Duane, William John

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Duane, William John

William John Duane, 1780–1865, U.S. Secretary of Treasury (June–Sept., 1833), b. Clonmel, Ireland. He emigrated (1796) to Philadelphia with his father, William Duane (1760–1835), and assisted him in publishing the Aurora until 1806. An influential lawyer, he served several terms in the Pennsylvania legislature and was powerful in state politics. He was appointed Secretary of Treasury by President Jackson to succeed Louis McLane, who was transferred to the Dept. of State because he refused to remove government deposits from the Bank of the United States to state banks. When Jackson made this request of Duane, the new Secretary also refused to carry out the transfer and was replaced by Roger B. Taney. Duane defended his own position in his documentary Narrative and Correspondence concerning the Removal of the Deposites (1838) and then withdrew from public life.

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