Charles E. Dudley

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Charles Dudley
Charles E. Dudley bioguide.jpg
United States Senator from New York
In office
January 15, 1829 – March 3, 1833
Serving with Nathan Sanford (1829-31)
William L. Marcy (1831-33)
Preceded by Martin Van Buren
Succeeded by Nathaniel P. Tallmadge
Mayor of Albany, New York
In office
Preceded by James Stevenson
Succeeded by John Townsend
Member of the New York State Senate
In office
Mayor of Albany, New York
In office
Preceded by Philip S. Van Rensselaer
Succeeded by Ambrose Spencer
Personal details
Born (1780-05-23)May 23, 1780
Johnson Hall, Eccleshall, Staffordshire, England
Died January 23, 1841(1841-01-23) (aged 60)
Albany, New York
Resting place Albany Rural Cemetery, Section 61, Lot 1
Nationality American
Political party Democratic-Republican
Spouse(s) Blandina Bleecker
Profession Merchant

Charles Edward Dudley (May 23, 1780 – January 23, 1841) was an American businessman and politician. A member of Martin Van Buren's Albany Regency, Dudley served as mayor of Albany, New York, a member of the New York State Senate, and a U.S. Senator.

Early life[edit]

Dudley was born in England during the American Revolution, the son of Loyalist parents. His father, Charles Dudley, an Englishman, was Collector of the King's Customs at Newport, Rhode Island, where he married Catherine Cooke, of a Rhode Island colonial family. The elder Charles Dudley was the son of Thomas Dudley and his wife Mary Levett of Staffordshire, England.[1] In November 1775, he abandoned his office at Newport and sought refuge on board a British ship of war. In the following year he took up his residence in England, where his wife joined him. Charles E. Dudley was born at Johnson Hall, Eccleshall, Staffordshire; his family remained in England until his father's death in 1790. In 1795 Dudley's mother returned to Rhode Island, bringing with her the fifteen-year-old youth, who was schooled in Newport.

Business career[edit]

Near the beginning of the nineteenth century, Dudley worked as a clerk in a counting room and made voyages from New York to the East Indies as a supercargo. He later moved to Albany, New York, where he engaged in the mercantile business and married Blandina Bleecker, a member of a substantial Albany family.

Political career[edit]

Dudley entered public life when he was in his late thirties. He joined the Albany Regency, the coterie which Martin Van Buren formed to lead the Bucktails, the group which fought DeWitt Clinton for control of New York's Democratic-Republican Party.

Dudley was a presidential elector in the election of 1816 and voted for James Monroe and Daniel D. Tompkins. He served as an Albany alderman from 1819 to 1820. He was mayor from 1821 to 1824, and a member of the New York State Senate from 1820 to 1825. He was mayor again from 1828 to 1829.

U.S. Senator[edit]

Dudley was an unsuccessful candidate for the United States House of Representatives in 1828. When Van Buren resigned his seat in the United States Senate to become Governor of New York in 1829, Dudley was elected to fill the vacancy.

Dudley took his seat on January 15, 1829, and remained in office until the end of his term on March 3, 1833. He was an early example of the businessman in the Senate, where he played an inconspicuous role, but loyally supported the Jackson administration.

Later life[edit]

Dudley retired at the end of his term and spent the rest of his life in Albany, retaining his interest in politics as Jackson, Van Buren and others worked to form the Democratic Party after the Democratic-Republicans split in 1824, depending on which presidential candidate they supported.

Death and burial[edit]

Dudley died in Albany on January 23, 181. He was buried at Albany Rural Cemetery.


Dudley was an amateur astronomer. In 1856, his widow provided funds for an observatory in Albany, which was named for her husband.

See also[edit]



  • United States Congress. "Charles E. Dudley (id: D000511)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • "Charles Edward Dudley." Dictionary of American Biography. American Council of Learned Societies, 1928-1936.
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Martin Van Buren
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from New York
Served alongside: Nathan Sanford, William L. Marcy, Silas Wright, Jr.
Succeeded by
Nathaniel P. Tallmadge