Duer, William

Born: 1805-05-25 New York, New York

Died: 1879-08-25 New Brighton, New York

William Duer was a lawyer, state legislator, diplomat, and U.S. representative. He completed preparatory studies and graduated from King's College (Columbia) in 1824. He studied law, earned admittance to the New York bar in 1824, and started a practice in New York City. Duer ran an unsuccessful campaign for the New York State Assembly in 1832. He moved to New Orleans that same year and opened a law practice. He moved to Oswego, New York in 1836 and continued practicing law. Duer won election to the New York State assembly in 1840 and 1841. He ran an unsuccessful campaign in 1842 for U.S. Congress. He was a delegate at the Whig National Convention in 1844. From 1845 to 1847, Duer served as district attorney of Oswego County, New York. He won election, as a Whig, to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from 1847 to 1851. After leaving Congress, Duer earned appointment as consul to Valparaiso, Chile, serving in that position from 1851 to 1853. Duer moved to San Francisco, California in 1854 and resumed practicing law. From 1858 to 1859, he worked as a clerk of San Francisco County. In 1859, Duer returned to New York, settling in Staten Island, and lived in retirement until his death. He is a grandson of Continental Congressmen William Duer.

Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1996 (Alexandria, VA: CQ Staff Directories, 1997), 966; Gravestone, Silver Mount Cemetery, Sunnyside, NY.