Skip to main content

Whitney, William Collins

William Collins Whitney, 1841–1904, American financier and political leader, b. Conway, Mass. After attending (1863–64) Harvard law school, he moved to New York City, became successful as a corporation lawyer, and was associated with various public utility companies and transportation interests. He helped lead the fight that brought about the downfall of William Marcy Tweed and the election (1874) of Samuel J. Tilden as governor. As city corporation counsel (1875–82) he helped save New York City much money. Whitney, important in Democratic politics, served (1885–89) as Secretary of the Navy under President Cleveland and secured legislation for the making of armor-plated war vessels. In 1892 he supported Cleveland for the presidency, but in 1896 he refused to support the candidacy of William Jennings Bryan. He was a society leader and an outstanding sportsman.

See biography by M. D. Hirsch (1948, repr. 1969).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Whitney, William Collins." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Whitney, William Collins." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/whitney-william-collins

"Whitney, William Collins." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/whitney-william-collins

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.