Miller Center

James A. Gary (1897–1898) - Postmaster General

[cite this]

↑William McKinley Home Page

Resembling a businessman more than a politician, James Albert Gary struck an imposing figure. Born in Connecticut, Gary was a lifelong Republican. He ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1870, but he stayed in the political arena by serving, for twenty-four years, as a delegate to the Republican National Convention. Gary also ran unsuccessfully in 1880 for the governorship of Maryland, a heavily Democratic state at the time. Following William McKinley's election as President in 1896, Gary accepted an offer to become postmaster general. Nominated and confirmed on the same day -- March 5, 1897 -- Gary would serve for just over a year. He resigned his post on April 18, 1898, due to both health reasons and opposition to impending hostilities with Spain. Gary's tenure as postmaster general was unremarkable, remembered best for a 1897 proposal to create a postal savings system. Gary died on October 31, 1920.

Citation Information

Consulting Editor

Lewis L. Gould

Professor Gould is the Eugene C. Barker Centennial Professor Emeritus in American History at the University of Texas. His writings include:

The Modern American Presidency (University Press of Kansas, 2003)

The Spanish-American War and President McKinley (University Press of Kansas, 1982)

The Presidency of William McKinley (University Press of Kansas, 1981)