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William Pinkney

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William Pinkney

William Pinkney (March 17, 1764February 25, 1822) was an American statesman and diplomat, and the seventh U.S. Attorney General. Born in Maryland, he studied medicine (which he did not practice) and law, becoming a lawyer after his admission to the bar in 1786. After some time practicing law in Harford County, Maryland, he participated in Maryland's state constitutional convention, and then represented that state in the federal legislature and also served in both the legislative and executive branches of the Maryland state government.

Pinkney served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1788 to 1792 and then again in 1795, and served as a U.S. Congressman from Maryland in 1791 and from 1815 until 1816. He was mayor of Annapolis from 1795 to 1800, Maryland's state attorney general from 1805 to 1806, co-U.S. Minister to Great Britain (with James Monroe) from 1806 to 1807, and Minister Plenipotentiary from 1808 until 1811. He then returned to the Maryland state legislature, serving in the Maryland Senate in 1811, becoming the U.S. Minister Plenipotentiary to Russia, along with a special mission to Naples from 1816 until 1818. In 1811 he joined President James Madison's cabinet as Attorney General.

He was a major in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812 and was wounded at the Battle of Bladensburg, Maryland in August 1814. He was a U.S. Senator from Maryland from 1819 until his death in 1822. He is buried at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C..

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Preceded by:
Benjamin Contee
U.S. Congressman, Maryland's 3rd District
1791
Succeeded by:
John F. Mercer
Preceded by:
Luther Martin
Attorney General of Maryland
1805—1806
Succeeded by:
John Thomson Mason
Preceded by:
Caesar A. Rodney
Attorney General of the United States
1811—1814
Succeeded by:
Richard Rush
Preceded by:
Alexander McKim and Nicholas R. Moore
U.S. Congressman, Maryland's 5th District
1815—1816
Succeeded by:
Samuel Smith
Preceded by:
Alexander C. Hanson
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Maryland
1819—1822
Succeeded by:
Samuel Smith

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