Communication ETDs

Publication Date



This study deals with the life and after-dinner speaking of Chauncey Mitchell Depew, Sr. As a problem area this is a large one, for it has its setting in 'a period in which there was perhaps more speechmaking than at any previous time in the history of the United States." Depew was popular from the days of the Civil War to his death in 1928. Strangely enough, though speechmaking was so widespread an art during this period, it was not one characterized by oratorical giants such as those gracing the previous fifty years. Indeed, the era has been depreciated to the extent that it is looked upon "as being of little significance with respect to public address."

To say that a period marked by such a great amount of activity in public address produced so little for the speech critic to admire seems paradoxical. Sheer weight of numbers, it would appear, should produce a correspondingly large quantity of speakers whom one could classify as great. The fact that Depew does not quite enter this category makes the study an interesting one.



Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Communication and Journalism

First Committee Member (Chair)

Cullen Bryant Owens

Second Committee Member

Wayne C. Eubank

Third Committee Member


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Communication Commons