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Karen Palumbo

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On This Day 1/7/1864
1/13/2011 5:22:23 PM


Caleb Blood Smith dies


Caleb Blood Smith, the Secretary of the Interior in 1861 and 1862, dies in Indianapolis. Caleb Blood Smith played a major role in managing relations with NativeAmericans during the "War Between the States".

Caleb Blood Smith was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1808 and raised in Cincinnati. He was educated at the College of Cincinnati and the Miami University. Caleb Blood Smith practiced law in Indiana and became involved in State politics.

A member of the Whig Party (later became the Republican Party), Caleb Blood Smith served in the Indiana State Legislature before elected to Congress in 1842. He opposed the expansion of slavery, and he fought hard against the 1845 annexation of Texas.

After serving on the United States-Mexico Boundary Commission in the late 1840s, Caleb Blood Smith left public life to work for the railroads in Ohio. As the "War Between the States" drew near, he became active in the Whig Party (Republican Party).

Caleb Blood Smith was a Delegate to the 1860 Convention and became one of Abraham Lincoln's most enthusiastic supporters. President Lincoln rewarded Caleb Blood Smith by naming him to the post of Secretary of the Interior.

In this role, Caleb Blood Smith supervised Indian agents in the West and worked with Secretary of War Simon Cameron and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton to forge Indian policy.

However, Caleb Blood Smith was generally disliked by most members of the Cabinet and was described by one insider as a man with:

"neither heart nor sincerity about him."

Caleb Blood Smith found himself overworked and increasingly at odds with the rest of the Administration on key issues such as the emancipation of slaves. Caleb Blood Smith resigned at the end of 1862 and President Lincoln appointed him District Judge in Indianapolis, Indiana. Caleb Blood Smith died suddenly on January 7, 1864 while working at the Federal Courthouse.



(K) (HST)



Caleb Blood Smith Secretary of Interior
Abraham Lincoln President - USA
Simon Cameron Secretary of War
Edwin Stanton Secretary of War


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Kaleidoscope BOOK 2 by Audrey Coatesworth

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