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George Clinton
New York

Gov. George Clinton

  • July 30, 1777 - March 1, 1795
    March 1, 1801 - April 1, 1804
  • Democratic-Republican
  • July 26, 1739
  • April 20, 1812
  • New York
  • Married Cornelia Tappen; six children


GEORGE CLINTON, the first governor of New York, was born in Little Britain, Orange County, New York on July 26, 1739. His early education was attained in the common schools of his native state. He later studied law, and then established his legal career. He served as clerk of the Common Pleas Court in 1759, and was the district attorney in 1765. Clinton first entered politics as a member of the New York State Assembly, a position he held from 1768 to 1775. In 1774 he served on the New York Committee of Correspondence; and from 1775 to 1776 was a member of the Continental Congress. He voted for the Declaration of Independence, however he was not one of the signers. Clinton, who was a supporter of George Washington, was rewarded with an appointment, becoming brigadier general of the militia in 1775. He also rode with Washington to the first inauguration, as well as hosting a dinner in honor of the president. In 1777, Clinton was elected to the New York governorship. He won reelection in 1780, 1783, 1786, 1789, 1792, and 1801, becoming New York’s longest serving governor. During his tenure, the initiation of the University of New York was lobbied for; and funding was secured for the war effort. After completing his final gubernatorial term, Clinton served as vice president of the United States, a position he held during Thomas Jefferson’s second term (1805 to 1809), and held again during James Madison’s first term (1809 to 1812). Governor George Clinton passed away on April 20, 1812, and was buried in the First Dutch Reformed Church Cemetery in Kingston, New York.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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