Carter Glass
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States (Confederate States, 1861-1865)
Date of Birth: 1858
Date of Death: 1946
Cause of Death: Congestive heart failure
Occupation: Journalist, politician
Spouse: Aurelia McDearmon Caldwell (d. 1937), Mary Scott
Children: Four
Political Party: Democratic Party
Political Office(s): United States Representative from Virginia,
US Secretary of the Treasury,
United States Senator from Virginia
Fictional Appearances:
Joe Steele
POD: 1878;
Relevant POD: July, 1932
Novel or Story?: Novel only
Type of Appearance: Direct
Political Office(s): United States Senator from Virginia

Carter Glass (January 4, 1858 – May 28, 1946) was an American newspaper publisher and politician from Lynchburg, Virginia. He served many years in Congress as a member of the Democratic Party. As House co-sponsor, he played a central role in the development of the 1913 Glass-Owen Act that created the Federal Reserve System. Glass subsequently served as the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury under President Woodrow Wilson. Later elected to the Senate, he became widely known as co-sponsor of the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933, which enforced the separation of investment banking and commercial banking, and established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Carter Glass in Joe Steele[]

Senator Carter Glass was one of several Southern Democrats who initially opposed President Joe Steele's proposed legislation to nationalize the country's banks on the ground of states' rights. The fact that he'd once been Secretary of the Treasury gave his opinions some additional weight.[1]

However, after a one-on-one meeting with Steele, Glass abruptly changed his mind, calling the nationalization bill a "worthy piece of legislation."[2] Other Southern Democrats fell in line.[3]

What the public never knew was that Steele's ally, J. Edgar Hoover, director of the Bureau of Investigation, had found "evidence" that Glass had had an affair with his family's Negro maid, Emma, which produced a son. Steele threatened to release that information to the public unless Glass fell in line.[4]

Literary comment[]

The historical record doesn't support the idea that Glass had an illegitimate child. Within the novel, Stas Mikoian strongly suggests that the whole story of the affair is a fabrication concocted by the Steele Administration.

See Also[]

  • Strom Thurmond, historical US Senator from South Carolina who supported segregation. Upon his death in 2003, his mixed-race daughter, whose mother was a Thurmond family maid, made her existence known. This OTL affair broadly parallels Glass' fictional affair in Joe Steele. Although there have been similar cases throughout Southern history, Thurmond's is the most well known, and Harry Turtledove seems to be fond of including Thurmond-based trivia in other stories.


  1. Joe Steele, pg. 49.
  2. Ibid., pg. 50-51.
  3. Ibid. pg. 51.
  4. Ibid., pg. 54-56.
Political offices
Preceded by
Peter J. Otey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives

from Virginia's 6th congressional district
November 4, 1902 – December 16, 1918

Succeeded by
James P. Woods
Preceded by
William G. McAdoo
Secretary of the Treasury
December 16, 1918 – February 1, 1920
Succeeded by
David F. Houston
Preceded by
B. Patton Harrison
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
July 11, 1941 – January 2, 1945
Succeeded by
Kenneth McKellar
Preceded by
Thomas S. Martin
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Virginia
February 2, 1920 – May 28, 1946
Succeeded by
Thomas G. Burch