Cameron, James D.

Grantís last Secretary of War, Pennsylvania GOP US Senator 1877-87

Price: $25.00

Description:
(1833-1918) Pennsylvania politician (R), Secretary of War (Grant) May 1876-March 1877, US Senator 1877-97. He was one of 2 father-son combinations that served as Secretary of War: Cameron's father Simon served under President Lincoln; the other father-son combination was Alphonso Taft and his son William H. Taft. After leaving Princeton, Simon Cameron placed him as a clerk at the successful Middleton Bank, and Cameron worked his way up to cashier and then president. He was appointed President of the Northern Central Railway 1866-Dec. 1874, and was able to improve its financial condition. Cameron's appointment as Secretary of War was part of a three-move realignment by President Grant. Attorney General Pierrepont was appointed Minister to England; Alphonso Taft was named Attorney General, and Cameron was appointed Secretary of War on the advice of his father. Secretary Cameron requested legislation from Congress that required contractors be required to stand by their bids for a definite time period. He also requested funding from Congress for allocations that paid for the War of Rebellion Records, and for the preservation Mathew Brady's Civil War photographs. When gold was discovered in the Black Hills, miners invaded territory given by the US government to the Sioux under the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty. Also, the government planned a Northern Pacific Railroad route through Sioux & Cheyenne buffalo hunting grounds. After negotiation for the sale of Sioux land failed in May 1875, Grant ordered all non-treaty bands to return to the reservation. Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse refused and Secretary of Interior Chandler handed over jurisdiction of the hostile Indians to the War Department on Jan. 31, 1876 launching the Great Sioux War. Three battles took place during the summer of 1876 while Cameron was in charge of the War Department; the Battle of Rosebud, the Battle of the Little Big Horn, and the Battle of Slim Buttes. By Oct. 1876, the War Department increased troop levels at Western Indian Agencies to crack down on Indian resistance. After all hostile Indians were rounded up a new treaty was signed that ceded the Black Hills to the US government. After the controversial 1876 Hayes-Tilden presidential election, the majority of electoral votes was disputed in Louisiana and Florida. Secretary Cameron allowed military troops stationed in both states to be at the disposal of Republican politicians. Previously in June 1876 at the Republican Convention, Cameron was instrumental in nominating Hayes as the GOP candidate. President Grant, through the War Department, had troops concentrated in Louisiana and reinforced in North Carolina. A commission finally chose Hayes to be elected President and Senator Simon Cameron and other Republican politicians lobbied President Hayes to let Cameron remain as Secretary. Hayes refused, not wanting to be part of any Cameron political dynasty and having desired to nominate his own Cabinet. In 1877, his father resigned from the Senate and Cameron was appointed to fill the vacancy by the state legislature. He was reelected 3 more times serving 20 years. He was chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs 1881-91 & 1895-97 and served as chairman of the Republican National Committee 1879-80. Cameron, with the initial aid of his father and political ally Matthew Quay, set up a political machine in the Pennsylvania legislature that ensured Cameron would be reelected to office. Cameron distinguished himself in the Senate in 1890 when he supported the Federal Elections Bill that ensured African American voting protection rights in the South. Signed 4 ĺ x 7 autograph album page as US Senator, adds ďPennaĒ under signature; undated but ca. 1877-79.

Condition: Very good, very light toned spot at top center
Type:Signed album page






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