Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

James K. Paulding (1838–1841): Secretary of the Navy

James Kirke Paulding was born August 22, 1778, in Great Nine Partners, New York. A prolific writer, he collaborated with Washington Irving on Salmagundi (1807-1808) and publishing numerous stories and documentaries, including, among others, "The Lay of the Scottish Fiddle" (1813), "The Backwoodsmen" (1818), "The United States and England" (1815), "Letters From the South by a Northern Man" (1817), "A Sketch of Old England" (1822), "Konigsmarke" (1823), "The Dumb Girl" (1830), "The Old Continental" (1846), and "The Puritan and his Daughter" (1846).

During the administration of President James Madison, Paulding served as secretary of the Board of Naval Commissioners (1815); he was later appointed naval agent for the port of New York (1824). President Martin Van Buren appointed him secretary of the Navy, a position Paulding held from 1838 to 1841. James Paulding died in Hyde Park, New York, on April 6, 1860.