Sereno E. Payne
House Majority Leader
In office
March 4, 1899 – March 3, 1911
SpeakerDavid B. Henderson (1899–1903)
Joseph G. Cannon (1903–1911)
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byOscar Underwood
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from New York
In office
March 4, 1883 – March 3, 1887
Preceded byJohn H. Camp
Succeeded byNewton W. Nutting
Constituency26th district (1883–85)
27th district (1885–87)
In office
December 2, 1889 – December 10, 1914
Preceded byNewton W. Nutting
Succeeded byNorman J. Gould
Constituency27th district (1889–93)
28th district (1893–1903)
31st district (1903–13)
36th district (1913–14)
Personal details
Sereno Elisha Payne

June 26, 1843
Hamilton, New York
DiedDecember 10, 1914(1914-12-10) (aged 71)
Washington, D.C.
Political partyRepublican
Alma materUniversity of Rochester

Sereno Elisha Payne (June 26, 1843 – December 10, 1914) was a United States Representative from New York and the first House Majority Leader, holding the office from 1899 to 1911. He was a Republican congressman from 1883 to 1887 and then from 1889 to his death in 1914. He was chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee for 12 years starting in 1899. The Payne–Aldrich Tariff is perhaps the most significant legislation he introduced during that period. He was known as a staunch protectionist.

Payne was born in Hamilton, New York, on June 26, 1843. He attended the Auburn Academy in Auburn, New York, and then graduated from the University of Rochester in 1864. A lawyer, he was admitted to the bar in 1866 and practiced in Auburn, rising to become the Cayuga County district attorney from 1873 to 1879. Payne served in a number of administrative roles for the city of Auburn, as city clerk in 1867–8, supervisor in 1871–2, and president of the board of education from 1879 to 1882. He was appointed a member of the American-British Joint High Commission in January 1899.

Payne was elected as a Republican to the Forty-eighth and Forty-ninth Congresses (March 4, 1883 – March 3, 1887). He was elected into the Fifty-first Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Representative Newton W. Nutting and was reelected to the twelve succeeding Congresses (December 2, 1889 – December 10, 1914). During his tenure, he served as chairman of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries (Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth Congresses), chairman of the Ways and Means Committee (Fifty-fifth through Sixty-first Congresses), and majority leader (Fifty-seventh through Sixty-first Congresses). He was reelected to the Sixty-fourth Congress but died before that term began.

He died on December 10, 1914, in Washington, D.C., and was buried in Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn.

See also


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website

U.S. House of Representatives Preceded byNone (new office) House Majority Leader 1899–1911 Succeeded byOscar W. UnderwoodAlabama Preceded byJohn H. Camp Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 26th congressional district March 4, 1883 – March 3, 1885 Succeeded byStephen C. Millard Preceded byJames W. Wadsworth Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 27th congressional district March 4, 1885 – March 3, 1887 Succeeded byNewton W. Nutting Preceded byNewton W. Nutting Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 27th congressional district December 2, 1889 – March 3, 1893 Succeeded byJames J. Belden Preceded byHosea H. Rockwell Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 28th congressional district March 4, 1893 – March 3, 1903 Succeeded byCharles L. Knapp Preceded byJames B. Perkins Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 31st congressional district March 4, 1903 – March 3, 1913 Succeeded byEdwin A. Merritt Preceded byCharles B. Smith Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 36th congressional district March 4, 1913 – December 10, 1914 Succeeded byNorman J. Gould