William H. Crawford

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.

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.

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.

William Crawford
WilliamHCrawford
7th United States Secretary of the Treasury
In office
October 22, 1816 – March 6, 1825
PresidentJames Madison
James Monroe
Preceded byAlexander Dallas
Succeeded byRichard Rush
9th United States Secretary of War
In office
August 1, 1815 – October 22, 1816
PresidentJames Madison
Preceded byAlexander Dallas (Acting)
Succeeded byGeorge Graham (Acting)
United States Minister to France
In office
March 23, 1813 – August 1, 1815
PresidentJames Madison
Preceded byJoel Barlow
Succeeded byAlbert Gallatin
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
March 24, 1812 – March 23, 1813
Preceded byJohn Pope
Succeeded byJoseph Varnum
United States Senator
from Georgia
In office
November 7, 1807 – March 23, 1813
Preceded byGeorge Jones
Succeeded byWilliam Bulloch
Personal details
Born
William Harris Crawford

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

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.

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]

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.

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

US-Fractional (5th Issue)-$0.50-Fr.1381
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

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. ^ a b 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

  • Cunningham, Noble (1996). The Presidency of James Monroe. University Press of Kansas. ISBN 0-7006-0728-5.
  • Garraty, John A. and Mark C. Carnes. American National Biography, vol. 5, "Crawford, William Harris". New York : Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Green, Philip Jackson (1965). The life of William Harris Crawford. University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
  • Green, Philip J. (1942). "William H. Crawford and the War of 1812". The Georgia Historical Quarterly. 26 (1): 16–39. JSTOR 40576819.
  • Howe, Daniel Walker (2007). What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848. Oxford History of the United States. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-507894-2.
  • Kaplan, Lawrence S. (1976). "The Paris Mission of William Harris Crawford, 1813–1815". The Georgia Historical Quarterly. 60 (1): 9–22. JSTOR 40580240.
  • Mooney, Chase C. (1974). William H. Crawford: 1772-1834. University Press of Kentucky.
  • Morgan, William G. (1972). "The Congressional Nominating Caucus of 1816: The Struggle against the Virginia Dynasty". The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. 80 (4): 461–475. JSTOR 4247750.
  • Shipp, J.E.D. (1909). Giant days, or The life and times of William H. Crawford. Southern Printers.
  • Skeen, C. Edward (1972). "Calhoun, Crawford, and the Politics of Retrenchment". The South Carolina Historical Magazine. 73 (3): 141–155. JSTOR 27567133.</ref>
  • Stone, Irving (1966). They Also Ran: The Story of the Men Who Were Defeated for the Presidency (Revised ed.). Doubleday. ISBN 978-0385074094.

External links

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.
1816 United States elections

The 1816 United States elections elected the members of the 15th United States Congress. Mississippi and Illinois were admitted as states during the 15th Congress. The election took place during the First Party System. The Democratic-Republican Party controlled the Presidency and both houses of Congress, while the Federalist Party provided only limited opposition. The election marked the start of the Era of Good Feelings, as the Federalist Party became nearly irrelevant in national politics after the War of 1812 and the Hartford Convention.

In the Presidential election, Democratic-Republican Secretary of State James Monroe easily defeated Federalist Senator Rufus King of New York. Monroe faced a more difficult challenge in securing his party's nomination, but was able to defeat Secretary of War William H. Crawford in the Democratic-Republican congressional nominating caucus. The Federalists never again fielded a presidential candidate.

In the House, Democratic-Republicans won major gains, and continued to dominate the chamber.In the Senate, Democratic-Republicans picked up a moderate number of seats, increasing their already-dominant majority.

1816 United States presidential election

The United States presidential election of 1816 was the eighth quadrennial presidential election. It was held from Friday, November 1 to Wednesday, December 4, 1816. In the first election following the end of the War of 1812, Democratic-Republican candidate James Monroe defeated Federalist Rufus King. The election was the last in which the Federalist Party fielded a presidential candidate.

As President James Madison chose to retire after serving two terms, the Democratic-Republicans held a congressional nominating caucus in March 1816. With the support of Madison and former President Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State Monroe defeated Secretary of War William H. Crawford to win his party's presidential nomination. Governor Daniel D. Tompkins of New York won the Democratic-Republican vice presidential nomination, continuing the party's tradition of balancing a presidential nominee from Virginia with a vice presidential nominee from either New York or New England. The Federalists did not formally nominate a ticket, but Senator King of New York emerged as the de facto Federalist candidate.

The previous four years of American politics were dominated by the effects of the War of 1812. While the war had not ended in victory, the peace concluded in 1815 was satisfactory to the American people, and the Democratic-Republicans received the credit for its conclusion. The Federalists found themselves discredited by their opposition to the war, as well as the secessionist rhetoric from New England embodied by the Hartford Convention. Furthermore, President Madison had succeeded in realizing certain measures favored by the Federalists, including a national bank and protective tariffs. The Federalists had little to campaign on, and King himself held little hope of ending the Democratic-Republican winning streak in presidential elections. Monroe won the Electoral College by the wide margin, carrying 16 of the 19 states. This would be the last election where Federalists

would run a candidate.

1824 United States presidential election in Alabama

The 1824 United States presidential election in Alabama took place between October 26 and December 2, 1824, as part of the 1824 United States presidential election. Voters chose five representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

During this election, the Democratic-Republican Party was the only major national party, and four different candidates from this party sought the Presidency. Alabama voted for Andrew Jackson over John Quincy Adams, William H. Crawford and Henry Clay. Jackson won Alabama by a margin of 51.52%.

1824 United States presidential election in Connecticut

The 1824 United States presidential election in Connecticut took place between October 26 and December 2, 1824, as part of the 1824 United States presidential election. Voters chose eight representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

During this election, the Democratic-Republican Party was the only major national party, and four different candidates from this party sought the Presidency. Connecticut voted for John Quincy Adams over William H. Crawford, Andrew Jackson, and Henry Clay. Adams won Connecticut by a margin of 51.93%.

1824 United States presidential election in Delaware

The 1824 United States presidential election in Delaware took place between October 26 and December 2, 1824, as part of the 1824 United States presidential election. Voters chose three representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

During this election, the Democratic-Republican Party was the only major national party, and four different candidates from this party sought the Presidency. Delaware cast two electoral votes for William H. Crawford and one for John Quincy Adams.

1824 United States presidential election in Georgia

The 1824 United States presidential election in Georgia took place between October 26 and December 2, 1824, as part of the 1824 United States presidential election. The state legislature chose nine representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

During this election, the Democratic-Republican Party was the only major national party, and four different candidates from this party sought the Presidency. Georgia cast nine electoral votes for native William H. Crawford.

1824 United States presidential election in Illinois

The 1824 United States presidential election in Illinois took place between October 26 and December 2, 1824, as part of the 1824 United States presidential election. Voters chose three representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

During this election, the Democratic-Republican Party was the only major national party, and four different candidates from this party sought the Presidency. Although Illinois voted for John Quincy Adams over Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, and William H. Crawford, only one of the state's electoral votes were assigned to Adams, while the remaining two were assigned to Jackson. Adams won Illinois by a margin of 5.23%.

1824 United States presidential election in Kentucky

The 1824 United States presidential election in Kentucky took place between October 26 and December 2, 1824, as part of the 1824 United States presidential election. Voters chose 14 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

During this election, the Democratic-Republican Party was the only major national party, and four different candidates from this party sought the Presidency. Kentucky voted for Henry Clay over Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and William H. Crawford. Clay won Kentucky, his home state, by a wide margin of 45.54%.

1824 United States presidential election in Maine

The 1824 United States presidential election in Maine took place between October 26 and December 2, 1824, as part of the 1824 United States presidential election. Voters chose nine representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

During this election, the Democratic-Republican Party was the only major national party, and four different candidates from this party sought the Presidency. Maine voted for John Quincy Adams over William H. Crawford, Henry Clay, and Andrew Jackson. Adams won Maine by a margin of 63.0%.

1824 United States presidential election in Maryland

The 1824 United States presidential election in Maryland took place between October 26 and December 2, 1824, as part of the 1824 United States presidential election. Voters chose eleven representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

During this election, the Democratic-Republican Party was the only major national party, and four different candidates from this party sought the Presidency. Although Maryland voted for John Quincy Adams over Andrew Jackson, William H. Crawford and Henry Clay, only three electoral votes were assigned to Adams, while Jackson received seven and Crawford received one. Adams won Maryland by a margin of 0.32%.

1824 United States presidential election in Mississippi

The 1824 United States presidential election in Mississippi took place between October 26 and December 2, 1824, as part of the 1824 United States presidential election. Voters chose three representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

During this election, the Democratic-Republican Party was the only major national party, and four different candidates from this party sought the Presidency. Mississippi voted for Andrew Jackson over John Quincy Adams, William H. Crawford and Henry Clay. Jackson won Mississippi by a margin of 29.97%.

1824 United States presidential election in New Hampshire

The 1824 United States presidential election in New Hampshire took place between October 26 and December 2, 1824, as part of the 1824 United States presidential election. Voters chose eight representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

During this election, the Democratic-Republican Party was the only major national party, and four different candidates from this party sought the Presidency. New Hampshire voted for John Quincy Adams over William H. Crawford, Andrew Jackson, and Henry Clay. Adams won New Hampshire by a margin of 87.18%.

1824 United States presidential election in New Jersey

The 1824 United States presidential election in New Jersey took place between October 26 and December 2, 1824, as part of the 1824 United States presidential election. Voters chose eight representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

During this election, the Democratic-Republican Party was the only major national party, and four different candidates from this party sought the Presidency. New Jersey voted for Andrew Jackson over John Quincy Adams, William H. Crawford, and Henry Clay. Jackson won New Jersey by 100% of the vote.

1824 United States presidential election in New York

The 1824 United States presidential election in New York took place between October 26 and December 2, 1824, as part of the 1824 United States presidential election. The state legislature chose thirty-six representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

During this election, the Democratic-Republican Party was the only major national party, and four different candidates from this party sought the Presidency. New York cast twenty-six electoral votes for John Quincy Adams, five for William H. Crawford, four for Henry Clay and one for Andrew Jackson.

1824 United States presidential election in North Carolina

The 1824 United States presidential election in North Carolina took place between October 26 and December 2, 1824, as part of the 1824 United States presidential election. Voters chose 15 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

During this election, the Democratic-Republican Party was the only major national party, and four different candidates from this party sought the Presidency. North Carolina voted for Andrew Jackson over William H. Crawford, Henry Clay, and John Quincy Adams. Jackson won North Carolina by a margin of 12.77%.

1824 United States presidential election in Pennsylvania

The 1824 United States presidential election in Pennsylvania took place between October 26 and December 2, 1824, as part of the 1824 United States presidential election. Voters chose 28 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

During this election, the Democratic-Republican Party was the only major national party, and four different candidates from this party sought the Presidency. Pennsylvania voted for Andrew Jackson over John Quincy Adams, William H. Crawford, and Henry Clay. Jackson won Pennsylvania by a wide margin of 64.54%.

1824 United States presidential election in Rhode Island

The 1824 United States presidential election in Rhode Island took place between October 26 and December 2, 1824, as part of the 1824 United States presidential election. Voters chose four representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

During this election, the Democratic-Republican Party was the only major national party, and four different candidates from this party sought the Presidency. Rhode Island voted for John Quincy Adams over William H. Crawford, Henry Clay, and Andrew Jackson. Adams won Rhode Island by a margin of 82.94%.

1824 United States presidential election in Tennessee

The 1824 United States presidential election in Tennessee took place between October 26 and December 2, 1824, as part of the 1824 United States presidential election. Voters chose 11 representatives, or electors, to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

During this election, the Democratic-Republican Party was the only major national party and four different candidates from this party sought the Presidency. Tennessee voted for Andrew Jackson over William H. Crawford, John Quincy Adams, and Henry Clay. Jackson won Tennessee, his home state, by a wide margin of 95.94%.

1824 United States presidential election in Virginia

The 1824 United States presidential election in Virginia took place between October 26 and December 2, 1824, as part of the 1824 United States presidential election. Voters chose 24 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

During this election, the Democratic-Republican Party was the only major national party, and four different candidates from this party sought the Presidency. Virginia voted for William H. Crawford over John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, and Henry Clay. Crawford won Virginia by a margin of 33.44%.

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