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William Collins Whitney Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

WILLIAM COLLINS WHITNEY
Born: July 5, 1841 in Conway, Massachusetts
Died: February 2, 1904 in New York City, New York
Biography | show moreshow less
William C. Whitney (1841-1904) was Secretary of the Navy (1885-1889) under President Grover Cleveland. He helped to rebuild the post-Civil War Navy. Whitney made his mark by helping future New York governor Samuel J. Tilden bring down William Magear Tweed - better known as "Boss Tweed" - and his Tammany Hall political machine in New York City. He was made Secretary of the Navy after working on Cleveland's presidential campaign, and he used that position to more than double the Navy's appropriations, which had dwindled after the Civil War. The Navy rebuilt its fleet under his watch; many of these ships, including the battleship USS Maine, played a major role in the Spanish-American War. Whitney returned to New York City after Cleveland's defeat and, as a joint owner of the Metropolitan Traction Company, helped to build the city's rapid transit system. "Col. Lamont" refers to Colonel Daniel S. Lamont, who served as Secretary of War from 1893 to 1897. Throughout the 1880s, Lamont also served as a secretary for Cleveland when the latter was Governor of New York and then President of the United States.

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