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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesPennsylvania

MACLAY, William

(1737—1804)

Senate Years of Service: 1789-1791
Party: Anti-Administration

MACLAY, William, (brother of Samuel Maclay and uncle of William Plunkett Maclay), a Senator from Pennsylvania; born in New Garden, Chester County, Pa., July 20, 1737; pursued classical studies; served as a lieutenant in an expedition to Fort Duquesne in 1758, and in other expeditions against the French and Indians; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1760; became a surveyor in the employ of the Penn family; prothonotary and clerk of the courts of Northumberland County in the 1770s; served in the Continental Army as a commissary in the Revolutionary War; frequent member of the State legislature in the 1780s; Indian commissioner, judge of the court of common pleas, and member of the executive council; elected to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1789, to March 3, 1791; retired to his farm in Dauphin, Pa.; member, State house of representatives 1795, and reelected in 1796 and 1797; presidential elector in 1796; county judge 1801-1803; member, State house of representatives 1803; died in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pa., April 16, 1804; interment in Old Paxtang Church Cemetery.


Bibliography

Dictionary of American Biography ; Maclay, William. The Journal of William Maclay and Other Notes on Senate Debates . Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, 4 March 1789-3 March 1791, vol. 9. Edited by Kenneth R. Bowling and Helen E. Veit. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988; Trees, Andy. “The Diary of William Maclay and Political Manners in the First Congress.” Pennsylvania History 69:2 (2002): 210-229.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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