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 James Pollock

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James Pollock

Birth
Milton, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 19 Apr 1890 (aged 79)
Lock Haven, Clinton County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Milton, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID 10614670 View Source
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US Congressman, Governor of Pennsylvania, Director of the US Mint. A member of the Whig Party, he served in the US House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 13th district for three consecutive terms from April 1844 until March 1849 and as the 13th Governor of Pennsylvania from January 1855 until January 1858. After graduating from the College of New Jersey at Princeton, New Jersey, he established a law practice in his home community, in Milton, Pennsylvania. He then was appointed as district attorney, followed by judicial appointments and in 1844 he was elected to the US House of Representatives. As a freshman congressman, he boarded in the same rooming house as another new congressman, Abraham Lincoln, and they would develop a mutual respect and longstanding friendship. An early supporter of Samuel F.B. Morse and his idea for a telegraph, he was instrumental in getting Congress to appropriate a small amount to help build the first line. He was present in the room when the first message, "What hath God wrought" was received, ushering in a new age of telecommunication. He was also the first in Congress to advocate the construction of a railroad across the continent, connecting newly acquired California with the East Coast. In a speech in 1848 he said, "At the risk of being considered insane, I will venture the prediction that, in less than twenty-five years from this evening, a railroad will be completed and in operation between New York and San Francisco, California." The transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, four years inside the limit that he predicted. Upon leaving Congress in 1850, he returned to Pennsylvania and served in the judiciary. In 1854 he was nominated by the Whig party for governor and won. During his governorship, Pennsylvania began to sell its publicly held railroads and canals, and he helped steer the state through the financial Panic of 1857. He chaired the Pennsylvania delegation to the Peace Conference of 1861, and was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln as Director of the US Mint in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that same year, and remained there until September 1866. While serving in that position, he was instructed by the Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase to come up with suggestions for including "the trust of our people in God" in a motto on America's coins. He proposed a number of mottos, including "Our Trust Is In God" and "God Our Trust," which Chase ultimately revised to "In God We Trust," that first appeared on the 1864 two-cent piece and today all American coins contain that inscription. He served as Vice President of the American Sunday School Union from 1855 until his death in 1890. He died at the age of 79.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: daytonflyers
  • Added: 13 Mar 2005
  • Find a Grave Memorial 10614670
  • Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/10614670/james-pollock : accessed ), memorial page for James Pollock (11 Sep 1810–19 Apr 1890), Find a Grave Memorial ID 10614670, citing Milton Cemetery, Milton, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .