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Rufus King: A Featured Biography


Chairman: 1821-1822
Image of Senator Rufus King of New York

Rufus King (1755-1827) became a United States senator in 1789. Having represented the state of Massachusetts in the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, King moved to New York in 1788 and became one of that state's first U.S. senators. A lawyer and graduate of Harvard College, King soon established himself as an eloquent orator and skilled debater. As senator, he participated in the creation of the First Bank of the United States. In 1796, President George Washington named him minister to Great Britain. Returning to the Senate in 1813, King served another two terms. During his Senate career, he chaired the Committee on Roads and Canals and the Committee on Foreign Relations. Throughout his political career, Rufus King remained a loyal and prominent member of the Federalist Party, and was the party's last presidential candidate in 1816.