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

Politicians in Trouble or Disgrace: Arson
Setting Fires

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in chronological order

Oliver Wolcott, Jr. Oliver Wolcott, Jr. (1760-1833) — of Litchfield, Litchfield County, Conn.; New York, New York County, N.Y. Born in Litchfield, Litchfield County, Conn., January 11, 1760. Connecticut state comptroller, 1788-90; U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, 1795-1800; banker; Governor of Connecticut, 1817-27; delegate to Connecticut state constitutional convention, 1818. Congregationalist. Accused, by political adversaries in 1800, of setting fire to the State Department, and resigned from the Cabinet in protest against the investigation. Died in New York, New York County, N.Y., June 1, 1833 (age 73 years, 141 days). Interment at East Cemetery, Litchfield, Conn.
  Relatives: Son of Oliver Wolcott, Sr. and Laura (Collins) Wolcott; brother of Mary Ann Wolcott (1765-1805; who married Chauncey Goodrich) and Frederick Wolcott; nephew of Erastus Wolcott and Ursula Wolcott (1724-1788; who married Matthew Griswold (1714-1799)); grandson of Roger Wolcott (1679-1767); granduncle of Roger Wolcott (1847-1900); third great-grandson of William Leete; first cousin of Roger Griswold; first cousin twice removed of John William Allen, James Samuel Wadsworth, Henry Titus Backus, Christopher Parsons Wolcott and Matthew Griswold (1833-1919); first cousin thrice removed of Charles Frederick Wadsworth, James Wolcott Wadsworth, Edward Oliver Wolcott and Alfred Wolcott; first cousin four times removed of James Wolcott Wadsworth, Jr. and Selden Chapin; first cousin five times removed of James Jermiah Wadsworth and Frederic Lincoln Chapin; first cousin six times removed of James Wadsworth Symington; second cousin once removed of William Pitkin, Gaylord Griswold, Samuel Clesson Allen, William Wolcott Ellsworth and Henry Leavitt Ellsworth; second cousin twice removed of Elisha Hunt Allen and George Washington Wolcott; second cousin thrice removed of Edmund Holcomb, Albert Asahel Bliss, Philemon Bliss, William Fessenden Allen and Frederick Hobbes Allen; second cousin four times removed of Judson H. Warner, Nelson Platt Wheeler, William Egbert Wheeler and Henry Augustus Wolcott; second cousin five times removed of Alexander Royal Wheeler; third cousin of Daniel Pitkin; third cousin once removed of Enoch Woodbridge, Joseph Silliman (1756-1829) and Timothy Pitkin; third cousin twice removed of Leveret Brainard, Edwin Carpenter Pinney, Roger Calvin Leete and John Robert Graham Pitkin; third cousin thrice removed of Joseph Pomeroy Root, George Griswold Sill (1829-1907), Frederick Walker Pitkin, George Buckingham Beecher, Luther S. Pitkin and Claude Carpenter Pinney; fourth cousin of Benjamin Tallmadge, Elizur Goodrich, William Woodbridge and Joseph Silliman (1786?-1850); fourth cousin once removed of Frederick Augustus Tallmadge, Josiah C. Chittenden, Abel Madison Scranton, Frederick Enoch Woodbridge and Joseph Fitch Silliman.
  Political family: Kellogg-Seymour-Chapin-Adams family of Connecticut and New York (subset of the Three Thousand Related Politicians).
  See also Wikipedia article — NNDB dossier — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Image source: One Hundredth Anniversary (1919)
  Henry Clay Cole (1838-1881) — also known as Henry C. Cole — of Kokomo, Howard County, Ind. Born in Ripley County, Ind., 1838. Physician; mayor of Kokomo, Ind., 1881; died in office 1881. Shot and killed by a sheriff's posse, allegedly while he was attempting to rob and burn a grist mill, in Kokomo, Howard County, Ind., September 19, 1881 (age about 43 years). The shooters were personal enemies of his, so some suspected a conspiracy. Four members of the posse were indicted for manslaughter by a grand jury, but the charges were later dismissed. Interment at Crown Point Cemetery, Kokomo, Ind.
  Presumably named for: Henry Clay
  Relatives: Son of Jesse Cole and Elizabeth (Roberts) Cole.
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Edward Richard Folsom (1874-1923) — also known as Edward R. Folsom — of Irvington, Essex County, N.J. Born in North Urbana, Steuben County, N.Y., September 18, 1874. Charged, in 1894, of forging checks, bank robbery, and arson; pleaded guilty to two charges; sentenced to ten years in prison; pardoned and released in September 1897; coal dealer; mayor of Irvington, N.J., 1923; died in office 1923. Blackmailers threatening to expose his criminal past extorted money from him until he was nearly penniless; killed himself by an overdose of sedative, in Irvington, Essex County, N.J., September 26, 1923 (age 49 years, 8 days). Interment at Clinton Cemetery, Irvington, N.J.
  Relatives: Son of Frederick Lewis Folsom (1846-1921) and Martha (Layton) Folsom; married to Sara Elizabeth Keeler (1876-1958).
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Tom Metzger — of California; Warsaw, Kosciusko County, Ind. Democratic candidate for U.S. Representative from California 43rd District, 1980; candidate in Democratic primary for U.S. Senator from California, 1982; convicted in 1991 of burning a cross (as a form of hate speech or intimidation) and sentenced to prison; in 1992, he was arrested in Canada for violating immigration laws. Member, John Birch Society; Ku Klux Klan. Still living as of 2012.
  See also Wikipedia article
  Scott Winfield Davis — also known as Scott W. Davis — of Palo Alto, Santa Clara County, Calif. Arrested in 1996, in Atlanta, Georgia, and charged with killing David Coffin and setting fire to his home; the charges were later dropped for lack of evidence; Independent candidate for Governor of California, 2003. Still living as of 2003.
"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 312,576 politicians, living and dead.
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