Daniel D. Tompkins

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Daniel D. Tompkins (June 21, 1774 – June 11, 1825) was an entrepreneur, jurist, Congressman, the fourth Governor of New York, and the sixth Vice President of the United States.



Tompkins was baptised Daniel Tompkins, but added the middle initial "D." while a student at Columbia College to distinguish himself from another Daniel Tompkins there. There is controversy as to what the middle initial stood for; some have suggested "Decius".[citation needed]

Early life and career

Tompkins was born in Scarsdale, Westchester County, New York at his home, the estate of Fox Meadow.[1] He graduated from Columbia College in New York City in 1795. Tompkins studied law and in 1797 was admitted to the bar, practicing in New York City. He was a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention in 1801, a member of the New York State Assembly in 1804, and was elected to the 9th United States Congress, but resigned before the beginning of the term to accept, at age 30, an appointment as associate justice of the New York Supreme Court, in which capacity he served from 1804 to 1807.


On April 30, 1807, he defeated the incumbent Governor Morgan Lewis – Tompkins received 35,074 votes, Lewis 30,989  – and remained in office as Governor of New York until 1817. He was reelected in 1810, defeating Jonas Platt – Tompkins 43,094 votes, Jonas Platt 36,484. In 1813 he defeated Stephen Van Rensselaer – Tompkins 43,324 votes, Van Rensselaer 39,718 – and in 1816, he beat Rufus King – Tompkins 45,412 votes, King 38,647. He declined an appointment as United States Secretary of State by President James Madison.[when?]

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