Born at Nine Partners', Dutchess County, NY, 22 August 1778. Died at Hyde Park, Dutchess County, NY, 6 April 1860. Buried in Greenwood Cemetery, New York, NY. Well known writer of prose and poetry. Friend of Washington Irving. Youngest son of William Paulding, a member of the New York Committee of Safety and Commissary-General of State Troops.
From 7 February 1815, to 9 November 1823, he was Secretary to the first Board of Navy Commissioners, consisting of Commodores Hull, Porter and Rodgers.
He was appointed Navy Agent at New York 8 January 1824, resigning 25 June 1838, to enter the cabinet of President Van Buren as Secretary of the Navy, a position which he held from 1 July 1838, to 5 March 1841.
He was greatly opposed to the introduction of steamships and engineers into the Navy and in some correspondence wrote that he "never would consent to see our grand old ships supplanted by these new and ugly sea monsters," and exclaimed, "I am steamed to death."
The Torpedo Boat Destroyer James K. Paulding was named for Secretary Paulding. It was launched 20 April 1920, at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, NJ. His great-granddaughter, Miss Mary Hubbard Paulding, was the sponsor.