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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesPennsylvania

James Kennedy MOORHEAD

(1806-1884)

MOORHEAD, James Kennedy, a Representative from Pennsylvania; born in Halifax, Dauphin County, Pa., September 7, 1806; attended the common schools; served an apprenticeship at the tanner’s trade, after which he became a canal contractor; superintendent and supervisor on the Juniata Canal in 1828; projected and established the first passenger packet line on the Pennsylvania Canal in 1835; appointed adjutant general of Pennsylvania in 1838; constructed the Monongahela Navigation Canal and was president of the company twenty-one years; president of the Atlantic & Ohio Telegraph Co., which later became the Western Union Telegraph Co.; elected as a Republican to the Thirty-sixth and to the four succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1859-March 3, 1869); chairman, Committee on Manufactures (Thirty-eighth and Thirty-ninth Congresses); declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1868; resumed his former business activities; delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1868; was an unsuccessful candidate for election to the United States Senate in 1880; president of the chamber of commerce of Pittsburgh from 1877 until his death; died in Pittsburgh, Pa., March 6, 1884; interment in Allegheny Cemetery.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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