JACOB DOLSON COX (1828–1900)

Henry Salem Hubbell (1870–1949)1935/1936

U.S. Department of the Interior Museum

U.S. Department of the Interior Museum

Jacob Cox was a major general in the Union Army under General Ulysses S. Grant during the Civil War. He had already practiced law and been a school superintendent and state senator, but Cox's military distinctions advanced his political career, and he was elected for a single term as governor of Ohio in 1865. Cox was teaching law in Cincinnati when now President Grant tapped him to serve as his secretary of the Interior. Since Cox had been born in Canada, he was the Department's first foreign-born secretary. Cox was an ardent supporter of civil service reform and introduced a merit system. A Board of Indian Commissioners was established, and Cox personally believed in honoring tribal treaties. Grant and Cox were increasingly at odds on policy, however, and Cox ultimately resigned when it became clear that Grant's support for him had waned. Cox went on to serve a term in Congress and then became involved in academia and wrote several books on the Civil War.

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