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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Townsend

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1758-1759 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

Martin Ingham Townsend, son of Nathaniel and Cynthia (Marsh) Townsend, was born in Hancock, Massachusetts, February 6, 1810, died in Troy, New York, March 8, 1903. At the age of six years he removed with his parents to Williamstown, Massachusetts, where he was reared on a farm and received a practical education in the common schools, which was supplemented by attendance at Williams College, from which he was graduated with degrees of A. B., 1883, A. M., 1836. He was admitted to the New York bar, May 13, 1836, and commenced the practice of his profession in Troy; where for many years he was associated in partnership with his brother, Randolph Wanton Townsend (A. B., Williams, 1836, A. M., 1839), which was both successful and remunerative. He was employed by the United States government to attend and report upon the trial of Cadet Whittaker in New York City, which continued for two years, and which resulted in Whittaker's acquittal. He also acted for defense in the noted cases of Henrietta Robinson, Andrus Hall, Whitbeck and George E. Gordon. He retired from practice in 1901. Martin I. Townsend received the honorary degree of LL. D. from his alma mater in 1866, and was a regent of the University of the State of New York, 1873-1903, a period of thirty years. He served as district attorney of Rensselaer county, New York, 1842-45; was a delegate from the state-at-large to the constitutional convention, 1867-68; a Republican representative from New York in the forty-four and forty-fifth congresses, 1875-79; United States district attorney for the northern district of New York, 1879-87, and a member of the constitutional commission of 1890, by appointment from Governor Hill. Until 1848 Mr. Townsend was an adherent of the principles of Democracy, but, influenced by the proceedings of the Democratic national convention of that year at Buffalo, he became a strenuous opponent of the resolutions then passed upon slavery, and his home in Troy was raided on July 15, 1863, by an anti-draft mob.

Mr. Townsend married, in 1836, Louisa B. Kellog, of Williamstown, Massachusetts, who died in 1890. Their daughter married Professor H. B. Nason of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York.

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