Duane, 1849

Dec. 30, 2020

Duane, 1849

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.

Builder: Jacob Tees, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Length: 102' (deck)

Beam: 23'

Draft: 9' 7"

Displacement: 155 tons

Rig: Topsail schooner

Cost: Approximately $16,700

Launched: 1849

Commissioned: 27 February 1850

Decommissioned: N/A

Disposition: Captured by the citizens of Norfolk, Virginia for the Confederacy.

Complement: ?

Armament: 1 x 24-pounder

Cutter History:

The "Campbell Class" cutter William J. Duane was delivered on 7 June 1849 after being constructed by Jacob Tees of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, under a government contract.  He also constructed her sister cutter Crawford.  This class was known for having dispensed with hammock rails and heavy head in favor of a clipper bow and hammock lockers.

The Duane was first stationed at New Orleans, Louisiana and was commissioned there on 27 February 1850 after sailing from Philadelphia.  She was ordered to Norfolk, Virginia in 1855.  She served from that port until she was captured by citizens of Norfolk who then turned her over to the Confederate States of America on 18 April 1861.  She was commissioned in the Confederate Navy as the CSS Duane.


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).