OUR NAMESAKE

Samuel Ingham

Samuel D. Ingham

Samuel Dulucenna Ingham was the fifth child of eleven and was named after a foreign instructor that his father Dr. Jonathan Ingham had hired.  Samuel's father was a Latin and Greek scholar, proficient in German and somewhat versed in Hebrew, French and Spanish, as such, Samuel was also schooled in German, Greek, and Latin.  Samuel D. Ingham, the son of Doctor Jonathan Ingham, was born on the farm near the New Hope, Pennsylvania on September 6, 1779.

The death of his father in 1793 interrupted his classical studies and at the age of fourteen on the advice of his grandfather, he was indentured to learn the paper-making business at the mill on the Pennypack Creek. The mill was fifteen miles from Philadelphia and a library was only four miles from Pennypack, this enables Samuel to secure a share in a library which enable him to continue his studies. 

 

Samuel became a friend to a newly arrived Irish teacher, Mr. Samuel D. Craig, who taught him mathematics, mechanics, surveying, navigation, astronomy and natural philosophy. Samuel never forgot his wonderful teacher, thus when he became Secretary of the Treasury, he appointed Mr. Craig Superintendent of the Patent Office.

 

Samuel was so dedicated to education that he would walk sixteen miles to Philadelphia to purchase books, on one occasion his master required him to return on the same day, requiring him to walk 32 miles.  On the trip, Samuel was able to purchase the 4th volume of astronomical tables and get back before his master retired for bed.  His love and determination for learning was unparalleled and became the backbone of his character and the character of his family that followed.

After completing his apprenticeship, Ingham became the manager of a paper mill at Bloomfield, New Jersey. It was while here he met Rebecca Dodd, whom he married in 1800. They would have five children.  Also in 1800 Ingham returned to Pennsylvania and established a paper mill on his mother's farm that would be his main source of employment in the coming years. In 1806, Samuel was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and served from 1806 to 1808 and then Ingham was appointed Justice of the Peace by the Governor of Pennsylvania.

 

In 1813, Mr. Ingham was elected as a member of the United States House of Representatives and served from 1813 to July 6, 1818. He easily trounced his Federalist opponents in the first two elections and had no opposition at all in 1816. He resigned from Congress in 1818 because of his wife Rebecca Dodd's ill health. He was appointed the Prothonotary (Chief Clerk, Notary, and Registrar of the Court) of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, Pennsylvania after leaving Congress. 

 

In 1819, Samuel Ingham's wife Rebecca Dodd Ingham died while he served as Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from 1819 to 1820. In 1822, Ingham married Deborah Hall of Salem, New Jersey. They would become the parents of three children.  Also in 1822, Ingham was elected to Congress where he would serve until 1829. During the 13th Congress, he was chair of the United States House Committee on Pensions and Revolutionary War Claims. During the 14th15th19th and 20thCongresses, he was chair of the House Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads, and he was chair of the House Committee on Expenditures in the Post Office Department during the 15th Congress.

Ingham was appointed as the ninth Secretary of the Treasury by President Andrew Jackson in 1829. The inauguration of 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.

 

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. Jackson not only mistrusted the Second Bank of the United States but all banks. He thought that there should be no currency but coin and that the Constitution was designed to expel paper currency as part of the monetary system.

 

Samuel Ingham believed in the 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 Mrs. 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.

 

After resigning as Secretary of the Treasury on June 21, 1931, Ingham resumed the manufacture of paper and engaged in the development of anthracite coal fields. He was involved with the organization of the Beaver Meadow Railroad Company of which he was then made the president for a time.  

 

Mr. Ingham was connected with the organization of the Hazleton Coal Company. He worked to promote canals such as the Lehigh Navigation and the Delaware Canal. Samuel moved to Trenton, New Jersey, in 1849, where he worked with that city's Mechanics Bank.

 

Samuel D. Ingham died in Trenton, New Jersey, June 5, 1860. Samuel D> Ingham is interred in the Solebury Presbyterian Churchyard in Solebury, Pennsylvania