(born Dec. 12, 1786, Southbridge, Mass., U.S.—died July 4, 1857, Ballston Spa, N.Y.) U.S. politician. From 1823 to 1829 he was comptroller of New York state and a leading member of the “Albany Regency,” a group of powerful state Democrats. He was a justice of the state supreme court from 1829 to 1831. In the U.S. Senate (1831–33), he championed the spoils system, remarking that “To the victor belong the spoils of the enemy.” He served as governor of New York (1833–39), as U.S. secretary of war (1845–49), and as U.S. secretary of state (1853–57).
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