|48th United States Secretary of War|
March 5, 1921 – October 13, 1925
|President||Warren G. Harding|
|Preceded by||Newton D. Baker|
|Succeeded by||Dwight F. Davis|
|United States Senator|
March 4, 1913 – March 3, 1919
|Preceded by||Winthrop M. Crane|
|Succeeded by||David I. Walsh|
|Member of the|
U.S. House of Representatives
March 4, 1905 – March 4, 1913
|Preceded by||Samuel L. Powers|
|Succeeded by||John Mitchell|
|Constituency||12th district (1905–13)|
13th district (1913)
John Wingate Weeks
April 11, 1860
Lancaster, New Hampshire, U.S.
|Died||July 12, 1926 (aged 66)|
Lancaster, New Hampshire, U.S.
|Resting place||Arlington National Cemetery|
|Spouse||Martha Aroline Sinclair|
|Education||United States Naval Academy (BS)|
|Branch/service||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1881–1883|
John Wingate Weeks (April 11, 1860 – July 12, 1926) was an American banker and politician from Massachusetts. A Republican, he served as Mayor of Newton from 1902 to 1903, a United States representative from 1905 to 1913, United States Senator from 1913 to 1919, and Secretary of War from 1921 to 1925.
Life and career
John Wingate Weeks was born and raised in Lancaster, New Hampshire. He received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy, graduating in 1881, and served for two years in the United States Navy. He married Martha Aroline Sinclair on October 7, 1885.
Weeks made a fortune in banking during the 1890s, after co-founding the Boston financial firm Hornblower & Weeks in 1888. During the Spanish–American War, he returned to active duty with the U.S. Navy from April to October 1898 with the rank of lieutenant.
With his financial well-being assured, Weeks became active in politics, first at a local level in his then-home of Newton, Massachusetts, serving as alderman in 1899–1902 and as mayor in 1903–04. He then moved on to the national scene in 1905, when he was elected to serve the 12th congressional district of Massachusetts in the United States Congress.
As a member of the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate, Weeks made various contributions to important banking and conservation legislation. His most notable accomplishment as Congressman was the passage of the Weeks Act in 1911, his name-sake bill that enabled the creation of national forests in the eastern United States.
In the election of 1918, Weeks was defeated in his re-election campaign. Due to the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, this was the first time election to his U.S. Senate seat was decided by the voters rather than the state legislature. His defeat has been attributed to his refusal to support women's suffrage, and his opposition to the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, a distinction he shared with Senator Willard Saulsbury Jr. of Delaware. Despite his defeat for re-election to the Senate in 1918, Weeks remained an active and influential participant in the national Republican Party. He was an early supporter of the nomination of Warren G. Harding for President in 1920, and when Harding became President, he named Weeks to his cabinet.
As Secretary of War, Weeks was a competent, honest, and respected administrator and adviser, who guided the Department of War through its post-World War I downsizing. Weeks's hard work and long hours led to a stroke in April 1925, which led in turn to his resignation as Secretary in October of that year.
His great uncle, for whom he was named, John Wingate Weeks (1781–1853), was a major in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812 and served as a congressman from New Hampshire. Edgar Weeks congressman from Michigan was mis-attributed as a cousin of John Wingate Weeks in the past.
The investment banking and brokerage firm Hornblower and Weeks, founded in 1888, was named for Weeks and co-founder Henry Hornblower.
- New Hampshire Historical Marker No. 219: The Weeks Act 1911
- "Weeks, John Wingate Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
- "Uncle Sam's Cadets". National Republican. Washington, D.C. June 10, 1881. p. 1. Retrieved April 2, 2023 – via newspapers.com.
- Garraty, John A. and Carnes, Mark C.: American National Biography, vol. 22, "Weeks, John Wingate". New York : Oxford University Press, 1999.
- "John W. Weeks (1860–1926)". Forest History Society. March 25, 2010.
- DuBois, Ellen Carol (April 20, 2020). "A pandemic nearly derailed the women's suffrage movement". National Geographic. Archived from the original on April 21, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
- Notable Graves: Politics and Government – Arlington National Cemetery
- Burial Details: Weeks, John Wingate – ANC Explorer
- "Weeks, Sinclair (1893 – 1972)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved December 25, 2022.
- "Weeks, John Wingate (1781 – 1853)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved December 25, 2022.
- "Weeks, John Wingate (1860 – 1926)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved December 25, 2022.
- Harkey, Ira (1991). Pioneer Bush Pilot. Bantam Books. p. 95. ISBN 0553289195.
- United States Congress. "John W. Weeks (id: W000246)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- The Papers of John W. Weeks at Dartmouth College Library