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Edwin Denby (February 18, 1870 – February 8, 1929) was an American lawyer and politician who served as Secretary of the Navy in the administrations of Warren G. Harding
Warren G. Harding
and Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge
from 1921 to 1924. He also played a notable role in the infamous Teapot Dome scandal which took place during the Harding presidency. He was the son of Charles Harvey Denby, grandson of Graham N. Fitch, brother of Charles Denby, Jr., and uncle of dance critic Edwin Orr Denby.

Contents

1 Early life and education 2 Political and military career

2.1 Teapot Dome
Teapot Dome
scandal

3 Death 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

Early life and education[edit] Denby was born in Evansville, Indiana, where he attended the public schools. In 1885, his father, Charles Harvey Denby, was appointed United States minister at Peking, China, by President Grover Cleveland, and Edwin accompanied him. He worked in the maritime customs service from 1887 to 1894. He then returned to the United States and graduated from law school at the University of Michigan
University of Michigan
in 1896. While attending the University of Michigan, Denby played on the 1895 Michigan Wolverines
Michigan Wolverines
football team. He was subsequently admitted to the bar and began practicing as a lawyer in Detroit. Political and military career[edit] He was a member of the Michigan House of Representatives
Michigan House of Representatives
in 1903. In 1904, Denby was elected as a Republican from Michigan's 1st congressional district to the 59th, 60th and 61st Congresses, serving from March 4, 1905, to March 3, 1911. Denby served as chairman of the United States House Committee on Naval Affairs. He was defeated in 1910 general election by Democrat Frank E. Doremus and resumed his law practice in Detroit. He served as president of the Detroit Board of Commerce in 1916, and in 1917 enlisted as a private in the United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
when the U.S. entered World War I. He was discharged in 1919 with the rank of major. When Warren G. Harding
Warren G. Harding
became President in March 1921, he appointed Denby Secretary of the Navy. During the crisis of mail robberies in 1921, Denby issued orders that Marines should be put in mail trucks and rail cars as protectors of the U.S. Mails.[1] In his stirring order "To the Men of the Mail Guard", Denby impressed upon his former service the importance of the high duty entrusted to them: "If two Marines are covered by a robber, neither must put up his hands, but both must immediately go for their guns. One may die, but the other will get the robber, and the mail will get through. When our Corps goes in as guards over the mail, that mail must be delivered, or there must be a Marine dead at the post of duty. There can be no compromise ..." Within days, the robberies stopped, and there was not a single delivery of the mails disrupted while Marines stood the watch. Teapot Dome
Teapot Dome
scandal[edit] Main article: Teapot Dome
Teapot Dome
scandal Shortly afterwards, Denby got Harding's approval to transfer control of the naval oil reserves at Teapot Dome, Wyoming, and Elk Hills, California, from the Department of the Navy to the Department of the Interior, headed by Albert B. Fall. Fall proceeded to lease these oil fields to friends who were heads of oil companies in exchange for over $400,000 in personal loans. Despite attempts to keep the deal secret, the Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
leaked news of the leasing, and the Senate decided to launch an inquiry into the matter. The investigation began in October 1923 after Harding's death, and the Senate Committee on Lands and Public Surveys, which carried out the inquiry, concluded in 1924 that the Teapot Dome
Teapot Dome
and Elk Hills leases to the oil companies had been fraudulent and corrupt. Both Denby and Fall were forced to resign from office as a result; however, it is apparent that President Harding did not have an active role in the wrongdoing.[2] Death[edit] Following his resignation, Denby went back to practicing law in Detroit, where he died several weeks before his 59th birthday. Detroit's Edwin C. Denby High School
Denby High School
is named in his honor, as is the Denby Center for Children and Family Services, which the Salvation Army opened in Detroit in 1930 to provide housing and treatment for abused and neglected children.

Denby as a Michigan Wolverines
Michigan Wolverines
football player in 1896

Sergeant Edwin Denby, USMC in 1918

Denby shaking hands with his predecessor as Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels

See also[edit]

Biography portal United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
portal

Little Green House on K Street

References[edit]

^ "Rail Detectives Victors in War on Crime". Popular Mechanics. 41 (3): 336–339. March 1924.  ^ Murray, Robert K. (1973). The Politics of Normalcy: Governmental Theory and Practice in the Harding–Coolidge Era. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 107. ISBN 0-393-05474-8. 

United States Congress. "Edwin Denby (id: D000232)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.  Retrieved on 2008-02-24. Edwin Denby at The Political Graveyard

External links[edit]

Media related to Edwin Denby at Wikimedia Commons The Denby Family Papers at The Library of Congress

U.S. House of Representatives

Preceded by Alfred Lucking Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan's 1st congressional district March 4, 1905 – March 3, 1911 Succeeded by Frank E. Doremus

Government offices

Preceded by Josephus Daniels United States Secretary of the Navy March 6, 1921 – March 10, 1924 Succeeded by Curtis D. Wilbur

v t e

United States Department of the Navy

Secretaries

Cabinet level

Stoddert Smith Hamilton Jones Crowninshield S Thompson Southard Branch L. Woodbury Dickerson Paulding Badger Upshur Henshaw Gilmer Mason Bancroft Mason Preston Graham Kennedy Dobbin Toucey Welles Borie Robeson R Thompson Goff Hunt Chandler Whitney Tracy Herbert Long Moody Morton Bonaparte Metcalf Newberry Meyer Daniels Denby Wilbur Adams Swanson Edison Knox Forrestal

Dept. of Defense

Sullivan Matthews Kimball Anderson Thomas T. Gates Franke Connally Korth Nitze Ignatius Chafee Warner Middendorf Claytor Hidalgo Lehman Webb Ball Garrett O'Keefe Dalton Danzig England Winter Mabus Spencer

Under Secretaries

Forrestal Bard A. Gates Sullivan Kenney Kimball Whitehair Thomas T. Gates Franke Bantz Fay BeLieu Baldwin Baird Warner Sanders Middendorf Potter Macdonald Woolsey Murray Goodrich Garrett Howard Danzig Hultin Pirie Livingstone Aviles Work Davidson Modly

Assistant Secretaries

Pre–1954

Fox Faxon Soley McAdoo T. Roosevelt Sr. Allen Hackett Darling Newberry Satterlee Winthrop F. Roosevelt G. Woodbury T. Roosevelt Jr. Robinson Jahncke H. Roosevelt Edison Compton Bard Hensel Kenney Andrews Koehler Askins Fogler

Post–1954

Financial Management and Comptroller Installations and Environment Manpower and Reserve Affairs Research, Development and Acquisitions General Counsel of the Navy defunct:

Air Installations and Logistics Material Research and Development Research, Engineering and Systems Shipbuilding and Logistics

v t e

Cabinet of President Warren G. Harding
Warren G. Harding
(1921–23)

Vice President

Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge
(1921–23)

Secretary of State

Charles Evans Hughes
Charles Evans Hughes
(1921–23)

Secretary of the Treasury

Andrew W. Mellon
Andrew W. Mellon
(1921–23)

Secretary of War

John W. Weeks
John W. Weeks
(1921–23)

Attorney General

Harry M. Daugherty
Harry M. Daugherty
(1921–23)

Postmaster General

Will H. Hays
Will H. Hays
(1921–22) Hubert Work
Hubert Work
(1922–23) Harry S. New (1923)

Secretary of the Navy

Edwin C. Denby (1921–23)

Secretary of the Interior

Albert B. Fall
Albert B. Fall
(1921–23) Hubert Work
Hubert Work
(1923)

Secretary of Agriculture

Henry C. Wallace (1921–23)

Secretary of Commerce

Herbert C. Hoover (1921–23)

Secretary of Labor

James J. Davis
James J. Davis
(1921–23)

v t e

Cabinet of President Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge
(1923–29)

Vice President

None (1923–25) Charles G. Dawes
Charles G. Dawes
(1925–29)

Secretary of State

Charles Evans Hughes
Charles Evans Hughes
(1923–25) Frank B. Kellogg
Frank B. Kellogg
(1925–29)

Secretary of the Treasury

Andrew W. Mellon
Andrew W. Mellon
(1923–29)

Secretary of War

John W. Weeks
John W. Weeks
(1923–25) Dwight F. Davis
Dwight F. Davis
(1925–29)

Attorney General

Harry M. Daugherty
Harry M. Daugherty
(1923–24) Harlan F. Stone
Harlan F. Stone
(1924–25) John G. Sargent
John G. Sargent
(1925–29)

Postmaster General

Harry S. New (1923–29)

Secretary of the Navy

Edwin C. Denby (1923–24) Curtis D. Wilbur
Curtis D. Wilbur
(1924–29)

Secretary of the Interior

Hubert Work
Hubert Work
(1923–28) Roy O. West (1928–29)

Secretary of Agriculture

Henry C. Wallace (1923–24) Howard M. Gore (1924–25) William M. Jardine (1925–29)

Secretary of Commerce

Herbert C. Hoover (1923–28) William Fairfield Whiting (1928–29)

Secretary of Labor

James J. Davis
James J. Davis
(1923–29)

v t e

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan

Territory

Woodbridge Sibley Richard Wing Biddle Wing Lyon Jones

At-large

Crary J. Howard Kelley Staebler

1st district

McClelland Buel Penniman D. Stuart W. Howard Cooper W. Howard Granger Beaman Waldron Field A. S. Williams Newberry Lord Maybury J. L. Chipman Griffin Corliss Lucking Denby Doremus Codd Clancy Sosnowski Clancy Sadowski Tenerowicz Sadowski Machrowicz Nedzi Conyers Stupak Benishek Bergman

2nd district

Lyon J. S. Chipman E. Bradley C. Stuart Sprague C. Stuart Noble Waldron Beaman Upson Stoughton Waldron Willits Eldredge Allen Gorman Spalding H. Smith Townsend Wedemeyer Beakes Bacon Beakes Michener Lehr Michener Meader Vivian Esch Pursell Hoekstra Huizenga

3rd district

Hunt Bingham J. Conger Clark Walbridge Kellogg Longyear Blair Willard McGowan Lacey O'Donnell Burrows Milnes A. Todd Gardner J. Smith Frankhauser J. Smith A. B. Williams Hooper Kimball Main Shafer Johansen P. Todd G. Brown Wolpe Henry Ehlers Amash

4th district

Stevens Peck Leach Trowbridge Kellogg Ferry Foster Burrows Potter Keightley Burrows Yaple Burrows Thomas Hamilton Ketcham Foulkes Hoffman Hutchinson Stockman Siljander Upton Camp Moolenaar

5th district

Baldwin Trowbridge O. Conger Foster W. Williams Stone Webber Houseman Comstock M. Ford Belknap M. Ford Belknap Richardson W. Smith Diekema Sweet Mapes Jonkman G. Ford Vander Veen Sawyer Henry Barcia D. E. Kildee D. T. Kildee

6th district

Driggs Strickland Sutherland Begole Durand Brewer Spaulding Winans Brewer Stout Aitken S. Smith Kelley Hudson Person Cady Blackney Transue Blackney Clardy Hayworth Chamberlain Carr Dunn Carr Upton

7th district

O. Conger Rich Carleton Whiting Snover Weeks McMorran Cramton Wolcott McIntosh O'Hara Mackie Riegle D. E. Kildee N. Smith Schwarz Walberg Schauer Walberg

8th district

N. Bradley Ellsworth Horr Tarsney Bliss Youmans Linton Brucker Fordney Vincent Hart Crawford Bentley Harvey Traxler Carr Chrysler Stabenow Rogers M. Bishop

9th district

Hubbell Cutcheon H. Wheeler Moon R. Bishop McLaughlin Harry W. Musselwhite Engel Thompson Griffin Vander Jagt D. E. Kildee Knollenberg Peters Levin

10th district

Hatch Fisher F. Wheeler Weadock Crump Aplin Loud Woodruff Loud Currie Woodruff Cederberg Albosta Schuette Camp Bonior Miller Mitchell

11th district

Breitung Moffatt Seymour Stephenson Avery Mesick Darragh Dodds Lindquist Scott Bohn P. Brown Luecke F. Bradley Potter Knox Clevenger Ruppe Davis Knollenberg McCotter Curson Bentivolio Trott

12th district

Stephenson Shelden Young MacDonald James Hook Bennett Hook Bennett O'Hara Bonior Levin J. Dingell Jr. D. Dingell

13th district

Nichols McLeod Brennan McLeod O'Brien McLeod O'Brien Coffin O'Brien Diggs Crockett Collins W. Ford Rivers Kilpatrick Clarke Conyers

14th district

Weideman Rabaut Youngblood Rabaut Ryan Nedzi Hertel Conyers Peters Lawrence

15th district

J. Dingell Sr. J. Dingell Jr. W. Ford Collins Kilpatrick J. Dingell Jr.

16th district

Lesinski Sr. Lesinski Jr. J. Dingell Jr.

17th district

Dondero Oakman Griffiths Brodhead Levin

18th district

Dondero Broomfield Huber Blanchard Broomfield

19th district

Farnum McDonald Broomfield

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 63291857 LCCN: n97046996 ISNI: 0000 0000 3406 3334 GND: 1049273761 BNF: cb16669640b (data) US Congress: D000232 SN

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