Correspondence from William Harris Crawford, a lawyer, legislator, diplomat, and statesman of Crawford, GA. There are eleven letters, ten of which are written to a Captain, later Major, J. M. O'Connor. The identity of the recipient is unknown. The other letter is written to Marquis Barbe de Marbois as an introduction for O'Connor. The letters reveal Crawford’s thoughts on contemporary political issues.
Permission to publish from the William Harris Crawford papers, MS 053, must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.
William Harris Crawford was born in Virginia in 1772, but settled with his family in Georgia soon after. Crawford pursued classical studies at a private school in Augusta, GA; then studied law, was admitted to the bar, and began practice in Lexington in 1799. While a member of the State house of representatives (1803-1807), he was elected to fill the vacancy in the United States Senate caused by the death of Abraham Baldwin. Crawford remained in the United States Senate from 1807-1813, when he resigned to become the Minister to France from 1813-1815. Upon his return to the states, he accepted the position of Secretary of War from President James Madison until 1816, when he transferred to be the Secretary of the Treasury until 1825. Due to a stroke, his Presidential campaign for the 1824 election was unsuccessful. Resigning from the position of Secretary of the Treasury, he was appointed a judge for the Georgian northern circuit, which position he held until his death in 1834.