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

Politicians in Trouble or Disgrace: Spying
Spying and Espionage

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in chronological order

  John Harrison Surratt Jr. (1844-1916) — also known as John H. Surratt, Jr. — of Surrattsville (now Clinton), Prince George's County, Md. Born in Washington, D.C., April 13, 1844. Postmaster at Surrattsville, Md., 1862-63; dismissed as postmaster in 1863 for alleged disloyalty to the Union; became a Confederate courier and spy; he and others attempted to kidnap President Abraham Lincoln; later, the plot to kill the President and other government officials was formulated at his mother's boarding house in Washington; he denied involvement in the assassination, but fled overseas; he was arrested in Alexandria, Egypt, and sent back to the U.S.; tried in a Maryland court in 1867 for his alleged involvement in the murder plot, but the jury couldn't reach a verdict, and a mistrial was declared; treasurer of a steamship company. Died, from pneumonia, in Baltimore, Md., April 21, 1916 (age 72 years, 8 days). Interment at New Cathedral Cemetery, Baltimore, Md.
  Relatives: Son of John Harrison Surratt and Mary (Jenkins) Surratt; married 1872 to Mary Victorine Hunter.
  See also Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
John L. Waller John Lewis Waller (1850-1907) — also known as John L. Waller — of Topeka, Shawnee County, Kan.; Wyandotte (now part of Kansas City), Wyandotte County, Kan.; Yonkers, Westchester County, N.Y. Born in slavery in New Madrid County, Mo., January 12, 1850. Republican. Barber; lawyer; candidate for Presidential Elector for Kansas; U.S. Consul in Tamatave, 1891-93; in March 1895, during France's military takeover of Madagascar from the Hova monarchy, he was arrested by French forces and tried in a French military court, purportedly for the offense of corresponding with (or spying for) the Hovas, but more likely because the Queen of the Hovas had granted him 2.5 square miles, rich with rubber and mahogany trees; sentenced to twenty years in a French prison; his case became an international cause celebre, and the U.S. government protested his imprisonment; ultimately pardoned in February 1896 by French president Félix Faure, and freed after ten months in prison, in exchange for U.S. acquiesance to French rule over Madagascar; served in the U.S. Army during the Spanish-American War; newspaper editor. Died, from pneumonia, in Yonkers, Westchester County, N.Y., October 13, 1907 (age 57 years, 274 days). Interment at Oakland Cemetery, Yonkers, N.Y.
  Relatives: Son of Anthony Waller and Maria (Nicholas) Waller.
  See also Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Image source: New York World, March 24, 1895
  Lafayette Young (1848-1926) — of Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa. Born in Monroe County, Iowa, May 10, 1848. Republican. Newspaper editor and publisher; member of Iowa state legislature, 1890; delegate to Republican National Convention from Iowa, 1900, 1908; U.S. Senator from Iowa, 1910-11; in May 1915, while working as a war correspondent for a Des Moines newspaper, he was arrested in Innsbruck, Austria, on suspicion of espionage; released a few hours later. Died in Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa, November 15, 1926 (age 78 years, 189 days). Interment at Woodland Cemetery, Des Moines, Iowa.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Samuel Dickstein (1885-1954) — also known as "Crook" — of Manhattan, New York County, N.Y. Born near Vilna, Lithuania, February 5, 1885. Democrat. Lawyer; member of New York state assembly from New York County 4th District, 1919-22; U.S. Representative from New York, 1923-45 (12th District 1923-45, 19th District 1945); Justice of New York Supreme Court 1st District, 1945-53. Jewish. Member, Freemasons; Shriners; B'nai B'rith; Knights of Pythias; Elks; American Bar Association; Veterans of Foreign Wars. According to old Russian records found in the mid-1990s, he was a paid agent of the Soviet intelligence service while in Congress, and received some $12,000 in 1937-40 under the Soviet code-name "Crook". Died, in Beth Israel Hospital, Manhattan, New York County, N.Y., April 22, 1954 (age 69 years, 76 days). Interment at Union Field Cemetery, Ridgewood, Queens, N.Y.
  Relatives: Son of Rabbi Israel Dickstein and Slata B. (Gordon) Dickstein.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Robert Alexander Vogeler (1911-1992) — also known as Robert A. Vogeler — of Bedford, Westchester County, N.Y.; Cos Cob, Greenwich, Fairfield County, Conn.; Mt. Kisco, Westchester County, N.Y.; Horseheads, Chemung County, N.Y. Born in Jackson Heights, Queens, Queens County, N.Y., September 6, 1911. Republican. Vice-president, International Telephone and Telegraph; arrested by the Hungarian Communist government in 1949, tortured, tried and convicted of espionage; released in 1951; honored guest, Republican National Convention, 1952. Episcopalian. German and French ancestry. Died in Horseheads, Chemung County, N.Y., April 22, 1992 (age 80 years, 229 days). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Son of Willy R. Vogeler and Marie J. (Besse) Vogeler; married, October 10, 1987, to Muriel E. Rose; married 1939 to Lucile Eykens.
  Cross-reference: Nathaniel P. Davis
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