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This Day in Georgia History

September 15, 1834

William H. Crawford Died

To view a letter from Thomas Jefferson to William H. Crawford, see the Digital Library of Georgia.

Lawyer and politician William H. Crawford died at age 62 near Elberton, Georgia. Born in Virginia on Feb. 24, 1772, he and his family moved to the area north of Augusta in 1783. He was admitted to the bar in 1799 and moved to Oglethorpe County, where he built a plantation just west of Lexington. In 1803, Crawford was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, where he served until the General Assembly elected him to the U.S. Senate in 1807. In 1813, Crawford was named U.S. Ambassador to France, and two years later was named U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. By the 1820s, Crawford was believed to be the strongest candidate to succeed James Madison as U.S. president. However, what may have been strokes in the fall of 1823 and the spring of 1824 seriously hurt his chances, and John Quincy Adams won the presidency. Adams asked Crawford to continue as Treasury Secretary, but Crawford declined and returned to Georgia. In recognition of Crawford, the General Assembly named a new county in his honor in 1822. In 1827, Crawford was named a superior court judge in Georgia, a post he held until his death in 1834. He is buried in a small cemetery several miles west of Crawford, Georgia in Oglethorpe County.