"Spalding, Burleigh Folsom, a Representative from North Dakota; born on a farm near Craftsbury, Orleans County, Vt., December 3, 1853; attended the Lyndon Literary Institute, Lyndon, Vt., and was graduated from Norwich University, Northfield, Vt., in 1877; studied law in Montpelier, Vt.; was admitted to the bar in 1880 and commenced practice in Fargo, Dak. (now North Dakota); superintendent of public instruction of Cass County, Dak., 1882-1884; member of the commission to relocate the capital of the Territory of Dakota and build the capitol in 1883; member of the North Dakota constitutional convention in 1889; chairman of the Republican State central committee of North Dakota 1892-1894 and of the Cass County Republican committee 1896-1898; elected as a Republican to the Fifty-sixth Congress (March 4, 1899-March 3, 1901); did not seek renomination in 1900; elected to the Fifty-eighth Congress (March 4, 1903-March 3, 1905); unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1904; appointed in 1907 and elected in 1908 an associate justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court; became chief justice in 1911 and served until 1915; resumed the practice of law in Fargo, N.Dak., in 1915; delegate to most Republican Territorial and State conventions 1888-1933; delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1924; died in Fargo, N.Dak., March 17, 1934; interment in Riverside Cemetery."
The Burleigh F. Spalding Papers contain two copies of a biography of Spalding taken from dictation given to his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Carleton Spalding. The dictation happened sometime between 1924 and 1925, when Burleigh Spalding was on bed rest for several months. In the 72 page document, Spalding reflected on the history of his family, his legal career, his business interests, and politics in both the Dakota Territory and the state of North Dakota. He did not, however, discuss in great detail his own political career.
The biography was given to the Department of Special Collections by Mary Nowatski, who roomed with Spalding and his wife from 1923-1925. She noted that portions of the biography had been printed in the Fargo Forum, and that copies of the biography were given to Dr. Orin Libby at the University of North Dakota, as well as the State Historical Society of North Dakota in Bismarck.
Also included are two copies of the report made by the Pinkerton Detective Agency regarding the Louisiana Lottery to North Dakota Governor John Miller in February 1890. The Lottery bill passed the North Dakota Senate, but after the Pinkerton report exposed wide spread bribing of legislators by lottery officials, the proposal never came to a vote in the House. (See Elwyn B. Robinson, History of North Dakota, pages 219-220).