Russell Sage

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Russell Sage
Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage (1828-1918)

Russell Sage (born August 4, 1816 in Oneida County , New York , †  July 22, 1906 in Lawrence , Long Island , New York) was an American businessman and politician . Between 1853 and 1857 he represented the state of New York in the US House of Representatives .


In 1818 Russell Sage came to Durhamville with his parents , where he attended public schools. Then he worked in Troy in trade. Politically, he joined the Whig Party . After its dissolution in the mid-1850s, he became a member of the short-lived Opposition Party . Between 1844 and 1851 he was a chamberlain in Rensselaer County . At the same time he sat on Troy City Council from 1845 to 1848. In June 1848 he took part as a delegate at the Whigs federal party conference in Philadelphia .

In the congressional election of 1852 Sage was elected to the United States House of Representatives in Washington, DC in the 13th  constituency of New York , where he succeeded John L. Schoolcraft on March 4, 1853 . After being re-elected as a candidate for the opposition party , he was able to complete two terms in Congress until March 3, 1857 . These were shaped by the events leading up to the civil war . In Congress, Sage was a member of the Committee on Ways and Means . He was the first MP to propose that the government acquire the Mount Vernon plantation owned by former President George Washington . In 1856 he renounced another congressional candidacy.

In 1863 Russell Sage moved to New York City, where he embarked on a successful career as a financial broker and in the railroad business. He bought shares in several railway companies and also became president and / or director of several of these companies; including the Wabash Railway , the Missouri Pacific Railroad , the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad and the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad . In this area he later worked closely with Jay Gould . Sage also became active in other industries such as the telegraph business. In these activities he managed to acquire considerable wealth. In 1891 he was bombed by a dissatisfied customer, in which the assassin died and another person named William Laidlaw was seriously injured. The latter later sued Russell for damages for allegedly using him as a protective shield. He was initially awarded $ 43,000 in damages. The verdict was later revoked. In the end, Sage didn't pay a penny. This earned him bitter public criticism given his wealth.

Russell Sage died on July 22, 1906 in Lawrence, Long Island and was buried in Troy. His widow, suffragette Olivia Sage , used her husband's fortune to set up the Russell Sage Foundation in 1907 and Russell Sage College for Girls in 1916 . She also sponsored the Emma Willard School and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute .

Web links

Commons : Russell Sage  - collection of images, videos and audio files


predecessor Office successor
John L. Schoolcraft United States House Representative for New York (13th constituency)
March 4, 1853 - March 3, 1857
Abram B. Olin