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Solicitor of the United States Treasury

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Title: Solicitor of the United States Treasury  
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Subject: United States Department of the Treasury
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Solicitor of the United States Treasury

The Solicitor of the Treasury position was created in the United States Department of the Treasury by an act of May 29, 1830 4 Stat. 414, which changed the name of the Agent of the Treasury.[1][2][3]


The Solicitor of the Treasury served as legal advisor to the department, and examined Treasury officers' official bonds and related legal documents. He also supervised all legal proceedings involving the collection of debts due the United States. In addition, he established regulations to guide customs collectors, issued distress warrants against delinquent revenue collectors or receivers of public money, and administered lands acquired by the United States in payment for debts.[4]

Predecessor agencies

Position abolished

The position of Solicitor of the Treasury was abolished by an act of May 10, 1934 (48 Stat. 759).[6]

Successor agency

The Solicitor of the Treasury's position was succeeded by the Office of the General Counsel for the Department of the Treasury.[7][8]

List of Solicitors of the Treasury

Virgil Maxcy of Maryland, from May 29, 1830

Henry D. Gilpin of Pennsylvania, from June 16, 1837

Matthew Birchard of Massachusetts, from January 16, 1840

Charles B. Penrose of Pennsylvania, from March 17, 1841

Seth Barton of Louisiana, from March 25, 1845

Ransom H. Gillet of New York, from May 27, 1847

John C. Clark of New York, from October 31, 1849

New York, from November 15, 1852

Gilbert Rodman of Pennsylvania, from March 30, 1853 (interim)

John Carroll LeGrand of Maryland, from April 8, 1853

Albert Constable of Maryland, from May 2, 1853

Farris B. Streeter of Pennsylvania, from June 3, 1853

Georgia, from December 1, 1857

Benjamin F. Pleasants of Kentucky, from February 13, 1861 (interim)

Edward Jordan of Ohio, from March 28, 1861

E. C. Banfield of Massachusetts, from April 15, 1869

Bluford Wilson of Illinois, from June 22, 1874

Maine, from July 24, 1876

Kenneth Rayner of North Carolina, from July 1, 1877[9]

Henry S. Neal of Ohio from July 2, 1884[10]

Alexander McCue of New York, 1885 to 1888

Charles S. Cary of New York, 1888 to 1889

William P. Hepburn of Iowa, 1889 to 1893

Felix A. Reeve of Tennessee, 1893 to 1897

Maurice D. O'Connell of Iowa, 1897 to 1910[11][12]

William T. Thompson of Nebraska, 1910 to 1915[13][14][15]

Lawrence Becker of Indiana, 1915 to 1922[16][17]

Richard Randolph McMahon of West Virginia, 1922 to 1926[18][19]

Robert J. Mawhinney of Maryland, 1926 to 1932[20][21]


  1. ^ Newspaper article, Congress, The Pittsburgh Gazette, June 8, 1830
  2. ^ Newspaper article, Solicitor of the Treasury, Norfolk and Portsmouth Herald, August 27, 1830
  3. ^ Newspaper article, Twenty-first Congress in Session; In Senate, January 7, 1831, American & Commercial Daily Advertiser, January 10, 1831
  4. ^ The Treasury Department and its Various Fiscal Bureaus, Their Origin, Organization, and Practical Operations, by Robert Mayo, 1847, page 255
  5. ^ Records of the Solicitor of the Treasury, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
  6. ^ The United States Government Manual, 2009-2010, published by National Archives and Records Administration, 2009, page 634
  7. ^ Newspaper article, Prettyman Ousted From Revenue Post; Morgenthau In Revamping Tax Machinery Lets Marylander Go; Post to New Yorker; Secretary Also Asks Congress To Create General Counsel To Treasury, Baltimore Sun, January 31, 1934
  8. ^ Newspaper article, Congress Aims to Take Back Former Power, The Daily Times (Rochester and Beaver, Pennsylvania), March 29, 1934
  9. ^  
  10. ^ Register of the Department of Justice and the Judicial Officers of the United States, by United States Department of Justice, 1885, page 4
  11. ^ Register of the Department of Justice, published by United States Department of Justice, 1908, page 216
  12. ^ Biography of Maurice D. O'Connell, from Historical Sketches of Franklin County and its Several Towns, by Frederick J. Seaver, Malone, New York, published by J.B. Lyon Company, Albany, New York, 1918
  13. ^ Newspaper article, New Solicitor for Treasury, Christian Science Monitor, July 1, 1910
  14. ^ Bender's Lawyers' Diary and Directory for the State of New York, 1912, published by Matthew Bender (Firm), Albany, New York, 1912, page 21
  15. ^ Newspaper article, William T. Thompson; Nebraskan Once Solicitor of the United States Treasury, New York Times, June 21, 1939
  16. ^ Hammond Mayors Past entry, Lawrence Becker, Hammond, Indiana Online City Guide, accessed June 11, 2011
  17. ^ Newspaper article, Lawrence F. Becker; Retired Jurist in Indiana Once Mayor of Hammond, New York Times, March 14, 1947
  18. ^ Prominent Men of West Virginia, by George Wesley Atkinson and Alvaro Franklin Gibbens, 1890, page 699
  19. ^ State of Iowa Official Register, published by Iowa Secretary of State, 1925, page 572
  20. ^ State of Iowa Official Register, compiled and published by Iowa Secretary of State, 1927, page 491
  21. ^ Newspaper article, Robert Mawhinney, Lawyer and Author, New York Times, November 19, 1954
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