Pennsylvania Senator James Donald Cameron, circa 1878.
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James Donald Cameron, senator from Pennsylvania, three-quarter length portrait, standing, facing left.

Credit: Library of Congress

When Simon Cameron retired from politics in 1877, he arranged for his son J. Donald, then Ulysses S. Grant’s Secretary of War, to take his seat in the United State’s Senate and to succeed him as head of Pennsylvania’s Republican party. As chair of the Republican national committee, Cameron was one of the nation’s most powerful politicians and played a major role in deciding who would become President of the United States in 1876 and 1880.

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