Although the women of the United States are confined within the narrow circle of domestic life, and their situation is, in some respects, one of extreme dependence, I have nowhere seen woman occupying a loftier position; and if I were asked... in which I have spoken of so many important things done by Americans, to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of that people ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply, To the superiority of their women.

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Senator Brandegee Suicide or Cold Case?

The year is 1924 and The Evening Tribune of Rhode Island is reporting that Senator Brandegee of Connecticut has committed suicide by gas in his upstairs bathroom.

The suicide note read:

October 13, 1924

Dear George:

I enclose $100 dollars for you and $100 dollars for Emma and Rufus.

I am up in the bathroom on the top floor near 17th Street. The top floor. The one above the room I sleep on. 

If you or Lundy come up there beware of the gas.


Frank B. Brandegee

George was his chauffeur and Emma and Rufus his servants. The red portion of the note was written in red crayon, which is odd. I guess no one wanted to confuse George. According to the article, he went out riding around with his secretary W. Lundy the day before who said he appeared to be in a great mood. But that doesn't always mean anything in these cases. He was heard moving around upstairs later that day, but the next morning, they found that his bed had not been slept on, but contained the suicide note. He was discovered in the bathroom with his head on a folded up bath rug and holding the gas tube, which was still attached to the open valve. He as fully dressed. The doctors arrived on the scene at 10 am and said he appeared to be dead for about 5 or 6 hours. He didn't have any family, thank goodness.

Senator Frank Brandegee was a great ally of Henry Cabot Lodge as was a big, big opponent of the League of Nations. The official line of why this man would have killed himself was that he was having financial troubles. This could very well have been true, but it seems odd that the RNC Secretary Weeks would issue a statement saying:
"I exceedingly regret to learn that Senator Frank B Brandegee has committed suicide. I have been entirely familiar with his personal business affairs and I know that the reason for him taking this rash step is due to personal financial troubles resulting from investments in real estate."

A headline the Baltimore Sun said:
Claims Filed Against Estate Of Connecticut Senator Who Committed Suicide LIABILITIES ARE $150,000 Secretary Mellon And Several Colleagues In Upper House Among Creditors

Several more newspaper articles indicate he was borrowing a lot of money. My thoughts go immediately to blackmail. Secretary Mellon is Andrew Mellon, who is the great uncle of Richard Schaife, who is a big patron to Mark Levin's Landmark Legal Foundation and funds many things you are probably not aware of.

Anyhow, other newspaper clippings reported that a mysterious woman came forth as a witness and delivered a letter to Senator Coleman Blease of South Carolina, who handed it over to a Senate committee investigating the DC police for incompetence. The letter indicated that there was knowledge that Senator Brandegee had been murdered.  

I can't seem to find that subcommittee to see what happened, I'm guessing not much.

It would seem that Frank Brandegee gave a speech on William McKinley, who you might remember met with an untimely end also.

He was the son of Augustus Brandegee, who was a US Representative. Both father and son were Skull and Bones for those of you looking out for that kind of thing. 

Frank Brandegee was opposed to the Versailles Treaty (which many have claimed laid a clear path for World War 2), women's suffrage, prohibition, child labor laws, and the League of Nations. This garnered him enough enemies that elements of both parties joined forces to try to unseat him.  Pretty much everything the progressives were for, he was against. 

What, did you think I was going to solve a 90 year old mystery in a blog post at the end of a long day? I'm not superwoman, ya know.


  1. OK, yeah. I thought you were gonna solve it. Maybe next time?

    1. Man I was afraid I was going to disappoint someone with the intriguing headline. Yeah, maybe next time, I'll have it solved.

  2. No happy ending R? You dissapoint me!!


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