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John Palmer Usher

John Palmer Usher
Personal data
Date of birthJanuary 9, 1816
Place of birthBrookfield, New York, U.S.
Date of deathApril 13, 1889(age 73)
Place of deathPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
ProfessionPolitician, Lawyer
7th United States Secretary of the Interior
In officeJanuary 1, 1863 - May 15, 1865
Succeeded byJames Harlan
Preceded byCaleb Blood Smith

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John Palmer Usher (January 9, 1816 - April 13, 1889) was a U.S. administrator who served in the Cabinet of President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War.

Born in Brookfield, New York, Usher trekked west in 1839 to locate in Terre Haute in western Indiana where he became a law partner with William D. Griswold in the firm of Griswold & Usher. An outstanding trial lawyer, Usher traveled the circuit in Indiana and Illinois during the 1840s and 1850s, becoming acquainted with Abraham Lincoln of Springfield, Illinois. He also became a mentor to young Joseph Gurney Cannon.

While Usher was serving as the elected Indiana Attorney General in March 1862, Lincoln asked him to serve as Assistant Secretary of the Interior. Then-secretary Caleb Blood Smith had little interest in the job, and, with declining health, soon delegated most of his responsibilities to Usher. When Smith resigned in December 1862, Usher became Secretary effective January 1, 1863.

Usher served as the Secretary of the Interior between 1863 and 1865. He was known as genial, courteous, and unobtrusive secretary. He accompanied Lincoln to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in November 1863 for the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery and sat on the platform with other dignitaries when Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address. When William P. Fessenden resigned as Secretary of the Treasury in March of 1865, Lincoln nominated Hugh McCulloch from Indiana to replace Fessenden at Treasury. Lincoln did not want two men from Indiana in his cabinet. Usher dated his resignation March 8, 1865 with an effective date of May 15th. His resignation was accepted by Lincoln on March 9th and Usher continued to serve until May 15th, a month after Lincoln's assassination. Lincoln had nominated his close friend James Harlan to replace Usher. Harlan had been confirmed by the Senate and took over as Secretary of Interior under now President Andrew Johnson.

Usher became general solicitor for the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division, and was active in promoting the building of the railroad west from Kansas City. Later called the Kansas Pacific, the road was eventually consolidated with the Union Pacific in 1880.

Usher built a house in Lawrence, Kansas, completing it in 1873. Usher served one term as mayor of Lawrence. His house still stands at 1425 Tennessee Street and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It has been the home of the Alpha Nu chapter of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity at the University of Kansas since 1912.

Usher died of cancer at the age of 73. He is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence.



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Foundation reschedules philanthropy summit - Hometownlife.com Tweet this news
Hometownlife.com--10, in the Walnut Room of the township's Summit on the Park, 46000 Summit Parkway, northwest of Canton Center and -Palmer- roads. ... - Date : Thu, 28 Oct 2010 15:06:36 GMT+00:00
Reggae Sumfest: The good, the bad and the muddy - Jamaica Observer Tweet this news
Jamaica Observer--We expected that Jimmy Riley, Triston -Palmer-, Little -John-, Tony Tuff and Bongo Herman would have all been on stage at the same time in a show of unity, ... - Date : Fri, 30 Jul 2010 09:23:26 GMT+00:00
Lista de ganadores de los premios BET, Lady Gaga y Beyonce Knowles las ... - SonFamosos.com Tweet this news
SonFamosos.com--Trey Songz también recibió un premio, por delante de Chris Brown, Raheem DeVaughn, Maxwell y -Usher- en el mejor artista masculino de R & B. A pesar de ello, ... - Date : Mon, 28 Jun 2010 21:08:24 GMT+00:00
Walkers protest in bid to halt Lakes woodland sale - Westmorland Gazette Tweet this news
Westmorland Gazette---John Usher-, 71, of Hawkshead Hill, said: “I've walked here since I was a little boy. “The woodland is just the same as it was back then. ... - Date : Wed, 02 Jun 2010 20:56:51 GMT+00:00
Anthony S. Snipas - Wilkes Barre Times-Leader Tweet this news
Wilkes Barre Times-Leader--When he resided in Wilkes-Barre, he was an active member of Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church and served as an -usher-. He was involved with the Holy Name ... - Date : Mon, 17 May 2010 05:26:50 GMT+00:00

Political offices
Preceded by
Caleb Blood Smith
United States Secretary of the Interior
Served under: Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson

1863 - 1865
Succeeded by
James Harlan

United States Secretaries of the Interior

Ewing * McKennan * Stuart * McClelland * Thompson * C Smith * Usher * Harlan * Browning * Cox * Delano * Chandler * Schurz * Kirkwood * Teller * Lamar * Vilas * Noble * M Smith * Francis * Bliss * Hitchcock * Garfield * Ballinger * Fisher * Lane * Payne * Fall * Work * West * Wilbur * Ickes * Krug * Chapman * McKay * Seaton * Udall * Hickel * Morton * Hathaway * Kleppe * Andrus * Watt * Clark * Hodel * Lujan * Babbitt * Norton * Kempthorne * Salazar

Cabinet of President Abraham Lincoln (1861 1865)

Vice PresidentHannibal Hamlin (1861 1865) * Andrew Johnson (1865)
Secretary of StateWilliam H. Seward (1861 1865)
Secretary of the TreasurySalmon P. Chase (1861 1864) * William P. Fessenden (1864 1865) * Hugh McCulloch (1865)
Secretary of WarSimon Cameron (1861 1862) * Edwin M. Stanton (1862 1865)
Attorney GeneralEdward Bates (1861 1864) * James Speed (1864 1865)
Postmaster GeneralMontgomery Blair (1861 1864) * William Dennison (1864 1865)
Secretary of the NavyGideon Welles (1861 1865)
Secretary of the InteriorCaleb Blood Smith (1861 1862) * John Palmer Usher (1863 1865)

Cabinet of President Andrew Johnson (1865 1869)

Vice PresidentNone (1865 1869)
Secretary of StateWilliam H. Seward (1865 1869)
Secretary of the TreasuryHugh McCulloch (1865 1869)
Secretary of WarEdwin M. Stanton (1865 1868) * John Schofield (1868 1869)
Attorney GeneralJames Speed (1865 1866) * Henry Stanbery (1866 1868) * William M. Evarts (1868 1869)
Postmaster GeneralWilliam Dennison (1865 1866) * Alexander Randall (1866 1869)
Secretary of the NavyGideon Welles (1865 1869)
Secretary of the InteriorJohn Palmer Usher (1865) * James Harlan (1865 1866) * Orville Hickman Browning (1866 1869)



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