Louis McLane (1786-1857) was appointed the 10th
Secretary of the Treasury by President Andrew Jackson. He began his
term in office on August 8, 1831, after the resignation of Samuel D. Ingham.
He ended his term in office on May 28, 1833.
President Jackson was increasingly inclined to oppose the Second Bank of the United States. Though McLane's views on finance did not agree with those of the President, Jackson respected McLane and in making the appointment overlooked this potential conflict. During thirteen years in Congress (from 1816 until 1829), McLane had championed the cause of the Bank and had denied the power of Congress to interfere with its operations.
As Secretary of the Treasury, he urged Congress to renew the Bank's charter when the measure was introduced in 1832, although Jackson was opposed to renewal. The bill to recharter the Bank, passed that year by Congress, was vetoed by the President. Jackson ran for reelection that year on the Bank issue and he interpreted his resounding triumph at the polls as public disapproval of the Bank. He pressured McLane to remove government deposits from the Bank, because the Secretary of the Treasury was the only person authorized to do so. Though McLane refused to withdraw the deposits, he wanted to avoid further conflict with Jackson and readily agreed to move to the position of Secretary of State when that office became available in 1833.
Builder: Webb and Allen, New York
Decommissioned: sold 21 October 1840
Navigation Draft: 7' 7"
Displacement: 112 tons
Propulsion: topsail schooner
Armament: 4 x brass 9-pounders
The McLane was one of the 13 cutters of the Morris-Taney Class. These cutters were the backbone of the Service for more than a decade Samuel Humphreys designed them for roles as diverse as fighting pirates, privateers, combating smugglers and operating with naval forces. He designed the vessels on a naval-schooner concept. They had Baltimore Clipper lines. The vessels built by Webb and Allen, designed by Isaac Webb, resembled Humphreys' but had one less port.
The McLane was known by her "yachtlike" finish and fine cabinet work. An early historian of the Service, Revenue Captain Horatio D. Smith, USRCS, wrote of her:
"The Revenue Cutter McLANE when finished in 1832 was ordered to Washington, and while at the Navy Yard was visited by many people, especially members of Congress, and was admired by all for her beauty, symmetry and elegance of finish. Her armament was four brass 9-pounders on elegant carriages, with small arms to correspond. Other vessels were built of larger dimensions, but the McLANE excelled them all in beauty and sailing qualities. She was the crack vessel of her time. Subsequently many of [those cutters in her class] were sold . . . to Cubans, who used them for slavers."
She served in Charleston, South Carolina in 1832 and in 1833 sailed to New Bedford, Massachusetts for revenue duty there. She capsized in Hadley's Harbor Massachusetts during a tornado in 1837, was raised and put back in duty until 1840.
Donald Canney. U.S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790-1935. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995.
Horatio D. Smith. "In Early Days, 1789-1846." Coast Guard Magazine (October, 1930), p. 30.
U.S. Coast Guard. Record of Movements: Vessels of the United States Coast Guard: 1790 - December 31, 1933. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1934; 1989 (reprint).