Thomas Alexander Scott

Scott, Thomas Alexander, 1823–81, American railroad president, b. Fort Loudon, Pa. He was employed by the Pennsylvania RR as a station agent in 1850 and rose to become general superintendent (1858) and first vice president (1860). His efficiency in transporting Pennsylvania troops at the beginning of the Civil War won him a lieutenant colonelcy of volunteers, and from Aug., 1861, to June, 1862, he was Assistant Secretary of War (an office newly created by Congress) in charge of all government railroads and transportation lines. Later, at various times, he advised the government on the operation of its railroads. After the war he was active in promoting the enormous expansion of the Pennsylvania system, of which he was president (1874–80). His interest in a southern transcontinental railroad route deeply involved him in politics; Scott was instrumental in obtaining the southern support that made Rutherford B. Hayes president after the disputed election of 1876. He was also president of the Union Pacific (1871–72) and of the Texas Pacific (1872–80).

See S. R. Kamm, The Civil War Career of Thomas A. Scott (1940).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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