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Martin Charles Ansorge (January 1, 1882 – February 4, 1967) was a United States Representative from New York.[1]

Biography

The son of Mark Perry Ansorge and Jennie Bach Ansorge, Martin Ansorge was born into a Jewish household in Corning, Steuben County, New York on January 1, 1882.[2]

He attended the public schools and the College of the City of New York. He graduated from Columbia College of Columbia University in 1903 and Columbia Law School in 1906. He was admitted to the bar in 1906 and commenced practice in Manhattan, New York City.

Start of political career

Ansorge was the unsuccessful Republican candidate for election to Congress in 1912, 1914, and 1916. In his bid for the 21st District Congressional Seat in 1916, Ansorge's campaign slogan was "Feed America First", advocating the necessity of an embargo upon shipment abroad of foodstuffs needed for the consumption of American people, taking a stand on international trade negotiations and import tariffs post World War I.[3] He declined the Republican nomination for Congress in 1918.

World War I

During the First World War Ansorge enlisted as a private in the United States Army.[4] He was assigned to the Motor Transport Corps; Ansorge was stationed at Camp Meigs in what is now the Brentwood neighborhood of Washington, D.C., and intended to serve in France.[5] The armistice took place before he left the country, and he was honorably discharged at the end of the war.[5]

Continued political career

He was the first chairman of the Triborough Bridge Committee,[6] a position he held from 1918 to 1921.

Ansorge was elected as a Republican to the 67th United States Congress (March 4, 1921 – March 3, 1923). He lost reelection to the 68th United States Congress in 1922 by the margin of 345 votes, and unsuccessfully contested the victory of Royal H. Weller. In the contest proceedings, he won dismissal of an injunction prevent the opening of the ballot boxes;[7] the subsequent recount reduced Weller's margin of victory, but Weller won the seat by 10 votes.[8]

As a Congressman, Ansorge was influential in the passing of the first-ever anti-lynching legislation.[9] His writing of legislation on the matter was eventually included into the ultimately successful Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill, which prohibited lynching in America. Shortly after Ansorge's much heralded speech on the floor of Congress in support of the controversial Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill, Butler wrote to Ansorge "You are making a fine and highly patriotic record in the House, and your friends are proud of you". As founder of the Young Republicans at Columbia University, Ansorge was a protoge, close friend, and political ally of then Columbia University President Nicholas Murray Butler. The two remained very close for years, and Ansorge was staff to Butler at the Republican Convention. Ansorge spoke on behalf of Butler at a number of political rallies in New York.

Ansorge was co-author of the original Port Authority Bill, which he shepherded successfully through Congress.[6] He was an active leader in efforts to develop "the greatest port in the world" connecting New York and New Jersey. He presented the bill to President Calvin Coolidge to sign into law. The pen stayed in the Ansorge family for some years until it was given to the City Museum of New York.

In 1922, Ansorge nominated the first African-American to the U.S. Naval Academy.[10]

Later career

Ansorge was an unsuccessful candidate for judge of the court of general sessions of New York City in 1924 and unsuccessful candidate for justice of the supreme court of New York in 1927 and in 1928.

The New York Times made mention of Ansorge as a candidate for Mayor of New York City in 1949.[11]

Ansorge continued to practice law in New York City, was a member of the board of directors of United Air Lines from 1934 to 1961. He represented Henry Ford in the Aaron Sapiro libel lawsuit, which resulted in Ford's apologies and agreement to pay court costs.[6][12]

Death and burial

Ansorge died at his apartment in the Ansonia Hotel at 74th Street and Broadway in Manhattan, New York City on February 4, 1967.[1] He was interred in Temple Israel Cemetery, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

References

  1. ^ a b "Martin Ansorge, Was In Congress. Co-author Of Bill To Create Port Authority Is Dead". New York Times. February 6, 1967. 
  2. ^ Stone, Kurt F. (2011). The Jews of Capitol Hill: A Compendium of Jewish Congressional Members. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, Inc. pp. 112–113. ISBN 978-0-8108-5731-5. 
  3. ^ "Mr. Ansorge's Slogan. - View Article - NYTimes.com" (pdf). The New York Times. November 14, 1916. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  4. ^ Who's Who in the Nation's Capital, 1921-22. Washington, DC: Consolidated Publishing Company. 1921. pp. 10–11. 
  5. ^ a b Who's Who in the Nation's Capital, 1921-22.
  6. ^ a b c Truman, Harry S.; William R. Denslow (2004). 10,000 Famous Freemasons from K to Z Part Two (Kessinger Publishing's Rare Reprints). Kessinger Publishing, LLC. p. 27. ISBN 1-4179-7579-2. 
  7. ^ "ANSORGE WINS POINT IN CONGRESS FIGHT - Judge Learned Hand Dismisses Injunction Against Opening Ballot Boxes - NYTimes.com". The New York Times. February 28, 1923. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  8. ^ "Election Contests, 1917–31 - www.gpo.gov" (pdf). Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  9. ^ Jeffery A. Jenkins; Justin Peck; Vesla M. Weaver (14 May 2009). "Between Reconstructions: Congressional Action on Civil Rights, 1891-1940" (pdf). Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  10. ^ "Negro Appointed to Naval Academy". New York Times. March 24, 1922. 
  11. ^ "ANSORGE UP FOR MAYOR - Republican Announces He Will Seek Nomination - Article - NYTimes.com". The New York Times. March 16, 1949. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  12. ^ Wayne State University Press; Bryan, Ford R. (1997). Beyond the Model T: the other ventures of Henry Ford. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. p. 104. ISBN 0-8143-2682-X.  CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)