BIDDLE, NICOLAS
Biddle completed his studies at the University of Pennsylvania at the age of thirteen, and graduated valedictorian from the College of New Jersey at Princeton when he was fifteen. His studies were concentrated on the classics, giving him expertise which he put to good use when he traveled extensively in Europe. He also studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1809. Biddle's scholarship and political connections were largely responsible for his being appointed president of the Second Bank of the United States, serving in that position from 1822-1836. During his tenure as President of the Bank, he managed it wisely and fostered a pattern of prudent growth. However, the 1832 Presidential election brought him into direct confrontation with President Andrew Jackson who, in his inaugural address brought into question the bank's ability to create and maintain a sound and uniform currency. Biddle's reaction was an unsuccessful attempt at rechartering the bank four years prior to the charter's expiration date. Upon expiration of the Bank's charter in 1836, Biddle rechartered the bank in Pennsylvania as the Bank of the United States of Pennsylvania, serving the same function as the old bank. He served as its president from 1836-1839, at which time he entered retirement.