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William Maclay: A Featured Biography

William Maclay

William Maclay (1737-1804) received a nearly unanimous vote of the Pennsylvania state legislature on September 30, 1788, and joined fellow Pennsylvanian Robert Morris to become one of the first two United States senators. Prior to election to the Senate, Maclay served in the French and Indian Wars, and later joined the militia to fight for American independence. After learning the trade of surveying and studying law, he served in the Pennsylvania state legislature. Today, Maclay is remembered for his defense of democratic principles and his sarcastic, critical wit -- quite evident in The Journal of William Maclay.


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