Cameron, Ralph H. (Ralph Henry), 1863-

Alternative names
Birth 1863-10-21
Death 1953-02-12

Biographical notes:

Delegate to the U.S. Congress from Arizona, 1909-1912; U.S. Senator, 1921-1927; and businessman, operated Cameron's Hotel and Camps and developed Bright Angel Trail at the Grand Canyon.

From the description of Ralph Henry Cameron papers, 1899-1915. (University of Arizona). WorldCat record id: 31388166

From the guide to the Ralph Henry Cameron papers, 1899-1915, (University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections)

Politician; Ralph Henry Cameron was a Flagstaff resident, territorial delegate to Congress, and U.S. Senator from 1921 to 1927.

From the description of Cameron letters, 1908-1912. (Arizona Historical Society, Southern Arizona Division). WorldCat record id: 44151570

Ralph Henry Cameron was born in Southport, Maine, in 1863. He moved to Arizona in 1883, and operated a sheep ranch with his brother Niles in Flagstaff. In 1890, he and his partners turned to mining and filed numerous mining claims in and around the Grand Canyon. Beginning in 1891, Cameron and his associates built and operated the Bright Angel Trail as a toll road from the Grand Canyon's South Rim to the Colorado River. Also in 1891, Cameron was appointed Sheriff of Coconino County. He also served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in St. Louis in 1896 and served on the Coconino County Board of Supervisors as Chairman, from 1905. In 1908, he defeated Democratic incumbent Marcus A. Smith to become Arizona's Territorial delegate to Congress. His term in as delegate was marked, above all, by the successful efforts to secure Arizona's statehood, which was approved by Congress and President Taft in 1911. Cameron, who expected Arizona's voters to reward him for his successes in securing statehood, lost in his first attempt for a Senate position in 1912, and lost again when he ran for the Governor's seat two years later. Cameron eventually won election to the Senate in 1920, where he served one term. He ran for the Senate unsuccessfully on two subsequent occasions, after which he retired from public life.

Throughout his political career, Cameron continued to operate, often through proxies and associates, numerous businesses in the Grand Canyon region. He defended, often unsuccessfully, his tenuous mining claims in the Grand Canyon and his control over the Bright Angel Trail. He also battled with the Santa Fe Railway, the United States Forest Service, and the Department of Interior for control over mining claims and the tourism industry at Grand Canyon. He died in Washington, D. C. in 1953.

From the description of Papers of Ralph H. Cameron, 1902-1922. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 405618062


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Ark ID:


  • Land use
  • Statehood (American politics)
  • Snake dance
  • Water rights
  • Politicians--Archives
  • Hotels
  • Tourism--Grand Canyon--History--Sources
  • Tourist camps, hostels, etc
  • Mines and Mineral Resources
  • Legislators
  • Ranching--History--Sources


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  • Arizona (as recorded)
  • Arizona (as recorded)
  • Navajo Indian Reservation (as recorded)
  • Grand Canyon (Ariz.) (as recorded)
  • Gila River Region (N.M. and Ariz.) (as recorded)
  • Tucson (Ariz.) (as recorded)
  • Little Colorado River (N.M. and Ariz.) (as recorded)
  • Arizona (as recorded)
  • Arizona--Grand Canyon (as recorded)
  • Arizona--Coconino County (as recorded)
  • Grand Canyon (Ariz.) (as recorded)