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appointed a commissioner to adjust the boundary line between Pennsylvania and New York, and was selected by the legislature for an interesting mission to settle controversies respecting lands in the west. He represented his native county in the assembly, and in the convention that adopted the present constitution of the United States. He was elected, without opposition, a senator from the middle district, and a delegate to the convention of 1801, for the purpose of amending the state constitution, all of which trusts he executed with integrity and ability, and to the perfect satisfaction of his constituents. His temper was mild and affectionate; but when roused by unprovoked insult, or unmerited injury, he exhibited extraordinary energy. He died in December, 1812, in the 76th year of his age, and was interred in the family burial place, at Little Britain, in Orange county.*
DE WITT CLINTON. De Witt Clinton was born in 1769, at the residence of his father, Gen. James Clinton, New Windsor, Orange Co. in this state, and received his early education at a grammar school in a neighboring village called Stonefield, under the care of the Rev. John Moffat, from which he was transferred at the age of thirteen, to an academy at Kingston, then conducted by Mr John Addison. He remained here until he was prepared to enter the junior class of Columbia college in 1784, and was graduated a Bachelor of Arts, at the first public commencement held in this institution after the close of the revolutionary war, being adjudged worthy to receive the honor of delivering the Latin salutatory address, an honor always conferred on the best classic scholar of the year.
He commenced the study of the law in 1786, with Samuel Jones, Esq., a celebrated counsellor, second to none of his profession for profound and extensive knowledge. Mr Clinton received the usual licences or degrees in the law, but was abruptly called off from the further cultivation of the pursuit, by circumstances arising from the situation of political affairs in the state of New York.
The germs of the two great parties which have since divided the country, were at that time beginning to appear. His uncle, George Clinton, then governor of the state, was assailed by a combination of almost all the talents of that section of the country; and pamphlets and newspaper essays were poured upon the public with unrestrained profusion. Mr Clinton, relinquishing every other pursuit, entered warmly and exclusively into the vindication of the conduct and principles of his uncle; and it is believed that the greater part of the controversial politics on that side, was managed by him during this period of turbulence and irritation. He continued with his uncle, as his secretary, during his administration, which ended in 1795. The governor declined a re-election, not only on account of the ill state of his health, but from his observance also of the republican rule of rotation in office. Mr Clinton had been honored, while with his venerable uncle, with the office of secretary of the University, and of the Board of Fortifications of New York. Upon the retirement of the governor, Mr Clinton also withdrew from public life. But his efforts, as an individual, in rallying and supporting the party of which he might then have been considered the leader, were not for a moment remitted. To do this with effect, however, it seemed necessary that he should be placed in a public station; and accordingly, 1798 he was elected a member of the assembly of this state from the city of New York, and in 1800 was chosen a senator from the southern district, an a member of the council of appointment. From the senate of this state, by a joint ballot of both branches of the legislature, he was elected to a seat in the senate of the United States, where he took an active interest in the concerns of the country, in relation to the differences then existing with the Spanish authorities at New Orleans. His continuance in that august body, however, was short, as on receiving the appointment of Mayor of New York, in October, 1803, it became necessary that he should resign it, the duties of the two offices being by law incompatible. In the office of Mayor he was continued by annual appointment until March, 1807, when by reason of one of those changes of party which occasionally occur, and are more in appearance than in reality, and not inappropriately designated by the term political mirage, he was superseded and remained out of office eleven months, as he was appointed Mayor. again by the council, in February, 1808. His term of office, at this time, was a little more than two years, when another partial party change again removed him, and he remained out of office another term of eleven months! In February, 1811, he was again, and for the third time, appointed Mayor, and he continued in office by yearly appointment until the 20th of March, 1815, a term which included the whole period of the late war. It is worthy of remark that a political change in the state, in 1813, caused an almost entire change in its civil commissions, and in conformity with that rule of proscription which seemed to have assumed as its basis, that so soon as a party were in a minority, every individual belonging to it was disqualified for any official trust, Mr Clinton would have been removed from office; but so great was the measure of confidence which the public reposed in him, that his political opponents petitioned their own friends for his re-appointment in place of his removal, so that the virulence of party was disarmed by a consciousness of his peculiar fitness for the station.
During the last term of his mayoralty, he was elected lieutenant-governor of the state, in the place of the Hon. John Broome, deceased, and he continued to officiate both as President of the Senate and Mayor of the city for two years, viz. from 1811 to 1813.
In the spring of 1815 he was again superseded, and deprived of all his public employments except that of canal commissioner. In 1817, Mr Clinton was elected the Governor of the State, and at the expiration of the term for which he was chosen, viz. 1820, he was re-elected and served till the adoption of the new state constitution which took effect from the commencement of the year 1823, and shortened the ordinary term of office by six months. In the autumn 1822, he declined another nomination, and returned to the pursuits of private life, holding only the office of a canal commissioner ; from which he was removed in the spring of 1824, by a vote of the legislature, which the people rebuked in a most emphatic manner six months afterwards, by again electing him their Governer, and by the largest majority ever known in this state, in a contested election; and he continued to exercise the office to the last hour of his valuable life. He died suddenly in the full possession of all his mental vigor on the evening of the 11th of February last, without having been at any time sensible of any premonitory evidence of approaching dissolution.
As a citizen, useful, active, and meritorious, he was second, probably, to no man in the United States. In the great and growing state and city of which he was a native and resident, no man has stamped his name, his genius, and his services on more monuments of public munificence and private utility.
His mind and cast of thought were of the finest order, partaking less of the Machiavelian than the Roman school, and exhibiting a great portion of innate dignity and the fortiter in re than are at all times convenient or advantageous to a candidate for popular suffrage. In every station he distinguished himself by his talents, his integrity, and his despatch of business. His reading was multifarious, indefatigable, well-directed and profitable; for his judgment digested and his memory retained the collected knowledge of every hour, allowed from his numerous avocations for study and reflection.
In religion, he was neither a bigoted sectarian, nor scoffer at the superstitious. Reverencing the great principles and duties of rational piety, he cherished the dictates of devotion in all, and respected the tenets and honest singularities of the most peculiar. -Establishing no exclusive denomination over others, he would tolerate every class of sincere professors, and protect them in a liberal exercise of their ideas of divine worship. His charities have principally kept pace with his ability; his pecuniary aid, and his friendly advice and assistance, were always at the service of indigence, virtue, benevolence; literature, the arts, and public utility. If the circle of his confidential associates was contracted, it was not because he discarded attachments when they ceased to be profitable. In his intercourse with the various classes of his fellow-citizens, to which his universal knowledge of business called him, his suavity of disposition and urbanity of manners banished every idea of fastidious reserve and austerity of demeanor, and rendered his presence desirable and his co-operation sought for on every humane and laudable occasion.
Mr Clinton's personal appearance was dignified and commanding. His form was large and well proportioned -his height above the middle size-his countenance was highly expressive-his eye uncommonly penetrating-his personal courage never was disputed. His moral character was unsullied. He has been called ambitious, it is true; but the whole course of his life serves to prove that he has devoted his talents to his country. He desired to excel, only that he might benefit mankind. In private life and domestic duties, he was amiable and exemplaryexhibiting the picture of a great man-an elegant and profound scholar and a practical citizen--a man of letters and of the world, and a character of active worth to the present generation, and of solid and permanent advantage 10 posterity.*
William Floyd was born on the seventeenth of December, 1734; and was the son af an opulent and respectable landholder, in the county of Suffolk, upon Long Island. His education, though liberal for the times, was chiefly confined to the useful branches of knowledge; and was hardly completed, when he was called upon, by the death of his father, to assume the management of his patrimonial estate. His early life was spent in the circle of an extensive family connexion, which comprised the most respectable families in the county.
He early embarked in the controversy with Great Britain, and was appointed one of the delegates, from New York, to the first continental congress, which met in Philadelphia, in 1774. In that patriotic and venerable assembly, he was associated with men whose names are identified with their country's birth, and will long be cherished in grateful remembrance. He was reelected in 1775, and, in
* Delaplaine's Repository.