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Robert Bacon: Wikis


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Robert Bacon

In office
September 5, 1905 – January 27, 1909
Preceded by Francis B. Loomis
Succeeded by John Callan O'Laughlin

In office
January 27, 1909 – March 5, 1909
Preceded by Elihu Root
Succeeded by Philander C. Knox

Born July 5, 1860(1860-07-05)
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died May 29, 1919 (aged 58)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Martha Waldron Cowdin
Children Robert Low Bacon
Gaspar Griswold Bacon
Elliot Cowdin Bacon
Martha B. Bacon
Alma mater Harvard University
Profession Politician
Religion Presbyterian
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Rank Lieutenant Colonel

Robert Bacon (July 5, 1860 – May 29, 1919) was an American statesman and diplomat. He served as United States Secretary of State from January to March 1909.

Born in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, to William Benjamin Bacon and Emily Crosby Low, he was graduate of Harvard University, where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon. He was married on October 10, 1883 to Martha Waldron Cowdin. They had four children: Robert Low Bacon, Gaspar Griswold Bacon, Elliot Cowdin Bacon, and Martha B. Bacon (Mrs. George Whitney). Their son Robert was a United States Congressman and Gaspar was the President of the Massachusetts Senate from 1929-32 and Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts from 1933-1935.

He worked in the business world, including partnership with J.P. Morgan & Co. for many years starting in 1894. He acted as J.P. Morgan's chief lieutenant and participated in the formation of the U.S. Steel Corporation and the Northern Securities Company. The pressure of the job shot his nerves, and he left the company in 1903.

He was named Assistant Secretary of State in 1905, a position which held until 1909— he was acting Secretary while Elihu Root was in South America in 1906. He became full Secretary only for the last 38 days of the term of President Theodore Roosevelt (with whom he was friends at Harvard), from January 27 to March 5, 1909. Bacon obtained the advice and consent of the Senate for the Panama Canal treaties with Colombia and Panama. He served as United States Ambassador to France from 1909 until 1912 and worked for John J. Pershing during the term of American involvement in World War I.

Robert Bacon

He became a Fellow of Harvard in 1912. In August 1914 he went to France to help with the work of the American Ambulance. His book For Better Relations with Our Latin American Neighbors was published in 1915. He was then commissioned a major and detailed to General Pershing's staff in 1917, promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1918 and served as Chief of the American Military Mission at British General Headquarters.

Bacon died in 1919; cause said to be from development of blood poisoning in the neck after undergoing surgery on his mastoiditis.[1]


  1. ^ New York Times, 1919 ( (accessed electronically 11 July 2008)
Political offices
Preceded by
Francis B. Loomis
United States Assistant Secretary of State
September 5, 1905 – January 27, 1909
Succeeded by
John Callan O'Laughlin
Preceded by
Elihu Root
United States Secretary of State
Served under: Theodore Roosevelt

January 27, 1909 – March 5, 1909
Succeeded by
Philander C. Knox
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Henry White
United States Ambassador to France
Succeeded by
Myron T. Herrick


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