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James Iver McKay (1793–1853) was a Congressional Representative from North Carolina; born near Elizabethtown, North Carolina, in 1793; pursued classical studies; studied law; was admitted to the bar and practiced; appointed United States attorney for the district of North Carolina on March 6, 1817; served in the State senate 1815–1819, 1822, 1826, and 1830; elected as a Jacksonian to the Twenty-second through Twenty-fourth Congresses and as a Democrat to the Twenty-fifth through Thirtieth Congresses (March 4, 1831 – March 3, 1849); chairman, Committee on Military Affairs (Twenty-fifth Congress), Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads (Twenty-sixth Congress), Committee on Expenditures in the Department of War (Twenty-seventh Congress), Ways and Means Committee (Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth Congresses). Chief sponsor of the Walker Tariff, also known as the McKay Tariff, of 1846.[1] The favorite son of the North Carolina delegation at the 1848 Democratic Convention for Vice President; McKay died in Goldsboro, North Carolina, September 4, 1853.[2]

McKay was an unapologetic slave-owner; but upon his death, it was discovered that his will included the unusual provision that thirty or forty of his slaves be placed under the supervision of the American Colonization Society.[3]

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  1. ^ New York Daily Tribune, 7 July 1846, p. 2.
  2. ^ Congressional Biography
  3. ^ Clegg, Claude A., III, The Price of Liberty: African Americans and the making of Liberia, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009, p. 192.

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