed. After seven terms in the House, and in declining health, Tillman did not seek reelection in 1928. Returning home to Arkansas, Tillman died in Fayetteville on March 9, 1929, only days after the end of his congressional service. He is interred in Evergreen Cemetery in Fayetteville.

Physical Description

Document, 8.5" x 11"

Geographical Area

Fayetteville, Washington County (Ark.); Washington D.C.





Resource Type



John N. Tillman letter, SMC.047.025


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

John N. Tillman letter, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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United States History