Michael F. Farley

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Michael F. Farley

Michael Francis Farley (March 1, 1863 – October 8, 1921) was a U.S. Representative from New York from 1915 to 1917.


Farley was born in Birr, County Offaly, Ireland on March 1, 1863. He immigrated to the United States in 1881, and lived in Brooklyn and New York City. Farley became the owner and operator of a tavern on West 22nd Street in New York City, and was later president of the Wine and Liquor Dealers Association of New York County and Manhattan's Central Association of Liquor Dealers.

He was elected to the 64th United States Congress as a Democrat, and served from March 4, 1915 to March 3, 1917. Farley was defeated for reelection in 1916 by Fiorello H. La Guardia.

In Congress Farley was a proponent of the 1916 Gore-McLemore Resolution. This resolution followed Germany's announcement that it would sink armed enemy merchant ships without warning, and was intended to prevent the United States from being drawn into World War I. As introduced, the Gore-McLemore Resolution asked American citizens not to travel on the armed vessels of any belligerent, and asked for the Secretary of State to refuse to issue passports to Americans intending to travel on such ships. President Woodrow Wilson opposed the resolution, arguing that travel restrictions were an infringement on the rights of individual Americans, and it was tabled by both the House and Senate.[1][2]

Death and burial[edit]

Farley died as the result of exposure to anthrax contracted from his shaving brush. Upon becoming ill he sought treatment at a hospital and received anti-anthrax serum, but the treatment was unsuccessful.[3] His death publicized the fact that New York public health officials had been waging a campaign to prevent the importation of infected hides and animal hair products. These products, including shaving brushes and toothbrushes, caused 11 deaths in the New York area.[4]

Farley was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Queens, New York.


  1. ^ United States House of Representatives, History, Art and Archives, The Curious Death of Former New York Congressman Michael Farley from Anthrax, October 8, 1921, retrieved June 28, 2014
  2. ^ Facts on File, Gore-McLemore Resolution, retrieved June 28, 2014
  3. ^ "M.F. Farley Killed By Anthrax Germ On Shaving Brush" (PDF). The New York Times. October 9, 1921. Retrieved December 9, 2010.
  4. ^ Medical Record, Anthrax in New York, October 22, 1921, page 728

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jefferson M. Levy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 14th congressional district

March 4, 1915 – March 3, 1917
Succeeded by
Fiorello H. La Guardia