The Info List - Alanson B. Houghton

Alanson Bigelow Houghton (October 10, 1863 – September 15, 1941) was an American businessman, politician, and diplomat who served as a Congressman and Ambassador. He was a member of the Republican Party.


1 Early life and business career 2 Politics 3 Diplomacy 4 Death and legacy 5 See also 6 References 7 Further reading

Early life and business career[edit]

Amory Houghton
Amory Houghton
Jr. (1837–1909), his father

Alanson B. Houghton
Alanson B. Houghton
was born on October 10, 1863, in Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. His father, Amory Houghton, Jr. (1837–1909), would later be President of the Corning Glass
Corning Glass
Works, the company founded by Alanson's grandfather Amory Houghton, Sr. in 1851. In 1868, his family moved to Corning, New York. He attended the Corning Free Academy in Corning and St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. Houghton graduated from Harvard University
Harvard University
in 1886 and then pursued postgraduate courses in Europe. He attended graduate school in Göttingen, Berlin, and Paris
until 1889. Upon his return to Corning in 1889, Houghton began work for his family’s business, Corning Glass
Corning Glass
Works. He served as Vice President of the company from 1902 to 1910, and as the company’s president from 1910 to 1918. Under Houghton’s leadership, the company tripled in size to become one of the largest producers of glass products in the United States. The company manufactured 40% of incandescent light bulbs and 75% of the railway signal glass used in the U.S. Houghton’s interest in and promotion of education, particularly in western New York state, led to his being appointed a trustee of Hobart College in 1917. He was a member of the Jekyll Island Club
Jekyll Island Club
(aka The Millionaires Club) on Jekyll Island, Georgia, along with J.P. Morgan and William Rockefeller among others. Politics[edit] Houghton was a presidential elector in 1916, voting for the Republican candidates Charles Evans Hughes
Charles Evans Hughes
and Charles W. Fairbanks.[1] In 1918, Alanson B. Houghton
Alanson B. Houghton
defeated incumbent Congressman Harry H. Pratt in the Republican primary. He went on to win the general election and joined the Sixty-sixth Congress, representing New York’s 37th Congressional District. In 1920, Houghton garnered 68% of the vote to win reelection over Democrat Charles R. Durham and Socialist Francis Toomey. Houghton took office on March 4, 1919. During his two terms in the House, Houghton served on the Foreign Affairs and Ways and Means committees. Diplomacy[edit] Houghton, having studied in prewar Germany, admired German culture and understood German politics. His appointment was approved by the U.S. Senate and well received by the Weimar Republic. On February 28, 1922, Houghton resigned his House seat to accept appointment from President Warren G. Harding
Warren G. Harding
as the U.S. Ambassador to Germany. Houghton believed that world peace, European stability, and American prosperity depended upon a reconstruction Of Europe's economy and political system. He saw his role as promoting American political engagement with Europe. He overcame domestic opposition, and disinterest in Washington. He quickly realized that the central issues of the day were all entangled in economics, especially war debts owed by the Allies to the United States, reparations owed by Germany
to the Allies, worldwide inflation, and international trade and investment. Solutions, he believed, required new policies by Washington and close cooperation with Britain and Germany. He was a leading promoter of the Dawes Plan.[2] On February 24, 1925, President Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge
appointed Houghton as the U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain. Houghton assumed the post on April 6, 1925, and served until April 27, 1929. Houghton’s service in both Germany
and England gave him a unique ability to address the issue of the war reparations Germany
owed to its World War I opponents, England being one of them. Houghton laid some of the groundwork for the Dawes Plan, named after then U.S. Vice President Charles G. Dawes, who would be Houghton’s successor as Ambassador to Great Britain. In 1928, Houghton ran for the U.S. Senate
U.S. Senate
from New York against first-term incumbent Royal S. Copeland, a Democrat. Houghton lost by just over one percentage point. Death and legacy[edit] After his loss in the 1928 Senate race, Houghton returned to managing the Corning Glass
Corning Glass
Works. He was Chairman, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University. From 1941 until his death he was an original standing committee member of the Foundation for the Study of Cycles. He also served as vice president of the American Peace Society, which publishes World Affairs, the oldest U.S. journal on international relations. Houghton died at his summer home in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, on September 15, 1941. He was interred at Hope Cemetery Annex in Corning, New York. During World War II
World War II
the Liberty ship
Liberty ship
SS  Alanson B. Houghton
Alanson B. Houghton
was built in Panama City, Florida, and named in his honor.[3] Houghton's son, Amory Houghton
Amory Houghton
(1899–1981), served as the United States Ambassador to France (1957–1961) under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. His grandson, Amo Houghton, was a U.S. Congressman from New York from 1987 until 2005. See also[edit]

List of covers of Time magazine (1920s)
List of covers of Time magazine (1920s)
– 5 Apr. 1926 The Harvard Monthly


^ ELECTORS FORGET THE LAW in the New York Times
New York Times
on November 27, 1916 ^ Jeffrey J. Matthews, Alanson B. Houghton: ambassador of the new era (2004) pp 48-49. ^ Williams, Greg H. (25 July 2014). The Liberty Ships of World War II: A Record of the 2,710 Vessels and Their Builders, Operators and Namesakes, with a History of the Jeremiah O’Brien. McFarland. ISBN 1476617546. Retrieved 7 December 2017. 

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alanson B. Houghton.

Further reading[edit]

Matthews, Jeffrey J. Alanson B. Houghton: Ambassador in the New Era . Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly Resources Inc., 2004.

United States Congress. " Alanson B. Houghton
Alanson B. Houghton
(id: H000813)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.  Retrieved on 2008-02-15 Kestenbaum, Lawrence. The Political Graveyard. Harvard Business School. Leadership database.

U.S. House of Representatives

Preceded by Harry H. Pratt Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 37th congressional district 1919–1922 Succeeded by Lewis Henry

Diplomatic posts

Preceded by Ellis Loring Dresel United States Ambassador to Germany 1922–1925 Succeeded by Jacob Gould Schurman

Preceded by Frank B. Kellogg United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom 1925–1929 Succeeded by Charles G. Dawes

Party political offices

Preceded by William M. Calder Republican Nominee for U.S. Senate
U.S. Senate
from New York (Class 1) 1928 Succeeded by E. Harold Cluett

v t e

United States Ambassadors to Germany




Wheaton Donelson Hannegan Barnard Vroom Wright Judd Wright Bancroft Davis Taylor White Sargent Kasson Pendleton Phelps Runyon


Runyon Uhl White Tower Hill Leishman Gerard Dresel Houghton Schurman Sackett Dodd Wilson Kirk Morris Conant Bruce Dowling McGhee Lodge Jr. Rush Hillenbrand Stoessel Jr. Burns Burt Walters Kimmitt Holbrooke Redman Bindenagel Kornblum Coats Timken Koenig Murphy Emerson Logsdon

v t e

Ambassadors of the United States of America to the Court of St. James's

Ministers Plenipotentiary to the Court of St. James's 1785–1811

John Adams
John Adams
(1785–1788) Thomas Pinckney
Thomas Pinckney
(1792–1796) Rufus King
Rufus King
(1796–1803) James Monroe
James Monroe
(1803–1807) William Pinkney
William Pinkney
(1808–1811) Jonathan Russell
Jonathan Russell
(chargé d'affaires) (1811–1812)

Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary to the Court of St. James's 1815–1893

John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams
(1815–1817) Richard Rush
Richard Rush
(1818–1825) Rufus King
Rufus King
(1825–1826) Albert Gallatin
Albert Gallatin
(1826–1827) James Barbour
James Barbour
(1828–1829) Louis McLane
Louis McLane
(1829–1831) Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren
(1831–1832) Aaron Vail (chargé d'affaires) (1832–1836) Andrew Stevenson
Andrew Stevenson
(1836–1841) Edward Everett
Edward Everett
(1841–1845) Louis McLane
Louis McLane
(1845–1846) George Bancroft
George Bancroft
(1846–1849) Abbott Lawrence
Abbott Lawrence
(1849–1852) Joseph R. Ingersoll (1852–1853) James Buchanan
James Buchanan
(1853–1856) George M. Dallas
George M. Dallas
(1856–1861) Charles Adams Sr. (1861–1868) Reverdy Johnson
Reverdy Johnson
(1868–1869) John Lothrop Motley
John Lothrop Motley
(1869–1870) Robert C. Schenck
Robert C. Schenck
(1871–1876) Edwards Pierrepont
Edwards Pierrepont
(1876–1877) John Welsh (1877–1879) James Russell Lowell
James Russell Lowell
(1880–1885) Edward J. Phelps (1885–1889) Robert Todd Lincoln
Robert Todd Lincoln

Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Court of St. James's 1893–present

Thomas F. Bayard
Thomas F. Bayard
Sr. (1893–1897) John Hay
John Hay
(1897–1898) Joseph Choate (1899–1905) Whitelaw Reid
Whitelaw Reid
(1905–1912) Walter Page (1913-1918) John W. Davis
John W. Davis
(1918–1921) George Harvey (1921–1923) Frank B. Kellogg
Frank B. Kellogg
(1924–1925) Alanson B. Houghton
Alanson B. Houghton
(1925–1929) Charles G. Dawes
Charles G. Dawes
(1929–1931) Andrew W. Mellon
Andrew W. Mellon
(1932–1933) Robert Bingham (1933–1937) Joseph P. Kennedy (1938–1940) John G. Winant (1941–1946) W. Averell Harriman
W. Averell Harriman
(1946) Lewis W. Douglas (1947–1950) Walter S. Gifford (1950–1953) Winthrop W. Aldrich
Winthrop W. Aldrich
(1953–1957) John Hay
John Hay
Whitney (1957–1961) David K. E. Bruce (1961–1969) Walter H. Annenberg (1969–1974) Elliot L. Richardson (1975–1976) Anne Armstrong (1976–1977) Kingman Brewster Jr. (1977–1981) John J. Louis Jr. (1981–1983) Charles H. Price II
Charles H. Price II
(1983–1989) Henry E. Catto Jr. (1989–1991) Raymond G. H. Seitz (1991–1994) William J. Crowe
William J. Crowe
(1994–1997) Philip Lader
Philip Lader
(1997–2001) William Stamps Farish III
William Stamps Farish III
(2001–2004) Robert H. Tuttle
Robert H. Tuttle
(2005–2009) Louis Susman
Louis Susman
(2009–2013) Matthew Barzun
Matthew Barzun
(2013–2017) Woody Johnson
Woody Johnson
(2017– )

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 25534909 LCCN: n2003055292 ISNI: 0000 0000 8207 1208 GND: 124376460 BNF: cb15114095q (data) US Congress: H000813 SN