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Presidential Administrations, William Taft: Topics in Chronicling America

In 1908, William Howard Taft won the Presidential election and served from 1909 to 1903. This guide provides access to materials related to the “William Taft's administration” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


Photograph of William Howard Taft. November 6, 1908. The Seattle Republican (Seattle, WA), Image 5. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Hand-picked by Theodore Roosevelt as his successor, William Howard Taft (1857-1930) won the Presidential election in 1908, defeating William Jennings Bryan. Taft would go on to sign the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which proposed a federal income tax. He also unexpectedly supported the Aldrich-Cannon tariff, earning him disapproval amongst some in the Republican Party. Taft lost reelection in 1912 to Woodrow Wilson, coming in third place after an insurgent Roosevelt Bull Moose party. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


November 3, 1908 Taft defeats William Jennings Bryan and is elected President.
July 30, 1909 The Sixteenth Amendment, proposing an income tax, is signed and supported by President Taft.
August 25, 1910 Taft received backlash from his support of the Aldrich-Cannon tariff.
November 17, 1911 Roosevelt and Taft are reported to have fallen out over trust policies.
November 5, 1912 Woodrow Wilson wins the Presidential election, with Roosevelt placing second and Taft placing third.