Columbus Delano

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Columbus Delano

Columbus Delano (born June 4, 1809 in Shoreham , Vermont , †  October 23, 1896 in Mount Vernon , Ohio ) was an American politician who belonged to the cabinet of US President Ulysses S. Grant as Secretary of the Interior .


When Columbus Delano was eight years old, his parents moved him to Ohio, where the family settled in Knox County . The city of Mount Vernon would be his home for the rest of his life. After finishing school, he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1831. He worked as a lawyer in Mount Vernon and later became a Knox County attorney.


He began his political career with the Whigs , for whom he was a member of the US House of Representatives from 1845 to 1847 . He decided not to run again because he preferred to pursue politics in his home state. A candidacy for governor of Ohio in 1847 was unsuccessful.

After the fall of the Whig Party, Delano joined the Republicans and participated as a delegate to Ohio at the 1860 Republican National Convention in Chicago , where he supported the nomination of Abraham Lincoln as a presidential candidate. In 1862 he ran for a seat in the US Senate , but was defeated by his rival by just two votes behind. The following year he was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives; In 1865 he returned to the US House of Representatives. He lost his re-election in 1866 to George W. Morgan , but Delano challenged the election and was right, whereupon he was able to take his seat again on June 3, 1868. He did not stand for re-election, so that he resigned from Congress on March 3, 1869 .

As a result, he was initially active as head of the tax authority ( Commissioner of Internal Revenue ) before President Grant appointed him to succeed the resigned Secretary of the Interior Jacob Dolson Cox on November 1, 1870 in his cabinet . Like his predecessor, he also had to struggle with the varied and increasingly numerous tasks of the ministry as well as with the corruption within the authority. Nevertheless, he held the post until October 19, 1875, longer than any other interior minister in the 19th century. The reason for his resignation was evidence that his son John, who worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs , was also guilty of corruption.

After leaving the Cabinet, Columbus Delano returned to Mount Vernon, where he served as President of the local First National Bank for the next 20 years . He died there in October 1896.


During his tenure as Secretary of the Interior, on July 14, 1873, the city of Delano in California was named after him.

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