Samuel Dexter (1761-1816) was the youngest child of Samuel Dexter (1726-1810) and Hannah (Sigourney) Dexter. He graduated from Harvard, class of 1781, with highest honors. Dexter studied law with Levi Lincoln and was admitted to the bar in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1786 after which he settled in Charlestown, becoming state representative in 1788. He was elected United States senator from Massachusetts in 1799 and served until June 1800 when he became President John Adams's secretary of war. That December Dexter was made secretary of the treasury, at which post he served until 26 January 1802. He returned to Roxbury where he resumed a highly successful law practice. Dexter unsuccessfully ran for governor of Massachusetts in 1814 and 1815 and died at Athens, New York, on 4 May 1816.