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Hugh McCulloch

Photo of Hugh McCulloch First Comptroller of the Currency
1863-1865

Hugh McCulloch, president of the State Bank of Indiana, was appointed the first Comptroller of the Currency by President Lincoln. McCulloch, once a foe of national banking legislation, organized the agency and launched the national banking system. During McCulloch's 22 months in office, 868 national banks were chartered and no failures occurred. The first Comptroller recommended major changes in the banking law. The resulting National Banking Act of 1864 remains the foundation of the national banking system. McCulloch resigned to become Lincoln's Secretary of Treasury. He also served as Secretary of Treasury under President Arthur.