Daniel Manning was born May 16, 1831, in Albany, N.Y. Manning was a journalist who started working for the Albany Atlas when he was 11. That paper was later consolidated with the Albany Argus. He became editor of the newspaper in 1865 and then became one of the Argus’ owners in 1873.
He was a prominent banker in Albany and was active in politics. He became president of the National Commercial Bank in Albany, also in 1873.
He served as chairman of the New York Democratic committee from 1881 to 1884. He supported then Gov. Grover Cleveland in his gubernatorial campaign in 1882 and helped get Cleve land nominated for U.S. president in 1884. In fact, the bond forged between Manning and Cleveland was so strong that when Manning, a widower, married his second wife, President-elect Cleveland attended the wedding, “being one of the first to shake the bride and groom by the hand and express his warmest good wishes,” according to an article in the Nov. 19, 1884, edition of The New York Times.
Those political credentials and campaign experience provided Manning with the opportunity to become Cleveland’s U.S. Treasury secretary in March 1885.
He served until April 1887 when he resigned due to ill health. He returned to his home in Albany where he died Dec. 24, 1887.
His funeral was held Dec. 27 at St. Paul’s Church in Albany. According to a Dec. 27 story in The New York Times, the U.S. Treasury Building was “draped in black and the flags all over the city [Washington, D.C.] were at half mast.” President Cleveland and “all his cabinet” attended the funeral.
Manning was buried in Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands, N.Y., just north of Albany. According to cemetery records, Manning’s son James Hilton Manning, a banker, industrialist and mayor of Albany, was a “noted numismatic and autograph collector.”
A portrait of Daniel Manning can be found on the ornately designed face of the Series 1886 and 1891 $20 silver certificates.