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William Patrick Wood
was the first Director of the United States Secret Service
The United States Secret Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The sworn members are divided among the Special Agents and the Uniformed Division. Until March 1, 2003, the Service was part of the United States...
. He was the son of James Wood and Margaret Turner.
He was sworn in on July 5, 1865 by Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCulloch
Hugh McCulloch was an American statesman who served two non-consecutive terms as U.S. Treasury Secretary, serving under three presidents.-Biography:...
. He then headed the newly formed Secret Service for four years until he resigned in 1869. Wood was a veteran of the Mexican-American War and was once Keeper of the Capital Prison. He was considered the best in battling financial crime, and within a year of its founding, the Secret Service had arrested over 200 counterfeiters. He died on March 23, 1903, and was buried in the Congressional Cemetery
The Congressional Cemetery is a historic cemetery located at 1801 E Street, SE, in Washington, D.C., on the west bank of the Anacostia River. It is the final resting place of thousands of individuals who helped form the nation and the city of Washington in the early 19th century. Many members of...
in Washington, D.C.
- Davis, Curtis Carroll. "The Craftiest of Men: William P. Wood and the Establishment of the United States Secret Service." Maryland Historical Magazine 83 (Summer 1988): 11-126.
- Carl Hulse, "A Forgotten Sleuth Is Honored at Last" New York Times (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: May 29, 2001. p. A.12
- "The Secret Service Division began on July 5, 1865 in Washington, D.C., to suppress counterfeit currency. Chief William P. Wood was sworn in by Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCulloch." http://www.secretservice.gov/history.shtml