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about lands in the west, which also terminated favourably. He represented his native county in the assembly and in the convention that adopted the present constitution of the United States, and he was elected, without opposition, a senator from the middle district; all which trusts he executed with perfect integrity, with solid intelligence, and with the full approbation of his constituents.
The temper of general Clinton was mild and affectionate, but when raised by unprovoked or unmerited injury, he exhibited extraordinary and appalling energy. In battle he was as cool and as collected as if sitting by his fireside. Nature intended him for a gallant and efficient soldier, when she endowed him with the faculty of entire self-possession in the midst of the greatest dangers.
He died on the 22d of December, 1812, and was interred in the family burial place in Orange county, and his monumental stone bears the following inscription:
6. Underneath are interred the remains of James Clinton, Esquire.
“He was born the 9th of August, 1736; and died the 22d of December, 1812.
“His life was principally devoted to the military service of his country, and he had filled with fidelity and honour, several distinguished civil offices.
“He was an officer in the revolutionary war, and the war preceding; and, at the close of the former, was a major general in the army of the United States. He was a good man and a sincere patriot, performing, in the most exemplary manner, all the duties of life: and he died, as he lived, with out fear, and without reproach."
CLINTON, GEORGE, formerly governor of the state of New York, and vice-president of the United States, was born on the 26th July, 1739, in the county of Ulster, in the colony of New York. He was the youngest son of colonel Charles Clinton, an emigrant from Ireland, and a gentleman of distinguished worth and high consideration.
He was educated, principally, under the eye of his father, and received the instruction of a learned minister of the presbyterian church, who had graduated in the university of Aberdeen: and, after reading law, in the office of William Smitii, afterwards chief justice of Canada, he settled himself in that profession in the county of his nativity, where he rose to eminence.
In 1768, he took his seat as one of the members of the colonial assembly, for the county of Ulster, and he continued an active member of that body until it was merged in the revolution. His energy of character, discriminating intellect, and undaunted courage, plaeed him among the chiefs of the whig party; and he was always considered possessed of a superior mind and master spirit, on which his country might rely, as an asylum in the most gloomy periods of her fortunes.
On the 22d of April, 1775, he was chosen by the provincial convention of New York, one of the delegates to the continental congress, and took his seat in that illustrious body on
the 15th of May. On the 4th of July, 1776, he was present at the glorious declaration of independence, and assented, with his usual energy and decision, to that measure; but having been appointed a brigadier general in the militia, and also in the army, the exigencies of his country, at that trying hour, rendered it necessary for him to take the field in person, and he therefore retired from congress immediately after his vote was given, and before the instrument was transcribed for the signature of the members; for which reason his name does not appear among the signers.
A constitution having been adopted for the state of New York, on the 20th April, 1777, he was chosen at the first election under it, both governor and lieutenant governor, and he was continued in the former office for eighteen years, by triennial elections; when, owing to ill health, and a respect for the l'epublican principle of rotation in office, he declined a re-election.
During the revolutionary war, he cordially cooperated with the immortal Washington, and without his aid, the army would have been disbanded, and the northern separated from the southern states, by the intervention of British troops. He was always at his post in the times that tried men's souls: at one period repelling the advances of the enemy from Canada, and at another, meeting themi in battle when approaching from the south. His gallant defence of fort Montgomery, with a handful of men, against a powerful force commanded by sir Henry Clinton, was equally honourable to his intrepidity and his skill.
The following are the particulars of his gallant conduct at the storming of forts Montgomery and Clinton, in October, 1777:
6. When the British reinforcements, under general Robertson, amounting to nearly 2000 men, arrived from Europe, sir Henry Clinton used the greatest exertion, and availed himself of every favourable circumstance, to put these troops into immediate operation. Many were sent to suitable vessels, and united in the expedition, which consisted of about 4000 men, against the forts in the highlands. Having made the necessary arrangements, he moved up the North River, and landed on the 4th of October at Tarry-town, purposely to impress general Putnam, under whose command a thousand continental troops liad been left, with a belief, that his post at Peek's-kill was the object of attack. At eight o'clock at night, the general communicated the intelligence to governor Clinton: of the arrival of the British, and at the same time expressed his opinion respecting their destina. tion. The designs of sir Henry were immediately perceived by the governor, who prorogued the assembly on the following day, and arrived that night at Fort Montgomery. The British troops, in the mean time, were secretly conveyed across the river, and assaults upon our forts were meditated to be made on the 6th, which were accordingly put in execution, by attacking the American advanced party at Doodletown, about two miles and a half from fort Montgomery. The Americans l'eceived the fire of the British, and retreated to fort Clinton. The enemy then advanced to the west side of the mountain, in order to attack our troops in the rear. Governor Clinton immediately ordered out a detachment of one hundred men toward Doodletown, and another of sixty, with a brass field piece, to an eligible spot on another load. They were both soon attacked by the whole force of the enemy, and compelled to fall back. It has been remarked, that the talents, as well as the temper of a commander, are put to as severe a test in conducting a retreat, as in achieving a victory. The truth of this governor Clinton experienced, when, with great bravery, and the most perfect order. he retired till he reached the fort. He lost no time in placing his men in the best manner that circumstances would permit. His post, however, as well as fort Clinton, in a few minutes, were invaded on every side. In the midst of this disheartening and appalling. disaster, he was summoned, when the sun was only an hour high, to surrender in five minutes; but his gallant spirit sternly refused to obey the call. In a short time after, the British made a general and most desperate attack on both posts, which was received by the Americans with undismayed courage and resistance. Officers and men, militia and continentals, all behaved alike brave. An incessant fire was kept up till dusk, when our troops were overpow
ered by numbers, who forced the lines and redoubts at both posts. Many of the Americans fought their way out, other's accidentally mixed with the enemy, and thus made their escape effectually; for, besides being favoured by the night, they knew the various avenues in the mountains. The governor, as well as his brother, general James Clinton, who was wounded, were not taken."
The administration of governor' Clinton, was characterised by wisdom and patriotism. He was a republican in principle and practice. After a retirement of five years, he was called by the citizens of the city and county of New York to represent them in the assembly of the state; and to his influence and popularity may be ascribed, in a great degree, the change in his native state, which finally produced the important political revolution of 1801.
At that period, much against his inclination, but from motives of patriotism, he consented to an election as governor, and in 1805, he was chosen Vice President of the United States, in which office he continued until his death; presiding with great dig. nity in the Senate, and evincing by his votes and his opinions, his decided hostility to constructive authority, and to innovations on the established principles of republican government.
He died at Washington, when attending to his duties as Vice President, and was interred in that city, where a monument was erected by the filial piety of his children, with this inscription, written by his nephew:
" To the memory of George Clinton. He was born in the state of New York on the 26th of July, 1739, and died in the city of Washington, on the 20th April, 1812, in the 73d year of his age. He
a soldier and statesman of the revolution. Eminent in council, and distinguished in war, lie filled, with unexampled usefulness, purity and