William H. Crawford


William H. Crawford
William Crawford
7th United States Secretary of the Treasury
In office
October 22, 1816 – March 6, 1825
President James Madison
James Monroe
Preceded by Alexander Dallas
Succeeded by Richard Rush
9th United States Secretary of War
In office
August 1, 1815 – October 22, 1816
President James Madison
Preceded by James Monroe
Succeeded by John Calhoun
United States Ambassador to France
In office
March 23, 1813 – August 1, 1815
Appointed by James Madison
Preceded by Joel Barlow
Succeeded by Albert Gallatin
President pro tempore of the Senate
In office
March 24, 1812 – March 23, 1813
President James Madison
Preceded by John Pope
Succeeded by Joseph Varnum
United States Senator
from Georgia
In office
November 7, 1807 – March 23, 1813
Preceded by George Jones
Succeeded by William Bulloch
Personal details
Born February 24, 1772(1772-02-24)
Amherst County, Virginia
Died September 15, 1834(1834-09-15) (aged 62)
Crawford, Georgia, United States
Political party Democratic-Republican Party
Spouse(s) Susanna Gerardine
Profession Lawyer
Judge
Farmer
Teacher

William Harris Crawford (February 24, 1772 – September 15, 1834) was an American politician and judge during the early 19th century. He served as United States Secretary of War from 1815 to 1816 and United States Secretary of the Treasury from 1816 to 1825, and was a candidate for President of the United States in 1824.

Contents

Political career

In 1803, Crawford was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives as a member of the Democratic-Republican Party. In 1807, Crawford joined the 10th United States Congress mid-term as the junior U.S. Senator from Georgia when the Georgia legislature elected him to replace George Jones, an appointee who had held the office for a few months after the death of Abraham Baldwin.

Crawford was elected President pro tempore in 1811. When Vice President George Clinton died on April 20, 1812, Crawford, as President pro tempore, became "Acting Vice President" until March 4, 1813.

In 1813, President James Madison appointed Crawford as the U.S. minister to France during the waning years of the First French Empire; Crawford held that ministerial post until 1815, shortly after the end of the War of 1812.

Upon Crawford's return, Madison appointed him as Secretary of War. After slightly more than a year of satisfactory service in that post (and after disclaiming interest in the 1816 Democratic-Republican nomination for President), Crawford moved within the Cabinet to become Secretary of the Treasury. He remained in that position through the rest of Madison's term and Monroe's entire administration which ended in 1825.

Crawford was again a leading candidate for the Democratic-Republican presidential nomination in 1824. However, Crawford was put out of the running because of a paralytic stroke he suffered in 1823 that was brought on by a prescription given to him by his physician.[1] The Democratic-Republican Party split around this time and one of the splinter groups nominated Crawford. Despite Crawford's improved health (and the support of former presidents Madison and Thomas Jefferson), he finished third in the electoral vote, behind John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. He thus was still in the nominal running when the Presidential election ended up in the House of Representatives, due to the provision within the Twelfth Amendment giving a line on the House ballot to each of the top three candidates, but his stroke made him a non-factor there.

Refusing Adams's request that he remain at the Treasury, Crawford then returned to Georgia, where he was appointed as a state superior court judge. Crawford remained an active judge until his death a decade later.

Societies

During the 1820s, Crawford was a member of the prestigious society, Columbian Institute for the Promotion of Arts and Sciences, who counted among their members former presidents Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams and many prominent men of the day, including well-known representatives of the military, government service, medical and other professions.[2] Crawford also served as a Vice President in the American Colonization Society from its formation in 1817 until his death.

Personal life

Crawford was born in Amherst County, Virginia, but his family moved south to the village of Appling in Columbia County, Georgia, when he was a boy. As a young man, he worked as a farmer and a schoolteacher for about 10 years, then began to practice law in Lexington, Georgia, in 1799.

His cousin George W. Crawford served as Secretary of War under President Zachary Taylor.

Crawford was buried in Crawford Cemetery in Crawford, Georgia.

The 50 cent treasury note bearing Crawford's portrait.

Legacy

The following are named in honor of William H. Crawford.

Cities and Towns

Counties

Crawford is buried in Crawford, Georgia. In 1875, Crawford appeared on the 50 cent bill.

Notes

  • Garraty, John A. and Mark C. Carnes. American National Biography, vol. 5, "Crawford, William Harris". New York : Oxford University Press, 1999.

References

External links

United States Senate
Preceded by
George Jones
Senator (Class 2) from Georgia
1807–1813
Served alongside: John Milledge, Charles Tait
Succeeded by
William Bulloch
Preceded by
John Pope
President pro tempore of the Senate
1812–1813
Succeeded by
Joseph Varnum
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Joel Barlow
United States Minister to France
1813–1815
Succeeded by
Albert Gallatin
Political offices
Preceded by
James Monroe
United States Secretary of War
Served under: James Madison

1815–1816
Succeeded by
John Calhoun
Preceded by
Alexander Dallas
United States Secretary of the Treasury
Served under: James Madison, James Monroe

1816–1825
Succeeded by
Richard Rush
Party political offices
Preceded by
James Monroe
Democratic-Republican nominee for President of the United States
1824
Served alongside: John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay
Party abolished



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