James H. (James Hadden) Smith.

History of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers online

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of Rhinebeck, and Cornehus Humfrey ; one to
the second board, Gilbert Livingston ; and one to
the board under the new system, adopted in 1787,
Smith Thompson, of Stanford, appointed March 3,
1813 ; three Commissioners of the State Board of
Charities, Harvey G. Eastman, of Poughkeepsie,
appointed June 17, r867, (in which year the Board
was organized,) and re-appointed March 19, 1873,
James Roosevelt, of Hyde Park, appointed as
Eastman's successor, February 12, 1879, and Sarah
M. Carpenter, of Poughkeepsie, who is the present
incumbent of the office in the Second Judicial
District ; one Judge of the Court of Appeals,
Charles H. Ruggles, of Poughkeepsie, elected June
7, 1847, for six years, and re-elected Nov. 8, 1853,
resigning the office August 20, 1855 i a Chief Jus-
tice of the Supreme Court, Smith Thompson,
appointed Feb. 3, 1814; three Puisne Justices of
the Supreme Court of the State, Morgan Lewis,
of Rhinebeck, appointed Dec. 24, 1792, Egbert
Benson, of Red Hook, appointed Jan. 29, 1794, and
Smith Thompson, appointed Jan. 8, 1802;* three
Circuit Judges, (Second Circuit,) James Emott, of
Poughkeepsie, appointed Feb. 21, 1827, Charles

• Judge Benson drew the first rules of the Court for the Correction of
Errors, which were adopted in April, 1796.

H. Ruggles, of Poughkeepsie, appointed March
9, 1 83 1, and Seward Barculo, of Poughkeepsie,
appointed April 4, 1846 ; a Justice of the General
Term of the Supreme Court, Joseph F. Barnard,
of Poughkeepsie, (Second Department,) who was
appointed Dec. 25, 1870, and is the present incum-
bent J four Justices of the Supreme Court, Seward
Barculo, elected June 7, 1847, and died in office
June 17, 1854, Gilbert Dean, of Poughkeepsie, ap-
pointed on the decease of Barculo, June 26, 1854,
James Emott, elected Nov. 6, 1855, and Joseph F.
Barnard, the present incumbent, elected Nov. 3,
1863, and re-elected ; a member of the Council of
the Colony of New York, John Johnston, from
1716 to 1722; a member of the first Council of
Safety, which was appointed May 3, 1777, and sat
from May 14 to Sept. 10, 1777, Zephaniah Piatt,
of Poughkeepsie ; andtwo members of the second
Council of Safety, which sat from Oct. 8, 1777 to
Jan 7, 1778, first at Kingston, then at Hurley and
finally at Poughkeepsie, viz : Egbert Benson, of
Red Hook, and Jonathan Landon ; ten members
of the Council of Appointment, Zephaniah Piatt,
appointed Oct. 17, 1778, and again Oct. 25, 1781,
Ephraim Paine, Sept. 11, 1780, (vacated by expul-
sion from the Senate March 15, 1781,) Jacobus
Swartwout, of Fishkill, Jan. 21, 1784, and again
Jan. 19, 1786, Anthony Hoffman, of Rhinebeck,
Jan. 18, 1788, Thomas Tillotson, of Red Hook,
Jan. 14, 1791, Abraham Schenck, of Fishkill, Jan.
7, 1796, Abraham Adriance, of Poughkeepsie, Feb.
7, 1804, Robert Williams, of Poughkeepsie, Jan.
31, 1810, Peter R. Livingston, of Rhinebeck, Jan.
3r, 1818, and Stephen Barnum, Feb. 3, 1819; a
Secretary of War, John Armstrong, of Red Hook,
who was appointed by President Madison, Jan. 13,
1813 ; two Secretaries of the Navy, Smith Thomp-
son, who was appointed Nov. 9^,1818, and James
K. Paulding, the author of Salmagundi and other
works of merit, who was appointed June 25, 1 838 ;*
a Judge of the Supreme Court of the United States,
Smith Thompson, appointed Sept. 21, 1823; a
diplomatic officer, John Armstrong, appointed
Minister Plenipotentiary to France, June 30, 1804;
a Judge of the Circuit Court of the United States,
Egbert Benson, appointed Feb. 20, r8o4.

Delegates to State Constitutional Conventions.—
Jonathan Atkins, John DeWitt, Gilbert Living-
ston, Zephaniah Piatt, Melancton Smith,t Jacobus
Swartwout and Ezra Thompson r^resented
Duchess county in the convention which met at

* It is a noteworthy fact that the only two Secretaries of the Navy from
this State were from Duchess county,
t Resided in New York City.



Poughkeepsie to adopt the Federal Constitution,
and sat from June 17 to July 26, 1788. Atkins
and Swartwout voted against the Constitution ;
Thompson did not vote. In the convention of
1 80 1, Duchess county was represented by Jona-
than Akin, Isaac Bloom, Caleb Hazen, Peter
Huested, Edmund ' Parlee, Smith Thompson,
Joseph Thorn, John VanBenthuysen, Theodorus
VanWyckand Ithamer Weed ; in that of 1821, by
Elisha Barlow, Isaac Hunting, Peter R. Living-
ston, Abraham H. Schenck and James Tallrnadge ;
and in that of 1846 by Peter K. Dubois, Charles
H. Ruggles and James Tallmadge, and in that of
1867, by B. Piatt Carpenter, Wilson B. Sheldon
and Homer A. Nelson, the latter of whom was
delegate at large.

State Senators. — Previous to 1821, the senator-
ial districts were designated as Southern, Middle,
Eastern and Western. The Middle District orig-
inally embraced Duchess, Orange and Ulster
counties, and was entitled to six senators. Subse-
quently Columbia, Delaware, Chenango, Greene
and Sullivan counties were added. Its representa-
tion was twelve senators from 1796 to 1808, and
seven from 1808 to 1815. April 17, 1815, Duch-
ess, Kings, New York-, Putnam, Queens, Rich-
mond, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester counties
were constituted the Southern District, and enti-
tled to six senators. The county retained this
connection during the further continuance of the
First Constitution.

Under the Second Constitution, adopted in
1821, the State was divided into eight senatorial
districts, which were designated by number.
Duchess was united with Putnam, Rockland,
Orange, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties
in forming the Second District. April 18, 1826,
Delaware was annexed, but was transferred May
23, 1836, at which time Queens and Suffolk were
added. Each district was entitled to four senators,
one of whom was elected annually for the term of
four years.

Under the Third or present Constitution, the
State is divided into thirty-two districts, in each of
which one member is elected in each odd year.
Duchess was associated with Columbia in forming
the Eighth District. April 13, 1857, the same
counties were constituted the. Eleventh District,
and maintained that relation until April 23, 1879,
when they were associated with Putnam in forming
the Fifteenth District.

The State senators from Duchess county have
been as follows: Jonathan Landon, 1777-79;

Zephaniah Piatt, i777-'83; Ephraim Paine, 1779
-'81, 1782-85; Jacobus Swartwout, i784-'95 ;
CorneKus Humfrey, i787-'89; Anthony Hoffman,
1788-90; Thomas Tillotson, 1791-99; Abraham
Schenck, i796-'99; Peter Cantine, Jr., 1798-1801 ;
Isaac Bloom, 1800-1802 ; David VanNess, 1801-
1802 ; Abraham Adriance, 1 803-1 806 ; Robert
Johnston, 1804-1807; Robert Williams, i8o8-'ii ;
Morgan Lewis, i8ii-'i5 i Wm. M. Tabor, 1812-
'15 ; Peter R. Livingston, i8i6-'22, i826-'29 ;
Stephen Barnum, i8i8-'2i ; Nathaniel P. Tall-
madge, i83o-'33 ; Leonard Maison, i834-'37 ;
Henry A. Livingston, i838-'4i; Abraham Bockee,
1 842-' 45 ; Alexander J. Coffin, 1 848-' 49 ; John
H. Otis, i8s2-'53 ; William Kelly, i856-'57 ;
John H. Ketcham, i86o-'6i ; John B. Dutcher,
i864-'6s: Abiah W. Palmer, i868-'69, i872-'73;
George Morgan, 1870-71 ; B. Piatt Carpenter,

Members of Assembly. — There has been great
variation in Duchess county's representation , in the
Assembly, which has corresponded with that of the
ratio of her population to that of the State, the ex-
tremes being two and ten. She had seven members
under the first and second apportionments — April
20,1777, andFeb. 7, 1791; ten under that of March
4j 1796; seven under that of March 31st, 1802;
six under that of April i, 1808; five under that
of April 8, 1815; four under those of April 121
1822, and April 18, 1826; three under those of
May 23, 1836, and March 8, 1846; two under
those of April 13, 1857, April 15, 1866, and April
23, 1879, ^^ latter of which remains in force.*

Duchess was not represented separately in the
Colonial Assembly until 1 7 1 3. Previous to that time
when represented at all,f it was connected with Ul-
ster county. The first resident representative was
Leonard Lewis, who was elected and served in 1 7 13
-'26, being associated in 1715-17 with Baltus Van
Kleeck, who served till his death, and was succeed-
ed by Johannis Terbosch, who was admitted May
4, 1 7 17, and served till his death, when Henry
Beekman was chosen his successor. The latter
was admitted August 31, 1725, and served contin-
uously until 1758. Their successors were Johan-
nis Van Kleeck, i726-'37; Jacobus Ter Boss, 1737-
'43; Johannis Tappen, 1743-51; Henry Filkin,

* Since 1857, Amenia, Beekman, Dover, East Fishkil], Fishkil], La
Grange, North East, Pawling, Pine Plains, Stanford, Union Vale, Wap-
pinger, (frcm 1875,) and Washington, have formed the First Assembly
District ; and Clinton, Hyde Park, Milan, Pleasant Valley, Poughkeep-
sie, City of Poughkeepsie, Red Hook and Rhinebeck the Second.

tit would appear from StnitfCs History of New York (page i6z, Ed.
1814, } that for some years at least previous to 1713, Duchess was not rep-



1752-58; Robert R. and Henry Livingston, 1759
-'68; Leonard Van Kleeck and Dirck Brinckerhoff,

Her deputies to the Provincial Congress were :
Dirck Brinckerhoff,. Anthony Hoffman, Zephaniah
Piatt, Richard Montgomery, Ephraim Paine, Gil-
bert Livingston, Jonathan Landon, Guisbert
Schenck, Melancton- Smith and Nathaniel Sackett
in 1775; Petrus Ten Broeck, Beverly Robinson,
Cornelius Humphreys, Henry Schenck, Gilbert
Livingston, John Kaine, Jacob Everson, Morris
Graham, and Robert G. Livingston in 1775-76;
Robert R. Livingston, James Livingston, Gilbert
Livingston, Jonathan Landon, Morris Graham,
Henry Schenck, Theodorus Van Wyck, John
Schenck, Anthony Hoffman, Paul Schenck, Na-
thaniel Sackett, Cornelius Humphreys, Zephaniah
Piatt, James Vanderburgh, Benjamin Delavergne
and John Field in 1776; Zephaniah Piatt, Na-
thaniel Sackett, Gilbert Livingston, Doctor Crane,
Henry Schenck, James Livingston, John Schenck,
Anthony Hoffman, Robert R. Livingston and
Jonathan Landon in 1776-77.

Her Members of Assembly have been : Egbert
Benson, 1777-81, 1788; Dirck Brinckerhoff,
1777-80, 1781, 1784-87; Anthony Hoffman,
i777-'79- 1784; Gilbert Livingston, 1777,-78,
1788-89; Andrew Moorhouse, 1777-79; John
Schenck, i7Tj-'7g; Jacobus Swartwout, 1777-79,
1780-83; Joseph Crane, Jr., 1778-79, 1789-90,
1796-97'; Samuel Dodge, 1778-81 ; Annanias
Cooper, 1779-80; Henry Ludenton, 1779-81,
1786-87; Brinton Paine, 1779-81, 1785-87; Na-
(thaniel Sackett, 1779-80; Ebenezer Cary, 1780-
'81, 1784-85; Guisbert Schenck, 1780-81 ; Jona-
than Dennis, 1781-84; Cornelius Humfrey, 1781-
'85; Ebenezer Husted, 1781-84, 1789-90; Abra-
ham Paine, 1781-82; Thomas Storm, 1781-84;
Benjamin Birdsall, 1782-83; Matthew Patterson,
1782-89, 1792-93; Abraham Brinckerhoff, 1784-
'85 ; James Tallmadge, 1784-85, i7gi-'92, 1824;
John DeWitt, 1786, i788-'89, 1794; Lewis Duboys,
i786-'87 ; Jacob Griffin, i786-'87, i788-'89 ; John
DeWitt, Jr., i787-'88;IsaacBloom,i788-'92; Peter
Cantine,Jr., 1788; Morris Graham, 1788; Thomas
Tillotson, 1788, 1789-90; Jonathan Akin, 1788-
'89, i79i-'93, 1841; Samuel A. Barker, 1788-92,
1794-95, 1796-97, i8o8-'89, i8ii; Isaac J. Tal-
man,i789-'9o;JamesKent, 1791, i792-'93'; Henry
^ Schenck, 1791; David VanNess, 1791 ; Daniel
Graham, 1792; Morgan Lewis, 1792; Josiah
Holly, i792-'93; Ebenezer Mott, i792-'93, 1798-
1801; Barnabas Payen, 1792-93; Wm. Radclift,

i792-'93; Jacob Bockee, 1794-95, i796-'97;
David Brooks, 1794-96, 1810; Jesse Oakley,
1794-97; Isaac Van Wyck, i794-'96, i8io-'ii;
Jacob Smith, i795-'98; Richard Davis, i796-'97,
Solomon Sutherland, 1796; Jesse Thomp-
son, i796-'98, i8o8-'o9, i8i4-'i9; WiUiam Pearce,
i796-'97, i798-'99; William B. Verplanck,
i796-'98; William Wheeler, i796-'97; William
Barker, 1798, 1800; Lemuel Clift, i798-'99, 1810-
'11 ; Luther Holly, 1798; Joseph Potter, 1798,
1814; Philip J. Schuyler, 1798; John Thomas,
1798; Sanluel Towner, 1798, 1800; Abraham
Adriance, 1798-1802; Henry Dodge, i798-'99,
i8i2-'i3; Robert Johnston, 1798-1801; Piatt
Smith, i798-'99; Jonathan Soule, i798-'99; Will-
iam Taber, 1798-1800, 1804;, John VanBenthuy-
sen, 1798-1800, i8o4-'o6; William Emott, 1800;
Joseph C. Field, 1800, 1803, 1806; Isaac Sher-
wood, 1800-1801, i8o4-'o5; Benjamin Akin, 1800-
1802; Elisha Barlow, 1 800-1 802 ; Nicholas H.
Emigh, 1800-1802; Zalmon Sanford, 1800-1804;
Smith Thompson, 1 800-1 801 ; John M. Thurston,
1800-1802, i8o4-'o5; Theodorus Bailey, 1802;
Harry Garrison, 1802; Alexander Spencer, 1802;
John Thompson, 1802; John Jewett, 1803; John
Martin, i8o3-'o4; Thomas Mitchell, i8o3-'o4;
Philip Spencer, Jr., 1803; Theodorus R. Van-
Wyck, i8o3-'o4; James Winchell, 1803; Joseph
E. Hoff, 1804; Benajah Thompson, 1804, 1808-
'09; Job Crawford, i8o4-'o5 ; Isaac Hunting,
i8o4-'os ; John Patterson, i8o4-'o5 ; Abraham H.
Schenck, i8o4-'o6 ; Barnabas Carver, 1806; Ben-
jamin Herrick, 1806; WiUiam D. WilUams, 1806;
Veniah Wooley, i8o6-'o7 ; John Haight,i8o7-'o8;
Aaron Hazen, 1807; Theron Rudd, 1807; John
Storm, 1807; Tobias L. Stoutenburgh, i8o7-'o8;
Martin E. Winchel, 1807-08; Albro Akin, 1808,
i82o-'2i; Devoue Bailey, i8o8^ George Casey
and Cyrenus Crosby, 1808; George Bloom and
Derick A. Brinckerhoff, i8o8-'o9; Ebenezer
Haight, i8o8-'io; Coert Dubois, i8io-'ii;
Alexander Neely, i8io-'ii; Shadrach Sher-
man, 1811; Joseph Arnold, Cyrus Benjamin,
Isaac Bryan and John Warren, 1812-13; Robert
Weeks, 1812; John Beadle, i8i2-'i3, i8i4-'is,
1819 ; William A. Duer, i8i4-'i7 ; James Emott,*
i8i4-'i5, i8i6-'i7; Samuel Mott, 1814; Joel
Benton, i8i4-'i5, i8i6-'i7, 1831; James Grant,
1814-15; Zachariah Hoffman, 1816; Thomas J.
Oakley, 1816, i8i8-'2o; Isaac Smith, 1816; John
B. Van Wyck, 1816; Nathaniel Pendleton and
Abiel Sherman, i8i6-'i7; Benjamin Haxton,

* James Emott was Speaker of the Assembly in 1814.



Andrew Pray and Jehiel Sackett, 1818; John W.
Wheeler, 1818-20; James Ketchum and David
Tomlinson,i8i9; Abraham Bockee, Jacob Doughty
and Mathew Mesier, 1820; Benjamin H. Conklin,
Coert Dubois, Israel Harris and Joseph I. Jack-
son, 1820-21 ; John Cox, Daniel Northrup, Philo
Ruggles, Benjamin Sherman and George Vanden-
burgh, 1822 ; Wheeler Gilbert, Prince Hoag,
Peter R. Livingston* and Samuel M. Thurston,
1823 ; John Klapp and Alfred S. Pell, 1824; Gil-
bert Thome, 1824-25 ; Eli Angevine, John Arm-
strong, Jr., and Enos Hopkins, 1825 ; Isaac R.
Adriance, Martin Lawrence and Thomas Tabor,
2d., 1826; Daniel D. Akin, 1826, 1833; Egbert
Cary, Jacob C. Elmendoif, Samuel B. Halsey and
Henry A. Livingston, 1827; Taber Belding, 1828,
1837 ; Francis A. Livingston, George W. Slocum
and Nathaniel P. Tallmadge, 1828; Elijah Baker,
Jr., Tobias Teller and Stephen D. VanWyck,
1829; Stoddard Judd, 1829, 1835-36; James
Hughson, George P. Oakley, Jacob VanNess and
Philo M. Winchell, 1830; Samuel B. Halsey,
William Hooker and John E. Townsend, 1831;
Robert Coffin, Eli Hamblin, Michael S. Martin
and Israel Shadbolt, 1832 ; Joel Brown and Geo.
Lambert, 1833 ; Henry Conklin, 1833-34, 1839-
'40; Theodore V. W. Anthony, 1834-35 ; Wra.
H. Bostwick, 1834, 1854 ; James Mabbett, 1834 ;
David Barnes, Jr., and Stephen Thorn, 1835 '>
Abijah G. Benedict, Cornelius H. Cornell and
William Eno, 1836 ; John R. Myer and David
Sheldon, 1837 ; Cornelius Dubois, 1838; Freeborn
Garretson, 1838, 1845; Jacob Sisson, i838-'39;
Daniel Toffey, i839-'40; Amos Bryan, 1840;
Edmund Elmendorf and John Thompson, 1841;
Peter K. Dubois and Richard C. VanWyck, 1842;
John H. Ketcham, i842-'43, i856-'57; Gilbert
Bentley and John Elseffer, 1843 ; Alexander H.
Coffin, John K. Mead and Ambrose L. Pinney,
1844 ; Epenetus Crosby and Walter Sherman,
1845, 1847 ; Elnathan Haxton, George T. Pierce
and Daniel Sherwood, 1846 ; Aves I. Vanderbilt,
1847 ; Edgar Vincent and James Hammond, 1848-
'49; David Collins, Jr., 1848; Wesley Butts,
1849; Charles Robinson, iSso-'si ; Minor C.
Story and Stephen Haight, 1850; Howland R.
Sherman and William H. Feller, 185 1 ; John S.
Emans and Augustus Martin, i852-'53; John M.
Keese, 1852; James H. Weeks, 1853; Peter P.
Monfoort and George W. Sterling, 1854; Albert
Emans and Ambrose Wager, 1855, 1858; Joseph
E. Allen, 1855; Daniel O. Ward, 1856; Jacob B.

* Peter R. Livingston was Speaker of the Assembly in 1823.

Carpenter, 1856, 1873; Franklin Dudley and
Cornehus N. Campbell, 1857; James Mackin,
1859. i873-'75; Samuel J. Farnum, 1859, 1861 ;
Richard J. Garrettson, i860; Abiah W. Palmer,
i860, 1866 ; John B. Dutcher, i86i-'62 ; Edmund
Green, 1862 ; Luther S. Dutcher and Joseph C.
Doughty, 1863; John N. Cramer, 1864; James
Howard, i864-'6s; Mark D. Wilber, i865-'67 ;
Augustus A. Brush, i867-'68; Alfred T. Ackert,
1868; David R. Gould and William W. Hege-
man, 1869; James A. Seward and David H.
Mulford, i87o-'7i; Edward M. Goring, 1872;*
Harvey G. Eastman, 1872, 1874; Benjamin
S. Broas, 1875; Thomas Hammond and De-
Witt Webb, i876-'77 ; Obed Wheeler, i878-'79;
Peter Hulme, 1878; Cornelius Pitcher, 1879;
Isaac S. Carpenter, i879-'8o; James E. Dutcher,

J^trsi and County Judges. — The Court of Com-
mon Pleas was continued from the colonial period.
For most of the time under the First Constitution
the number of Judges and Assistant Justices in
the several counties differed, reaching, in some
counties, as many as twelve of each. March 27,
18 1 8, the office of Assistant Justice was abolished,
and the number of Judges limited to five, includ-
ing the First Judge. The Judges were appointed
by the Governor and Senate for a period of five
years. The constitution of 1846 provided for the
election of a County Judge for each county, except
the city and county of New York, and the new
judiciary article extended the tenure of office from
four to sue years, upon the election of the succes-
sors of the present incumbents.

The First Judges of Duchess county were :
Leonard Lewis, appointed in 1716 ; Jacobus Ter-
boss, Nov. 24, 1739 ; Martinus Hoffman, Dec. 30,
1749; Jacobus Terboss, May 6, 1755; Beverly
Robinson, May 4, 1769 ; Ephraim Paine, Jan. 30,
1778 ;t Zephaniah Piatt, June 28, 1781; David
Brooks, Nov. 24, 1795; John Johnston, June 5,
1807 ; James Emott, April 8, 181 7 ; Maturin Liv-
ingston, Feb. 3, 1823 ; Daniel C. Verplanck,
March 11, 1828; Edmund H. Pendleton, Jan. 16,
1830; Joseph I. Jackson, Jan. 20, 1840; Seward
Barculo, March 5, 1845 ; Abraham Bockee, April
8, 1846 ; John Rowley, May 12, 1846. The
County Judges, since the office was made elective,
have been: John Rowley, 1847;! Egbert Q.
Eldridge, 185 1 ; Homer A. Nelson, 1855 ;§ Charles^

" » Edward M. Goring was Sergeant-at-Arms of the Assembly in 1873.
t Resigned Jan. 30, 1 78 1.

X Rowley was elected in June : those who succeeded him, in November.
§ Resigned Nov. ^7, 1863.



Wheaton, 1863;* AUard Anthony, 1867; Henry
M. Taylor, 1871 ; B. Piatt Carpenter, 1877.

Surrogates. — Previous to i8zi. Surrogates were
designated by the Council of Appointment ; from
182 1 to 1846, by the Governor and the Senate.
The constitution of 1846 abolished the office and
devolved its duties on County Judges, except in
counties having a population exceeding 40,000, in
which it was made elective. This office has been
held successively by Gilbert Livingston, appointed
June 16, 1778; Anthony Hoffman, March 28,
1785; Gilbert Livingston, March 13, 1787 ; James
Tallraadge, Jr., Nov. 9, 1804; Thomas J. Oakley,
Feb. 9, 1 810; George Bloom, March 11, 1811;
Philo Ruggles, March 19, 1813 ; Derrick B. Stock-
holm, Feb. 16, 18x5; John Brush, July 9, 1819;
Ebenezer N/e, March i, 1821; James Hooker,
March 7, 1828 ; Robert Wilkinson, Feb. 10, 1840;
Virgil D. Bonesteel, Feb. 10, 1844; John P. H.
Tallman, 1847 ;t Edgar Thorn, 1855; Peter Dor-
land, 1859 ; Milton A. Fowler, 1867 ; Peter Dor-
land, 1871J Collins Sheldon, 1877.

District Attorneys. — The original appellation of
this office, which was created Feb. 12, 1796, was
that of Assistant Attorney-General, who was ap-
pointed by the Governor and Council. The office
of District Attorney was created April 4, 1801.
At first the State was divided into seven districts,
but subsequently several new ones were formed.
In April, 18 18, each county was constituted a sep-
arate district. The office was made elective by
the Constitution of 1846. During the period of
the district system Duchess belonged to the second
district, which also included the counties of Orange
and Ulster under the act of 1796, and Delaware,
Rockland and Ulster under that of 1801.
Duchess first filled the office, Jacob RadclifF being
appointed Feb. 23, 1796. He was succeeded Jan.
27, 1798, by Coenrad E. Elmendorph, an Ulster
county man, who held the office until the act of
1801 took effect, and for a short time during its
operation. August 19, 1801, Smith Thompson, of
Duchess, succeeded to the office, and was in his
turn succeeded by Lucas Elmendorf, of Ulster
Oct. 28, 1 80 1, Randall S. Street, of Poughkeepsie
Feb. 9, 18 10, Samuel Hawkins, of Ulster, Feb. 15,
1811, Randall S. Street, of Poughkeepsie, March
19, 1813, and George Bloom, of Duchess, Feb. 13,
1 8 15. The latter was reappointed June 11, 18 18
, and has been succeeded under the new regime of
that year by Philo Ruggles, appointed Jul y 8, i8ig;

* Appointed Nov. S7, 1863, vice Nelson resigned.
t Tallraar. was elected in June ; those who succeeded him, in Novem-

Francis A. Livingston, Feb. 14, 182 1; Stephen
Cleveland, i826(?); George A. Shufeldt, 1836 (?); E.
M. Swift, 1843 (?) ; WilHam Eno, 1845 {?); Joseph
T.Lee, June, 1847; JamesEmott, Jr.,Feb. 3, 1849;*
Thomas C. Campbell, 1849;! Silas Woodell, 1855 ;
Benjamin Piatt Carpenter, 1858 ;{ Alfred Antho-
ny, Dec. IS, i86o;§ William J. Thorn, 1867 j
Tristram Coffin, 1870; James L. Williams, 1873;
William B. Woodin, 1876, re-elected in 1879.

Sheriffs. — Under the Colonial Government,
Sheriffs were appointed annually, in the month of
October, unless otherwise noticed. Under the
First Constitution, (1777-1821,) they were ap-
pointed annually by the Council of Appointment,
and no person could hold the office for more than
four successive years. The Sheriff could not hold
any other office, and must be a free-holder in the
county to which he was ^pointed. Under the
Second Constitution, (1S21 to 1846,) Sheriffs were
elected for a term of three years, but were inelig-
ible to election for the next succeeding term.
These provisions are operative at the present

The Sheriff was once an officer held in great re-
spect. He arranged all the ceremonials of the
court, and formally announced to the judges the
particular hour the court-room was in order for
their reception. He was equipped with side arms,
and kept his sword unsheathed on the desk in front
of his seat. He, with his deputies, formally in-
ducted the Judges from their lodgings to the court-
room ; the jurors closed the procession. He
opened the court with solemn proclamation. In
every respect the office of Sheriff was once of more
import in the public estimation than now. ||

Until 172 1, Duchess was united with Ulster
county in the functions of this office. The first
Sheriff of Duchess county was J. van ^e Voert, who
was appointed in October, 172 i.l His successors
have been: William Squire, appointed in 1731 ;
James Willson, 1737; Henry Filkin, 1743; Will-
iam Barnes, 1748 ; Isaac Brinckerhoff, 1749 ; Clear
Everit, 1754 ; James G. Livingston, 1761 ; Hen-
ry Rosekrans, Jr., 1769; Philip J. Livingston, 1772;
Melancton Smith, May 8, 1777, and Jan. 6, 1778,
the first time appointed by the Provincial Conven-
tion ; Lewis Dubois, March 22, 1781; Harmon
Hoffman, March 9, 1785; J ohn DeWitt, Feb. 28,

• Appointed vice Lee, deceased.

+ Campbell and his successors were elected in November.

X Resigned. s

§ Appointed vice Carpenter, resigned ; elected in 1861 and '64.

II Clark's History of Chenango County.
_ irj. van de Voerl's successors durins: the Colonial period were appointed
m October.


1789; John VanBenthuysen, Feb. 18, 1793;
John Dewitt, Feb. 21, 1794; William Radcliff,
Feb. 7, 1797 ; Robert Williams, Feb. 18, 1801 ;
Joseph Thorn, Feb. 23, 1805 ; John VanBenthuy-
sen, March 5, 1807; Joseph C. Field, Nov. 12,
1808; John VanBenthuysen, Feb. 9,1810; Joseph
C. Field, Feb. 15, 181 1 ; Derick A. Brinckerhoff,
Feb. 4, 181 2 ; John Radcliff, March 19, 1813;

Online LibraryJames H. (James Hadden) SmithHistory of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 26 of 125)