WILLIAM LEARNED MARCY (1786-1857), American statesman, was born in Southbridge (then part of Sturbridge), Massachusetts, on the 12th of December 1786.
As editor of the Troy Budget (daily) he was a vigorous supporter of Martin Van Buren, and when Van Buren's followers acquired control of the legislature in 1821 Marcy was made adjutant-general of the New York militia.
From 1823 to 1829 Marcy was comptroller of the state, an office then especially important on account of the large expenditures for internal improvements, and during this period he became the leading member of the famous " Albany Regency," a group of able Democratic politicians who exerted a powerful influence throughout the state by their control of the party patronage and machinery.
In a speech in the Senate defending Van Buren against an attack by Henry Clay, Marcy made the unfortunate remark that " to the victors belong the spoils of the enemy," and thereby became widely known as a champion of the proscription of political opponents.
In the Democratic convention at Baltimore, in 1852, Marcy was a prominent candidate for the presidential nomination, and from 1853 to 1857 he was secretary of state in the cabinet of President Pierce.