Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Philander Chase Knox

Philander Chase Knox
May 6, 1853 - October 12, 1921

Philander Chase Knox - An attorney in the firm Knox and Reed (now Reed, Smith, Shaw and McClay) with a distinguished political career, he was Secretary of State from 1901 to 1921 and twice elected to the Senate. He was a member of the Duquesne Club. Jesse H Lippencott and P C Knox were drictors of the Fifth National Bank of Pittsburgh, located at 16 Sixth Street, founded in 1871. Frick, Mellon and Knox were directors of the Pittsburgh National Bank of Commerce founded in 1864 located at Sixth and Wood Streets. Knox was a lifelong friend of William McKinley. His nickname was “Sleepy Phil” which is said to have been a) because he drowsed during board meetings or b) because Knox was cross-eyed making it difficult for his two eyes to track together.


1853—May 6—born in Brownsville, PA
1872—Graduated from Mt Union College, Alliance, Ohio (befriended Wm. McKinley there)
1872—Entered law office of H. B. Swope, Pittsburgh PA
1875—Admitted to the Bar.
1889—May 31—Johnstown Flood.
1901—April 5, 1904—appointed US Attorney General by President McKinley
1904—June 10—Appointed to fill US Senate post by Gov. Pennypacker of PA.
1905—Elected to US Senate for a full term.
1909—Resigned US Senate seat, became Secretary of State under Pres. Taft. (served till 1913)
1916—Reelected to US Senate. (4-Mar-1917 to 12-Oct 1921, his death)
1920—Delegate to Republican National Convention from PA.
1921—October 12—died in Washington DC; buried near his home, at Washington Memorial Cemetery, Valley Forge PA.

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(US State Department Biography)
Forty-Fourth Attorney General 1901-1904

Philander Knox was born on May 6, 1853, in Brownsville, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Mount Union College, Alliance, Ohio in 1872, entered the law office of H. B. Swope in Pittsburgh and was admitted to the bar in 1875. Knox was appointed Attorney General of the United States by President McKinley on April 5, 1901, and continued in that office under President Roosevelt until June 30, 1904. Governor Pennypacker appointed Knox to fill the United States Senate post vacated by the death of Honorable M. S. Quay. He took the seat on July 1, 1904 and in January of 1905 was elected by the legislature for a full term. Knox resigned his Senate seat to become Secretary of State under President Taft in 1909. He was reelected to the Senate in 1916. During his Senate career, he was responsible for drafting legislation which created the Department of Commerce, Department of Labor and for giving the Interstate Commerce Commission regulatory authority over railroad rates. Knox died in Washington, D.C. on October 12, 1921.

Knox, Philander Chase (1853-1921) -- also known as Philander C. Knox -- of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pa. Born in Brownsville, Fayette County, Pa., May 6, 1853. Republican. Lawyer; U.S. Attorney General, 1901-04; U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, 1904-09, 1917-21; resigned 1909; died in office 1921; candidate for Republican nomination for President, 1908, 1916; U.S. Secretary of State, 1909-13; delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1920. Died October 12, 1921. Interment at Washington Memorial Cemetery, Valley Forge, Pa. See also: congressional biography.
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Congressional Biography below:

KNOX, Philander Chase, a Senator from Pennsylvania; born in Brownsville, Fayette County, Pa., May 6, 1853; attended the University of West Virginia at Morgantown, and graduated from Mount Union College, Alliance, Ohio, in 1872; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1875 and commenced practice in Pittsburgh, Pa.; assistant United States district attorney for the western district of Pennsylvania in 1876; president of the Pennsylvania Bar Association in 1897; appointed Attorney General of the United States in the Cabinet of President William McKinley in 1901; reappointed by President Theodore Roosevelt and served until June 1904, when he resigned, having been appointed as a Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Matthew S. Quay; subsequently elected to fill the unexpired term and for the full term in 1905 and served from June 10, 1904, until March 4, 1909, when he resigned to enter the Cabinet; chairman, Committee on Coast Defenses (Fifty-eighth and Fifty-ninth Congresses, Committee on Rules (Sixtieth Congress); appointed Secretary of State by President William Taft 1909-1913; again elected to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1917, until his death in Washington, D.C., October 12, 1921; chairman, Committee on Rules (Sixty-sixth and Sixty-seventh Congresses); interment in Washington Memorial Cemetery, Valley Forge, Pa.
“Mrs Knox (nee Lillie Smith) is the daughter of Andrew Smith of the firm Smith, Sutton and Co. Mrs. Knox does a lot of social visiting” (The Social Mirror, 1888). They had at least one son: Philander Chase Knox. I have been in touch with members of this family.
There is a summary of Knox’s career at this website:
The legal biography at this site is also very good:

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