CHARLES HENRY MARTIN was born in White County, Illinois. After graduating from West Point in 1887, he was assigned to Ft. Vancouver, Washington. He rose to the rank of Major General in the U.S. Army, and during his military career served in the Philippines, China, Mexico, France, Germany, and Panama as well as at numerous posts in the United States. He served two terms in Congress before becoming governor. Although a supporter of the federal government, Martin opposed its control over development of the Columbia River to provide inexpensive public power. He also vigorously opposed New Deal programs, despite being a Democrat, which made it difficult for younger, more liberal Democrats to build the party’s strength. As a result of his views, he was defeated for renomination, and by campaigning against the Democratic nominee, cost the Democratic Party the general election of 1938.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 35. New York: James T. White & Company.