Monday, January 30, 2012

Lansdale Ghiselin Sasscer (1893-1964), Lansdale Ghiselin Sasscer Jr. (1926- )

From the Annapolis Capitol, November 3, 1948.

    A seven-term member of Congress from Maryland, Lansdale Ghiselin Sasscer had earlier represented Prince George's County in the state Senate for fifteen years. He was born on September 30, 1893, in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, the son of Frederick (1856-1929) and Lucinda Ashton Claggett Sasscer (1857-1921).  Sasscer attended schools local to Prince George's County and later graduated from the Tome School in Port Deposit.
   After graduating high school, Sasscer continued his education at the Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He graduated from here in 1914 and passed his bar exam the same year. With three years of opening a law practice, Sasscer signed on to serve his country overseas during World War I, being a first lieutenant in the 59th Artillery. In 1919 he married to Agnes Goffren (1891-1984), to whom he was wed for over forty years. The couple would have three children, Agnes Lansdale, Lucy Claggett and Lansdale Ghiselin Jr. (born 1926). Of these children Lansdale G. Sasscer Jr. would follow his father into public life, being an attorney and four-term member of the Maryland House of Delegates.
   Following his return from military service Sasscer recommenced with his law practice and in November 1921 won election to the Maryland State Senate. He would serve in that body for sixteen years (1922-1938) and was the president of this body during the sessions of 1935 and 1937, as well as chairing the committees on Finance and Judicial Proceedings. In addition to his tenure in the state senate, Sasscer served as part of the Maryland delegation to the 1924 and 1936 Republican National Conventions.
  In 1938 Lansdale Sasscer announced that he'd be seeking the Democratic nomination for Governor of Maryland in that year's September primary. As one of four candidates vying for the nomination, Sasscer faced an uphill battle and placed fourth on election day, polling 23, 587 votes to Herbert O'Conor's winning total of 147,613.  O'Conor would go on to win the general election that November and served as Maryland Governor until being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1946.
   Fate intervened in Sasscer's political fortunes in December 1938 when seven-term Maryland Congressman Stephen Warfield Gambrill died in office in Washington, D.C. A few weeks following Gambrill's death, a special election was held in February 1939 to fill the vacant seat, with Lansdale G. Sasscer being the Democratic nominee. Running against Sasscer in this special election was Albert Kingsley Love, who had run three earlier losing candidacies for Congress. When the votes were tallied it was Sasscer who won out, besting Love by a vote of 23, 287 to 4, 742.

                           This painting of Sasscer is in the possession of the Maryland State Archives.

   Sasscer would win his first full term in the house in November 1940, beating Republican nominee John Torvestad by over 30,000 votes. He successively won his reelection bids in 1942, 1944, 1946, 1948 and 1950, serving nearly 14 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. In early 1952 Sasscer entered the Democratic primary for U.S. Senator from Maryland, and in May of that year lost out to state senator George Perry Mahoney, 122,679 votes to 136, 932.
   Following his senatorial defeat, Sasscer finished out his final term in Congress, which concluded in January 1953. He wasn't a candidate for renomination and after leaving government returned to his law practice in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. It was here that he died on May 5, 1964, at age 70, and he was subsequently interred in the Trinity Episcopal Church Cemetery in that town. Agnes Goffren Sasscer survived her husband by two decades, dying in 1984 at age 93 and was also interred in the Trinity Cemetery.

Sasscer in the latter period of his Congressional service, 1952.

                                                                   Lansdale G. Sasscer Jr.

   Politics continued in the Sasscer family with Lansdale Ghiselin Sasscer Jr. (born September 25, 1926) who represented Prince George's County in the Maryland legislature for two four year terms. A veteran of World War II, Sasscer served in the Coast Guard and was a graduate of the University of Virginia in the class of 1950. Admitted to the Maryland bar in 1951, Sasscer won election to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1954 and would serve in that body from 1955-1963. 
   In 1962 Sasscer was an unsuccessful candidate for the state senateand at the conclusion of his service in the house of delegates returned to the practice of law until his retirement in the 1990s. A member of the Maryland and District of Columbia Bar Associations, Sasscer was also a member of the board of directors for the Bank of Brandywine. 

1 comment:

  1. He is my great grandfather.!!!!! Mindblowing. Lol