DeWitt Clinton

1769–1828
De Witt Clinton
CLINTON BEGINS THE ERIE CANAL

De Witt Clinton, was an American statesman primarily responsible for the building on the Erie Canal. He was born March 2, 1769. He graduated from Columbia College in 1786 and was appointed private secretary by his uncle, George Clinton, then Governor of New York. In 1796 he married Maria Franklin of New York City. Three years later he was elected to the Senate of the United States, where he gained distinction as an able and very eloquent speaker. De Witt Clinton was a political rival of Aaron Burr and afterward of Daniel D. Tompkins, and his popularity was injured by the report that he disapproved of the course of President Madison and of the war of 1812. He was, however, nominated in that year for the office of President of the United States, but lost to Mr. Madison. In 1817, Clinton was elected governor of New York, where he gained popularity by his support of the construction of the Erie Canal. He was elected to the same position in 1825, the same year the Erie Canal was completed, and made a triumphal procession over it in a magnificent barge. He died in 1828.

Adapted from The Dictionary of Biography by Charles Morris


Key events during the life of De Witt Clinton:


Year
Event
1769
Birth of De Witt Clinton.
1786
Graduated from Columbia College.
1788
Became a lawyer.
1802-03
U.S. Senator.
  Supported immediate construction of the Erie Canal.
1817
Elected governor of New York.
1825
Re-elected governor of New York. Erie Canal finished.
1828
Death of De Witt Clinton.

Other Resources


Story Links
Book Links
Clinton's "Big Ditch"  in  Story of the Great Republic  by  H. A. Guerber
DeWitt Clinton  in  Heroes of Progress in America  by  Charles Morris


Image Links


Clinton begins the Erie canal
 in Story of the Great Republic


Contemporary
Short Biography