Something wicked this way came
Perhaps you shouldn’t call Simon Cameron a bad man, but it did seem as if badness followed him around.
The vapors of a career politician rose from the man’s very pores. Which is not to deny that Cameron was talented man. Orphaned at nine, he worked and studied hard and at age 25 was able to purchase a newspaper in the
Simon Cameron was one of those strivers who always seemed a little too lucky, a little too early, a little too successful for mere luck and hard work to explain. Simon Cameron was a politician. He knew how to arrange things, and as politicians always do, he had a wide network of those who owed him—and those he owed.
No doubt about it: Cameron had a finely tuned sense of where opportunity lay. In his portraits (one of which is shown here), his sleek face and hard, agate-like eyeballs suggest a cat studying his next mouse.
First elected to the U.S. Senate in 1884, Cameron eventually switched parties from the Democratic to the newly forming Republican Party. After making a deal with
And that’s when the trouble began. Surprisingly, Cameron was not a team player in the
It gets worse. All those hangers-on that Cameron had accumulated began claiming their dues, so War Department contracts were given to political favorites and military appointment handed out to friends. It was even worse than that: not only was the War Department corrupt, it was inefficient and ineffective. Something had to be done.
Within 48 hours,
IT’S COMING SOONER THAN YOU THINK:
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