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Isaac Newton, the first commissioner of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, dies in office.

Isaac Newton, detail
06/19/1867

Isaac Newton, a Pennsylvania agriculturalist and the first United States Commissioner of the Agriculture Department, died on this day. He had been appointed as head of the Agricultural Section of the Patent Office after he befriended President Lincoln in 1861 and when a seperate Department of Agricultural was authorized in May 1862, Newton became its first commissioner.  A controversial and often divisive figure, he nevertheless established reporting procedures and efforts at experimental farms that set the new department firmly on its way.  He died in office a year after suffering a debilitating sunstroke while surveying the experimental farm in Washington, D.C. He was sixty-seven years old and is buried in the Mount Vernon Cemetery in Philadelphia.  (By John Osborne)

Source Citation: 

"Obituaries," The American Annual Cyclopedia and Register of Important Events of the Year 1867 ... (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1870), 566.

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