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Duncan McArthur

Gov. Duncan McArthur

  • December 18, 1830 - December 7, 1832
  • National Republican
  • January 14, 1772
  • April 29, 1839
  • New York
  • Married Nancy McDonald; three children
  • Representative
  • Ohio Militia, Army


DUNCAN MCARTHUR, the eleventh governor of Ohio, was born in Dutchess County, New York on January 14, 1772. His education was limited and attained in the common schools of his native state. As a young man, he traveled across the country, working various odd jobs. He settled in Chillicothe, Ohio, where he purchased vast amounts of land, becoming one of the wealthiest property-owners in Ohio. McArthur also had a long career in the military. He was instrumental in organizing the Ohio militia, in which he served as a major general. He also served in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812, earning the rank of brigadier general. McArthur first entered politics as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, a position he held in 1804, 1817 to 1818 and 1826. He also served in the Ohio Senate from 1805 to 1814, 1821 to 1823, and 1829 to 1830; and was senate speaker from 1809 to 1810. In 1816 he served as an Indian treaty commissioner; and from 1823 to 1825 he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. McArthur next secured the National Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in the 1830 general election. During his tenure, tax legislation was revised; construction continued on the National Road project; and the state’s legal system was improved. After completing his term, McArthur ran unsuccessfully for a seat in Congress. Governor Duncan McArthur passed away on April 29, 1839, and was buried in the Grandview Cemetery in Chillicothe, Ohio.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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