Daniel S. Lamont

Daniel Scott Lamont (February 9, 1851 – July 23, 1905) was the United States Secretary of War during Grover Cleveland's second term.

Daniel S. Lamont
Daniel Lamont, bw photo portrait, 1904
39th United States Secretary of War
In office
March 5, 1893 – March 4, 1897
PresidentGrover Cleveland
Preceded byStephen Elkins
Succeeded byRussell A. Alger
Personal details
Daniel Scott Lamont

February 9, 1851
McGrawville, New York, U.S.
DiedJuly 23, 1905 (aged 54)
Millbrook, New York, U.S.
Resting placeWoodlawn Cemetery
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Juliet Lamont
EducationUnion College

Life and career

Lamont was born on his family’s farm in McGrawville, New York, to son of John B. Lamont and Elizabeth (née Scott) Lamont. He attended Union College at Schenectady, New York. While attending Union College, he joined from the Delta Upsilon Fraternity. Lamont was married to Julia Kinney and had two daughters.

He was employed as engrossing clerk and assistant journal clerk in the state capitol at Albany, New York, was a clerk on the staff of the Democratic state central committee in 1872, and was chief clerk of the New York department of state from 1875 to 1882.

In 1883, through his mentor Daniel Manning, Lamont was assigned to then-New York Governor Grover Cleveland's staff as a political prompter. He became private and military secretary with the honorary rank of colonel on the governor’s staff the same year, and continued in his service after Cleveland became president in 1885. Lamont also held employment with William C. Whitney in his business ventures in 1889.

From March 5, 1893 to March 5, 1897, Lamont was served as United States Secretary of War in President Cleveland's cabinet. Throughout his tenure, he urged the adoption of a three-battalion infantry regiment as a part of a general modernization and strengthening of the Army. Furthermore, Lamont recommended the construction of a central hall of records to house Army archives, and urged that Congress authorize the marking of important battlefields in the manner adopted for Antietam. He also recommended that lands being used by Apache prisoners at Fort Sill be acquired for their permanent use and their prisoner status be terminated.

After his service as Secretary of War, Lamont was vice president of the Northern Pacific Railway Company from 1898 to 1904. He was also a director of numerous banks and corporations. Lamont died in Millbrook, New York, on July 23, 1905, at aged 54. He was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, in The Bronx, New York City.

Lamont spent his summers in the Gray Gables neighborhood in Bourne, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod, near where Grover Cleveland owned a house. Cleveland and Lamont were known to have many parties during the summers. His old house still stands.


  • Bell, William Gardner (1992). "Daniel Scott Lamont". Secretaries of War and Secretaries of the Army. United States Army Center of Military History.

External links

Media related to Daniel S. Lamont at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by
Stephen B. Elkins
U.S. Secretary of War
Served under: Grover Cleveland

March 5, 1893 – March 4, 1897
Succeeded by
Russell A. Alger
Russell A. Alger

Russell Alexander Alger (February 27, 1836 – January 24, 1907) was the 20th Governor and U.S. Senator from the state of Michigan and also U.S. Secretary of War during the Presidential administration of William McKinley. He was supposedly a distant relation of Horatio Alger; although Russell Alger lived his own "rags-to-riches" success tale, eventually becoming an army officer, financier, lumber baron, railroad owner, and government official in several high offices.

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The Secretary of War was the head of the War Department. At first, he was responsible for all military affairs, including naval affairs. In 1798, the Secretary of the Navy was created by statute, and the scope of responsibility for this office was reduced to the affairs of the United States Army. From 1886 onward, the Secretary of War was in the line of succession to the presidency, after the Vice President of the United States, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President pro tem of the Senate and the Secretary of State.

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