Astor was the protégé of Governor-General Kenneth Parkes, and he resembled Parkes in being charming, well-spoken, and thoroughly corrupt. When Parkes chose to retire from government in 1868, he picked Astor to succeed him, and through bribery was able to ensure Astor's nomination at the Liberal Party's national convention in Burgoyne. At the time, Astor owned at least fifteen brothels in New York City and Philadelphia. Conservative Party nominee Herbert Clemens was able to make the 1868 campaign a referendum on the corruption of the Liberals in general and Astor in particular. This, together with considerable vote-buying on Clemens' part, enabled the Conservatives to win a 20 seat majority in the Grand Council.
Sobel does not mention the name of the Liberal candidate for Governor-General in the 1873 Grand Council elections, but it is possible that Astor was again the nominee, despite the fact that his ownership of the brothels was made public in 1872. By 1878, however, Astor was no longer in the running for the nomination.
Sobel's source for the political career of Victor Astor is Milton O'Casey's I Never Told a Lie: The Political Career of Victor Astor (New York, 1950).
|Governors of the Northern Confederation|
|John Dickinson • George Clinton • Daniel Webster • Martin van Buren • Henry Gilpin • John Dix • Victor Astor • Elbert Childs|