Duncan McArthur attended the local schools of his home in New York and Pennsylvania, where he moved with his father in 1780. He then traveled through various areas and worked in various positions as a temporary worker. In 1790 he took part in an unfortunate Indian campaign under General Josiah Harmer. After moving to Kentucky, he spent two years as an Indian Ranger for that State. His job was to protect along the Ohio River, the border against Indian attacks. In 1796 he came to what was then the Northwest Territory and settled in the newly founded city of Chillicothe. This city should be the first capital of the State of Ohio later. There he acquired more land and soon rose to become one of the largest and richest landowners in the area.
Political rise in Ohio
McArthur was one of the founders of the militia of that State. He brought it up to Major General. In 1804 he was elected to the House of Representatives from Ohio; 1805-1814 he was in the state Senate, where he was even its president between 1809 and 1810. McArthur took part in the War of 1812. He fell in the meantime in British captivity. After his release, he became brigadier general in the U.S. Army and served under William Henry Harrison. After his resignation from the post of commander in chief of the Northwest Army MacArthur took office.
After the war, McArthur was a member of a negotiated commission to make peace treaties with the Indians. Along with Lewis Cass, a peace treaty was drawn up in 1817 with some strains. Between 1815 and 1830 he was several times intermittently member of the House of Representatives and the Senate of Ohio. In the years 1823 to 1825, he represented his home state in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1830, McArthur was selected as the candidate of the National Republican Party as the new governor of his state.
Governor of Ohio
Duncan McArthur, took office on 18 December 1830. In his two-year tenure, the tax legislation was reformed and some other laws of the country have been revised. The expansion of the road was also continue to operate as the extension of the canal or canals. In 1832, McArthur is not applied for re-election, so he resigned on 7 December this year from his office from.
After the end of his tenure failed for reelection to Congress in a single voice. Thereafter he devoted himself to his private business interests. Soon, his health deteriorated and he died in 1839. He was married to Nancy McDonald, with whom he had three children.