Thomas Brackett Reed, Portland, ca. 1900
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Portland native Thomas Brackett Reed (1839-1902) was one of the political giants of his day. Admitted to the Maine Bar in 1865, he soon entered politics and in 1876 was elected to the U.S. Congress from Maine's First District. He was continuously elected to that office, authoring "Reeds Rules of Procedures" and served as Speaker of the House from 1889-1891 and 1895-1898. His revitalization of Congress and his blunt but effective approach earned him the nickname of "Czar" Reed. His disgust with the rising tide of American imperialism, during and after the Spanish American War, led Reed to resign from Congress. He returned to the law in New York and his Portland home on Deering Street and led a low-key life until his death.