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Insane Man Elected to Congress

How many times have you said to yourself that a specific politician is "nuts", "crazy" or "insane"? Many of us have done so at least a few times in our life. At least in one case, this label was entirely correct.

Charles A. Boutelle was a Representative of Congress for the state of Maine and had been for sixteen years. In the 1900 election, he won by 10,000 votes though at the time he was a resident of an insane asylum, clouded in intellect and uncertain in speech. He had even been there when the convention nominated him to run for Representative again. The opposition, the Democratic Party, filed a claim that to elect an insane man to Congress was unconstitutional to no avail.

Sentiment was behind the Maine Republicans in the matter. Their viewpoint was that Mr. Boutelle had served them long and faithfully. Further, he was poor and they could afford to stand behind him. Others feel that he would never take his seat in Congress again. However, the Republicans of his district expressed that his empty chair in the House of Representatives should stand for their loyalty in mute testimony.