Cornelius Newton Bliss
|Cornelius Newton Bliss|
|21st United States Secretary of the Interior|
March 6, 1897 – February 19, 1899
|Preceded by||David Rowland Francis|
|Succeeded by||Ethan A. Hitchcock|
January 26, 1833|
Fall River, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Died||October 9, 1911
29 East 37th Street, New York City, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Mary Elizabeth Plummer|
|Children||Lillie P. Bliss
Cornelius Newton Bliss Jr.
Cornelius Newton Bliss (January 26, 1833 – October 9, 1911) was an American merchant, politician and art collector, who served as Secretary of the Interior in the administration of President William McKinley and as Treasurer of the Republican National Convention in four successive campaigns.
Early life and career
Cornelius Bliss was born at Fall River, Massachusetts. He was educated in his native city and in New Orleans, where he early entered his stepfather's counting house. Returning to Massachusetts in 1849, he became a clerk and subsequently a junior partner in a prominent Boston commercial house. Later he moved to New York City to establish a branch of the firm. The firm, originally Wright & Whitman, in 1874 became Wright, Bliss & Fabyan upon the death of the senior partner, Mr. John S. Wright. On the death in 1881 of Mr. Eben Wright, the firm became Bliss, Fabyan & Co., under which name it continued until well into the 20th Century. Bliss, Fabyan & Co. was one of the largest wholesale dry-goods houses in the country.
A consistent advocate of the protective tariff, he was one of the organizers and for many years president of the American Protective Tariff League. In politics an active Republican, he was chairman of the Republican state committee in 1887 and 1888, and contributed much to the success of the Harrison ticket in New York in the latter year. He was treasurer of the Republican National Committee from 1892 to 1904. He turned down the offer of becoming United States Secretary of the Treasury under President McKinley but he served as United States Secretary of the Interior in President William McKinley's cabinet from 1897 to 1899. In 1900 he was invited to stand as President McKinley's vice-president. He refused the offer. The following year McKinley was assassinated and Roosevelt (who did accept the offer) became President.
Death and legacy
Bliss' health began to fail in 1910. He spent the Summer of 1911 at his country home in Rumson, New Jersey, accompanied by his physician Arthur W. Bingham, but returned to New York City in September due to his frailty. He spent the last two weeks of his life at his residence at 29 East 37th Street before succumbing to heart disease at 7 pm on October 9, 1911. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York.
- Obituary (10 October 1911). "Cornelius N. Bliss, Merchant, is Dead". New York Times. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History". The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
- The Frick Collection. "Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America". The Frick Collection. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bliss, Cornelius Newton". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
|Party political offices|
Chester S. Cole
|Chairman of the New York Republican State Committee
1887 – 1889
John N. Knapp
David Rowland Francis
|U.S. Secretary of the Interior
Served under: William McKinley
1897 – 1899
Ethan A. Hitchcock