|3rd United States Secretary of the Treasury|
January 1, 1801 – May 13, 1801
|Preceded by||Oliver Wolcott|
|Succeeded by||Albert Gallatin|
|4th United States Secretary of War|
June 1, 1800 – January 31, 1801
|Preceded by||James McHenry|
|Succeeded by||Henry Dearborn|
|United States Senator
March 4, 1799 – May 30, 1800
|Preceded by||Theodore Sedgwick|
|Succeeded by||Dwight Foster|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 1st district
March 4, 1793 – March 4, 1795
|Preceded by||Fisher Ames|
|Succeeded by||Theodore Sedgwick|
May 14, 1761|
|Died||May 4, 1816
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, to the Rev. Samuel Dexter, the 4th minister of Dedham, he graduated from Harvard University in 1781 and then studied law at Worcester under Levi Lincoln, Sr., the future Attorney General of the United States. After he passed the bar in 1784, he began practicing in Lunenburg, Massachusetts.
He was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives and served 1788 to 1790. He was elected to the 3rd Congress by way of the United States House of Representatives and then elected as Federalist to the United States Senate. In December 1799, he memorably wrote the memorial eulogy to George Washington upon the first president's death. His house in Dedham stands to today. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1800.
He served for less than a year as he was appointed United States Secretary of War by President John Adams in 1800. During his time at this station he urged congressional action to permit appointment and compensation of field officers for general staff duty.
Upon Secretary of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott, Jr.'s resignation in December 1800, Adams appointed Dexter as interim Secretary. He then briefly conducted the affairs of the War Office. He administered the oath of office to Chief Justice John Marshall, and later declined the ambassadorship to Spain.
He returned to Boston in 1805 and resumed the practice of law. He left the Federalist party to espouse Republican views on the War of 1812, and he was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Massachusetts in 1814, 1815 and 1816. He was an ardent supporter of the temperance movement and presided over its first formal organization in Massachusetts.
- "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter D". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 105.
- Samuel Dexter at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Retrieved on 2009-5-20
- "Samuel Dexter". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2009-05-20.
- 1635–17921793–19992000–presentTV and film
Part of a series on the History of Dedham Topics United States House of Representatives Preceded by
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
Massachusetts's 1st congressional district
United States Senate Preceded by
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Massachusetts
Served alongside: Benjamin Goodhue
Political offices Preceded by
United States Secretary of War
United States Secretary of the Treasury
Class 1 Class 2
U.S. Secretaries of War and the Army
- B. Lincoln
- W. Crawford
- P. Porter
- J. Porter
- G. Crawford
- J. Davis
- S. Cameron
- A. Taft
- J. Cameron
- R. Lincoln
- W. Taft
- D. Davis
of the Army
Secretary of State Secretary of the Treasury
- Oliver Wolcott, Jr. (1797–1801)
- Samuel Dexter (1801)
Secretary of War
- James McHenry (1796–1800)
- Samuel Dexter (1800–1801)
- Charles Lee (1797–1801)
- Joseph Habersham (1797-1801)
Secretary of the Navy
- Benjamin Stoddert (1798–1801)
Secretary of State
- James Madison (1801–1809)
Secretary of the Treasury
- Samuel Dexter (1801)
- Albert Gallatin (1801–1809)
Secretary of War
- Henry Dearborn (1801–1809)
Attorney General Postmaster General Secretary of the Navy Authority control