Quay, Matthew Stanley (kwā) [key], 1833–1904, American political leader, b. Dillsburg, Pa. He studied law in Pittsburgh and was admitted (1854) to the bar. He fought in the Civil War, and after the war he rose steadily in Pennsylvania politics until he became boss of the state Republican machine. His skill in organization and manipulation of patronage kept Pennsylvania thoroughly Republican. As chairman (1888) of the Republican National Committee, Quay secured large campaign contributions and played a leading role in Benjamin Harrison's presidential election. He served (1887–99) in the U.S. Senate, but serious charges of venality prevented his reelection in 1898. Quay was, however, able to block the election of anyone else. When a jury found him innocent of all charges, the governor appointed him Senator ad interim, but there was a great public protest, and the Senate refused to seat him. Quay was, however, reelected in 1901.
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