George B. McClellan Jr.
93rd Mayor of New York City
In office
January 1, 1904 – December 31, 1909
Preceded bySeth Low
Succeeded byWilliam Jay Gaynor
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 12th district
In office
March 4, 1895 – December 21, 1903
Preceded byWilliam Bourke Cockran
Succeeded byWilliam Bourke Cockran
Personal details
George Brinton McClellan Jr.

(1865-11-23)November 23, 1865
Dresden, Kingdom of Saxony
DiedNovember 30, 1940(1940-11-30) (aged 75)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Georgiana Louise Heckscher
(m. 1889)
Parent(s)George B. McClellan Nelly McClellan
EducationPrinceton University (BA, MA)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/serviceNew York Army National Guard
United States Army
Years of service1885-88; 1917-1919
UnitUnited States Army Ordnance Department
Battles/warsWorld War I

George Brinton McClellan Jr. (November 23, 1865 – November 30, 1940), was an American statesman, author, historian,[1] and educator. The son of the American Civil War general and presidential candidate George B. McClellan, he was the 93rd Mayor of New York City, serving from 1904 to 1909.[2]

Life and career

McClellan, known to his family as "Max", was born in Dresden, Kingdom of Saxony (Germany), where his parents were visiting. He went to school in Trenton in New Jersey – where his father was Governor – and later Saint John's School in Ossining, New York. From 1885 to 1888 he served in the New York Army National Guard.[3] He received his Bachelor of Arts degree at Princeton in 1886 and his Master of Arts in 1889; Princeton, Fordham University, and Union College later gave him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. After leaving school, he engaged in reportorial and editorial work at the New York World and other newspapers. In 1892 he was admitted to the bar. He served for some time as secretary and treasurer of the New York and Brooklyn Bridge.

New York City politics

In 1892, McClellan was elected president of the Board of Aldermen of New York City for the following two years, and for a part of 1894 he served as acting mayor. His success and popularity enabled him in 1895 to become a United States Congressman (as a Democrat), a position he held until resigning to become mayor in late 1903. In Congress, he was a prominent member of the Ways and Means Committee. While in Congress McClellan made speeches in favor of the gold standard, an issue that divided the fiscally conservative from the agrarian wing of the Democratic Party, although he avoided committing himself on the subject in the campaign of 1896.[4]

Mayor of New York City

In November 1903, McClellan defeated the sitting mayor, Seth Low (independent Fusion), for a two-year term. He was re-elected in 1905, after the restoration of four-year mayoral terms, but not considered for a third term in 1909.[clarification needed]

He is notable in the history of movie censorship for canceling all moving-picture exhibition licenses on Christmas Eve 1908, claiming that the new medium degraded the morals of the community and that celluloid film was an unacceptable fire hazard.[5]

On October 27, 1904, the Interborough Rapid Transit, New York City's first subway, opened. McClellan was to start the first train at the City Hall Station, and then hand it over to an IRT motorman. However, he was enjoying himself so much that he refused to give up the controls until the train reached 103rd Street Station.[6]

U.S. Presidential candidacy

McClellan ran for president in 1904, receiving 3 votes on the first ballot at the Democratic National Convention.

Later career

Throughout his political career, McClellan remained interested in education and in 1906 he was named honorary Chancellor of Union College. At Princeton he delivered the Stafford Little lectures on public affairs (1908–1910), served as university lecturer (1911–1912) and was subsequently appointed a professor of economic history.

McClellan served in World War I entering the Army as major assigned to the Ordnance Department in May 1917 and he was honorably discharged in May 1919 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Personal life

McClellan married Georgiana Heckscher on October 30, 1889.[7]

McClellan died childless on November 30, 1940, one week after his 75th birthday, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.[3]

Selected works

See also



  1. ^ McClellan, The Gentleman and the Tiger: The Autobiography of George B. McClellan Jr., pp. 13,31.
  2. ^ "Arlington National Cemetery". Arlington National Cemetery. Retrieved 2007-02-14.
  3. ^ a b "George McClellan is Stricken at 75". New York Times. December 1, 1940. Retrieved 2007-06-14. Mayor of New York, 1903-09, Son of Civil War General, Dead in Washington. Had Served in Congress. Princeton Alumnus of 1889 a Lecturer on Economics at Alma Mater, 1912-1930. Washington, DC, November 30, 1940. Colonel George Brinton McClellan, son of the famous Civil War general and a former member of Congress and Mayor of New York City from 1903 to 1909, died early today at his home here.
  4. ^ "Career of Mr. McClellan". New York Times. October 2, 1903. p. 2. Retrieved May 17, 2016 – via
  5. ^ Picture Shows All Out of Business. The New York Times, December 25, 1908.
  6. ^ Failing New York Subway? Not Always — Once There Were Chandeliers. The New York Times, April 11, 2019.
  7. ^ "Married at Newport.; George B. M'clellan to Miss Georgiana Heckscher". The New York Times. October 31, 1889. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 2, 2020.


Further reading

U.S. House of Representatives Preceded byWilliam B. Cockran Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 12th congressional district March 4, 1895 – December 21, 1903 Succeeded byWilliam B. Cockran Political offices Preceded bySeth Low Mayor of New York City 1904–1909 Succeeded byWilliam Jay Gaynor