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James Donald Cameron

CAMERON, James Donald, eldest son of Simon Cameron and his wife Margaret Brua, was born May 14, 1833, in Middletown, Dauphin county, Pa. he received the best educational advantages in early life, was prepared for college, entering Princeton, from which institution he graduated in 1852. Soon after this he engaged as clerk in the Middletown Bank, now the National Bank of Middletown, of which he subsequently became cashier and afterwards president, which latter position he still retains. Mr. Cameron was president of the Northern Central Railway Company from 1863 to 1864, when the Pennsylvania Railroad Company obtained the controlling interest in it, when he was succeeded by Col. Thomas A. Scott. As president of the Northern Central during certain periods of the Civil war Mr. Cameron rendered great service to the national cause. The road, although several times cut by the Confederates, was valuable means of communication between Pennsylvania and Washington. Under Mr. Cameronís administration after the war the Northern Central was extended to Elmira, N. Y., so as to reach from the great lakes to tide-water. Although taking a prominent part in Pennsylvania politics Mr. Cameron held onto public office until 1876. he was a delegate to the National Republican Convention at Chicago in 1868, and was also a prominent member of the Republican State Convention which met in Harrisburg in 1876, and by it was chosen chairman of the Pennsylvania delegation to the National Republican Convention at Cincinnati in June of that year. On the 22d of May, 1876, President Grant nominated him as Secretary of War, the Senate promptly confirming him. He remained in the Cabinet during the balance of President Grantís term. The Legislature of 1877 elected him United States senator to fill the vacancy caused by his fatherís resignation. He was re-elected in 1879 for the term ending in 1885, he was again re-elected in 1885, and also in 1891; his term ends March 3, 1897. Mr. Cameron was a delegate to the National Republican Convention in 1880, and was that year chairman of the National Republican Committee, succeeding the late Senator Chandler. In the Fifty-second Congress Mr. Cameron was chairman of the Senate committee on naval affairs, serving also on the committee on military affairs, committee of revolutionary claims and the select committee of quadro-centennial and five civilized tribes of Indian. Mr. Cameron has been actively identified with various coal, iron, and manufacturing industries of Pennsylvania and is widely known and esteemed as a public spirited citizen, of large and commanding influence as well as conspicuous executive ability and usefulness.

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Transcribed by Marjorie Tittle for the Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project - 30 Oct 2000 Copyright 2000 - All Rights Reserved; Use, duplication or reproduction for profit or presentation by any person or organization is strictly prohibited.