Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Findlay, William

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FINDLAY, William, governor of Pennsylvania, b. in Mercersburg, Pa., 20 June, 1768; d. in Harrisburg, Pa., 12 Nov., 1846. After receiving a common-school education, he became a farmer, and early took part in politics as a Democrat. His first office was that of brigade-inspector of militia. He was elected to the legislature in 1797 and 1803, and in 1807-'17 was state treasurer. He was governor from 1817 till 1820, and in the latter year was an unsuccessful candidate for re-election. Party spirit ran high during his administration, and in 1817 his opponents secured the appointment of a committee to investigate the late treasurer's conduct of his office. This investigation, though Gov. Findlay offered no witness in his behalf, resulted in a report that his conduct had been “not only faithful, but meritorious and beneficial to the state.” The building of the state capitol was begun during Gov. Findlay's administration, and its corner-stone was laid by him. He was elected to the U. S. senate in 1821, and served one term, and in 1827-'40 was treasurer of the U. S. mint at Philadelphia. — His brother James, soldier, b. in Mercersburg, Pa., about 1775; d. in Cincinnati, Ohio, 28 Dec., 1835, removed to Cincinnati in 1793, was a member of the territorial legislative council in 1798, and after the admission of Ohio to the Union was often in the legislature. He served under Gen. William Hull at Detroit in the war of 1812 as colonel of the 2d Ohio regiment. He was U. S. receiver of public moneys for the Cincinnati district from the first establishment of public land offices till 1824, and was then elected to congress as a Jackson Democrat, and served four terms, 1825-'33. He was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for governor of Ohio in 1834. — Another brother, John, d. in Chambersburg, Pa., 5 Nov., 1838, was a member of congress from Pennsylvania in 1821-'7. — William's son, John King, jurist, b. near Mercersburg, Pa., 12 May, 1803; d. in Spring Lake, N. J., 13 Sept., 1885, was graduated at the U. S. military academy in 1824, and assigned to the 1st artillery. He was assistant professor of chemistry, mineralogy, and geology at West Point from 29 Aug. till 4 Nov., 1824, of geography, history, and ethics till 17 April, 1825, and was on topographical duty till 13 May, 1828, when he resigned, and in 1831 was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar. He was recorder of Lancaster in 1841-'5, judge of the Philadelphia district court in 1845-'51, and president of the 3d judicial district of Pennsylvania in 1857-'62. After this he practised his profession in Philadelphia. Judge Findlay was a captain of militia in 1840-'5 and 1852-'6. He published an enlarged edition of Archbold's “Law of Nisi Prius” (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1852). — John King's nephew, John Van Lear, b. near Williamsport, Md., 21 Dec., 1839, was graduated at Princeton in 1858, and became a lawyer in Baltimore. He has been collector of internal revenue there, a member of the legislature, and orator for his state on “Maryland day” at the Centennial exhibition in 1876, and was elected to congress as a Democrat, serving from 1883 till 1887.