Senator Absalom Willis Robertson Special Passport

US Senator Absalom Willis Robertson – Special Passport

Absalom Willis Robertson of Virginia, who served in the Senate for 20 years, died in hospital, today Nov 1, 1971, at the age of 84. Mr. Robertson, a Democrat, was chairman of the Senate Banking and Currency Committee when he was defeated in a bid for renomination for a fourth full term in the 1966 Democratic primary. William B. Spong Jr., who narrowly won the nomination away from Mr. Robertson, went on to win the general election.

After his defeat, Mr. Robert’s son became a consultant for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Washington, a post he held until his recent retirement. Mr. Robertson was first elected to the Senate in 1946 in a special election for the seat formerly held by the late Carter Glass. He won re‐election to full terms in 1948, 1954, and 1960 before losing to the much younger Mr. Spong.

Before going to the Senate, Mr. Robertson served in the Virginia State Senate from 1916 to 1922 and as a member of the House of Representatives from 1933 until his election to the Senate in 1946. Continue reading the main story

US Senator Absalom Willis Robertson - Special Passport
Absalom Willis Robertson – Special Passport
US Senator Absalom Willis Robertson - Special Passport
is a Senator of the Congress…
US Senator Absalom Willis Robertson - Special Passport
His passport photo
Interparliamentary union meeting in Switzerland, original signature Shipley
Interparliamentary Union meeting in Switzerland, original signature Shipley
Very nice visa 1949 issued by the Allied Travel Board in Washington, with revenue stamp
Very nice visa 1949 issued by the Allied Travel Board in Washington, with revenue stamp
Foresaw Dollar Crisis

Soon after he became chairman of the Senate Banking and Currency Committee in 1959, Mr. Robertson warned that if the Government’s then $12.9‐billion deficit rose—as it did—“I anticipate a genuine flight from the dollar both here and abroad.” Contending that inflation was the cruelest policy a government could inflict on its people, the Virginia Senator said that if inflation continued at only 3 percent a year, the savings and life insurance of the young would-be wiped out in 30 years.

Many of Mr. Robertson’s predictions over the state of the American economy in the early 1960s have been fulfilled in recent years, especially the instability of the dollar on the world market, continuing inflation fueled by rising Federal deficit, and increased spending. Despite his warnings, Mr. Robertson was against Federal controls of wages and prices, believing they should be used “only as a last resort.”

“They are not a practical thing,” he said in 1959. “It is far better to leave prices to the marketplace.” While Mr. Robertson was regarded as an economic conservative in many areas, including being against. Federal aid to areas suffering from chronic unemployment, he strongly opposed any cuts in American foreign aid.

He did feel, however, that the aid program should be increasingly turned over to international agencies, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. As a staunch advocate of sharply controlled Government spending, Mr. Robertson was in a powerful position as chairman of the Banking and Currency Committee to oversee Federal expenditures on housing, unemployment, and in other areas and to recommend controls on exports, prices, wages, and borrowing.

Mr. Robertson”s career closely paralleled that. of Harry F. Byrd Sr., who was also to become a Senator from Virginia. They were born in Mar Martinsburg, W. Va., within two weeks of each other and a few blocks apart. The two men entered the House of. Representatives the same year, out the more volatile Mr. Byrd, became a better known Senator.

Mr. Robertson built a respected reputation in the Senate as an expert on foreign trade, tariffs, banking, currency, and taxation, subjects that many Senators often seemed reluctant to pursue. In his home state, Mr. Robertson was perhaps better known as a devoted conservationist, and in 1946 he was named the nation’s leading conservationist by Field and Stream magazine. At the University of Richmond, he was a football star and hammer thrower. Later he became an avid huntsman and fisherman. Survivors include two sons A. (for Absalom) Willis Robert son Jr, of Atlanta, and the Rev. Marion Gordon Robertson of Portsmouth, Va., and four grandchildren.

US Senator Absalom Willis Robertson – Special Passport


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1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?

The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...

2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?

Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...

3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?

"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...

4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?

Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...

5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?

Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.

6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?

A passport tells the story of its bearer and these stories can be everything - surprising, sad, vivid. Isabella Bird and her travels (1831-1904) or Mary Kingsley, a fearless Lady explorer.

7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?

During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...

8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?

Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.

9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?

Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.

10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?

A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉

Other great sources are: Scottish Passports, The Nansen passport, The secret lives of diplomatic couriers

11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?

First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...

Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.

Question? Contact me...