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

Politicians in Trouble: V

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  Eugene F. Vacheron — of Ozone Park, Queens, Queens County, N.Y. Lawyer; member of New York state assembly, 1894-95, 1901 (Queens County 3rd District 1894-95, Queens County 2nd District 1901); resigned 1895; charged with bribery in 1895; tried and acquitted, but resigned from the Assembly; convicted of grand larceny, February 28, 1912. Burial location unknown.
  Clement Laird Vallandigham (1820-1871) — also known as Clement L. Vallandigham — of Ohio. Born in New Lisbon (now Lisbon), Columbiana County, Ohio, July 29, 1820. Democrat. Lawyer; member of Ohio state house of representatives, 1845-46; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1856, 1864, 1868; U.S. Representative from Ohio 3rd District, 1858-63; defeated, 1852, 1854, 1862; candidate for Governor of Ohio, 1863. Leader of the pro-Southern "Copperheads" during the Civil War; arrested by the Union military authorities in 1863 for treasonable utterances, and banished to the Confederate States; returned to the North by way of Canada. Accidentally shot himself, while practicing a courtroom demonstration he planned as part of a defense in a murder trial (not actually in court at the time, contrary to legend), and died of his wound the next day, in the Lebanon House hotel, Lebanon, Warren County, Ohio, June 17, 1871 (age 50 years, 323 days). Interment at Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio.
  Relatives: Uncle of John A. McMahon (1833-1923).
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article — OurCampaigns candidate detail
John Van_Buren John Van Buren (1810-1866) — also known as "Prince John" — of Albany, Albany County, N.Y. Born in Hudson, Columbia County, N.Y., February 10, 1810. Lawyer; New York state attorney general, 1845-47; appointed 1845; defeated, 1847, 1865; in September 1845, during a trial, he and opposing counsel Ambrose L. Jordan came to blows in the courtroom; both were sentenced to 24 hours solitary confinement in jail; his resignation as Attorney General was refused by the governor. Died, from exposure, on board the ship Scotia, en route from Liverpool to New York, in the North Atlantic Ocean, October 13, 1866 (age 56 years, 245 days). Interment at Albany Rural Cemetery, Menands, N.Y.
  Relatives: Son of Martin Van Buren and Hannah (Hoes) Van Buren; married, June 22, 1841, to Elizabeth Vanderpoel (1810-1844); nephew of James Isaac Van Alen; second cousin once removed of Barent Van Buren; second cousin thrice removed of Dirck Ten Broeck (1686-1751) and Cornelis Cuyler; third cousin once removed of Thomas Brodhead Van Buren; third cousin twice removed of Harold Sheffield Van Buren; fourth cousin once removed of James Livingston.
  Political family: Livingston-Schuyler family of New York (subset of the Three Thousand Related Politicians).
  See also Wikipedia article
  Image source: Library of Congress
  Washington Irving Vanderpoel (born c.1880) — also known as W. Irving Vanderpoel — of Brooklyn, Kings County, N.Y.; Freeport, Nassau County, Long Island, N.Y. Born in New York, about 1880. Democrat. Newspaper reporter; insurance broker; village president of Freeport, New York, 1925-26; candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 1st District, 1926. Dutch ancestry. Indicted in December 1936, along with his brother Edwin and others, by a federal grand jury, over his involvement in a stock swindle; found not guilty, but his brother was convicted. Burial location unknown.
  Presumably named for: Washington Irving
  Relatives: Son of Edwin Colburn Vanderpoel (1851-1932).
  Eccles G. Van Riper (b. 1841) — of Evansville, Vanderburgh County, Ind. Born in New York, New York County, N.Y., October 4, 1841. Democrat. Mayor of Evansville, Ind., 1870. In 1862, while traveling on business in Arkansas, was captured by the Confederate Army and charged with being a spy; tried before a military court in Little Rock and sentenced to death; reprieved by the arrival of a new military commander, but imprisoned until the end of the war. Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Son-in-law of James Garrard Jones (1814-1872).
  William Scott Vare (1867-1934) — also known as William S. Vare — of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pa. Born in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pa., December 24, 1867. Republican. Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1908, 1912, 1916, 1920, 1924, 1928 (member, Credentials Committee; speaker), 1932; candidate for mayor of Philadelphia, Pa., 1911; U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania 1st District, 1912-23, 1923-27; member of Pennsylvania state senate 1st District, 1923; U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, 1927-29. Political boss of Philadelphia in the 1920's; unseated as U.S. Senator in 1929 over charges of corruption and fraud in his election. Died in Atlantic City, Atlantic County, N.J., August 7, 1934 (age 66 years, 226 days). Interment at West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, Pa.
  Relatives: Son of Augustus Vare and Abigail (Stites) Vare; brother of George Augustus Vare (1859-1908) and Edwin H. Vare; married, July 29, 1897, to Ida Morris; fourth cousin of Fletcher Wilbur Stites; fourth cousin once removed of Christopher Smith Hand.
  Political family: Vare-Stites family of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — NNDB dossier — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Irving Charles Velson (1913-1976) — also known as Irving C. Velson; Irving Charles Shavelson; Charles Wilson; "Nick"; "Shavey" — of Brooklyn, Kings County, N.Y.; San Francisco, Calif. Born in New York City (unknown county), N.Y., June 3, 1913. Machinist; boilermaker; shipfitter; president, Local 13, Shipbuilders Union; American Labor candidate for New York state senate 11th District, 1938; served in the U.S. Navy during World War II; in 1951 and 1953, he was brought to testify before Congressional committees about his Communist and Soviet activities, including efforts to infiltrate the U.S. military with Soviet spies; he repeatedly refused to answer questions, invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination; as a result, he was "barred for life" by the Shipbuilders' union; later, served as international representative for the (West Coast) International Longshoreman's and Warehousemen's Union. Venona Project documents (decrypted Soviet messages from the World War II era), released in 1995, show that he was an agent for Soviet military intelligence under the code name "Nick". Died in San Francisco, Calif., February 18, 1976 (age 62 years, 260 days). Cremated; ashes scattered in San Francisco Bay.
  Relatives: Son of Clara Lemlich Shavelson and Joseph 'Joe' Shavelson (1889-1951); married, January 26, 1937, to Ruth Young Velson (1916-?).
  Political family: Velson-Shavelson family of Brooklyn, New York.
  See also Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Joseph E. Venuti (born c.1915) — of Tuckahoe, Westchester County, N.Y. Born about 1915. Democrat. Plumber; candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 27th District, 1944. Italian ancestry. He and two others were indicted in July 1951, and charged with conspiring to violate gambling laws; the trial was delayed while he was hospitalized with a stomach ailment; arrested in his hospital bed and transferred to jail; the other two co-defendants were tried separately and convicted; later, the convictions were reversed, and the indictment of Mr. Venuti was dismissed. Presumed deceased. Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Son of Joseph Venuti and Pauline Venuti.
  Cross-reference: Milton A. Gibbons
  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 1939 to Lucile Eykens (1914-1979); married, October 10, 1987, to Muriel E. Rose.
  Cross-reference: Nathaniel P. Davis
  William W. Voisine (1897-1959) — also known as Wilfred William Voisine — of Ecorse, Wayne County, Mich. Born in Michigan, November 20, 1897. Steel executive; village president of Ecorse, Michigan, 1936-37; members of a steelworker terrorist group, the Black Legion, repeatedly attempted to kill him in 1936; Jesse Pettijohn and Lawrence Madden were later convicted of conspiracy to commit murder; mayor of Ecorse, Mich., 1948-49, 1954-57. French Canadian ancestry. Convicted in April, 1950, of falsely testifying to a Congressional committee in 1948 that he had received only the regular price for steel; sentenced to two years in federal prison. In October, 1956, a warrant was issued for his arrest, along with several members of the city council, for knowingly permitting illegal gambling in Ecorse, in return for bribes and gratuities; Gov. G. Mennen Williams initiated removal proceedings against the officials. Died in 1959 (age about 61 years). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Son of Abel Voisine (1859-1930) and Eugenia Jennie (Blais) Voisine (1870-1909); married, August 1, 1918, to Helen Pearl O'Brien.
  Charles Henry Voorhis (1833-1896) — also known as Charles H. Voorhis — of New Jersey. Born in Spring Valley (now Paramus), Bergen County, N.J., March 13, 1833. Republican. Lawyer; banker; delegate to Republican National Convention from New Jersey, 1864; U.S. Representative from New Jersey 5th District, 1879-81. Indicted in 1881 for bank fraud over his actions as president of two banks, which later became insolvent; tried and found not guilty. Fearing oncoming total blindness, he died from a self-inflicted gunshot, in his office at the Davidson Building, Jersey City, Hudson County, N.J., April 15, 1896 (age 63 years, 33 days). Original interment at Bayview - New York Bay Cemetery, Jersey City, N.J.; reinterment at Hackensack Cemetery, Hackensack, N.J.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
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Henry L. Clinton, Apollo Hall, New York City, February 3, 1872
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