New York Governor, US Senator. Born in Little Britain, New Windsor, Orange County, New York, he was the son of James Clinton, a veteran of the French and Indian War and a Continental Army General of the American Revolution. He graduated from Columbia in 1786 and studied law in New York where he was admitted to the bar in 1788. He became the secretary to his uncle, George Clinton, the governor of New York. He then served in the New York state legislature from 1797 until 1802 where he pushed for the passage of sanitary laws, the relief of prisoners for debt, and the abolition of slavery in the state. He was elected to the United States Senate in 1802 but resigned a year later to take up the post of Mayor of New York, an office he held from 1803 to 1807, 1808 to 1810 and 1811 to 1815. Under his management, city planning demanded the leveling of hills and the filling of low spots on Manhattan, making the city a level grid ready to fill. In 1812 Clinton ran for United States President under the Federalists and anti-war Republican nomination but was defeated by James Madison. Elected Governor of New York in 1817, he spearheaded the drive for the construction of a canal 363 miles long, 40 feet wide, and four feet deep from Lake Erie to Albany. His opponents called the canal "Clinton's Ditch". The Erie Canal was completed in 1825 and, with great fanfare, opened by the Governor. Clinton died suddenly while he was still in office. His influence had done much toward developing a canal system in other states.
Bio by: Iola
Maria Franklin Clinton