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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesNew York

John Canfield SPENCER

(1788-1855)

SPENCER, John Canfield, (son of Ambrose Spencer), a Representative from New York; born in Hudson, N.Y., January 8, 1788; was graduated from Union College, Schenectady, N.Y., in 1806; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1809 and commenced practice in Canandaigua, N.Y.; served in the War of 1812; Judge Advocate General in 1813; postmaster of Canandaigua, N.Y.; assistant attorney general for western New York in 1815; elected as a Republican to the Fifteenth Congress (March 4, 1817-March 3, 1819); was not a candidate for renomination in 1818; member of the State assembly in 1820 and 1821, and served as speaker in 1820; served in the State senate 1824-1828; special attorney general to prosecute the abductors of Morgan; again a member of the State assembly in 1831 and 1832; secretary of state of New York in 1839; appointed Secretary of War by President Tyler October 12, 1841, and served until March 3, 1843; Secretary of the Treasury March 3, 1843, to May 2, 1844, when he resigned; nominated by President Tyler to the United States Supreme Court on January 9, 1844, but was rejected by the Senate; died in Albany, N.Y., May 17, 1855; interment in Albany Rural Cemetery, Menands, N.Y.

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

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