Furnifold Simmons (1854-1940) served in the United States Senate for thirty years. Nicknamed "The Great White Father," Simmons led the white supremacy campaigns of 1898 and 1900. In those campaigns, Democrats broke the Republican-Populist coalition that had gained power in North Carolina politics. Simmons was effectively North Carolina's "political boss" during the first three decades of the twentieth century, constructing an organization that became known as the Simmons Machine. Beyond the political arena, he was among the leaders who helped to establish the Intracoastal Waterway.