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J. Donald Cameron: Wikis


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James Donald Cameron

In office
May 22, 1876 – March 4, 1877
President Ulysses S. Grant
Preceded by Alphonso Taft
Succeeded by George W. McCrary

In office
March 20, 1877 – March 3, 1897
Preceded by Simon Cameron
Succeeded by Boies Penrose

7th Chairman of the Republican National Committee
In office
1879 – 1880
Preceded by Zachariah Chandler
Succeeded by Marshall Jewell

Born May 14, 1833(1833-05-14)
Middletown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died August 30, 1918 (aged 85)
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mary McCormick
Elizabeth Sherman Cameron
Children Eliza McCormick Cameron
Virginia Rolette Cameron
James McCormick Cameron
Mary Cameron
Margaretta Brua Cameron
Rachel Burnside Cameron
Alma mater Princeton College
Profession Politician, Clerk, Cashier, Railroad President
Will he cast his sword into the balance?
An 1882 Puck cartoon depicts Cameron and fellow Pennsylvania senator John I. Mitchell on the Republican Pennsylvania Scale. Cameron, sitting on a platform marked "bossism", attempts to weigh himself down with weights marked "threats", "tricks" and "bluster" while Mitchell, dressed as a Roman, stands at the opposite end as an "Independent Republican". President Chester A. Arthur, too dressed as a Roman, holds a sword marked "patronage" which Cameron asks for to even out the balance.

James Donald Cameron (May 14, 1833 – August 30, 1918) was an American politician from Pennsylvania who served as Secretary of War under Ulysses S. Grant and in the United States Senate for twenty years.

Born in Middletown, Pennsylvania, the son of Simon Cameron, the 26th Secretary of War and a powerful Pennsylvania politician and Margaret Brua. Cameron graduated from Princeton College (today Princeton University) in 1852 and received a graduate degree in 1855. He worked as a bank clerk and cashier and was later president of the Northern Central Railway from 1866 to 1874. In 1876, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Cameron to his cabinet as Secretary of War, a post his father once served in during the Lincoln administration, to succeed Alphonso Taft, who became Attorney General, and served as so until the end of Grant's presidency.

In 1877, his father resigned from his seat in the United States Senate and Cameron was appointed to fill the vacancy under the ensurance of the Pennsylvania Legislature. He was reelected three more times serving for a total of twenty years. He served as chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs from 1881 to 1891 and again from 1895 to 1897 and as chairman of the Committee on Revolutionary Claims from 1893 to 1895. Cameron also served as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1879 to 1880. After not being a candidate for reelection in 1896, he engaged in several business enterprises in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and later died at his country home called "Donegal" in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He was interred in Harrisburg Cemetery in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Prior to his death, Cameron was the last surviving member of the Grant administration.

Cameron married Mary McCormick on May 20, 1856, and together they had six children: Eliza McCormick Cameron (b. 1857), who married William H. Bradley; Virginia Rolette Cameron (b. 1861), who married Lt. Alexander Rodgers; James McCormick Cameron (b. 1865); Mary Cameron (b. 1867); Margaretta Brua Cameron (b. 1869), who married John William Clark; and Rachel Burnside Cameron (b. 1871).[1] Cameron's second wife, the former Elizabeth Sherman, whom he married in 1878, was the niece of William Tecumseh Sherman and John Sherman and a close friend of Henry Brooks Adams.


  1. ^ Center for Pennsylvania Culture Studies. "Mary McCormick". Penn State Harrisburg. Retrieved 2008-06-13.  

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Alphonso Taft
United States Secretary of War
May 22, 1876 – March 4, 1877
Succeeded by
George W. McCrary
United States Senate
Preceded by
Simon Cameron
United States Senator (Class 3) from Pennsylvania
March 20, 1877 – March 3, 1897
Served alongside: William A. Wallace, John I. Mitchell and Matthew S. Quay
Succeeded by
Boies Penrose
Party political offices
Preceded by
Zachariah Chandler
Chairman of the Republican National Committee
1879 – 1880
Succeeded by
Marshall Jewell

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