|7th United States Postmaster General|
March 9, 1829 - April 10, 1835
|16th Secretary of State of Kentucky|
September 2, 1824 - February 3, 1825
|Thomas Bell Monroe|
|6th Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky|
August 29, 1820 - August 24, 1824
|Robert B. McAfee|
|United States Senator|
February 2, 1815 - May 1, 1816
|Martin D. Hardin|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Kentucky's 5th district
August 8, 1810 - March 3, 1811
|Born||February 5, 1784|
Lunenburg, Virginia, U.S.
|Died||August 30, 1835 (aged 51)|
Liverpool, England, UK
|Political party||Democratic-Republican (Before 1825)|
College of William and Mary (BA)
William Taylor Barry (February 5, 1784 - August 30, 1835) was an American statesman and jurist. He served as Postmaster General for most of the administration of President Andrew Jackson and was the only Cabinet member not to resign in 1831 as a result of the Petticoat affair.
Born near Lunenburg, Virginia, he moved to Fayette County, Kentucky, in 1796 with his parents John Barry, an American Revolutionary War veteran, and Susannah (Dozier) Barry. He attended the common schools, Pisgah Academy and Kentucky Academy in Woodford County, Transylvania University at Lexington and graduated from the College of William & Mary at Williamsburg, Virginia in 1803, after which studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1805. He commenced practice at Jessamine County, Kentucky and then at Lexington.
He was a member of Kentucky House of Representatives in 1807, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1810 to 1811, served in the War of 1812, was a U.S. Senator from Kentucky from 1815 to 1816, a member of the Kentucky Senate from 1817 to 1821, sixth Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky, 1820 to 1824, Secretary of State of Kentucky from 1824 to 1825, and a candidate for Governor of Kentucky in 1828. During his time in the Kentucky Senate he wrote to former President James Madison seeking support for a plan of subsidizing public education across the state; Madison responded enthusiastically and included in his letter of August 4, 1822 the often-cited observation: "A popular Government, without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both."
He was U.S. Postmaster General in Andrew Jackson's administration from 1829 to 1835. He was the only member of Jackson's original Cabinet not to resign as a result of the Petticoat Affair, which involved the social ostracism of Margaret O'Neill Eaton, the wife of Secretary of War John H. Eaton by a coalition of Cabinet members wives led by Second Lady Floride Calhoun. Barry, like Jackson, had sided with the Eatons.
He was appointed ambassador to Spain, but died before he could take office en route to his post, while stopped in Liverpool, England August 30, 1835. He was originally interred and a cenotaph still stands at St. James's Cemetery, Liverpool, England; he was reinterred in 1854 at Frankfort Cemetery, Frankfort, Kentucky.
During the 1820s, Barry was a member of the prestigious society, Columbian Institute for the Promotion of Arts and Sciences, who counted among their members former presidents Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams and many prominent men of the day, including well-known representatives of the military, government service, medical, and other professions.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 5th congressional district
| U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Kentucky
Served alongside: Jesse Bledsoe, Isham Talbot
Martin D. Hardin
| Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
Robert B. McAfee
Thomas Bell Monroe
| Secretary of State of Kentucky
| United States Postmaster General
|Party political offices|
|New political party|| Democratic nominee for Governor of Kentucky
This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.