DeWitt Clinton: Maspeth's First Statesman - JuniperCivic.com
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Originally published in the March 2014 Juniper Berry Magazine

DeWitt Clinton: Maspeth's First Statesman

Gov. DeWill Clinton's mansion in Maspeth

Shortly after the Revolutionary War ended in 1783 the Honorable DeWitt Clinton made his home in Maspeth. The famed homestead (right) was later converted into an amusement park and in 1933 was destroyed by fire.

After serving in the New York Assembly and State Senate, Clinton was elected to the U.S Senate in 1801 but resigned in 1803 to become Mayor of New York City, an office he several times filled. From 1811-13, the erstwhile Maspeth statesman was Lieutenant- Governor of New York and was elected Governor of New York from 1817-1822 and from 1825 until his death in 1828.

Among the foremost accomplishments during Clinton's career as a public servant was the building of the Erie Canal connecting Lake Erie with the Hudson River. In 1825, Clinton took part in the formal opening of the Erie Canal (right), which during that era was often referred to as Clinton's Ditch.

Clinton actually was the father of the New York City Public School system. With the aid of public and private funds, the distinguished Maspethian played a prominent part in the opening of Public School No.1, the first free schoolhouse in New York City. While governor, Clinton so urged training for teachers in state normal schools.

In 1812, when he was re-elected, President James Madison amassed a total of 128 electoral votes to the 89 tallied by Clinton. Clinton's tenure of office on a national level occurred during the period of 1806-11, when he served as United States Senator.

March 2014 Juniper Berry Magazine

March 2014 Table of Contents