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Truman Handy Newberry

Truman Handy Newberry
United States Senator
from Michigan
In office
March 4, 1919 – November 18, 1922
Preceded by William Alden Smith
Succeeded by James J. Couzens
39th United States Secretary of the Navy
In office
December 1, 1908 – March 4, 1909
Preceded by Victor H. Metcalf
Succeeded by George von L. Meyer
Personal details
Born (1864-11-05)November 5, 1864
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Died October 3, 1945(1945-10-03) (aged 80)
Grosse Pointe, Michigan, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater Sheffield Scientific School (Yale College)
Profession Politician, Industrialist
Military service
Service/branch Michigan State Naval Brigade
United States Navy
Battles/wars Spanish–American War

Truman Handy Newberry (November 5, 1864 – October 3, 1945) was a U.S. businessman and political figure. He served as the Secretary of Navy between 1908 and 1909. He was a U.S. Senator from Michigan between 1919 and 1922. He is also a descendant of the House of Beaumont and Newburgh family.


  • Biography 1
  • References 2
  • Further reading 3
  • External links 4


Newberry was born in Packard Motor Car Company. He engaged in various other manufacturing activities, including the Union Trust Company, the Union Elevator Company, and the Michigan State Telephone Company.[3]

In 1893, he joined with others to organize the Michigan State Naval Brigade, serving as landsman in 1895; lieutenant and navigator in 1897 and 1898. He was commissioned lieutenant (junior grade) in the United States Navy in May 1898 and served on the U.S.S. Yosemite during the Spanish–American War. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy 1905-1908 under President Theodore Roosevelt and acted for the ill secretary Victor H. Metcalf, who resigned November 13, 1908. Newberry was appointed Secretary of the Navy on December 1, 1908 and served until March 5, 1909.[4] He became lieutenant commander United States Navy Fleet Reserve, June 6, 1917, and was assistant to the commandant of the Third Naval District headquartered in New York City until January 9, 1919.[3]

He was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1919, until his resignation on November 18, 1922. In 1921, Newberry was tried and convicted under the Federal Corrupt Practices Act of election "irregularities".[5] The conviction was reversed by the Supreme Court in Newberry v. United States,[6] and, following an investigation, the Senate declared Newberry entitled to his seat but expressed disapproval of the sum spent in his race against automaker Henry Ford.[7] In the face of a new movement to unseat him, Newberry resigned. He was replaced in the Senate by James J. Couzens, whose candidacy received the approval of then Governor Alexander Groesbeck.[8] Thereafter, Newberry engaged in manufacturing. He died in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Detroit.


  1. ^ SI. U. Collins (1914). Successful Men of Michigan: A Compilation of Useful Biographical Sketches of Prominent Men. SI. U. Collins,. p. 115. 
  2. ^ Whitehouse, Robert Treat (1915). Michigan Judicature act of 1915 and New Jersey Chancery act of 1915: with notes. Callaghan and company. p. 89. 
  3. ^ a b "Truman H Newberry". Historic Elmwood Cemetery. Retrieved November 18, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Secretaries of the Navy From 1798 to present". US Navy. Retrieved November 18, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Truman Handy Newberry". US House of Representatives, Office of History and Preservation. Retrieved February 11, 2008. 
  6. ^ Newberry v. United States, 256 US 232 (US Supreme Court 1921). , 65 L.Ed. 913, 41 S.Ct. 469.
  7. ^ "January 12, 1922 Senator "Condemned" for Excessive Campaign Expenditures". U.S. Senate: Art & History; Historical Minute Essays. Retrieved November 18, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Tradition". The Detroit Club. 

Further reading

  • Spencer Ervin. Henry Ford vs. Truman H. Newberry: The Famous Senate Election Contest. New York, R.R. Smith, 1935. Reprint. New York: Arno Press, 1974.

External links

  • The Political Graveyard
  •  "Newberry, Truman Handy".  

Government offices
Preceded by
Charles Hial Darling
Assistant Secretary of the Navy
November 1, 1905 – November 30, 1908
Succeeded by
Herbert L. Satterlee
Preceded by
Victor H. Metcalf
United States Secretary of the Navy
December 1, 1908 – March 4, 1909
Succeeded by
George von L. Meyer
United States Senate
Preceded by
William Alden Smith
United States Senator (Class 2) from Michigan
Succeeded by
James J. Couzens
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