As Speaker, "Uncle Joe" Cannon wielded autocratic power. Yet he remained popular among colleagues, admired for vigorously defending the House against encroachments by the Senate and president. A colorful character, Cannon proudly called himself the "hayseed member from Illinois." One hostess was warned never to come between the tobacco-chewing Speaker and a spittoon.
Joseph G. Cannon, photograph, ca. 1906
Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress