Member Biography

Samuel Maclay 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1798-1799         Democratic-Republican
1799-1800         Democratic-Republican
1800-1801         Democratic-Republican
1801-1802     Speaker   Democratic-Republican

COUNTIES: Northumberland  


06/17/1741 - 09/05/1811

Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Maclay Northumberland County 1798-1802

Early Life: 

Samuel Maclay, born June 17, 1741, Lurgan Township, at Maclay's Mill Province of Pennsylvania, British Colonial America, now Franklin County, Pennsylvania; son of Charles Maclay and Eleanor Maclay; completed preparatory studies; engaged, agricultural pursuits, surveying; married, Elizabeth Harris Plunkett, 1773; Lieutenant Colonel, Continental Army, Revolutionary War, 1775; elected, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 1787-1791; associate judge, Franklin County 1792-1795; elected, United States Congress, Fourth Congress 1795-1797; elected, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 1797; elected, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1798-1802, Speaker of the Pennsylvania State Senate, 1801-1802; elected, United States Senate, 1803-1809; retired; died, September 5, 1811, Buffalo Township, Union County, Pennsylvania; interment, 1908,cenotaph, Driesbach Church Cemetery, Buffalo Township, Union County, Pennsylvania. (i)

Early Career:

He and his brother, William Maclay were appointed commissioners to survey the tracts on the headwaters of the Schuylkill, Susquehanna and Allegheny Rivers that were awarded to the officers of the First Battalion in Bouquet's expedition. Appointed, Lieutenant Colonel, First Battalion, Northumberland County Militia, September 12, 1775. (i)

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Pennsylvania House of Representatives 1787-1791.  

Associate judge, Franklin County 1792-1795.  

Elected, United States Congress, Fourth Congress 1795-1797.  

Elected, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 1797.

Elected, Pennsylvania State Senate, Northumberland County, 1798-1802; Speaker of the Pennsylvania State Senate, 1801-1802.  

Continued Government Service/National Politics:

Elected, Democratic Republican, United States Senate 1803 – resigned January 4, 1809.

Pennsylvania House of Representatives Biography:

Not availble at this time.


Wife, Elizabeth Harris Plunkett, granddaughter, John Harris Sr., founder and namesake of city of Harrisburg, the state capital of Pennsylvania.

Six sons and three daughters including William Plunkett Maclay who was a member of the State House of Representatives, Charles, John, Samuel, David, Judge Robert Plunkett Maclay, who was also a Pennsylania State Senator 1839-1841, Eleanor (Mrs. David Maclay), Hester and Jane (Mrs. Joseph Henderson).

Brother, William Maclay (1737-1804) born June 20, 1737, New Garden, Chester County, Pennsylvania, Democrat; United States Senator, 1789-91; member of Pennsylvania state legislature, 1780; Presidential Elector for Pennsylvania, 1796. Died, Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, April 16, 1804 (age 66 years, 301 days). Interment, Paxton Presbyterian Cemetery, Paxtang, Pennsylvania.

Son, William Plunkett Maclay (1774-1842) - also known as William P. Maclay born August 23, 1774, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. Democrat. Member of Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 1800; United States Representative, Pennsylvania 9th District, 1815-21; delegate, Pennsylvania State Constitutional Convention, 1837. Died, Milroy, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, September 2, 1842 (age 68 years, 10 days). Interment at Milroy Presbyterian Cemetery, Milroy, Pennsylvania.

Son, Judge Robert Plunket Maclay born April 19, 1799, Lewisburg, Union County, Pennsylvania. Member of Pennsylvania State Senate, 8th District, 1838-42. Appointed, Governor William Freame Johnston, Associate Judge, Clarion County, 1844-1853. Died, August 16, 1884, (age 85) Kishacoquillas Valley, Brown Township, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania; interment, Church Hill Cemetery Reedsville, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania.


          (i) Samuel Maclay (1741-1811) - Find a Grave Memorial

Congressional Biography

After 4 session(s) serving in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Samuel Maclay  went on to serve in congress