Duane family

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A leading national opinion maker and influential regional politician, tied by marriage to the families of Benjamin Franklin and cognate families, William Duane (1760-1835) played key roles in the field of political journalism, as well as national, Pennsylvania and local Philadelphia politics. Editor of the Aurora, William Duane (1760-1835) assured himself gratitude from Jefferson and the Republicans and enmity from President Adams and the Federalists for his open and effective attacks on Federalist policies. His son William John Duane (1780-1865), was a prominent member of the Pennsylvania legislature, a legal advisor to Stephen Girard, Solicitor for many of Philadelphia's premier institutions, and Treasurer of the United States (June-September 1833).

Born near Lake Champlain, NY in 1760 to John and Anastasia Duane, William Duane was sent to Ireland at the age of eleven to be raised by his mother's family. Receiving a quality education due to his mother's relative wealth, he was nonetheless disinherited upon his marriage to a Protestant. Moving to England for a short time to stay with an uncle and learn the printing business, he then removed to India in 1784 in order establish himself. Starting up a newspaper, The World, in Calcutta, William became quite successful in acquiring increased business and real estate holdings. Falling upon disfavor with the East India Company, he was subsequently kidnapped and involuntarily shipped back to England. Failing redress in compensation from the East India Company or Parliament, he decided to become a reporter on Parliament for a journal which ultimately became the London Times . Returning to America in 1795, William began work for the Aurora, a paper established by Benjamin Franklin Bache. William took over the editorship in of the Aurora in 1798 upon Bache's death, and transformed the Aurora from a local Republican paper into a state and national political organ. A partisan publication, the Aurora under William Duane became even more heavily associated with Jeffersonian politics and a thorn in the Federalists side. William became the focus of President Adams ire, with his ridicule of the Alien and Sedition Acts generating a great deal of hostile attention. Often openly physically attacked by Federalist sympathizers, he persevered and was credited by Jefferson with securing Pennsylvania and therefore the Presidency for him. William became heavily influential in Pennsylvania state politics, with the ability to determine the nomination of at least two Pennsylvania governors. With the War of 1812, William was appointed U. S. Adjutant General with the rank of Colonel. In 1822, he sold the Aurora and entered a new phase in his life. William traveled throughout South America in 1822, developing contacts, and surveying the political situation. Upon his return, he was appointed prothonotary of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania for the eastern district, a post he retained until his death in 1835.

A politician of some regional prominence and briefly a member of Andrew Jackson's cabinet, William John Duane (1780-1865) was an influential figure in both national and Pennsylvania politics. Beginning his career working for his father William Duane (1760-1835) at the Aurora, William John Duane then managed a bookstore and printing business in the nation's new capital, Washington, D. C., responsible (along with his father) for printing the Congressional Journal (Senate) 1803-1808. Following his marriage in 1805, he entered the paper business, managing sales. In 1809, he was elected to the Pennsylvania state legislature, a relationship he never entirely removed himself from - even when not in office. With an inheritance from his father-in-law in 1811, he studied law and entered the bar in 1815. William John served as solicitor for many of Philadelphia's institutions, including the Carpenters' Company, as well as legal advisor to Stephan Girard. He wrote tracts which were greatly influential to Andrew Jackson's winning of Pennsylvania's vote in the Presidential election of 1828. Offered the mayoralty of Philadelphia, he declined. He was subsequently appointed by Andrew Jackson as one of three commissioners under the treaty with Denmark. William John Duane rejected an appointment by Jackson as U. S. District Attorney, and again rejected an appointment as Director of the Bank of the United States. In 1832 he did agree to accept the appointment as Secretary of the Treasury under Jackson, and assumed the office in June of 1833. Disagreeing with Jackson on the fundamental issue of removing Federal monies from the Bank of the United States (an early pre-cursor to the Federal Reserve), William John Duane spent the next few months attempting to negotiate with Jackson, finally refusing to cooperate, which resulted in his termination as Secretary of the Treasury on September 23, 1833. Upon his return to Philadelphia, William John Duane fell back on a limited private practice of law, supplemented by monies he had previously set aside. He became one of the Directors of Girard College for a term of office, and subsequently retired from public life.

From the guide to the Duane Family Collection, 1764-1933, (American Philosophical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Duane Family Collection, 1764-1933 American Philosophical Society
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848 person
associatedWith Allen, Alexander Viets Griswold, 1841-1908 person
associatedWith Bache, A. D., (Alexander Dallas), 1806-1867 person
associatedWith Bache, Albert Dabadie, 1832-1895 person
associatedWith Bache, Benjamin Franklin, 1755-1824 person
associatedWith Bache, Catherine Wistar, 1770-1820 person
associatedWith Bache family family
associatedWith Bache, Richard, 1737-1811 person
associatedWith Bache, Sally person
associatedWith Bache, Sarah Franklin, 1743-1808 person
associatedWith Bancroft, George, 1800-1891 person
associatedWith Bank of the United States corporateBody
associatedWith Bartram, George Washington, 1784-1853 person
associatedWith Bartram, Moses person
associatedWith Biddle, Nicholas, 1786-1844 person
associatedWith Binney, Horace, 1780-1875 person
associatedWith Blaine, James Gillespie, 1830-1893 person
associatedWith Boston Public Library person
associatedWith Bowne, Borden Parker, 1847-1910 person
associatedWith Brewster, Anne Maria Hampton, 1819-1892 person
associatedWith Brooks family family
associatedWith Brooks, Phillips, 1835-1893 person
associatedWith Brown, William M person
associatedWith Burgess, Frederick, Bp., 1853-1925 person
associatedWith Buttre, John Chester, 1821-1893 person
associatedWith Capen, Edward Warren, 1870- person
associatedWith Carmichael, James, 1835-1908 person
associatedWith Chaloner, John, 1780-1862 person
associatedWith City Council of Boston person
associatedWith Clay, Henry, 1777-1852 person
associatedWith Cogswell, Joseph Green, 1786-1871 person
associatedWith Common Council of New York person
associatedWith Conway, Frederick William person
associatedWith Conway, F. W person
associatedWith Cook, J. W., engraver, from portrait by Joshua Reynolds person
associatedWith Cope, Thomas Pim, 1768-1854 person
associatedWith C. S person
associatedWith Curtis, George William, 1824-1892 person
associatedWith Dallas, George Mifflin, 1792-1864 person
associatedWith Davies, Thomas Frederick, 1831-1905 person
associatedWith Davis, Thomas F person
associatedWith Denny, Barry person
associatedWith Dodge, George M person
associatedWith Dodson, R. W. (Richard W.), 1812-1867 person
associatedWith Donelson, Andrew Jackson, 1799-1871 person
associatedWith Duane, Catherine person
associatedWith Duane, Catherine and Deborah person
associatedWith Duane, Catherine and Elizabeth person
associatedWith Duane, Catherine and Ellen person
associatedWith Duane, Catherine and Sarah person
associatedWith Duane, Charles Williams person
associatedWith Duane, Charles Williams and William John person
associatedWith Duane, Deborah and Ellen person
associatedWith Duane, Deborah Bach person
associatedWith Duane, Debora, Mary and Sarah person
associatedWith Duane, Elizabeth person
associatedWith Duane, Ellen person
associatedWith Duane, Ellen and Elizabeth person
associatedWith Duane, James, 1733-1797 person
associatedWith Duane, Margaret B person
associatedWith Duane, Mary person
associatedWith Duane, Mary and Richard person
associatedWith Duane, Mary and Sarah person
associatedWith Duane, Matthew, 1707-1785 person
associatedWith Duane, Sarah person
associatedWith Duane, Sarah and William John person
associatedWith Duane, Sarah, Catherine and Mary person
associatedWith Duane, Stella person
associatedWith Duane, William, 1760-1835 person
associatedWith Duane, William, 1808-1882 person
associatedWith Duane, William John, 1780-1865 person
associatedWith Elliott, William, 1851-1934 person
associatedWith Fenwick, C person
associatedWith Findlay, William, 1768-1846 person
associatedWith Forward, Walter, 1786-1852 person
associatedWith Franklin, Benjamin, 1706-1790 person
associatedWith Franklin, Deborah Read Rogers, 1708-1774 person
associatedWith Franklin family family
associatedWith Freeman, Samuel, 1773-1857 person
associatedWith Frémont, John Charles, 1813-1890 person
associatedWith Galbraith, John, 1794-1860 person
associatedWith Garland, J person
associatedWith Girard, Stephen, 1750-1831 person
associatedWith Gordon, George Angier, 1853-1929 person
associatedWith Gordon, James Gay, 1877- person
associatedWith Gordon, Robert A person
associatedWith Hall, Henry Bryan, 1808-1884 person
associatedWith Hall, Maria person
associatedWith Halpin, engraver, from original painting person
associatedWith Harwood, Andrew Allen, 1802-1884 person
associatedWith Hays, J. person
associatedWith Heister, Joseph, 1752-1832 person
associatedWith Historical Society of Pennsylvania. corporateBody
associatedWith Hodges, George, 1856-1919 person
associatedWith Holland, Josiah Gilbert, 1819-1881 person
associatedWith Holt, Emily Sarah, b. 1836 person
associatedWith Hopkinson, Joseph, 1770-1842 person
associatedWith Hull, Mrs. G. S person
associatedWith Humboldt, Alexander von, 1769-1859 person
associatedWith Huntington, W. E person
associatedWith Huntington, William Reed, 1838-1909 person
associatedWith Ingersoll, Charles Jared, 1782-1862 person
associatedWith Ingraham, Edward Duffield, 1802-1891 person
associatedWith Jackson, Andrew, 1767-1845 person
associatedWith Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826 person
associatedWith Kelly, Thomas, 1769-1855 person
associatedWith Kendall, Amos, 1789-1869 person
associatedWith Kingston, Charles and William E. Littleton person
associatedWith Laurence, William person
associatedWith Lawrence, William person
associatedWith Leib, Michael, 1761-1822 person
associatedWith Library Company of Philadelphia. corporateBody
associatedWith Longacre, James Barton, 1794-1869 person
associatedWith Longfellow and Whittier person
associatedWith Lossing, Benson John, 1813-1891 person
associatedWith Macer, Anna person
associatedWith Madison, James, 1751-1836 person
associatedWith Mayer, Brantz, 1809-1879 person
associatedWith Mayr, George Louis person
associatedWith McCrees, John person
associatedWith McKean, Samuel, 1787-1841 person
associatedWith McKean, Thomas, 1734-1817 person
associatedWith McLane, Allen, 1786-1845 person
associatedWith McLane, Louis, 1786-1857 person
associatedWith Mechanics of the city of Troy, New York person
associatedWith Merriman, Daniel, 1838-1912 person
associatedWith Milon, James, engraver from image by Gyles Hussy person
associatedWith Minor, Benjamin Blake, 1818-1905 person
associatedWith Moore, George Washington, 1814-1899 person
associatedWith Morris, Roland Sletor, 1874-1945 person
associatedWith Neagle, John B., ca. 1796-1866 person
associatedWith Neal, Joseph Clay, 1807-1847 person
associatedWith Nichols, William Ford, bp., 1849- person
associatedWith Nixon, Fleming person
associatedWith Normandie, James de, 1836-1924 person
associatedWith Odenheimer, William Henry, 1817-1879 person
associatedWith Paradise, John Wesley, 1809-1862 person
associatedWith Parton, James, 1822-1891 person
associatedWith Paxton, Cockerell & Co person
associatedWith Perdue, James person
associatedWith Perry, William Stevens, 1832-1898 person
associatedWith Peyton, Balie, 1803-1878 person
associatedWith Pinx, W. Wooley, engraver, from image by Tiebout person
associatedWith Pinx. W. Wooley, engraver, from painting by Tibout person
associatedWith Potter, Alonzo, 1800-1865 person
associatedWith Pringle, Mrs. M. T person
associatedWith Richemont, J. B person
associatedWith Ritchie, Alexander Hay, 1822-1895 person
associatedWith Rittenhouse, David, 1732-1796 person
associatedWith Roberts, Joseph, 1795-1849 person
associatedWith Rogers, James S person
associatedWith Rouillard, Elmer H. and Rouillard, Irving G person
associatedWith Rouillard, Millicent A person
associatedWith Sargent, Thomas person
associatedWith Sartain, John, 1808-1897 person
associatedWith Scarborough, John, bp., 1831-1914 person
associatedWith Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe, 1793-1864 person
associatedWith Schulze, John Andrew, 1775-1852 person
associatedWith Schuykill Bank person
associatedWith Sealey, A., engraver, from daguerreotype by Root person
associatedWith Sergeant, John, 1779-1852 person
associatedWith Shaw, E person
associatedWith Silverman, Simon person
associatedWith Smith, Hezekiah Wright, b. 1828 person
associatedWith Snyder, Simon, 1759-1819 person
associatedWith Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866 person
associatedWith St. Andrew's Church person
associatedWith Stevens, William Bacon, 1815-1887 person
associatedWith Strong, George Augustus, 1832-1912 person
associatedWith Synder, Simon (Governor of Pennsylvania) person
associatedWith Taney, Roger Brooke, 1777-1864 person
associatedWith Thomson, James, engraver, from image by J. Hoppner person
associatedWith Tilden, Samuel J., (Samuel Jones), 1814-1886 person
associatedWith Unidentified person
associatedWith U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. corporateBody
associatedWith U. S. Treasury Department person
associatedWith U. S. War Department person
associatedWith Van Buren, Martin, 1782-1862 person
associatedWith Vaughan, John, 1756-1841 person
associatedWith Wagstaff, Charles Edward, 1808-1850 person
associatedWith Walker, Robert John person
associatedWith Wallace, George Y person
associatedWith Wallis, H. (Henry), 1804-1890 person
associatedWith Warren, William Fairfield, 1833-1929 person
associatedWith Webster, Daniel, 1782-1852 person
associatedWith Welch, T. B. (Thomas B.), 1814-1874 person
associatedWith Wetmore, Prosper Montgomery, 1798-1876 person
associatedWith Whitaker, Ozi William person
associatedWith Whitney, R person
associatedWith Winchester, George, 1787-1840 person
associatedWith Wolcott, Roger, 1847-1900 person
associatedWith Woodbury, Levi, 1789-1851 person
associatedWith Woolnoth, Thomas, b. 1785 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Philadelphia (Pa.)
United States
Ireland - Politics and government - 19th century
United States - History - 1815-1861
Subject
Aurora (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Occupation
Function

Family

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Ark ID: w6fk7d8x

SNAC ID: 20458757