SCOPE AND CONTENT
Title: Thomas Vincent Cator Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1881-1941
Collection number: Special Collections M032
Cator, Thomas Vincent
1 linear ft.
Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain
permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.
Gift of Harold F. Taggart, 1960, 1962, and 1963.
[Identification of item] Thomas Vincent Cator Papers, M032, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford,
Thomas Vincent Cator was born in Roxbury, New York on July 18, 1851. He spent his early years on a farm, attending the local
academy when possible. After having taught school at the age of seventeen, Cator attended Cornell University. Upon graduation
he entered a New York law firm and soon developed political interests. In 1880 Cator established residence in Jersey City
and held an alderman's office for two years.
Having been bothered with malaria fever for some time, Cator journeyed to San Francisco, California in 1887. It was not long
until he was involved in politics again, and in 1889, Cator married Miss Ethel Chapman.
Politically, Cator was at one time or another an Anti-Monopolist, a Republican, a Democrat, a Prohibitionist, a Nationalist,
and a Populist. His most significant political contribution was as the leader of the Populist Party in California from 1890
until its dissolution in 1898. Cator ran for the U.S. Senate on the Populist ticket in 1892, 1894, and 1896, unsuccessfully
in each effort. In 1901 he was appointed to the Elections Commission of the city of San Francisco and he served until his
death, most of the time as president of the commission. He died on Sept. , 1920 of a heart attack.
SCOPE AND CONTENT
The Cator Papers are largely the correspondence received by Vincent Cator at the time of his involvement in the People's Party
and afterwards, 1883-1915. Included in the collection are 16 letters written by Cator on various political subjects from 1894-1915.
In addition, there are several papers of a legal nature and a biography written by Harold F. Taggart. There are also newspaper
clippings of Cator's activities.
Of primary interest is the correspondence concerning Cator's relationship with the Populist Movement in California and New
Jersey, and Cator's position on such issues as government ownership of railroads, free silver, anti-monopoly, and women's