George Mifflin Dallas (1792-1864)

U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania & 11th Vice President of the United States

Associated Houses

Decatur House

Washington D.C.

He was born in Philadelphia and was the son of the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. He graduated from Princeton (1810) after which he studied law. He was private secretary to Albert Gallatin and then worked for the Treasury Department and the Second Bank of the United States. Becoming involved in politics, he emerged as one of the leaders of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, developing an internal rivalry with James Buchanan. Between 1828 and 1835, he was Mayor of Philadelphia, U.S. Attorney for Pennsylvania and Attorney-General of Pennsylvania.

He was elected a U.S. Senator (1831-33), but declined re-election and in 1837 President Van Buren appointed him Minister to Russia (1837-39). He supported Van Buren's bid for re-election in 1844 but James K. Polk won the party's presidential nomination and he was nominated as Polk's running mate. He supported expansion and popular sovereignty, and called for the annexation of all of Mexico during the Mexican–American War. Winning the election, Dallas served as the 11th Vice-President of the United States (1845-49). He sought to position himself as a candidate for the 1848 presidential election but his vote to lower the tariff destroyed his base in Pennsylvania. He was appointed U.S. Minister to the United Kingdom (1856-61) before retiring from public office. In 1816, he married Sophia, daughter of Philip Nicklin and granddaughter of Benjamin Chew, Chief Justice of Pennsylvania. They had eight children of whom seven (listed) lived to adulthood.


Contributed by Mark Meredith on 17/10/2018 and last updated on 02/02/2024.