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Spencer M. Clark Portrait

Spencer M. Clark

Life: (1811 - 1890)
Chief, National Currency Bureau
Years in Office: 1862-1868

Spencer Clark was a native of Vermont.  He was involved in a variety of business activities until 1856 when he became a clerk in the Bureau of Construction of the Treasury Department in Washington, DC.  Later, as acting engineer, Clark became interested in the work of finishing new currency notes at the Treasury and gradually assumed increasingly greater responsibilities in the engraving, printing, and processing of U.S. government currency and securities.  A strong advocate for a distinct bureau within the Treasury Department for the production of currency and securities, Clark was the first head of the agency that became the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.  He resigned in 1868 amidst a congressional investigation into record-keeping and security within the fledgling currency operations at the Treasury.  Clark went on to work at the Department of Agriculture in the Statistical Division.  He later headed the Bureau of Vital Statistics in the Agriculture Department until his death in 1890.