|Name||William Harris Crawford|
Lexington, Georgia , United States
|| February 24, 1772
|Died||September 15, 1834
|Contributor||U Ole Polecat|
|Last Modifed||Dr. Cynic|
Dec 17, 2020 01:25am
|Info||William Harris Crawford |
CRAWFORD, William Harris - American politician from Georgia whose presidential candidacy in 1824 brought about the demise of the congressional caucus.
Born in Amherst county, Virginia, on 2/24/1772. When he was seven his parents moved into Edgefield district, South Carolina, and four years later into Columbus county, Georgia. The death of his father in 1788 left the family in reduced circumstances, and William made what he could by teaching school for six years. He then studied at Carmel Academy for two years, was principal, for a time, of one of the largest schools in Augusta, and in 1798 was admitted to the bar. From 1801 to 1802, with Horatio Marbury, he prepared a digest of the laws of Georgia from 1755 to 1800.
Georgia State House 1803 to 1807. Became the leader of one of two personal / political factions in the state. Fought two duels, in one of which he killed his antagonist, and in the other was wounded in his wrist.
US Senate (DR-GA) 1807-1813. President pro tempore, 1812-1813 during the vanancy in the vice presidency.
In 1813 he declined the offer of the post of Secretary of War
Minister to France 1813-1815
Secretary of War 1815-1816
Secretary of the Treasury 1816 to 1825. Crawford was invited by JQ Adams to continue as Secretary of the Treasury, but declined.
Candidate for US President 1816; defeated for nomination in the congressional caucus
Suffered from poor health 1823-1826
Candidate for US President 1824. Victorious in the congressional caucus but placed third in the election.
Circuit judge 1827-1834; died while on circuit in Elberton, Georgia, on 9/15/1834.
In his day he was undoubtedly one of the foremost political leaders of the country, but his reputation has not stood the test of time. He was of imposing presence and had great conversational powers; but his inflexible integrity was not sufficiently tempered by tact and civility to admit of his winning general popularity. He won the admiration of Albert Gallatin and others by his powerful support of the movement in 1811 to recharter the Bank of the United States; he earned the condemnation of posterity by his authorship in 1820 of the four-years-term law, which limited the term of service of thousands of public officials to four years, and did much to develop the "spoils system."