William P. Wood

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William Patrick Wood (March 11, 1820 – March 20, 1903) was the first Director of the United States Secret Service. He was the son of James Wood and Margaret Turner.

He was sworn in on July 5, 1865 by Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCulloch. He then headed the newly formed Secret Service for four years until he resigned in 1869. Wood was a veteran of the Mexican-American War and was once Keeper of the Old Capitol Prison. He was considered the best in battling financial crime, and within a year of its founding, the Secret Service had arrested over 200 counterfeiters. He died on March 20, 1903, and was buried in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

Further reading[edit]

  • Davis, Curtis Carroll. "The Craftiest of Men: William P. Wood and the Establishment of the United States Secret Service." Maryland Historical Magazine 83 (Summer 1988): 11-126.
  • Carl Hulse, "A Forgotten Sleuth Is Honored at Last" New York Times (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: May 29, 2001. p. A.12
  • "The Secret Service Division began on July 5, 1865 in Washington, D.C., to suppress counterfeit currency. Chief William P. Wood was sworn in by Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCulloch." http://www.secretservice.gov/history.shtml

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Position established
Chief, United States Secret Service
1865–1869
Succeeded by
Hiram C. Whitley