ⓘ DeWitt Clinton

DeWitt Clinton

ⓘ DeWitt Clinton

DeWitt Clinton was an early American politician and statesman. He graduated in law from Columbia University in 1790. From 1790 to 1795 he served as private secretary to his uncle, George Clinton.

Clinton was born in Little Britain, New York. He was married to Maria Franklin. They had ten children, but only three survived. Clinton then married Catharine Jones from 1819 until his death in 1828. His son, George William Clinton, served as mayor of Buffalo, New York.

He served in the New York State Legislature 1797–1798 and the New York Senate 1798–1802. He served the U.S. Senate 1802–1803. He served 10 terms as Mayor of New York City 1803–1815. During his 10 terms as mayor, he promoted public education, city planning, public sanitation, and relief for the poor.

Clinton also held office as state senator 1806–1811 and lieutenant governor 1811–1813. From 1810 to 1824, he served as New York Canal Commissioner. In 1812, he lost the race for President of the United States to James Madison. He was Governor of New York State 1817–1823, 1825–1828. He supported a plan to build a canal through upstate New York to connect the east with the Midwest. He became such a strong supporter of the New York plan that his opponents called it "Clintons Ditch". He is sometimes known as the Father of the Erie Canal.

Clinton died from heart failure in Albany, New York, aged 58.