Samuel Walker McCall
Painting: by Edmund Charles Tarbell, 1920

Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: 1916-1919

A journalist, businessman, and lawyer, Samuel McCall was a compelling author and speaker. Before rising to the governorship, he represented Massachusetts for two decades in the United States Congress. He was the Editor-in-Chief of the Boston daily newspaper, The Boston Daily Advertiser and served several years in the state legislature.

It was said that McCall could fill any hall in the Commonwealth and that his Lieutenant Governor, Calvin Coolidge, could empty any hall. However, they campaigned as a team, each winning their elections together. When McCall decided to retire from the governorship, he encouraged Coolidge to seek the office.

Governor McCall quickly mustered Massachusetts' troops to support the nation and President Woodrow Wilson in the First World War. He was among the first high profile advocates of Social Security and promoted town forests in Massachusetts.

After serving as Governor he devoted himself to practice of law and writing. In a 1921 Atlantic Monthly article McCall reflected on the nature of political competition:

There is probably nothing related to government that is advocated more and practiced less than economy…. The party that is out is always bewailing the extravagance and criminal wastefulness of the party that is in. And when the people show themselves credulous enough to entrust the critics with power, the only difference likely to be seen is in an increased extravagance and waste. The fervor of the promise is usually found to be in inverse ratio to the amount of performance that is vouchsafed.