Sen. William H. Crawford (DemRep-GA), U.S. Sec. of War and Treasury

Is your surname Crawford?

Research the Crawford family

Sen. William H. Crawford (DemRep-GA), U.S. Sec. of War and Treasury's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


William Harris Crawford

Birthdate: (62)
Birthplace: Amherst County, Province of Virginia
Death: September 15, 1834 (62)
Lexington, Oglethorpe County, Georgia, United States
Place of Burial: Crawford, Oglethorpe County, Georgia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Joel Crawford and Frances Frances "Fannie" Crawford
Husband of Susanna Crawford
Brother of Anna Barnett; Joel Crawford; David Crawford, IV; Lucy Ann Crawford Tinsley; Elizabeth Glen and 1 other

Occupation: Farmer, Lawyer, Politician, Judge, Sec. of War and Treasury (Madison and Monroe administrations), Sen. President pro tempore, US Ambassador to France
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Sen. William H. Crawford (DemRep-GA), U.S. Sec. of War and Treasury

William Harris Crawford (February 24, 1772 – September 15, 1834) was an American politician and judge during the early 19th century. He served as United States Secretary of War from 1815 to 1816 and United States Secretary of the Treasury from 1816 to 1825, and was a candidate for President of the United States in 1824.

Political career

In 1803, Crawford was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives as a member of the Democratic-Republican Party. In 1807, Crawford joined the 10th United States Congress mid-term as the junior U.S. Senator from Georgia when the Georgia legislature elected him to replace George Jones, an appointee who had held the office for a few months after the death of Abraham Baldwin.

Crawford was elected President pro tempore in 1811. When Vice President George Clinton died on April 20, 1812, Crawford, as President pro tempore, became "Acting Vice President" until March 4, 1813.

In 1813, President James Madison appointed Crawford as the U.S. minister to France during the waning years of the First French Empire; Crawford held that ministerial post until 1815, shortly after the end of the War of 1812.

Upon Crawford's return, Madison appointed him as Secretary of War. After slightly more than a year of satisfactory service in that post (and after disclaiming interest in the 1816 Democratic-Republican nomination for President), Crawford moved within the Cabinet to become Secretary of the Treasury. He remained in that position through the rest of Madison's term and Monroe's entire administration which ended in 1825.

Crawford was again a leading candidate for the Democratic-Republican presidential nomination in 1824. However, Crawford was put out of the running because of a paralytic stroke he suffered in 1823 that was brought on by a prescription given to him by his physician.[1] The Democratic-Republican Party split around this time and one of the splinter groups nominated Crawford. Despite Crawford's improved health (and the support of former presidents Madison and Thomas Jefferson), he finished third in the electoral vote, behind John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. He thus was still in the running when the Presidential election ended up in the House of Representatives, but his stroke made him a non-factor there.

Refusing Adams's request that he remain at the Treasury, Crawford then returned to Georgia, where he was appointed as a state superior court judge. Crawford remained an active judge until his death a decade later.


During the 1820s, Crawford was a member of the prestigious society, Columbian Institute for the Promotion of Arts and Sciences, who counted among their members former presidents Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams and many prominent men of the day, including well-known representatives of the military, government service, medical and other professions.[2] Crawford also served as a Vice President in the American Colonization Society from its formation in 1817 until his death.

Personal life

Crawford was born in Amherst County, Virginia, but his family moved south to Appling County, Georgia, when he was a boy. As a young man, he worked as a farmer and a schoolteacher for about 10 years, then began to practice law in Lexington, Georgia, in 1799.

His cousin George W. Crawford served as Secretary of War under President Zachary Taylor.

Crawford was buried in Crawford Cemetery in Crawford, Georgia.


The following are named in honor of William H. Crawford.

Cities and Towns

Crawford, Georgia

Crawfordville, Georgia

Crawfordsville, Indiana


Crawford County, Arkansas

Crawford County, Georgia

Crawford County, Illinois

Crawford County, Indiana

Crawford County, Iowa

Crawford County, Michigan

Crawford County, Missouri

Crawford County, Wisconsin

Crawford is buried in Crawford, Georgia. In 1875, Crawford appeared on the 50 cent bill. Find A Grave#9103117

view all

Sen. William H. Crawford (DemRep-GA), U.S. Sec. of War and Treasury's Timeline

February 24, 1772
Amherst County, Province of Virginia
September 15, 1834
Age 62
Lexington, Oglethorpe County, Georgia, United States
Crawford, Oglethorpe County, Georgia, United States