Presidential Cabinet Secretary. Upon his father's death, he inherited a mercantile business that involved the silk and tea trade. He was consul to Belgium between 1843 and 1848, and was elected President of the Bank of Commerce of Philadelphia in 1848. In 1862, he was one of the founders and first president of the Union League of Philadelphia. He joined the cabinet of President Ulysses S. Grant in March of 1869 as Secretary of the Navy; but, finding that his business interests required his attention, he served only three and a half months. He accompanied former President Grant on his world tour in 1877.
Bio by: Thomas Fisher