Today in History – July 9, 1777 – Brigadier General George Clinton Elected as the First Governor of the Independent State of New York

On July 9, 1777, New York elects Brigadier General George Clinton as the first governor of the independent state of New York. Clinton would go on to become New York’s longest-serving governor, as well as the longest-serving governor in the United States, holding the post until 1795, and again from 1801 to 1804. In 1805, he was elected vice president of the United States, a position he held under Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, until his death in 1812.

George Clinton belonged to a politically minded family. His father, Charles, immigrated to New York from Ireland and served in the New York colonial assembly. His brother, James, served as a major general during the War for Independence, and James’ son, DeWitt Clinton, would follow in his uncle’s footsteps and serve as the governor of New York from 1817 to 1823.

Clinton’s career was marked by his friendship with George Washington and his hatred of New York Tories. In fact, as governor, he attempted to keep the public’s tax burden low by confiscating and selling land belonging to Tories to maintain state coffers. Clinton went on to represent New York in the Continental Congress and voted in favor of the Declaration of Independence, but was not present to sign the document because he had already left to serve General Washington in the field. Although Clinton refused to endorse the U.S. Constitution until the Bill of Rights was added to the document, he remained a dedicated supporter of the new federal government and threw a celebratory feast for President Washington after riding with him to his first inauguration.

Sources:  History.com, Commons.Wikimedia.org

George_Clinton,_governor_of_New_York_(portrait_by_Ezra_Ames)

About Von Howze

Von is a Vice President, Human Resources at a major Fortune 100 Company in Northern New Jersey, where she has worked for 30 years. Von, a resident of New Jersey, has been a self proclaimed "information geek" since childhood. While she was interested in World History in high school and college, it wasn't until about 15 years ago that her interests turned to American History. Von felt that her passion for research and new found interest in American History was a perfect combination since she felt that the American History taught in schools while she was growing up was diluted. This would provide her an opportunity to show that American History consists of the good, the bad and the ugly. The purpose of learning about it is to learn from it and it should not be revised, distorted nor hidden in order for others to push their own personal agendas. Our history shows us who we have been, who we are and who we could be.

About the Author
Von is a Vice President, Human Resources at a major Fortune 100 Company in Northern New Jersey, where she has worked for 30 years. Von, a resident of New Jersey, has been a self proclaimed "information geek" since childhood. While she was interested in World History in high school and college, it wasn't until about 15 years ago that her interests turned to American History. Von felt that her passion for research and new found interest in American History was a perfect combination since she felt that the American History taught in schools while she was growing up was diluted. This would provide her an opportunity to show that American History consists of the good, the bad and the ugly. The purpose of learning about it is to learn from it and it should not be revised, distorted nor hidden in order for others to push their own personal agendas. Our history shows us who we have been, who we are and who we could be.