The Political Graveyard: A Database of American History
Politicians who Died in Prison or Captivity

Very incomplete list!

in chronological order

  Cornelius Harnett (1723-1781) — of North Carolina. Born near Edenton, Chowan County, N.C., April 20, 1723. Delegate to Continental Congress from North Carolina, 1777. Captured by the British in January 1781, and died as a prisoner, of disease contracted in captivity, in Wilmington, New Hanover County, N.C., April 20, 1781 (age 58 years, 0 days). Interment at St. James' Churchyard, Wilmington, N.C.
  Harnett County, N.C. is named for him.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  William Duer (1747-1799) — also known as "Philo-Publius" — of New York County, N.Y. Born in Devon, England, March 18, 1747. Planter; timber and lumber merchant; delegate to New York state constitutional convention, 1776; member of New York state senate Eastern District, 1777; Delegate to Continental Congress from New York, 1777; member of New York state assembly from New York County, 1785-86; went bankrupt as a result of the Panic of 1792, and was imprisoned for debt. Died, in debtor's prison, New York, New York County, N.Y., April 18, 1799 (age 52 years, 31 days). Originally entombed at Old St. Thomas Church, Manhattan, N.Y.; reinterment at Trinity Cemetery, Manhattan, N.Y.
  Relatives: Son of John Duer and Frances (Frye) Duer; married 1779 to Catherine Alexander; father of William Alexander Duer and John Duer (1782-1858); nephew by marriage of Robert Livingston, Peter Van Brugh Livingston, Philip Livingston and William Livingston; grandfather of William Duer (1805-1879) and Denning Duer; first cousin by marriage of Peter Robert Livingston, Walter Livingston, Philip Peter Livingston and Henry Brockholst Livingston.
  Political families: Livingston-Schuyler family of New York; Roosevelt family of New York (subsets of the Four Thousand Related Politicians).
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Ira J. Westover (d. 1836) — Delegate to Texas Consultation of 1835 from District of Goliad, 1835; served in the Texas Army during the Texas War of Independence. Following the Battle of Coleto, during the Texas War of Independence, he was among those taken prisoner by the Mexican Army; a few days later, he and almost 400 other prisoners were shot to death, an incident now known as the Goliad Massacre, in Goliad, Goliad County, Tex., March 27, 1836. Cremated.
  Joshua Chilton (1818-1862) — of Shannon County, Mo. Born in Wayne County, Tenn., September 28, 1818. Democrat. Member of Missouri state house of representatives from Shannon County, 1846-55; member of Missouri state senate 24th District, 1860-61. Member, Freemasons. Arrested by Union troops as an alleged Southern sympathizer, and while a prisoner, was shot and killed, near Rolla, Phelps County, Mo., August 28, 1862 (age 43 years, 334 days). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Son of Thomas Boggs Chilton and Susannah (Inman) Chilton; married to Elizabeth Chilton; father of Commodore Perry Chilton; uncle of Shadrach Chilton; first cousin twice removed of John Smith; second cousin of Thomas Chilton and William Parish Chilton; second cousin twice removed of Horace George Chilton and Arthur Bounds Chilton; third cousin once removed of Howell Cobb, Henry Rootes Jackson and Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb.
  Political families: Pendleton-Lee family of Maryland; Jackson-Lee family; King family of Savannah, Georgia; Walker-Meriwether-Kellogg family of Virginia; Washington-Walker family of Virginia (subsets of the Four Thousand Related Politicians).
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Thomas Ruffin (1820-1863) — of Goldsboro, Wayne County, N.C. Born in Louisburg, Franklin County, N.C., September 9, 1820. Democrat. U.S. Representative from North Carolina 2nd District, 1853-61; Delegate from North Carolina to the Confederate Provisional Congress, 1861-62; colonel in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Slaveowner. Mortally wounded in a cavalry fight before the Battle of Bristoe Station, and died while a prisoner of war, at Alexandria, Va., October 13, 1863 (age 43 years, 34 days). Interment a private or family graveyard, Franklin County, N.C.
  Relatives: Distant cousin *** of Thomas Ruffin (1787-1870).
  Political family: Ruffin-Thomas family of North Carolina.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  William Magear Tweed (1823-1878) — also known as William M. Tweed; William Marcy Tweed; "Boss Tweed" — of New York, New York County, N.Y. Born in New York, New York County, N.Y., April 3, 1823. Democrat. Chairmaker; fire fighter; U.S. Representative from New York 5th District, 1853-55; member of New York state senate 4th District, 1868-73. Scotch-Irish ancestry. Member, Odd Fellows; Freemasons. Convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to twelve years in prison; escaped; captured in Spain and brought back to New York. Died in prison, in New York, New York County, N.Y., April 12, 1878 (age 55 years, 9 days). Interment at Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  Relatives: Son of Richard Tweed and Eliza (Magear) Tweed; married, September 18, 1844, to Mary Jane C. Skaden.
  Cross-reference: Noah Davis — Charles O'Conor — Thomas Nast — George G. Barnard — Albert Cardozo
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — NNDB dossier
  Books about William M. Tweed: Seymour J. Mandelbaum, Boss Tweed's New York — Leo Hershkowitz, Tweed's New York : another look — Kenneth D. Ackerman, Boss Tweed: The Rise and Fall of the Corrupt Pol Who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York
  Stanley J. Pacholek (1890-1932) — of Hamtramck, Wayne County, Mich. Born in Poland, December 8, 1890. Undertaker; candidate for mayor of Hamtramck, Mich., 1932 (primary), 1932. Polish ancestry. Arrested in April, 1932, for drunk driving; died by suicide in his jail cell, by hanging himself with his scarf, in Birmingham, Oakland County, Mich., April 19, 1932 (age 41 years, 133 days). Burial location unknown.
  Stephen J. Stilwell (1866-1942) — of Bronx, Bronx County, N.Y.; Mamaroneck, Westchester County, N.Y. Born in New York, May 10, 1866. Democrat. Lawyer; member of New York state senate 21st District, 1909-13; removed 1913; charged in 1913 with extorting a bribe of $3,500 from George H. Kendall, president of the New York Bank Note company, over a bill that Kendall supported; tried in the State Senate and found not guilty on April 15 by a vote of 28 to 21; indicted on May 12 by a grand jury for soliciting a bribe; tried soon after, and convicted on May 24; this removed him from office; sentenced to four to eight years in prison; after his release, he moved to Mamaroneck and entered the real estate business; indicted in 1934 on charges that he defrauded his former stenographer of $9,000 when she came to him seeking a Naval Academy appointment for her son, but the case did not go to trial; arrested in March 1941 and indicted in April on charges that he attempted to bribe a Mamaroneck village trustee $1,000 to obtain a police job for an associate; pleaded guilty, but never sentenced; while incarcerated, his legs were amputated. Died, while a prisoner awaiting sentence, in Grasslands Hospital, Valhalla, Westchester County, N.Y., April 20, 1942 (age 75 years, 345 days). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Son of Mary Delia (Archer) Stilwell and William Jewitt Stilwell; married, February 14, 1887, to Celia A. Blanck.
  Sydney Smyth (d. 1944) — of Manila, Philippines. Democrat. Served in the U.S. Army during the Spanish-American War; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Philippine Islands, 1916 (member, Committee on Rules and Order of Business). Captured when the Japanese invaded the Philippines, and held at the Santo Tomas Interment Camp (University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines). Died, as a prisoner of war, in San Lazaro Hospital, Manila, Philippines, April 6, 1944. Original interment at La Loma Cemetery, Manila, Philippines; reinterment at Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Quezon City, Philippines.
Allison D. Gibbs Allison De France Gibbs (1868-1945) — also known as Allison D. Gibbs — Born in Rochester, Olmsted County, Minn., April 3, 1868. Democrat. Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Philippine Islands, 1920. While a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II, was killed by Allied bombing of the hospital where he was held, in Baguio, Benguet Province, Philippines, March 15, 1945 (age 76 years, 346 days). Cremated; ashes interred at Mt. Olivet Columbarium, Colma, Calif.
  Relatives: Son of Charles W. Gibbs and Albina Stanhope (De France) Gibbs; married 1906 to Eva Johnson (daughter of Elias Finley Johnson and Clara Annis Smith Johnson).
  Political family: Johnson family of San Francisco, California.
  Image source: U.S. passport application (1918)
  Hyman E. Mintz (c.1909-1966) — also known as Bucky Mintz — of South Fallsburg, Sullivan County, N.Y. Born about 1909. Republican. Lawyer; member of New York state assembly from Sullivan County, 1951-65. Jewish. Member, B'nai B'rith. Indicted in 1965 on bribery charges; convicted in February 1966, and sentenced to a year in prison. Died, following a heart attack, while serving a prison sentence, in Bellevue Hospital, Manhattan, New York County, N.Y., March 25, 1966 (age about 57 years). Burial location unknown.
  Byron Low Tax Looper (1964-2013) — also known as Byron Anthony Looper — of Cookeville, Putnam County, Tenn. Born in Putnam County, Tenn., September 15, 1964. Democratic candidate for Georgia state house of representatives, 1987; Republican candidate for Tennessee state house of representatives, 1992; Republican candidate for Tennessee state senate, 1998. Changed his middle name from Anthony to Low Tax. He was indicted in March, 1998, on 14 counts of official misconduct as Putnam County Tax Assessor. On October 19, 1998, he shot and killed Tommy Burks, his opponent for a state senate seat; he was arrested soon after and charged with murder. He lost the November 1998 senate election to Burks' widow, who ran as a write-in candidate with the support of both parties. In August, 2000, he was tried for murder, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Died, as a prison inmate, in Morgan County Correctional Complex, Wartburg, Morgan County, Tenn., June 26, 2013 (age 48 years, 284 days). Burial location unknown.
  Cross-reference: McCracken Poston
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
"Enjoy the hospitable entertainment of a political graveyard."
Henry L. Clinton, Apollo Hall, New York City, February 3, 1872
The Political Graveyard

The Political Graveyard is a web site about U.S. political history and cemeteries. Founded in 1996, it is the Internet's most comprehensive free source for American political biography, listing 320,919 politicians, living and dead.
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