Presidential Cabinet Secretary. The son of journalist William Duane, he followed his father into the newspaper business and served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1809. He then studied law, served again in the Pennsylvania House from 1812 to 1814, and became an attorney. Duane returned to the Pennsylvania House in 1819 and also became the Prosecutor for Philadelphia's Mayor's Court. In 1829, he served as a US Commissioner in Copenhagen, where he took part in treaty negotiations with the government of Denmark. In 1833, President Andrew Jackson appointed Duane Secretary of the Treasury. Taking office during the dispute between President Jackson and Congress over the Bank of the United States, Duane refused to support Jackson by transferring government deposits from the Bank of the United States to state banks. Because of this disagreement, Duane held office for only a few months before resigning and returning to his law practice. Interested in higher education, he was a longtime Trustee of Girard College. Duane also authored several books, including 1844's "A View of the Relation of Landlord and Tenant in Pennsylvania", 1848's "Law of Roads, Highways, Bridges, and Ferries in Pennsylvania", and 1850's "Canada and the Continental Congress".
Bio by: Bill McKern