James K. Moorhead

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
James Kennedy Moorhead
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 21st & 22nd district
In office
March 4, 1859 – March 3, 1863
March 4, 1863 – March 3, 1869
Preceded by David Ritchie
Robert McKnight
Succeeded by John L. Dawson
James S. Negley
Personal details
Born (1806-09-07)September 7, 1806
Halifax, Pennsylvania, US
Died March 6, 1884(1884-03-06) (aged 77)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US
Resting place Allegheny Cemetery
Political party Republican
Other political
Democratic, Know Nothing
Profession Politician, Canal Executive

James Kennedy Moorhead (September 7, 1806 – March 6, 1884) was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.


James K. Moorhead was born in Halifax, Pennsylvania. He served an apprenticeship at the tanner’s trade, after which he became a canal contractor. He was superintendent and supervisor on the Juniata Canal in 1828, and projected and established the first passenger packet line on the Pennsylvania Canal in 1835.[1]

In 1838 he was appointed adjutant general of Pennsylvania. He constructed the Monongahela Navigation Canal and was president of the company for twenty-one years. He was president of the Atlantic & Ohio Telegraph Co., which later became the Western Union Telegraph Company.[1]

In his early political career he was a Democrat, but defected to the Know Nothings shortly after the fall elections of 1854.[2]

He was elected as a Republican to the 36th Congress and to the four succeeding Congresses. In Congress he served as chairman to Committee on Manufactures during the 38th and 39th Congresses.[1]

He declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1868. He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1868, and an unsuccessful candidate for election to the United States Senate in 1880.[1]

James K. Moorhead was the father of Pittsburgh financier Maxwell K. Moorhead, a member of the elite South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club of Johnstown Flood fame.[3]

He was president of the chamber of commerce of Pittsburgh from 1877 until his death in 1884, aged 77.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e United States Congress. "James K. Moorhead (id: M000929)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.. Retrieved on 2009-5-12
  2. ^ Holt, Michael F. (1969). Forging a Majority: The Formation of the Republican Party in Pittsburgh, 1848–1860. Yale University Press. pp. 70, 93, 140, 156.
  3. ^ Landmarks Design Associates, Architects, and Wallace, Roberts & Todd (1993). Clubhouse, Brown Cottage, Moorhead Cottage, Clubhouse Annex : South Fork Fishing & Hunting Club, St. Michael, Pennsylvania. 2. U.S. National Park Service. p. 415.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
David Ritchie
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 21st congressional district

March 4, 1859 – March 3, 1863
Succeeded by
John L. Dawson
Preceded by
Robert McKnight
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 22nd congressional district

March 4, 1863 – March 3, 1869
Succeeded by
James S. Negley