The Political Graveyard: A Database of American History
Politicians in Trouble or Disgrace

Politicians in Trouble: 1850 to 1859

See the trouble and disgrace main page, as well as the FAQ and the Political Graveyard privacy policy, for important explanations and disclaimers.

in approximate chronological order

Thomas Hart Benton Thomas Hart Benton (1782-1858) — also known as "Old Bullion" — of Franklin, Williamson County, Tenn.; St. Louis, Mo. Born near Hillsborough, Orange County, N.C., March 14, 1782. Lawyer; newspaper editor; member of Tennessee state senate, 1809; U.S. Senator from Missouri, 1821-51; U.S. Representative from Missouri 1st District, 1853-55; Benton Democrat candidate for Governor of Missouri, 1856. Fought a duel with Andrew Jackson, who later became a political ally. In April, 1850, he caused a scandal with his attempt to assault Sen. Henry Stuart Foote, of Mississippi, during debate on the Senate floor; he was restrained by other senators. Foote had a cocked pistol in his hand and undoubtedly would have shot him. Died in Washington, D.C., April 10, 1858 (age 76 years, 27 days). Interment at Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo.
  Relatives: Son of Jesse Benton and Ann (Gooch) Benton; married 1821 to Elizabeth McDowell (1794-1854; sister of James McDowell); father of Jessie Benton (who married John Charles Frémont); uncle of Thomas Hart Benton, Jr. (1816-1879); granduncle of Maecenas Eason Benton.
  Political family: Benton family (subset of the Three Thousand Related Politicians).
  Benton counties in Ark., Ind., Iowa, Minn., Ore. and Wash. are named for him.
  Coins and currency: His portrait appeared on the U.S. $100 gold certificate in the 1880s to 1920s.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article — NNDB dossier — Find-A-Grave memorial — OurCampaigns candidate detail
  Image source: The South in the Building of the Nation (1909)
  Joseph Barker (c.1806-1862) — of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pa. Born in Allegheny County, Pa., about 1806. Mayor of Pittsburgh, Pa., 1850-51; defeated, 1851, 1852. In 1849, after an anti-Catholic speech, he was arrested, charged with using obscene language, obstructing the streets, and causing a riot, convicted, and sentenced to a year in prison; elected mayor in 1850 while still incarcerated. While mayor, he was twice arrested on charges of assault and battery. In 1851, he was convicted of riot. Struck and killed by a railroad train, in Ross Township, Allegheny County, Pa., August 2, 1862 (age about 56 years). Interment at Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  John Louis O'Sullivan (1813-1895) — also known as John L. O'Sullivan — of New York, New York County, N.Y. Born, of American parents, in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Gibraltar, November 15, 1813. Democrat. Member of New York state assembly from New York County, 1841-42; delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1844; U.S. Charge d'Affaires to Portugal, 1854; U.S. Minister to Portugal, 1854-58. Episcopalian; later Catholic. Cofounder and editor of The United States Magazine and Democratic Review, a journal that published the works of Emerson, Hawthorne and Whitman, as well as political essays on Jacksonian Democracy, 1837-46. Early advocate in 1840s for abolition of the death penalty. Invented the term "manifest destiny" to explain and justify the westward expansion of the United States. Took part in the failed expedition of Narcisco Lopez to take Cuba from Spanish rule; as a result, was charged in federal court in New York with violation of the Neutrality Act; tried and acquitted in March 1852. Died, of influenza and the effects of an earlier stroke, in a residential hotel in New York, New York County, N.Y., March 24, 1895 (age 81 years, 129 days). Interment at Moravian Cemetery, New Dorp, Staten Island, N.Y.
  See also U.S. State Dept career summary
  Edward Allen Hannegan (1807-1859) — also known as Edward A. Hannegan — of Covington, Fountain County, Ind. Born in Hamilton County, Ohio, June 25, 1807. Democrat. Lawyer; member of Indiana state house of representatives, 1832-33, 1841-42; U.S. Representative from Indiana 7th District, 1833-37; U.S. Senator from Indiana, 1843-49; U.S. Minister to Prussia, 1849-50. Presbyterian. Member, Freemasons. In May, 1852, during a drunken argument, he stabbed his brother-in-law, Captain Duncan, who died the next day. Died from overdose of morphine (probably suicide), in St. Louis, Mo., February 25, 1859 (age 51 years, 245 days). Interment at Woodlawn Cemetery, Terre Haute, Ind.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article — U.S. State Dept career summary — NNDB dossier — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Albert Lewis Stuart (1819-1876) — also known as Albert L. Stuart — Born in Connecticut, June 25, 1819. Lawyer; member of Arkansas state house of representatives, 1850-51. Methodist. During an election dispute in Gainsville, Ark., in the early 1850s, he shot and killed Riley Vaughn; charged with murder, tried, and acquitted. Died in Powell Township, Craighead County, Ark., March 16, 1876 (age 56 years, 265 days). Interment at Woods Chapel Methodist Church Cemetery, Paragould, Ark.
  Relatives: Great-grandson of Marlin Stuart (pro baseball player).
  John Singleton Mosby (1833-1916) — also known as John S. Mosby; "The Gray Ghost" — of Bristol, Va.; Warrenton, Fauquier County, Va. Born in Powhatan County, Va., December 6, 1833. In 1852, he shot and wounded George R. Turpin, with whom he had quarreled; arrested and tried, ultimately convicted only of the misdemeanor charge of unlawful shooting and sentenced to one year in jail; pardoned by Gov. Joseph Johnson in 1853; colonel in the Confederate Army during the Civil War; U.S. Consul in Hong Kong, 1878-85. Scottish and Welsh ancestry. Died in Washington, D.C., May 30, 1916 (age 82 years, 176 days). Interment at Warrenton Cemetery, Warrenton, Va.
  Relatives: Son of Alfred Daniel Mosby and Virginia (McLaurine) Mosby; married, December 30, 1857, to Pauline Clarke (1837-1876; daughter of Beverly Leonidas Clarke (1809-1860)).
  See also Wikipedia article
  Preston Smith Brooks (1819-1857) — also known as Preston S. Brooks — of Ninety Six, Edgefield District (now Greenwood County), S.C. Born in Edgefield, Edgefield District (now Edgefield County), S.C., August 5, 1819. Lawyer; member of South Carolina state house of representatives, 1844; U.S. Representative from South Carolina 4th District, 1853-56, 1856-57; died in office 1857. Suffered a hip wound in a duel with Louis T. Wigfall, 1839, and could walk only with a cane for the rest of his life. In May, 1856, furious over an anti-slavery speech, he went to the Senate and beat Senator Charles Sumner with a cane, causing severe injuries; an attempt to expel him from Congress failed for lack of the necessary two-thirds vote, but he resigned; re-elected to his own vacancy. Died in Washington, D.C., January 27, 1857 (age 37 years, 175 days). Interment at Willow Brook Cemetery, Edgefield, S.C.; cenotaph at Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
  Relatives: Son of Whitefield Brooks and Mary P. (Carroll) Brooks; married 1841 to Caroline Means (1820-1843); married 1843 to Martha Means; cousin *** of Milledge Luke Bonham (1813-1890).
  Political family: Bonham family of Edgefield, South Carolina.
  Cross-reference: L. M. Keitt
  Brooks County, Ga. is named for him.
  The city of Brooksville, Florida, is named for him.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article — NNDB dossier — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Laurence Massillon Keitt (1824-1864) — also known as L. M. Keitt — of Orangeburg, Orangeburg District (now Orangeburg County), S.C. Born in Orangeburg District (part now in Calhoun County), S.C., October 4, 1824. Democrat. Planter; lawyer; member of South Carolina state house of representatives, 1848; U.S. Representative from South Carolina 3rd District, 1853-55, 1855-56, 1856-60; censured by the House in 1856 for aiding Rep. Preston S. Brooks in his caning attack on Sen. Charles Sumner; resigned; re-elected to his seat within a month; delegate to South Carolina secession convention from Orange, 1860-62; Delegate from South Carolina to the Confederate Provisional Congress, 1861-62; colonel in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Mortally wounded at the battle of Cold Harbor, and died the next day, near Richmond (unknown county), Va., June 4, 1864 (age 39 years, 244 days). Interment at West End Cemetery, St. Matthews, S.C.
  Relatives: Son of George Keitt (1794-1861) and Mary Magdaleine (Wannamaker) Keitt (1805-1848); nephew of John Jacob Wannamaker (1801-1864); first cousin once removed of William Whetstone Wannamaker, Jr.; first cousin twice removed of William Whetstone Wannamaker III.
  Political family: Wannamaker family of Orangeburg, South Carolina.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Philemon Thomas Herbert (1825-1864) — also known as Philemon T. Herbert — of Mariposa, Mariposa County, Calif.; El Paso, El Paso County, Tex. Born in Pine Apple, Wilcox County, Ala., November 1, 1825. Democrat. Lawyer; member of California state assembly, 1853-55 (10th District 1853-54, 6th District 1854-55); U.S. Representative from California at-large, 1855-57; in 1856, drunk at breakfast, he shot and killed Thomas Keating, a waiter at the Willard Hotel in Washington; charged with murder, twice tried, and eventually acquitted; colonel in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Wounded at the Battle of Mansfield, April 8, 1864, and died in Kingston, DeSoto Parish, La., July 23, 1864 (age 38 years, 265 days). Interment at Evergreen Cemetery, Kingston, La.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article
  Charles Edward Travis (1829-1860) — also known as Charles E. Travis — Born in Alabama, August 8, 1829. Member of Texas state house of representatives, 1853-54. Court-martialed and discharged from the U.S. Cavalry, on charges of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, based on incidents of alleged slander, unauthorized absence, and cheating at cards. Died, of consumption (tuberculosis) in Washington County, Tex., 1860 (age about 30 years). Interment at Masonic Cemetery, Chappell Hill, Tex.
  Relatives: Son of Rosanna (Cato) Travis and William Barret Travis (1809-1836).
  Isaac Smith Kalloch (1832-1887) — also known as Isaac S. Kalloch — of San Francisco, Calif. Born in Rockland, Knox County, Maine, July 10, 1832. Pastor; mayor of San Francisco, Calif., 1879-81. Baptist. Indicted for adultery, in East Cambridge, Mass., 1857; tried, but the jury was unable to agree on a verdict. Shot and wounded, on August 23, 1879, by newspaper editor Charles de Young. A few months later, before de Young was to be tried for the shooting, Kalloch's son, I. M. Kalloch, shot and killed DeYoung in his office. Died, of diabetes, in Whatcom (now part of Bellingham), Whatcom County, Wash., December 9, 1887 (age 55 years, 152 days). Interment at Bayview Cemetery, Bellingham, Wash.
  Cross-reference: M. H. de Young
  See also Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Henry Everard Peck (1821-1867) — also known as H. E. Peck — of Oberlin, Lorain County, Ohio. Born in Rochester, Monroe County, N.Y., July 20, 1821. Republican. College professor; delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1856; U.S. Diplomatic Commissioner to Haiti, 1865-66; U.S. Minister to Haiti, 1866-67, died in office 1867. Abolitionist; involved in rescue of an escaping slave in Wellington, near Oberlin, Ohio, in September 1858; among the 20 men who were arrested and charged with "infringement of the Fugitive Slave Law"; the trial ended when the slave catchers (who had pressed the charges) were indicted for kidnapping. Died, of yellow fever, in Haiti, June 9, 1867 (age 45 years, 324 days). Interment somewhere in Oberlin, Ohio.
  See also U.S. State Dept career summary
Daniel E. Sickles Daniel Edgar Sickles (1819-1914) — also known as Daniel E. Sickles; "Devil Dan" — of New York, New York County, N.Y. Born in New York, New York County, N.Y., October 20, 1819. Lawyer; member of New York state assembly from New York County, 1847; member of New York state senate 3rd District, 1856-57; U.S. Representative from New York, 1857-61, 1893-95 (3rd District 1857-61, 10th District 1893-95); defeated (Democratic), 1894; general in the Union Army during the Civil War; delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1868; U.S. Minister to Spain, 1869-74; delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1892. Member, Grand Army of the Republic. Shot and killed Philip Barton Key, his wife's lover and the son of the author of the national anthem, at Lafayette Park, Washington, D.C, 1859; charged with murder, but with the help of his attorney Edwin M. Stanton, was acquitted after the first successful plea of temporary insanity in U.S. legal history. Received the Medal of Honor in 1897 for action at the Battle of Gettysburg, July 2, 1863; lost a leg in that battle; his amputated leg was displayed at the Army Medical Museum, where he frequently visited it in later years. Died in New York, New York County, N.Y., May 3, 1914 (age 94 years, 195 days). Interment at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — U.S. State Dept career summary
  Books about Daniel E. Sickles: Thomas M. Keneally, American Scoundrel : The Life of the Notorious Civil War General Dan Sickles
  Image source: Official NY: from Cleveland to Hughes (1911)
  Philip Barton Key (1818-1859) — of Washington, D.C. Born in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., April 5, 1818. U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, 1853-59; died in office 1859. Shot and killed by Daniel E. Sickles, in retaliation for Key's affair with his wife Teresa, at Lafayette Park, Washington, D.C., February 27, 1859 (age 40 years, 328 days). Interment at Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, D.C.; cenotaph at Westminster Burying Ground, Baltimore, Md.
  Relatives: Son of Francis Scott Key and Mary Tayloe (Lloyd) Key (1784-1859); brother of Mary Alicia 'Alice' Key (1824-1886; who married George Hunt Pendleton (1825-1889)); married, November 18, 1845, to Ellen Swan; nephew of Anne Phoebe Charlton Key (who married Roger Brooke Taney); uncle of Francis Key Pendleton; grandnephew of Philip Barton Key; first cousin twice removed of Philip Key; fourth cousin once removed of Vinson Martlow Whitley.
  Political families: Pendleton-Lee family; Key family of Maryland (subsets of the Three Thousand Related Politicians).
  See also Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
  David Smith Terry (1823-1889) — also known as David S. Terry — of Galveston, Galveston County, Tex.; San Francisco, Calif.; Stockton, San Joaquin County, Calif. Born in Christian County (part now in Todd County), Ky., March 8, 1823. Lawyer; went to California for the 1849 Gold Rush; advocated the extension of slavery to California; justice of California state supreme court, 1855-59; chief justice of California state supreme court, 1857-59; killed U.S. Senator David C. Broderick in a duel near San Francisco in 1859; tried for murder, but acquitted; served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War; delegate to California state constitutional convention, 1878-79; candidate for Presidential Elector for California, 1880; his wife Sarah Althea Hill claimed to be the widow and heir of wealthy U.S. Senator William Sharon; in September, 1888, when her claim was finally rejected by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen J. Field (acting as a Court of Appeals judge for California), she and Terry caused an altercation in the courtroom and were jailed six months for contempt of court. Five months after his release from jail, he encountered Justice Field and slapped him in the face; he was then shot through the heart and killed by U.S. Deputy Marshal David Neagle, the justice's bodyguard, in the train station dining room at Lathrop, San Joaquin County, Calif., August 14, 1889 (age 66 years, 159 days). Neagle was arrested by local authorities, but later released on the demand of the U.S. government. Interment at Stockton Rural Cemetery, Stockton, Calif.
  Relatives: Son of Joseph Royal Terry (1792-1877) and Sarah David (Smith) Terry (1793-1837); brother of Benjamin Franklin Terry (1821-1861); married, November 26, 1852, to Cornelia Runnels (1829-1884; niece of Hardin Richard Runnels); married, January 7, 1886, to Sarah Althea Hill (1857-1937).
  Political family: Runnels-Terry family of Houston, Texas.
  Cross-reference: Peter Singleton Wilkes
  See also Wikipedia article — NNDB dossier — Find-A-Grave memorial
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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 312,576 politicians, living and dead.
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