Albert Bacon Fall was born in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky, on November 26, 1861. He married Emma Morgan in 1883 and they settled in New Mexico in 1887. Despite his limited formal education, the former miner rose quickly in the Democratic Party, founded the Las Cruces newspaper Independent Democrat, and established a successful law practice. During the Fountain case he was the attorney for the main suspects. Some even speculated that he was the mastermind behind the murder of his political rival Fountain.
Following a brief military stint, Albert Fall continued to serve in the New Mexico government, but his ambition was to serve at the national level. As New Mexico got closer to statehood, Fall switched to the Republican Party. Although other reasons contributed, a driving force was surely the knowledge that once statehood was achieved, the Senators elected from this heavily Republican state would be Republicans. The switch paid off. In 1912, Albert Fall and Thomas Catron became the first two Senators elected from the state of New Mexico.
Fall served in the Senate until 1921, when he resigned to accept an appointment by President Warren G. Harding to the position of Secretary of the Interior. Fall resigned that office in 1923, as the principle figure in the scandal that became known as Teapot Dome. He was tried, found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the government of the United States, and spent one year in the New Mexico Penitentiary, becoming the first cabinet member ever imprisoned for a crime committed while in office. Because he was the only person convicted in the scandal, the term “Fall Guy” was born. His health slowly deteriorated from the early 1920s on. Fall died in 1944.
SOURCES: Owen, Gordon, The Two Alberts: Fountain and Fall, (Las Cruces: Yucca Tree Press, 1996); Recko, Corey, Murder on the White Sands: The Disappearance of Albert and Henry Fountain, (Denton: University of North Texas Press, 2007); Sonnichsen, C. L., Tularosa: Last of the Frontier West,(Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1960); Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Fall, Albert Bacon; Electronic Library presents encyclopedia.com: Fall, Albert Bacon.
Murder on the White Sands Reviews; Murder on the White Sands Introduction and First Chapter; Information About Murder on the White Sands (# of pages, table of contents, etc.); Biographies of: Colonel Albert J. Fountain, Pat Garrett, John Fraser, Henry Fountain, Albert B. Fall, Oliver Lee, James Gililland, William McNew, Ed Brown, Thomas Branigan, William H. H. Llewellyn; 1896 Newspaper Accounts of the Fountains' Disappearance; Map of New Mexico Sites; Mesilla, New Mexico; Hillsboro, New Mexico; Search the Index; Buy Murder on the White Sands; Who do you believe murdered murdered Albert and Henry Fountain? Talk About it in the Forum; Murder on the White Sands Related Articles; Appearances; Links; Author biography; Corey Recko News; Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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