CRAWFORD, William Harris, (1772 - 1834)

Senate Years of Service: 1807-1813
Party: Democratic Republican

Courtesy U.S. Senate Historical Office

CRAWFORD, William Harris, a Senator from Georgia; born in Nelson County, Va., February 24, 1772; moved with his father to Edgefield District, S.C., in 1779 and to Columbia County, Ga., in 1783; pursued classical studies in a private school and in Richmond Academy, Augusta, Ga.; studied law; admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Lexington, Ga., in 1799; appointed to prepare a digest of the laws of Georgia in 1799; member, State house of representatives 1803-1807; elected to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Abraham Baldwin and served from November 7, 1807, to March 23, 1813, when he resigned; served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Twelfth Congress; declined appointment as Secretary of War under President James Madison in 1813; Minister to France 1813-1815; returned home to act as agent for the sale of the land donated by Congress to Lafayette; appointed Secretary of War by President Madison in August 1815; transferred to the Treasury in October 1816, and served under Presidents Madison and James Monroe until 1825; unsuccessful Democratic Republican candidate for President of the United States in 1824; due to illness refused the tender of President John Quincy Adams that he remain Secretary of the Treasury; returned to Georgia and was appointed judge of the northern circuit court in 1827, which position he held until his death in Oglethorpe County, Ga., September 15, 1834; interment on his estate, "Woodlawn," near Crawford, Oglethorpe County, Ga.


American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Green, Philip. The Life of William Crawford. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1965; Mooney, Chase. William H. Crawford, 1772-1834. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1974.