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Cornelius N. Bliss

Merchant/Secretary of the Interior

Centurion, 1881–1911

Full Name Cornelius Newton Bliss

Born 26 January 1833 in Fall River, Massachusetts

Died 9 October 1911 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Buried Woodlawn Cemetery and Conservancy, Bronx, New York

Proposed by Erskine Mason, Edward M. Townsend, and Samuel B. Dana

Elected 5 November 1881 at age forty-eight

Proposer of:

Century Memorial

Cornelius Newton Bliss was one of the large-minded and open-handed merchants of New York. Born of old English stock in Fall River, Massachusetts, his whole life presented a record of advance from early narrow surroundings to a sphere of broad influence, into which he carried his amiable qualities and strong common-sense. Deeply interested in politics, he was a stalwart Republican, and as we know rose to a commanding position in the counsels of his party. Always averse to accepting office for himself, he was nevertheless persuaded to take the Secretaryship of the Interior for a while by President McKinley. As Secretary, he was among the first to promote the cause of forestry by calling the attention of Congress to the need to preserve our forests. He then had the matter transferred to the Department of Agriculture, where he deemed it properly belonged. His pre-eminent services to the Republican party were as Treasurer of the Republican National Committee in four successive presidential campaigns.

Henry Osborn Taylor
1912 Century Association Yearbook