Butler, Benjamin Franklin, 1795–1858, American political leader and cabinet officer, b. Columbia co., N.Y. Butler, like his former law associate, Martin Van Buren, was a member of the Albany Regency, and he devoted himself and his considerable power to reform politics. He was Attorney General (1833–37) under President Jackson and for a time held (1836–37) that post and the office of Secretary of War concurrently. He also served (1837–38) as Attorney General under President Van Buren, but he refused later cabinet appointments. He helped to revise (1825) the New York State statutes and organized what is today the law school of New York Univ.
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