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Samuel D. Ingham
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Samuel D. Ingham

Samuel Delucenna Ingham (September 16, 1779June 5, 1860) was a U.S. Congressman and U.S. Treasury Secretary under President Andrew Jackson.

Born near New Hope, Pennsylvania, after a pursuit of classical studies, he engaged in the manufacture of paper. He was a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1806 to 1808, and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1813 to 1818 and again from 1822 to 1829.

During the 13th Congress he was chair of the U.S. House Committee on Pensions and Revolutionary Claims, during the 14th, 15th Congress, 19th and 20th Congresses he was chair of the U.S. House Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads and was also chair of the U.S. House Committee on Expenditures in the Post Office Department during the 15th.

He served as Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from 1819 to 1820, and as the ninth Secretary of the Treasury from March 6, 1829 to June 21, 1831.

The inauguration of President Jackson coincided with the opening of an industrial expansion in the United States and was a symbol of a new government dedicated to the common man—a new Jacksonian democracy.

The Second Bank of the United States, viewed by Jackson and much of the nation as an unconstitutional and dangerous monopoly, was Ingham's primary concern as Secretary of the Treasury—Jackson not only mistrusted the Second Bank of the United States, but all banks.

Jackson thought that there should be no paper currency in circulation, but only coins, and that the U.S. Constitution was designed to expel paper currency as part of the monetary system. Ingham believed in the Second Bank and labored to resolve conflicts between Jackson, who wanted it destroyed, and the Bank's president, Nicholas Biddle.

Ingham was unable to reach any resolution between Jackson and Biddle but he left office over an incident unrelated to the Bank. Unwilling to comply with Jackson's demand that Peggy Eaton, Mrs. John Henry Eaton, the socially unacceptable wife of the Secretary of War, be invited to Washington social functions, Ingham and several other members of Jackson's cabinet resigned, a scandal known as the Petticoat Affair.

After his resignation from the Treasury, he resumed the manufacture of paper; also engaged in the development of anthracite coal fields. He died in Trenton, New Jersey and is buried in Solebury, Pennsylvania.

This article incorporates facts obtained from the public domain Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

Preceded by:
Richard Rush
United States Secretary of the Treasury Succeeded by:
Louis McLane