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Martin I. Townsend

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Martin I. Townsend
Martin I. Townsend.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 17th district
In office
March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1879
Preceded byRobert S. Hale
Succeeded byWalter A. Wood
United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York
In office
Preceded byRichard Crowley
Succeeded byDaniel N. Lockwood
Personal details
Martin Ingham Townsend

February 6, 1810
Hancock, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedMarch 8, 1903(1903-03-08) (aged 93)
Troy, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Louisa B. Kellogg
(m. 1836; died 1890)
RelationsHenry Bradford Nason (son-in-law)
ChildrenFrances Kellogg Townsend
Alma materWilliams College
OccupationLawyer, politician

Martin Ingham Townsend (February 6, 1810 – March 8, 1903) was an American lawyer and politician from New York.[1]

Early life

Townsend was born on February 6, 1810 in Hancock, Massachusetts.[2] He was one of four children born to Nathaniel Townsend and Cynthia (née Marsh) Townsend.[3]

He moved with his parents to Williamstown, Massachusetts in 1816. He attended the common schools, and graduated from Williams College in 1833.[1]


After his graduation from Williams, he studied law with David Dudley Field in Albany, and then moved to Troy to become a clerk in the law office his brother, Rufus M. Townsend.[3] He was admitted to the bar the following year in 1836, and commenced practice as a partner with his brother,[1] later known as the firms of Townsends & Browne, when Irving Browne joined, then Townsends & Roche when W.J. Roche joined, Townsend & Roche upon the retirement of his brother, and Townsend, Roche & Nason.[3]

He was District Attorney of Rensselaer County from 1842 to 1845. He was a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1867. In 1869, he ran on the Republican ticket for New York State Attorney General, but was defeated by the incumbent Democrat Marshall B. Champlain. He was a Regent of the University of the State of New York from 1873 to 1903.[1][4]

Townsend was elected as a Republican to the 44th and 45th United States Congresses, and served from March 4, 1875 to March 3, 1879. He was United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York from 1879 to 1887. He retired from legal practice in 1901.[1]

Townsend was affectionately called the "Gladstone of Troy" after William Ewart Gladstone, the British Prime Minister.[5] He reportedly did not appreciate the nickname however due to Gladstone's support of the South during the U.S. Civil War.[5]

Personal life

In 1836, Townsend was married to Louisa Bacon Kellogg (1812–1890),[6] a student at the Emma Willard School and the daughter of Oren Kellogg, Esq.[3] Together, they were the parents of a daughter:[7]

Townsend became gravely ill in December 1891,[10] but recovered and lived for 12 more years. He died at his home in Troy, New York of bronchial pneumonia[3] on March 8, 1903.[1] He was buried at the Oakwood Cemetery in Troy.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "TOWNSEND, Martin Ingham - Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 13 April 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Leonard, John William; Marquis, Albert Nelson (1901). Who's who in America. Marquis Who's Who. p. 1147. Retrieved 13 April 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b c d e Albany Law Journal. Weed, Parsons & Company. 1901. p. 87. Retrieved 13 April 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "The Police Justices Bill Changed and Passed Martin I. Townsend for Regent". The New York Times. 17 April 1873. Retrieved 13 April 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ a b "NOT A TROY GLADSTONE.; The Venerable Martin I. Townsend Resented the Term". The New York Times. 23 May 1898. Retrieved 13 April 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ a b Hopkins, Timothy (1903). The Kelloggs in the Old World and the New. Sunset Press and photo engraving Company. p. 1471. Retrieved 13 April 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ a b Fairbanks, Mary J. Mason (1898). Emma Willard and Her Pupils: Or, Fifty Years of Troy Female Seminary, 1822-1872. Mrs. R. Sage. p. 194. Retrieved 13 April 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Henry B. Nason collection, 1842-1895". Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Retrieved 13 April 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1887). Biographical Record of the Officers and Graduates of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1824-1886. W.H. Young. p. 150. Retrieved 13 April 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Martin I. Townsend Dying". The New York Times. 28 December 1891. Retrieved 13 April 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert S. Hale
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 17th congressional district

Succeeded by
Walter A. Wood
This page was last edited on 14 December 2020, at 22:34
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