Samuel Maclay, U.S. Senator

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Samuel Maclay

Birthdate: (70)
Birthplace: Lurgan Township, PA
Death: October 5, 1811 (70)
Buffalo Township, PA, United States
Place of Burial: Maclay Family Cemetery Vicksburg (Union County) Union County Pennsylvania
Immediate Family:

Son of Charles Maclay and Eleanor Maclay
Husband of Elizabeth Maclay
Father of Hon. William Plunkett Maclay; Robert Plunket Maclay and Samuel Maclay
Brother of Dr. John Maclay; Sen. William Maclay (Anti-PA); Charles Maclay and Eleanor Maclay

Managed by: Private User
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About Samuel Maclay, U.S. Senator

A Patriot of the American Revolution for Pennsylvania with the rank of LIEUTENANT COLONEL . DAR Ancestor #: A072949

Samuel Maclay (June 17, 1741 – October 5, 1811) was an American surveyor, farmer, and politician from Union County, Pennsylvania. He served in the state legislature and represented Pennsylvania in both the U.S. House and the United States Senate.


Maclay was born the younger brother of future Pennsylvania senator William Maclay. He was born in Lurgan Township, Pennsylvania, at Maclay's Mill and served in the Revolutionary War.

In 1790, Maclay performed his first state work as a surveyor of the streams of northwestern Pennsylvania. He became an associate judge of Franklin County, Pennsylvania and served between 1792 and 1975. Maclay was the father of William Plunkett Maclay.

Political life

Maclay was elected to the Fourth Congress. He served as a member of the lower house of the State legislature in 1797 and was a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate from 1798 to 1802 and served as speaker from 1801 to 1802.

He was elected to the United States Senate as a Democratic Republican by the Pennsylvania legislature and began service in 1803. Popular among Pennsylvanians, he was an infrequent Senate speaker, but was frequently mentioned as his party's possible candidate for governor, but was passed over in favor of Simon Snyder.

Maclay opposed the nomination of James Madison to the presidency by the Democratic Republicans. He doubted how committed Madison was to the party, considering him a late convert, and backed George Clinton instead. Furthermore, Maclay was an opponent of the Embargo Act which had been passed during President Jefferson's second term. Despite the eventual repeal of the Embargo Act, Madison secured Pennsylvania's support and Maclay realized that he was out of step with his fellow party members and Pennsylvanians. Seeing no hope of reelection, he resigned from the Senate in 1809.

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Samuel Maclay, U.S. Senator's Timeline

June 17, 1741
August 23, 1774
Age 33
Union County, Pennsylvania, United States
Age 50
April 19, 1799
Age 57
Union County, Pennsylvania, United States
October 5, 1811
Age 70
PA, United States
Maclay Family Cemetery Vicksburg (Union County) Union County Pennsylvania