Samuel D. Ingham

Samuel D. Ingham, the first of five Treasury Secretaries to serve under Andrew Jackson, was born during the Revolution (in 1779) in New Hope, Pennsylvania and died after the Civil War (in 1869) across the Delaware River in Trenton, New Jersey. A paper manufacturer and politician, Ingham supported the Second Bank of the United States and had he stayed in office may have been able to broker a deal between his boss (Jackson) and his fellow Pennsylvanian (Biddle).

But it was not to be. Ingham, along with most of Jackson’s cabinet, resigned their posts in 1831 during the so-called Petticoat or Eaton affair. US Senator turned Secretary of War John Henry Eaton, a widower, married Peggy O’Neale scandalously soon after the death of her husband, John Timberlake, from disease while on a long voyage on the USS Constitution. The wives of the other cabinet members, including Ingham’s, refused to socialize with Peggy, evoking a visceral response in Jackson who had married his beloved Rachel before her previous marriage was legally terminated. The resulting acrimony ended in the resignation of almost the entire cabinet, including Ingham, who went back to making paper and looking for coal in Pennsylvania’s mountains. Several counties and ships have been named in Ingham’s honor, far fewer and smaller than would have been had he been able to salvage the heart of the Second Bank.

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