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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

William Maclay Historical Marker in Dauphin County

Paxton Presbyterian Churchyard Cemetery in Harrisburg Pennsylvania
William Maclay was born in 1736 and died in 1804. His historical marker and grave site can be found in the Paxton Presbyterian Churchyard Cemetery located in Harrisburg (Dauphin County), Pennsylvania. His marker and grave site are part of the Pennsylvania Historical Marker Trail. The cemetery is open year-round and you will want to park in the designated parking lot and enter through the gates.

Once you go through the gates you'll want to walk to your left and down a few aisles until you happen upon his grave and memorial marker. Its a few steps away from John Harris Jr.'s marker which is also part of the history trail. He was married to the daughter of John Harris, Sr., so I think that's why he's buried within a few feet from Jr.'s grave.
William Maclay Historical Marker and Grave in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

In 1789 he along with his colleague Robert Morris were the first elected senators from the state of Pennsylvania. He left the U.S. Senate in 1791. He served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives 1795 through 1797. He was one of the well-known leaders of the Anti-Administration Party and was a big critic of Samuel Adams and George Washington. He wasn't well-liked by his U.S. Senate colleagues.
William Maclay Historical Marker and Grave in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Historical Marker:

William Maclay, Esq.
1736 - 1804

Buried here is the first U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania. In 1789, he and Robert Morris were the first from the Keystone State to be elected to the senate of the United States.

Located right beside his grave (and marker) is a large gravestone marker for Eliza Maclay, the daughter of William and Mary McClure Harris Maclay. She had two siblings: Mary Harris MacLay Awl and Jane M. Maclay Lyon.
Eliza Maclay Grave and Memorial Marker in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Here's what it says:

A lingering distemper borne with resignation put a period to her life in the 23rd year of her age, the duties annexed to her station were discharged without a blot. Her weeping parents placed over The Monument of her Virtues and of their affection.

There is quite a bit of historical information available online, via books and at the Dauphin County Historical Society where you can learn more about the Maclay family, a prominent family from the Harrisburg area.

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