New Mexico Historical Society
FALL, Albert Bacon (1861-1944)
Senate Years of Service: 1912-1921

FALL, ALBERT BACON, a Senator from New Mexico; born in Frankfort, Franklin County, Ky., November 26, 1861; attended the country schools; taught school; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1891 and commenced practice at Las Cruces, N.Mex.; made a specialty of Mexican law; became interested in mines, lumber, land, railroads, farming, and stock raising; member, Territorial house of representatives 1891-1892; appointed judge of the third judicial district 1893; associate justice of the supreme court of New Mexico 1893; Territorial attorney general in 1897 and again in 1907; member of the Territorial council 1897; served as captain of Company H in the First Territorial Infantry during the Spanish-American War; upon the admission of New Mexico as a State into the Union was elected in 1912 as a Republican to the United States Senate for the term ending March 3, 1913; reelected in June 1912, but as the Governor did not sign the credentials, was again elected in January 1913; reelected in 1918, and served from March 27, 1912, until March 4, 1921, when he resigned to accept a Cabinet position; chairman, Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Commerce and Labor (Sixty-second Congress), Committee on Geological Survey (Sixty-fifth Congress), Committee on Pacific Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands (Sixty-sixth Congress); appointed Secretary of the Interior by President Warren Harding and served from March 1921, until March 1923, when he resigned; resumed his former business pursuits in Three Rivers, N.Mex.; convicted of bribery for leasing federal lands to oil companies in exchange for personal loans, Fall spent nine months in a New Mexico state prison, 1931-1932; died in El Paso, Tex., November 30, 1944; interment in Evergreen Cemetery.

Columbia University
Oral History Project
New York, NY
Oral History: Discussed in interview with Horace Albright.

Henry E. Huntington Library
San Marino, CA
Papers: 1887-1941 (bulk 1912-1923). Ca. 55,000 items. Personal correspondence pertaining to family and business affairs; political correspondence and papers, chiefly concerning New Mexico, national elections of 1916 and 1920, Colombian Treaty, and League of Nations; natural resources materials including land problems and water rights, reclamation projects, Alaskan development, Fall's oil file; conservation vs. utilization of forest and mineral wealth, and the Teapot Dome affair; Mexican affairs correspondence and documents pertaining to revolution 1910-1921, outrages committed against U.S. citizens and property in Mexico, revolutionary leaders and movements, effects of outside interests such as U.S. petroleum companies and communistic influences; and papers of Franklin K. Lane, chairman of the American-Mexican Joint Commission to settle the Mexican dispute. Finding aid.

New Mexico State University
Political Papers Archives
Las Cruces, NM
Papers: 1905-1941. 17 linear feet. Political and personal correspondence, reports, press clippings relating to Fall's public career as United States Secretary of the Interior, including his role in United States Naval petroleum reserves, and his prosecution and trial. Some material relates to Fall's tenure in the U.S. Senate, Mexican mineral interests, and politics during the World War I era. Also included are materials created and received by Fall's wife and daughters. Finding aid available online.

Papers: Portraits in the Albert Bacon Fall Photograph Collection,1890-1929.

Papers: 1808-1984 (Bulk1915-1930). 4.5 linear feet. Caroline Stras Collection of Fall family papers including letters and papers of Albert B. Fall, his wife Emma Fall, his daughter Jouett Fall Elliott and her husband Brant Elliott and their daughter Caroline Elliott Stras. The collection has been divided into three series: Jouett Fall Elliott papers, Albert B. Fall papers and Images. The sole items relating to Caroline Stras are the photographs of her in the Photographs series. A large part of the collection is the personal correspondence of Jouett Elliot Fall. Also included are some papers and correspondence relating to Albert B. Fall and his business interests. The materials are in English, except for a few items in Spanish. There are a few items relating to the Teapot Dome scandal, including some trail documents and letters from supporters. The materials provide a personal look at the scandal through the family letters from the Falls in Washington, D.C. and Jouett in New Mexico and elsewhere from the time of the trail. Finding aid available online.

Papers: Additional materials in the Herman B. Weisner Papers, 1957-1992; the Mahlon T. Everhart Papers, 1823-1991; Mark B. Thompson Papers, 1926-1932, Las Cruces, New Mexico attorney who served as defense counsel to former Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall during the Elk Hill and Teapot Dome oil lease bribery trials, Washington, D.C., 1926-1927; and Holm O. Bursum Papers, 1873-1936. Finding aids available online.


University of New Mexico
Center for Southwest Research
Albuquerque, NM
Papers: 1851-1927 (Bulk 1922-1927). 10 feet. The collection contains papers covering Fall's career as U.S. Senator and Secretary of the Interior. It includes correspondence, newspaper clippings, congressional records dealing with oil scandals and Mexican affairs, and federal court transcripts and briefs relating to his legal troubles. It is divided into eight series. Correspondence, drafts of speeches, maps, general papers, and 10 volumes of clippings and photographs relating to service in the U.S. Senate and Department of Interior. Includes material on Teapot Dome oil scandals, his Senate activities, his Tres Ritos ranch, affairs and conditions in Mexico, national and international petroleum production, League of Nations, patronage, and activities as secretary of interior. Also 42 microfilm reels of most of the papers held by the Huntington Library, made prior to the arrival of the papers at the Huntington. Finding aid available online.
Papers: Aditonal material in the Richard Lowitt Papers on Bronson M. Cutting, 1899-1993 (bulk 1910-1936, 1982-1988). Finding aid available online.


Washington State University
Pullman, WA
Papers: 1918-1943. 1.5 feet. Official and private correspondence (photocopies), clippings, memoranda, and press releases relating to Fall's service as secretary of interior and his trial for conspiracy. Finding aid.

  • Gilderhus, Mark T. "Senator Albert B. Fall and the `Plot Against Mexico'.'' New Mexico Historical Review 48 (October 1973): 299-311.
  • Joyce, Davis D. "Before Teapot Dome: Senator Albert B. Fall and Conservation.'' Red River Valley Historical Review 4 (Fall 1979): 44-51.
  • ___. "Senator Albert B. Fall and the Treaty of Versailles.'' Proceedings of the Oklahoma Academy of Science 53 (1973): 136-44.
  • ___. "Senator Albert B. Fall and U.S. Relations with Mexico, 1912-1921.'' International Review of History and Political Science 6 (August 1969): 53-76.
  • Nash, Gerald D. "Albert B. Fall and United States Oil Policy in 1921: A Document.'' New Mexico Historical Review 67 (April 1992): 157-66.
  • Owen, Gordon R. The Two Alberts: Fountain and Fall. Las Cruces, N.Mex.: Yucca Tree Press, 1996.
  • Stratton, David H. "Albert B. Fall and the Teapot Dome Affair.'' Ph.D. dissertation, University of Colorado, Boulder, 1955.
  • ___. "New Mexico Machiavellian?: The Story of Albert B. Fall.'' Montana 7 (October 1957): 2-14.
  • ___. "Two Western Senators and Teapot Dome: Thomas J. Walsh and Albert B. Fall.'' Pacific Northwest Quarterly 65 (April 1974): 57-65.
  • ___, ed. The Memoirs of Albert B. Fall. Southwestern Studies, vol. 4, monograph no. 15. El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1966.
  • Trow, Clifford Wayne. "Senator Albert B. Fall and Mexican Affairs: 1912-1921.'' Ph.D. dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1966.
  • ___. " `Tired of Waiting': Senator Albert B. Fall's Alternative to Woodrow Wilson's Mexican Policies, 1920-1921.'' New Mexico Historical Review 57 (April 1982): 159-82.
  • Weisner, Herman B. The Politics of Justice: A.B. Fall and the Teapot Dome Scandal: A New Perspective. Albuquerque, NM: Creative Designs, 1988.
  • Woodward, Earl F. "Hon. Albert B. Fall of New Mexico: The Frontier's Fallen Star of Teapot Dome.'' Montana 23 (January 1973): 14-23.