PACKER, Asa (1805-1879)

PACKER, ASA, a Representative from Pennsylvania; born in Mystic, New London County, Conn., December 29, 1805; attended the district schools; moved to Springfield, Pa., in 1820; learned the trade of carpenter; moved to Mauch Chunk, Pa., in 1833; engaged in mercantile pursuits, and established a boat yard for the construction of canal boats; became interested in the production of coal and also in railroads; member of the State house of representatives in 1842 and 1843; associate judge of Carbon County in 1843 and 1844; built the Lehigh Valley Railroad in 1852 and was president of the company at the time of his death; elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-third and Thirty-fourth Congresses (March 4, 1853-March 3, 1857); declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1856; resumed his former business interests; founded Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.; unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania, 1869; died in Philadelphia, Pa., on May 17, 1879; interment in the Mauch Chunk Cemetery, Mauch Creek, Pa.

New-York Historical Society
New York, NY
Papers: February 24, 1855. 1 letter.
Finding aid in repository.

  • Howe, M. A. De Wolfe (Mark Antony De Wolfe). The Lehigh University, Asa Packer, founder. Reading, Pa.: Press of B. F. Owen, 1879.
  • Stuart, Milton Caleb. Asa Packer, 1805-1879, Captain of Industry; Educator; Citizen. [Princeton, N.J.: Printed at the Princeton University Press], 1938.