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FINDLEY, William

c 1741–1821


FINDLEY, William, a Representative from Pennsylvania; born in Ireland in 1741 or 1742; attended the parish schools; immigrated to the United States, landing in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1763 and moving west, first to the Octorara Valley, then to the Cumberland Valley in the vicinity of Waynesboro, and finally to Westmoreland County, Pa.; during the Revolution served in the Cumberland County Associators, as a private in 1776 and as a captain in 1778; weaver; member of the council of censors in 1783; served four terms in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, 1784, 1785, 1786, and 1787; member of the State supreme executive council 1789 and 1790; served in the State house of representatives 1790 and 1791; delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1790; elected as an Anti-Administration candidate to the Second and Third Congresses, reelected as a Republican to the Fourth and Fifth Congresses (March 4, 1791-March 3, 1799); engaged in agricultural pursuits; during the Whisky Insurrection in 1794 worked actively to quiet the passions of the revolt and restore obedience to the law and wrote a book defending his course; again a member of the State senate 1799-1802; elected as a Republican to the Eighth through the Fourteenth Congresses (March 4, 1803-March 3, 1817); chairman, Committee on Elections (Eighth through Twelfth Congresses); died near Greensburg, Pa., on April 4, 1821; interment in Unity Meeting House Cemetery, near Latrobe, Pa.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, PA
Papers: 1792-1873, 0.1 linear foot. Family papers include correspondence and financial material primarily documenting personal and financial concerns of William Findley and his immediate family.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: 1814, 1 item. A letter from William Findley to Manuel Lyres, a merchant of Philadelphia, Pa., written on April 11, 1814. In the letter, Findley writes primarily about the repeal of the embargo on trade with the British.

New-York Historical Society

New York, NY
Papers: 1791-1812. 14 items. Includes 8 letters to Albert Gallatin.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Caldwell, John. The Family of William Findley of Westmoreland, Pa. Rock Island, Ill.: Five Rhinos Book Co., 2002.

------. William Findley from West of the Mountains: Congressman, 1791-1821. Gig Harbor, Wash.: Red Apple Pub., 2002.

Findley, William. The cause of the country truly stated. Speech of Mr. Findley, (of Pennsylvania) in the Congress of the U. States, the loan bill being under consideration. New York: Printed by E. Conrad, no. 4, Frankfort-street, 1814.

------. History of the Insurrection in the Four Western Counties of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: Samuel Harrison Smith, 1796.

------. The report of William Findley and William Smith, on the waters of Connemaugh, Kishkemanettas, Dunning's Creek and the Bedford branch of Juniata. Harrisburg: N.p., 1815[-16].

------. A review of the revenue system adopted by the First Congress under the Federal Constitution : wherein the principles and tendency of the funding system and the measures connected with it to the end of the Second Congress are examined: In thirteen letters to a friend. By a Citizen. Philadelphia: Printed by T. Dobson, 1794.

Mast, James H. "William Findley's Attempt to Move the State Capital to Harrisburg in 1787." Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine 39 (Fall 1956): 163-73.

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