MARCY, William Learned (1786-1857)

MARCY, WILLIAM LEARNED, a Senator from New York; born in Sturbridge (now Southbridge), Mass., December 12, 1786; attended the common schools and Leicester and Woodstock Academies; graduated from Brown University, Providence, R.I., in 1808; taught school in Newport, R.I.; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1811 and commenced practice in Troy, N.Y.; served in the War of 1812; recorder of Troy 1816-1818, 1821-1823; editor of the Troy Budget; State comptroller 1823-1829; associate justice of the State supreme court 1829-1831; elected as a Jacksonian to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1831, until his resignation on January 1, 1833, to become Governor; chairman, Committee on the Judiciary (Twenty-second Congress); Governor of New York 1833-1839; member, Mexican Claims Commission 1839-1842; Secretary of War in the Cabinet of President James Polk 1845-1849; resumed the practice of law; Secretary of State in the Cabinet of President Franklin Pierce 1853-1857; died in Ballston Spa, N.Y., July 4, 1857; interment in the Rural Cemetery, Albany, N.Y.

Alabama Department of Archives and History
Montgomery, AL
Papers: In Alabama Governor militia files, 1846-1847 and 1847-1849; and governor's extraditions and requisitions files, 1831-1835.

Albany Institute of History and Art
Albany, NY
Papers: 1840. 1 item. Diary of trip to western territories.

Boston Public Library
Boston, MA
Papers: 21 items.

City University of New York
City College Library Archives
New York, NY
Papers: Correspondence in Townsend Harris papers, 1856-1978 (bulk 1885-1962).

Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
New York, NY
Papers: Correspondence in Eleutero Felice Foresti papers, 1841-1858.

Cornell University
Rare Books and Manuscript Collections
Ithaca, NY
Papers: In Hugh White papers, 1750-1933; Whig convention notes, 1838; and William C. Bouck papers, 1727-1866.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: In James Buchanan papers, 1775-1868.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1786-1896 (bulk 1808-1857). 20 linear feet. Correspondence and papers including a commonplace book for his senior year at Brown University, a diary (1831-1857), draft of an autobiography, a private letterbook while secretary of war, private letterbook while secretary of state, drafts of diplomatic dispatches, drafts of messages to Congress (1854-1856), and copies of James Buchanan's letters (1853-1856) to Marcy when Buchanan was minister to England. The collection relates to Marcy's public career and reflects New York state and national Democratic politics in the three decades prior to the Civil War. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: Letters in Lewis McKenzie Turner papers, 1769-1861; correspondence in Andrew H. Foote papers, 1822-1890; Charles Butler papers, 1819-1905; Amos Kendall papers, 1835-1909; Henry Bartholomew Cox collection, 1502-1965; and in Andrew and John White Stevenson family papers, 1756-1882.

Massachusetts Historical Society
Boston, MA
Papers: 50 letters (1810-1861) and references in various collections.

Nebraska State Historical Society
Lincoln, NE
Papers: In Thomas B. Cuming papers, 1822-1913.

New Jersey Historical Society
Newark, NJ
Papers: Correspondence in Kinney family papers, 1783-1900.

New-York Historical Society
New York, NY
Papers: 1824-1856. Ca. 50 items.

New York Public Library
New York, NY
Papers: Miscellaneous items in the A. C. Flagg papers; the New York State Comptroller papers; and Daniel Van Slyke papers.

New York State Library
Manuscripts and Special Collections
Albany, NY
Papers: 1820-1863. 14 boxes. Approximately 4,000 account books, letters, and papers chiefly concerning the financial panic of 1837 and Marcy's role as receiver of the City Bank of Buffalo, the Erie Canal, and state and national politics. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: 6 letters (1831-1853); 3 letters in Albert Allen Tracy correspondence, 1815-1951; subscriptions for a portrait of Marcy in miscellaneous manuscripts, 1635-1899; in Simon DeRidder papers, 1763-1890; Benjamin H. Hall papers, 1795-1884; Charles Lanman collection, 1829-1869 (bulk 1855-1869); Rutger Bleeker papers, 1741-1862; and Harmanus Bleeker papers, 1801-1885.

Pierpont Morgan Library
New York, NY
Papers: 1832-1847. 3 items.

Rosenbach Museum and Library
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1 letter (May 7, 1848) from Lawrence Berry Washington, and 1 letter (December 26, 1845) from James K. Polk.

Rutgers University Libraries
Special Collections and University Archives
New Brunswick, NJ
Papers: 1832-1853. 69 items. Correspondence as governor (1833-1839) and U.S. secretary of war (1845-1849), relating to patronage and, in part, to the Mexican War.

St. Lawrence County Historical Association
Canton, NY
Papers: Correspondence in Silas Wright papers, 1800-1983 (bulk 1800-1847).

State University of New York
Poetry and Rare Books
Buffalo, NY
Papers: 1825-1845. 5 letters.

Syracuse University
George Arents Research Library
Syracuse, NY
Papers: 1821-1857. 42 letters. Incoming and outgoing concerning a wide variety of subjects including establishment of the State Geological Survey, use of volunteers for military service, settlement of New York-New Jersey boundary dispute, appropriations, and establishment of a state institution for mentally handicapped.

University of Iowa Libraries
Special Collections Department
Iowa City, IA
Papers: 1 letter (August 27, 1838) from Francis Lieber; and 1 letter (September 4, 1846) from Andrew Johnson.

University of Rochester
Rush Rhees Library
Rochester, NY
Papers: 14 letters by and 22 to Marcy (1823-1856) in Wadsworth family papers, 1684-1873, on 17 microfilm reels; and in various collections. Finding aid.

Virginia Historical Society
Richmond, VA
Papers: Numerous items in various collections. Finding aid.

William Floyd Estate Research Center
Mastic Beach, NY
Papers: Correspondence in Herbert T. Lorentzen papers, 1776-1840, relating to William Floyd.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives
New Haven, CT
Papers: In James Watson Webb papers, 1819-1967; Irving Goodwin Vann collection 1778-1887; Samuel Wells Williams family papers, 1824-1936; and Southard Hay autograph collection, 1750-1885.

  • Mattina, Benjamin J. "The Early Life of William Learned Marcy, 1789-1832.'' Ph.D. dissertation, Georgetown University, 1949.
  • Spencer, Ivor Debenham. The Victor and the Spoils: A Life of William L. Marcy. Providence: Brown University Press, 1959.