William J. Duane, 1841

Dec. 30, 2020

Duane (William J. Duane), 1841

William J. Duane served as Secretary of the Treasury under President Andrew Jackson from 29 May 29, 1833 until September 22, 1833.  

After Louis McLane, the 10th Secretary of the Treasury, moved to a new position at the Department of State, President Jackson began searching for a Secretary who would do his bidding. He appointed Duane to be the 11th Secretary of the Treasury in May 1833. Jackson hoped that he could persuade Duane to withdraw the government's deposits from the Second Bank of the United States, which Louis McLane had refused to do. Duane was opposed to the Bank in principle and felt that it was unconstitutional and monopolistic. He recognized, though, that the sudden removal of the government's funds from the Bank would cause a panic affecting the farmer and the common man which would "plunge the fiscal concerns of the country into chaos."  Duane also maintained that he had no right to withdraw the funds without the consent of Congress, which had, in its previous session, declared the Bank safe for government deposits. Jackson enlisted the help of his Attorney General, Roger B. Taney, to present his argument for the withdrawal of funds to the entire cabinet. Duane still refused to take any action without the consent of Congress, and Jackson dismissed him after only four months of service, declaring, "He is either the weakest mortal, or the most strange composition I have ever met with."  William J. Duane was born in 1780.  He died in 1865.

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Commissioned: 1841

Decommissioned: 1844

Disposition: Sold

Complement: 7

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Cutter History:

Little is known about the small revenue boat William J. Duane other than she entered service in October, 1841, under the command of First Lieutenant Charles B. Beaufort.  She served out of Mobile Bay until she was taken out of service and sold in late-1844.


Donald Canney.  U.S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790-1935.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995.

U.S. Coast Guard.  Record of Movements: Vessels of the United States Coast Guard: 1790 - December 31, 1933.  Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1934; 1989 (reprint).