Alexander Kelly McClure (American National Biography)

Lewis L. Gould, "McClure, Alexander Kelly," American National Biography Online, February 2000,
The Republican National Convention in 1860 brought McClure greater political recognition. Long identified as an opponent of Simon Cameron, an important figure in the Pennsylvania Republican organization, McClure could only get a place on the state's delegation to the Republican National Convention by pledging to support his old foe Cameron. Once at the party conclave, the young editor and his allies on the delegation played key roles in winning the state's vote for Illinois's Abraham Lincoln rather than New York's William Seward. As a reward for having backed the winner, McClure became chairman of the Republican state committee in the autumn of 1860, helped elect Andrew G. Curtin as governor, and was an important organizer and campaigner of the People's party, the name under which the Republicans and their anti-Democratic partners campaigned in Pennsylvania. The coalition won the state for Lincoln in November.

During the Civil War McClure took a leading role as chairman of the state senate committee on military affairs in generating statewide support for the war effort. Accepting a commission from President Lincoln as a U.S. assistant adjutant general in 1862, he placed seventeen regiments in the field. McClure endorsed Lincoln throughout the war.

McClure remained active in Republican affairs throughout the 1860s. He supported Curtin for reelection in 1863 and served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1864. That same year he won election to the Pennsylvania house again and helped Lincoln carry the state in the presidential contest.
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