Robert Mackey, circa 1877.
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Head and shoulders

Credit: Alex McCLure, Old Time Notes of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia: John C. Winston Co, 1905).

In the 1870s Simon Cameron was head of Pennsylvania’s Republican party, but it was his able lieutenant, Pittsburgh’s Robert Mackey, who ran the party from 1870 to his death in 1879. Despite his alcoholism and poor health, Mackey was an extraordinarily able political leader. In addition to manipulating the Democratic party’s selection of candidates, he also won the then powerful Greenback Party’s support for Republican party candidates that insured their victories in 1875 and 1879.

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