Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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FINDLAY, William, governor of Pennsylvania, born in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, 20 June 1768; died in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 12 November 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 reelection. 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 Governor Find lay 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 Governor Findlay's administration, and he laid its cornerstone. 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 Findlay, soldier, born in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, about 1775; died in Cincinnati, Ohio, 28 December 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 General 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 distrier 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, died in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, 5 November 1838, was a member of congress from Pennsylvania. in 1821'7.
William's son, John King Findlay, jurist, born near Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, 12 May 1803; died in Spring Lake, New Jersey, 13 September 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 August till 4 November 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 practiced 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, born near Williamsport, Md., 21 December 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.
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