Theodoric Romeyn Westbrook
T. R. Westbrook, New York Congressman and Judge
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from New York's 11th district
March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1855
|Preceded by||Josiah Sutherland|
|Succeeded by||Rufus H. King|
|Justice of the New York Supreme Court|
|Succeeded by||Alton B. Parker|
|Born||November 20, 1821|
Fishkill, New York, United States
|Died||October 6, 1885 (aged 63)|
Troy, New York, United States
|Resting place||Wiltwyck Cemetery, Kingston, New York, United States|
|Alma mater||Rutgers College|
Born in Fishkill, New York on November 20, 1821 (some sources indicate 1822), Westbrook attended the local schools and graduated from Rutgers College in 1838. He studied law with Abraham B. Hasbrouck and Marius Schoonmaker, was admitted to the bar in 1843, and commenced practice in Kingston, New York. Among the students who learned the law in Westbrook's office was Stephen Gardner Champlin.
Westbrook is most notable as the center of a scandal in which he was exposed for irregularities in the carrying out of his official duties. Having told financier Jay Gould that he would go to the limits of his authority to aid Gould's attempted takeover of the Manhattan Elevated Railway Company, Westbrook went so far as to conduct judicial proceedings in Gould's office.
Gould was found to have used insider information and rulings from corrupt state officials to drive down the price of the company's stock, forcing it into bankruptcy and cheating shareholders out of their stock's value when he acquired the company in a subsequent court proceeding administered by Westbrook. At the urging of Assemblyman Theodore Roosevelt, in 1882 their relationship was investigated by a special committee of the New York State Assembly, but members of the committee quashed the results of the inquiry (accused of accepting bribes to do so), and Westbrook continued to serve on the bench.
- "Found Dead in His Room: Judge T. R. Westbrook Stricken with Heart Disease" (PDF). New York Times. New York, NY. October 7, 1885.
- Sylvester, Nathaniel Bartlett (1880). History of Ulster County, New York. Philadelphia, PA: Everts & Peck. p. 112.
- Plank, Will (1972). Banners and Bugles: A Record of Ulster County, New York and the Mid-Hudson Region in the Civil War. Marlborough, NY: Centennial Press. p. 104.
- Rutgers College (1916). Catalogue of the Officers and Alumni of Rutgers College. Trenton, NJ: State Gazette Publishing Co. pp. 357, 397.
- "Mornings on Horseback", David McCullough pgs. 262-265
- "Summary of the Week's News: Death notice, Theodoric R. Westbrook". The Nation. New York, NY. October 8, 1885. p. 292.
- Spencer, Thomas E. (1998). Where They're Buried. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co. p. 256. ISBN 978-0-8063-4823-0.
- "Judge Westbrook's Funeral" (PDF). New York Times. New York, NY. October 10, 1885.
- Ulster County Board of Supervisors (1910). Proceedings of the Ulster County Legislature. Kingston, NY: Kingston Freeman Printers. p. 279.
- United States Congress. "Theodoric R. Westbrook (id: W000307)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Theodoric R. Westbrook at Find a Grave
|U.S. House of Representatives|
|Preceded by |
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives |
from New York's 11th congressional district
March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1855
Rufus H. King
This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.