Two boxes of correspondence, news clippings, reports, publications, court documents, and organizational papers document Henry J. Dannenbaum's time as Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States working to enforce the Mann Act (White-Slave Traffic Act).
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Biographical / Historical
Henry J. Dannenbaum was born on October 30, 1871 in East Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas. He attended Henry College in Virginia, graduating in 1890. He studied law privately and was admitted to the bar in Sequin, Texas in 1892. He married Sadie Bowman around 1888, and the two had five children. Dannenbaum became a prominent lawyer and prosecutor in Houston, Texas, and served on the Houston School Board - both as a member and president - from 1904 to 1907.
Dannenbaum was an outspoken critic of white-slave trafficking, particularly among young immigrants. He was active in lobbying for the passage of the Mann Act, which made it illegal to transport women across state lines for immoral purposes. After the law was passed, Dannenbaum accepted an appointment as a Special Assistant to the Attorney General (Wickersham) to investigate violations of the Mann Act. During his year with the Department of Justice he successfully brought a number of violators to justice. He voluntarily retired from his position as Special Assistant and returned to his practice in Houston full-time.
In 1915, the governor appointed him to the position of judge for the 61st District Court in Houston. He was the first person of Jewish descent to sit on the state bench in Texas. He was president of the Hebrew Congregation Beth Israel of Houston and of District 7, Independent Order of B'nai B'rith, as well as a member of Social Services Foundation of Houston.
This collection contains correspondence, news clippings, reports, publications, court documents, and organizational materials documenting some of Henry J. Dannenbaum's work as Special Assistant to the Attorney General, investigating violations of the Mann Act (The White-Slave Traffic Act).
This collection is arranged in six series:
Series I: Correspondence
Series II: Court Documents
Series III: News Clips
Series IV: Organizational Materials
Series V: Publications
Series VI: Reports
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Papers were donated by Glen Rosenbaum, Feb. 2, 2018