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Isaac Wayne MacVeagh

MacVeagh, Isaac Wayne (məkvāˈ) [key], 1833–1917, American political figure, U.S. Attorney General (1881), b. Chester co., Pa. A lawyer, he was the son-in-law of Simon Cameron, Republican boss of Pennsylvania. He became prominent in the Republican party and was (1870–71) minister to the Ottoman Empire. After 1871 he began to oppose Cameron and his political machine. In 1877 he was appointed by President Hayes to lead a commission (the MacVeagh Commission) to adjust political difficulties in Louisiana following the disputed presidential election; this resulted in the withdrawal of federal troops from the state. MacVeagh was appointed to the cabinet by President Garfield but resigned after Garfield's death. Because of his support of civil service and other reforms he left the Republican party and supported (1892) Grover Cleveland for the presidency. He served (1893–97) as ambassador to Italy and was (1903) chief counsel of the United States in the Venezuela Claims question.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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