Samuel Dexter

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Samuel Dexter
Samuel Dexter.jpg
3rd United States Secretary of the Treasury
In office
January 1, 1801 May 13, 1801
President John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
Preceded by Oliver Wolcott
Succeeded by Albert Gallatin
4th United States Secretary of War
In office
June 1, 1800 January 31, 1801
President John Adams
Preceded by James McHenry
Succeeded by Henry Dearborn
United States Senator
from Massachusetts
In office
March 4, 1799 May 30, 1800
Preceded by Theodore Sedgwick
Succeeded by Dwight Foster
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from Massachusetts's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1793 March 3, 1795
Servingwith Fisher Ames, Benjamin Goodhue, and Samuel Holten (General Ticket)
Preceded by Fisher Ames
Succeeded by Theodore Sedgwick
Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
In office
1788–1790
Personal details
Born(1761-05-14)May 14, 1761
Boston, Massachusetts
Died May 4, 1816(1816-05-04) (aged 54)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political party Federalist
Alma mater Harvard University
Signature Samuel Dexter Signature.svg

Samuel Dexter (May 14, 1761 May 4, 1816) was an early American statesman who served both in Congress and in the Presidential Cabinets of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Cabinet of the United States advisory body to the President of the United States

The Cabinet of the United States is part of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States. The Cabinet's role, inferred from the language of the Opinion Clause of the Constitution is to serve as an advisory body to the President of the United States. Additionally, the Twenty-fifth Amendment authorizes the Vice President, together with a majority of certain members of the Cabinet, to declare the president "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office". Among the senior officers of the Cabinet are the Vice President and the heads of the federal executive departments, all of whom—if eligible—are in the line of succession. Members of the Cabinet serve at the pleasure of the President, who can dismiss them at will for no cause. All federal public officials, including Cabinet members, are also subject to impeachment by the House of Representatives and trial in the Senate for "treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors".

John Adams 2nd president of the United States

John Adams was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He served as the second president of the United States (1797–1801), after serving as the first vice president (1789–1797). He was a lawyer, diplomat, and leader of American independence from Great Britain. Adams was a dedicated diarist, and correspondent with his wife and advisor Abigail, recording important historical information on the era.

Contents

Early life and education

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, to the Rev. Samuel Dexter, the 4th minister of Dedham, he graduated from Harvard University in 1781 and then studied law at Worcester under Levi Lincoln Sr., the future Attorney General of the United States. After he passed the bar in 1784, he began practicing in Lunenburg, Massachusetts.

Dedham, Massachusetts Town in Massachusetts, United States

DedhamDED-əm is a town in and the county seat of Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 24,729 at the 2010 census. It is located on Boston's southwest border. On the northwest it is bordered by Needham, on the southwest by Westwood and on the southeast by Canton. The town was first settled by Europeans in 1635.

Harvard University private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with about 6,700 undergraduate students and about 15,250 post graduate students. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the United States' oldest institution of higher learning, and its history, influence, and wealth have made it one of the world's most prestigious universities.

Worcester, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

Worcester is a city in, and the county seat of, Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. Named after Worcester, England, as of the 2010 Census the city's population was 181,045, making it the second most populous city in New England after Boston. Worcester is located approximately 40 miles (64 km) west of Boston, 50 miles (80 km) east of Springfield and 40 miles (64 km) north of Providence. Due to its location in Central Massachusetts, Worcester is known as the "Heart of the Commonwealth", thus, a heart is the official symbol of the city. However, the heart symbol may also have its provenance in lore that the Valentine's Day card, although not invented in the city, was mass-produced and popularized by Esther Howland who resided in Worcester.

Congressional career

He was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives and served from 1788 to 1790. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives as a Federalist and served in the 3rd Congress (March 4, 1793 – March 3, 1795). He served in the United States Senate from March 4, 1799, to May 30, 1800 (the 6th Congress).

Massachusetts House of Representatives lower house of U.S. state legislature

The Massachusetts House of Representatives is the lower house of the Massachusetts General Court, the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is composed of 160 members elected from 12 counties each divided into single-member electoral districts across the Commonwealth. The House of Representatives convenes at the Massachusetts State House in Boston.

United States House of Representatives lower house of the United States Congress

The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they comprise the legislature of the United States.

Federalist Party first American political party

The Federalist Party, referred to as the Pro-Administration party until the 3rd United States Congress as opposed to their opponents in the Anti-Administration party, was the first American political party. It existed from the early 1790s to the 1820s, with their last presidential candidate being fielded in 1816. They appealed to business and to conservatives who favored banks, national over state government, manufacturing, and preferred Britain and opposed the French Revolution.

During a House discussion on a Naturalization Bill in 1795, Virginia Representative William Branch Giles controversially suggested that all immigrants be forced to take an oath renouncing any titles of nobility they previously held. Dexter responded by questioning why Catholics were not required to denounce allegiance to the Pope, because priestcraft had initiated more problems throughout history than aristocracy. Dexter's points caused an infuriated James Madison to defend American Catholics, many of whom, such as Charles Carroll of Carrollton, had been good citizens during the American Revolution, and to point out that hereditary titles were barred under the Constitution in any event. [1]

William Branch Giles American politician

William Branch Giles was an American statesman, long-term Senator from Virginia, and the 24th Governor of Virginia. He served in the House of Representatives from 1790 to 1798 and again from 1801 to 1803; in between, he was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, and was an Elector for Jefferson in 1800. He served as United States Senator from 1804 to 1815, and then served briefly in the House of Delegates again. After a time in private life, he joined the opposition to John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay, in 1824; he ran for the Senate again in 1825, and was defeated, but appointed Governor for 3 one-year terms in 1827; he was succeeded by John Floyd, in the year of his death.

Charles Carroll of Carrollton American planter and signatory of the Declaration of Independence

Charles Carroll, known as Charles Carroll of Carrollton or Charles Carroll III to distinguish him from his similarly-named relatives, was a wealthy Maryland planter and an early advocate of independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain and one of the signers of the American Declaration of Independence. He is sometimes referred to as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, although he was not involved in framing the United States Constitution. He served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and Confederation Congress and later as first United States Senator for Maryland. He was the sole Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence. Carroll was the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence - and the longest lived. Carroll was known contemporaneously as the "First Citizen" of the American Colonies, a consequence of his editorials in the Maryland Gazette. Carroll was the wealthiest, the longest-lived survivor, and possessed the highest formal education of all of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. A product of his 17-year Jesuit education in France, Carroll spoke five languages fluently.

In December 1799, he delivered the Senate eulogy for George Washington. Dexter served in the Senate for less than a year, and resigned in order to accept his appointment as United States Secretary of War in the administration of President John Adams.

Eulogy

A eulogy is a speech or writing in praise of a person(s) or thing(s), especially one who recently died or retired or as a term of endearment.

George Washington 1st president of the United States

George Washington was an American political leader, military general, statesman, and Founding Father, who also served as the first president of the United States (1789–1797). Washington commanded Patriot forces in the new nation's vital American Revolutionary War, and led them to victory over the British. Washington also presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, which established the new federal government. For his manifold leadership during the American Revolution, he has been called the "Father of His Country".

United States Secretary of War

The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War", had been appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation between 1781 and 1789. Benjamin Lincoln and later Henry Knox held the position. When Washington was inaugurated as the first president under the Constitution, he appointed Knox to continue serving as Secretary of War.

Tenures as Secretary of War and Secretary of the Treasury

During his time at the War Department he urged congressional action to permit appointment and compensation of field officers for general staff duty.

When Secretary of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott Jr. resigned in December 1800, Adams appointed Dexter as interim Secretary, and Dexter served from January to May 1801. With incoming President Thomas Jefferson wanting to delay his choice for Secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin, for a recess appointment in May, Dexter agreed to retain his duties as Secretary of the Treasury for the first two months of Jefferson's term. [2] In a letter to his wife on March 5, 1801, Gallatin said that Dexter had behaved "with great civility." [3]

Oliver Wolcott Jr. United States federal judge

Oliver Wolcott Jr. was an American politician. He was United States Secretary of the Treasury from 1795 to 1800 and the 24th Governor of Connecticut from 1817 to 1827.

Albert Gallatin Genevan-American ethnologist, linguist, founder of New York University, politician, diplomat, congressman, Senator and the longest-serving United States Secretary of the Treasury

Abraham Alfonse Albert Gallatin, born de Gallatin was a Genevan-American politician, diplomat, ethnologist and linguist. He was an important leader of the Democratic-Republican Party, serving in various federal elective and appointed positions across four decades. He represented Pennsylvania in the Senate and the House of Representatives before becoming the longest-tenured United States Secretary of the Treasury and serving as a high-ranking diplomat.

In the United States, a recess appointment is an appointment by the President of a federal official when the U.S. Senate is in recess. Under the U.S. Constitution's Appointments Clause, the president is empowered to nominate, and with the advice and consent (confirmation) of the United States Senate, make appointments to high-level policy-making positions in federal departments, agencies, boards, and commissions. A recess appointment under Article II, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution is an alternative method of appointing officials that allows the filling of vacancies to maintain the continuity of administrative government through the temporary filling of offices during periods when the Senate is not in session.

Later career

He returned to Boston in 1805 and resumed the practice of law. He left the Federalists and became a Democratic-Republican because he supported the War of 1812. He was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Massachusetts in 1814, 1815 and 1816.

Dexter was an ardent supporter of the temperance movement and presided over its first formal organization in Massachusetts. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1800. [4]

Death and legacy

Dexter depicted on US fractional currency US-Fractional (4th Issue)-$0.50-Fr.1379.jpg
Dexter depicted on US fractional currency

He died on May 4, 1816, shortly before his 55th birthday and is buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Simon Newton Dexter and Andrew Dexter, Jr. were his nephews.

Samuel W. Dexter, founder of Dexter, Michigan, was his son.

Samuel Dexter is the namesake of Dexter, Maine. [5] The USRC Dexter (1830) was named in his honor.

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References

  1. Irving Brant, James Madison: Father of the constitution, 1787-1800, Indianapolis, Ind. and New York: Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1950, pp. 420–21.
  2. Dumas Malone, Jefferson The President: First Term, 1801-1805, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1970, pp. 34–36.
  3. Dumas Malone, Jefferson The President: First Term, 1801-1805, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1970, p. 36n.
  4. "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter D" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  5. Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 105.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Fisher Ames
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
Massachusetts's 1st congressional district

1793–1795
Succeeded by
Theodore Sedgwick
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Theodore Sedgwick
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Massachusetts
1799–1800
Served alongside: Benjamin Goodhue
Succeeded by
Dwight Foster
Political offices
Preceded by
James McHenry
United States Secretary of War
1800–1801
Succeeded by
Henry Dearborn
Preceded by
Oliver Wolcott
United States Secretary of the Treasury
1801
Succeeded by
Albert Gallatin