Marcy, William Learned
b. 1786-12-12
d. 1857-07-04
William Learned Marcy, American secretary of state, was born on 12 December 1786 in Sturbridge (later Southbridge), Massachusetts. Educated at Woodstock Academy and Brown University, Marcy studied law in New York and became active in politics. He served with the 155th Regiment during the War of 1812, and in April 1816, he was appointed recorder for the city of Troy, New York, a position he held, with some interruptions, to 1823. He served as comptroller for New York state, 1823-29, associate justice of the state supreme court, 1829-31, and as US senator from 1831 to January 1833, when he resigned to run for governor.1
A life-long Democrat, Marcy served as governor of New York from 1833-38, member of the Mexican Claims Commission from 1840-42, as secretary of war in the administration of President James K. Polk from 1844-48, and secretary of state under Franklin Pierce, 1852-56, during which time he was responsible for negotiating the Reciprocity Treaty with the British North American colonies in 1854. Marcy retired from public office in the spring of 1857. He died at Ballston, New York, on 4 July 1857.2
  • 1. Martha Mitchell, Marcy, William L., Encyclopedia Brunoniana, Brown University Library, 1993.
  • 2. Ibid.
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