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William B. Bate Passes Away

Today in Masonic history William B. Bate passes away in 1905.

William B. Bate was an American Solider and Politician from the state of Tennessee.

William B. Bate was born on October 7th, 1826.

Bate began his military career in Louisiana. Working on the steamboat Saladin, which traveled up and down the the Cumberland, Ohio and Mississippi rivers he found him self in New Orleans at the outbreak of the Mexican-American war. Bate signed up with with a Louisiana regiment. His enlistment only lasted a few months, after which he reenlisted with a Tennessee regiment.

After the Mexican-American War, Bate returned to Tennessee and established himself in the community. He started a pro-Democratic paper called the Tenth Legion. He was elected to the Tennessee house of representatives. He went to Law school, passed the bar and was elected as Attorney General for the Nashville District.

Bate was offered the district's Congressional nomination in 1759. Bate was a strong supporter of secession and refused the nomination.

During the Civil War Bate fought for the confederacy. He fought in many battles and was in many campaigns. He was wounded twice.

After the Civil War Bate established himself in Nashville. He opened a law practice and remained active in politics. After the Panic of 1873 Democrats in Tennessee became divided on how to handle the state's debt which had become an issue because of the Panic. In 1882 Bate became the "low tax rate" candidate with his plan to resolve the issue by paying back the bonds the state had with the railroad at 50% and the remaining bonds at 100%.

After leaving office as Governor, Bate was appointed as Senator after Howell Jackson resigned. He served as a US Senator until his death. During his time in the US Senate Bate voted for the admission of Oklahoma, Arizona and New Mexico as states.

Shortly after being elected to his fourth term Bate attended the inauguration of Theodore Roosevelt. It is believed he caught a cold and died of Pneumonia several days later on March 9th, 1905.

Bate was a member of King Solomon Lodge No. 94 in Gallatin, Tennessee.

This article provided by Brother Eric C. Steele.