McCULLOCH, HUGH (1808-1895), American financier, was born at Kennebunk, Maine, on the 7th of December 1808. He was educated at Bowdoin College, studied law in Boston, and in 1833 began practice at Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was cashier and manager of the Fort Wayne branch of the old state bank of Indiana from 1835 to 1857, and president of the new state bank from 1857 to 1863. Notwithstanding his opposition to the National Banking Act of 1862, he was selected by Secretary Chase as comptroller of the currency in 1863 to put the new system into operation. His work was so successful that he was appointed secretary of the treasury by President Lincoln in 1865, and was continued in office by President Johnson until the close of his administration in 1869. In his first annual report, issued on the 4th of December 1865, he strongly urged the retirement of the legal tenders or greenbacks as a preliminary to the resumption of specie payments. In accordance with this suggestion an act was passed, on the 1zth of March 1866, authorizing the retirement of not more than $10,000,000 in six months and not more than $4,000,000 per month thereafter, but it met with strong opposition and was repealed on the 4th of February 1868, after only $48,000,000 had been retired. He was much disappointed by the decision of the United States Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of the legal tenders (12 Wallace 457). Soon after the close of his term of office McCulloch went to England, and spent six years (1870-1876) as a member of the banking firm of Jay Cooke, McCulloch & Co. From October 1884 until the close of President Arthur's term of office in March 1885 he was again secretary of the treasury. He died at his home near Washington, D.C., on the 24th of May 1895.
The chief authority for the life of McCulloch is his own book, Men and Measures of Half a Century (New York, 1888).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)