Skip to main content Skip to search results

Crawford, William Harris, 1772-1834

 

Dates

  • Existence: 1772 - 1834

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.

Found in 5 Collections and/or Records:

Alexander James Dallas letter

Mss 816207.1
 Collection
Identifier: Mss 816207.1
Overview In English.

John McLean letter

Mss 815671.2
 Collection
Identifier: Mss 815671.2
Overview In English.

William Harris Crawford document

Mss 821317
 Collection
Identifier: Mss 821317
Overview In English.

William Harris Crawford letter

Mss 818258.1
 Collection
Identifier: Mss 818258.1
Overview In English.

William Harris Crawford letter

Mss 801202
 Collection
Identifier: Mss 801202
Scope and Contents Letter from William Harris Crawford to James Jackson, Crawford and Marbury seek compensation for compiling a digest of the laws of Georgia.