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

Politicians in Trouble or Disgrace: Smuggling and Immigration Offenses
Illegally crossing the border

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in chronological order

  David Brydie Mitchell (1760-1837) — of Savannah, Chatham County, Ga.; Milledgeville, Baldwin County, Ga. Born in Muthill, Perthshire, Scotland, October 22, 1760. Georgia state attorney general, 1795; member of Georgia state house of representatives, 1796; mayor of Savannah, Ga., 1801-02; U.S. Attorney for Georgia, 1802-04; Governor of Georgia, 1809-13, 1815-17; U.S. Indian Aagent to the Creek Nation, 1817-21; resigned from this position following charges that he was smuggling African slaves into the country. Scottish ancestry. Died in Milledgeville, Baldwin County, Ga., April 22, 1837 (age 76 years, 182 days). Interment at Memory Hill Cemetery, Milledgeville, Ga.
  Relatives: Son of John Mitchell.
  See also Wikipedia article
  Peter R. Morrissey (1859-1895) — of St. Louis, Mo. Born in St. Louis County, Mo., August 14, 1859. Democrat. Saloon keeper; arrested in December 1886 on federal charges of vote fraud; found guilty in April 1887, but released because the indictment did not specify that the ballots were for a federal office; indicted again soon after, but the charges were dropped in November; indicted for naturalization fraud in 1889, but not convicted; member of Missouri state senate 31st District, 1893-95; died in office 1895. Catholic. Irish ancestry. While in bed, he was shot twice with his own pistol, and killed, by his mistress, Maud Lewis, in her "house of ill repute", in St. Louis, Mo., May 13, 1895 (age 35 years, 272 days). After a dramatic and highly publicized trial, Maud Lewis was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to fifteen years in prison; she was pardoned by Gov. Lon Vest Stephens in January 1901. Interment at Calvary Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo.
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  David C. Kerr — U.S. Vice Consul in Birmingham, as of 1917; arrested in Washington, D.C. in May 1924, and charged with accepting bribes while vice consul at Vancouver, to issue visas to Chinese, so they could enter the U.S. illegally. Burial location unknown.
  Earl Russel Browder (1891-1973) — also known as Earl Browder — of Yonkers, Westchester County, N.Y. Born in Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kan., May 20, 1891. Communist. As a result of his opposition to U.S. participation in World War I, he was convicted in 1917 of conspiracy against the draft laws and sentenced to sixteen months in prison; imprisoned again in 1919; pardoned in 1933; candidate for U.S. Representative from New York, 1930 (6th District), 1932 (20th District), 1940 (14th District); General Secretary of the Communist Party of the U.S., 1934-44; candidate for President of the United States, 1936, 1940; arrested in 1939 for a passport violation, convicted, and sentenced to four years in prison (sentence commuted after fourteen months); expelled from the Communist Party, 1946. Died in Princeton, Mercer County, N.J., June 27, 1973 (age 82 years, 38 days). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Son of William Browder and Martha (Hankins) Browder; married 1926 to Raissa Berkman.
  Cross-reference: George E. Powers
  See also Wikipedia article
Edgar J. Lauer Edgar J. Lauer (1871-1948) — of Manhattan, New York County, N.Y. Born in New York, New York County, N.Y., November 10, 1871. Republican. Lawyer; Judge, New York City Municipal Court, 1906-33; Justice of New York Supreme Court 1st District, 1934-39; resigned 1939. In 1938, his wife pleaded guilty in Federal Court to charges that she smuggled expensive clothing and diamonds from Europe to the U.S.; she was fined and sentenced to three months in prison and fined. In 1939, the state legislature moved to investigate whether Judge Lauer had knowledge of his wife's smuggling activities; he denied this, but immediately resigned his seat. Died, in Mount Sinai Hospital, Manhattan, New York County, N.Y., November 9, 1948 (age 76 years, 365 days). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Son of William Emanuel Lauer and Cecilia (Hornthal) Lauer; married to Elma M. Kramer.
  Image source: Empire State Notables (1914)
Oliver L. North Oliver Laurence North (b. 1943) — also known as Oliver L. North; Ollie North — of Virginia. Born in San Antonio, Bexar County, Tex., October 7, 1943. Republican. Served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War; central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal of 1986; he was in charge of a secret (and illegal) government operation to sell weapons to Iran and provide the profits to the then-unrecognized Nicaraguan "contras", who were fighting a civil war against the "Sandinista" government there; convicted in 1989 on federal charges of obstructing Congress, destroying documents, and accepting an illegal gratuity; an appeals court later overturned the guilty verdict; candidate for U.S. Senator from Virginia, 1994; host of a radio talk show in 1995-2003, and is a television commentator. Member, National Rifle Association. Still living as of 2014.
  Relatives: Married, November 13, 1968, to Betsy Stuart.
  Cross-reference: Harry E. Bergold, Jr.
  See also Wikipedia article — NNDB dossier — Internet Movie Database profile
  Image source: Time Magazine, July 13, 1987
  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
"Enjoy the hospitable entertainment of a political graveyard."
Henry L. Clinton, Apollo Hall, New York City, February 3, 1872
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