William H. Crawford

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William Crawford
WilliamHCrawford.jpg
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 C. Calhoun
United States Minister to France
In office
March 23, 1813 August 1, 1815
President James Madison
Preceded by Joel Barlow
Succeeded by Albert Gallatin
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
March 24, 1812 March 23, 1813
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
William Harris Crawford

(1772-02-24)February 24, 1772
Amherst County, Virginia, British America
DiedSeptember 15, 1834(1834-09-15) (aged 62)
Crawford, Georgia, U.S.
Political party Democratic-Republican (1803–1828)
Democratic (1828–1834)
Spouse(s)Susanna Gerardine
Children7
Bureau of Engraving and Printing portrait of Crawford as Secretary of the Treasury CRAWFORD, William H-Treasury (BEP engraved portrait).jpg
Bureau of Engraving and Printing portrait of Crawford as Secretary of the Treasury

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 and United States Secretary of the Treasury before running for president in the 1824 election.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 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. 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 most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

A politician is a person active in party politics, or a person holding or seeking office in government. Politicians propose, support and create laws or policies that govern the land and, by extension, its people. Broadly speaking, a "politician" can be anyone who seeks to achieve political power in any bureaucratic institution. Politician is someone who works for the government.

United States Secretary of War minister in the USA

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.

Contents

Born in Virginia, Crawford moved to Georgia at a young age. After studying law, Crawford won election to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1803. He aligned with the Democratic-Republican Party and U.S. Senator James Jackson. In 1807, the Georgia legislature elected Crawford to the United States Senate. After the death of Vice President George Clinton, Crawford's position as president pro tempore of the Senate made him first in the presidential line of succession from April 1812 to March 1813. In 1813, President James Madison appointed Crawford as the U.S. minister to France, and Crawford held that post for the remainder of the War of 1812. After the war, Madison appointed him to the position of Secretary of War. In October 1816, Madison chose Crawford for the position of Secretary of the Treasury, and Crawford would remain in that office for the remainder of Madison's presidency and for the duration of James Monroe's presidency.

Georgia (U.S. state) U.S. state in the United States

Georgia is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Georgia is the 24th largest in area and 8th-most populous of the 50 United States. Georgia is bordered to the north by Tennessee and North Carolina, to the northeast by South Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by Florida, and to the west by Alabama. Atlanta, a "beta(+)" global city, is both the state's capital and largest city. The Atlanta metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 5,949,951 in 2018, is the 9th most populous metropolitan area in the United States and contains about 60% of the entire state population.

Georgia House of Representatives

The Georgia House of Representatives is the lower house of the Georgia General Assembly of the U.S. state of Georgia. There are currently 180 elected members.

Democratic-Republican Party Historical American political party

The Democratic-Republican Party was an American political party founded by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in the early 1790s. The party championed republicanism, political equality, and expansionism. The Democratic-Republicans became increasingly dominant after the 1800 elections and splintered during and after the 1824 presidential election; one faction of the Democratic-Republicans eventually coalesced into the Democratic Party.

Crawford suffered a severe stroke in 1823, but nonetheless sought to succeed Monroe in the 1824 election. The Democratic-Republican Party splintered into factions as several others also sought the presidency. No candidate won a majority of the electoral vote, so the United States House of Representatives chose the president in a contingent election. Under the terms of the Constitution, the House selected from the three candidates who received the most electoral votes, leaving Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and Crawford in the running. The House selected Adams, who asked Crawford to remain at Treasury. Refusing Adams's offer, Crawford accepted appointment to the Georgia state superior court. He considered running in the 1832 presidential election, either for the presidency or the vice presidency, but ultimately chose not to run.

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

The United States House of Representatives is the lower house of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper house. Together they compose the national legislature of the United States.

Andrew Jackson 7th president of the United States

Andrew Jackson was an American soldier and statesman who served as the seventh president of the United States from 1829 to 1837. Before being elected to the presidency, Jackson gained fame as a general in the United States Army and served in both houses of Congress. As president, Jackson sought to advance the rights of the "common man" against a "corrupt aristocracy" and to preserve the Union.

John Quincy Adams Sixth President of the United States

John Quincy Adams was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, and diarist who served as the sixth president of the United States from 1825 to 1829. He previously served as the eighth United States Secretary of State from 1817 to 1825. During his long diplomatic and political career, Adams also served as an ambassador, and represented Massachusetts as a United States Senator and as a member of the United States House of Representatives. He was the eldest son of John Adams, who served as the second US president from 1797 to 1801, and First Lady Abigail Adams. Initially a Federalist like his father, he won election to the presidency as a member of the Democratic-Republican Party, and in the mid-1830s became affiliated with the Whig Party.

Early life

Crawford was born on February 24, 1772 in the portion of Amherst County, Virginia that later became Nelson County, the son of Joel Crawford and Fanny Harris, but at least one source has given his birthplace as Tusculum, a house whose site remains in Amherst County. [1] He moved with his family to Edgefield County, South Carolina in 1779 and to Columbia County, Georgia in 1783. Crawford was educated at private schools in Georgia and at Richmond Academy in Augusta. After his father's death, Crawford became the family's main financial provider, and he worked on the Crawford family farm and taught school. He later studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1799 and began to practice in Lexington. Also in 1799, Crawford was appointed by the state legislature to prepare a digest of Georgia's statutes.

Amherst County, Virginia U.S. county in Virginia

Amherst County is a county, located in the Piedmont region and near the center of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. The county is part of the Lynchburg, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area, and its county seat is also named Amherst.

Nelson County, Virginia U.S. county in Virginia

Nelson County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2018 census, the population was estimated to be 14,836. Its county seat is Lovingston. Nelson County is part of the Charlottesville, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area. Nelson County is home to Wintergreen Resort, a local ski area; Swannanoa mansion and is the location of Walton's Mountain made famous by the television show, The Waltons. Nelson County is also home to ten wineries, five craft breweries, two cideries, two distilleries, many fruit orchards and Crabtree Falls.

Tusculum (Amherst, Virginia) United States historic place

Tusculum was a historic home located near Amherst in Amherst County, Virginia, United States. It was a two-story Georgian and Federal style frame house built in two principal phases. The north section was built possibly as early as the 1750s, with the south section added about 1805. It sat on a brick and stone foundation and was covered in beaded weatherboard siding. The house was acquired by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities in 2003. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. The house has been described as "one of the oldest and most architecturally significant dwellings in the Virginia Piedmont", and is said by one source to have been the birthplace of Senator William H. Crawford.

State politics

He influenced Georgia politics for decades. [2] In 1803, Crawford was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives as a member of the Democratic-Republican Party, and he served until 1807. He allied himself with Senator James Jackson. Their enemies were the Clarkites, led by John Clark. In 1802, he shot and killed Peter Lawrence Van Alen, a Clark ally, in a duel. Four years later, on December 16, 1806, Crawford faced Clark himself in a duel, and Crawford's left wrist was shattered by a shot from Clark, but he eventually recovered. [3]

James Jackson (Georgia politician) American politician

James Jackson was an early British-born Georgia politician of the Democratic-Republican Party. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1789 until 1791. He was also a U.S. Senator from Georgia from 1793 to 1795, and from 1801 until his death in 1806. In 1797 he was elected 23rd Governor of Georgia, serving from 1798 to 1801.

John Clark (Georgia governor) American politician

John Clark was an American planter and politician.

In Congress

In 1807, Crawford joined the 10th United States Congress as the junior U.S. Senator from Georgia when the Georgia legislature elected him to replace George Jones, who had held the office for a few months after the death of Abraham Baldwin.

10th United States Congress

The Tenth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1807, to March 4, 1809, during the seventh and eighth years of Thomas Jefferson's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Second Census of the United States in 1800. Both chambers had an overwhelming Democratic-Republican majority.

Abraham Baldwin United States politician

Abraham Baldwin was an American minister, Patriot, politician, and Founding Father. Born and raised in Connecticut, he was a 1772 graduate of Yale College. After the Revolutionary War, Baldwin became a lawyer. He moved to the U.S. state of Georgia in the mid-1780s and founded the University of Georgia.

Crawford was elected President pro tempore of the Senate in March 1812, and then, following the April 20, 1812 death of Vice President George Clinton, Crawford, served as the permanent presiding officer of the United States Senate through March 4, 1813.

In 1811, Crawford declined to serve as Secretary of War in the Madison administration. In the Senate, he voted for several acts leading up to the War of 1812, and he supported the entry into the war, but he was ready for peace: [4] "Let it then be the wisdom of this nation to remain at peace, as long as peace is within its option." [5]

Minister to France

In 1813, President James Madison appointed Crawford as the US minister to France during the waning years of Napoleon's First French Empire. Crawford served until 1815, shortly after the end of the Napoleonic Wars. [6]

Cabinet

Upon Crawford's return, Madison appointed him as Secretary of War. After slightly more than a year of service in that post and after narrowly failing to win the Democratic-Republican nomination for the 1816 presidential race, President Madison appointed him Treasury Secretary. He remained in that role throughout President James Monroe's two-term Administration.

1824 election

The Congressional Caucus nominated Crawford for the 1824 election. However, Crawford had suffered a stroke in 1823 as a result of a prescription given to him by his physician. [7] The Democratic-Republican Party was now split, and one of the splinter groups nominated Crawford. Despite improved health and the support of former Presidents Madison and Thomas Jefferson, he finished third in the electoral vote, behind Senator and General Andrew Jackson, hero of the Battle of New Orleans, and Secretary of State John Quincy Adams. In the subsequent contingent election, the House elected Adams President.

Later life

Refusing Adams's request for him to 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.

Crawford was nominated for vice president by the Georgia legislature in 1828 but withdrew after support from other states was not forthcoming. Crawford also considered running for vice president in 1832 but decided against it, in favor of Martin Van Buren. Crawford also considered running for president again in 1832 but dropped the idea when Jackson decided to seek a second term.

Crawford is buried at the site of his home, about half a mile west of the current Crawford city limit.

Societies

During the 1820s, Crawford was a member of the prestigious society Columbian Institute for the Promotion of Arts and Sciences, which had among its members former Presidents Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams. [8]

Crawford also served as a Vice President in the American Colonization Society from its formation in 1817 to his death.

Family

Crawford was a descendant of John Crawford (1600–1676), who had come to Virginia in 1643 but participated and died in Bacon's Rebellion. John's son David Crawford I (1625–1698), was the father of David Crawford II (1662–1762), and the grandfather of David Crawford III (1697–1766). David Crawford III married Ann Anderson in 1727 and had 13 children, including Joel Crawford (1736–1788).

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

Legacy

Crawford depicted on United States fractional currency US-Fractional (5th Issue)-$0.50-Fr.1381.jpg
Crawford depicted on United States fractional currency

In 1875, Crawford appeared on the 50 cent bill.

The following places are named in his honor: [9]

Cities and towns

Counties

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References

  1. "History of a Household" . Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  2. Fair, John D. (2015). "Governor David B. Mitchell and the 'Black Birds' Slave Smuggling Scandal". Georgia Historical Quarterly. 99 (4). Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  3. Long, Kim. "The Almanac of Political Corruption, Scandals & Dirty Politics, (2008). ISBN   0307481344.
  4. Green, Philip J. (1942). "William H. Crawford and the War of 1812". The Georgia Historical Quarterly. 26 (1): 21. JSTOR   40576819.
  5. Gales, Joseph (1853). The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, Eleventh Congress, First and Second Sessions [volume 1]. Washington, D.C.: Gales and Seaton. p. 543. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  6. Kaplan, Lawrence S. (1976). "The Paris Mission of William Harris Crawford, 1813–1815". The Georgia Historical Quarterly. 60 (1): 9. JSTOR   40580240.
  7. They Also Ran, Irving Stone, p. 36
  8. Rathbun, Richard. The Columbian institute for the promotion of arts and sciences: A Washington Society of 1816–1838. Bulletin of the United States National Museum, October 18, 1917. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
  9. Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 95.
  10. 1 2 Krakow, Kenneth K. (1975). Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins (PDF). Macon, GA: Winship Press. p. 54. ISBN   0-915430-00-2.

Further reading

U.S. Senate
Preceded by
George Jones
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Georgia
1807–1813
Served alongside: John Milledge, Charles Tait
Succeeded by
William Bulloch
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Samuel White
Baby of the Senate
1807–1810
Succeeded by
Jenkin Whiteside
Political offices
Preceded by
John Pope
President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate
1812–1813
Succeeded by
Joseph Varnum
Preceded by
Alexander Dallas
Acting
United States Secretary of War
1815–1816
Succeeded by
George Graham
Acting
Preceded by
Alexander Dallas
United States Secretary of the Treasury
1816–1825
Succeeded by
Richard Rush
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Joel Barlow
United States Minister to France
1813–1815
Succeeded by
Albert Gallatin
Party political offices
Preceded by
James Monroe
Democratic-Republican nominee for President of the United States¹
1824
Served alongside: John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson
Party abolished
Notes and references
1. The Democratic-Republican Party split in the 1824 election, fielding four separate candidates.