Erastus Root

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Portrait of General Erastus Root by Rembrandt Peale, 1823

Erastus Root (March 16, 1773 Hebron, then Windham County, now Tolland County, Connecticut – December 24, 1846 New York City) was an American lawyer and politician from New York.

Root graduated from Dartmouth College in 1793 and became a teacher. Then he studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1796, and commenced practice in Delhi, New York. He was a member of the New York State Assembly (Delaware Co.) in 1798–99, 1800–01 and 1802. Root was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the 8th United States Congress, holding office from March 4, 1803, to March 3, 1805. Afterwards he resumed his law practice. He was then elected to the 11th United States Congress, holding office from March 4, 1809, to March 3, 1811, and was Chairman of the Committee on Claims. Root was a member of the New York State Senate (Middle D.) from 1812 to 1815, sitting in the 35th, 36th, 37th and 38th New York State Legislatures.

In 1815, Root contested successfully the election of John Adams to the 14th United States Congress, and took his seat on December 26, 1815, served until March 3, 1817, and was Chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the War Department.

He was again a member of the State Assembly (Delaware Co.) in 1818, 1819, 1820 and 1820–21; and was a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1821. He was Lieutenant Governor of New York from 1823 to 1824, but was defeated when running for re-election on the ticket with Samuel Young in 1824. He was again a member of the State Assembly (Delaware Co.) in 1826, 1827, 1828 and 1830; and was Speaker in 1827, 1828 and 1830. He was elected as a Jacksonian to the 22nd United States Congress, holding office from March 4, 1831, to March 3, 1833, and was Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture. In 1838, this time as a Whig, he ran again for the House but was defeated. He was again a member of the State Senate (3rd D.) from 1840 to 1843, sitting in the 63rd, 64th, 65th and 66th New York State Legislatures.

Root also served as Major-General of the New York State Militia.

He was originally buried at the Old Cemetery, but later re-interred at Woodland Cemetery, both in Delhi NY.

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United States House of Representatives
New district Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 14th congressional district

1803 - 1805
Succeeded by
John Russell
Preceded by
Nathan Wilson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 12th congressional district

1809 - 1811
Succeeded by
Arunah Metcalf
Preceded by
Samuel Sherwood
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 8th congressional district

1815 - 1817
Succeeded by
Dorrance Kirtland
Political offices
Preceded by
John Tayler
Lieutenant Governor of New York
1823 - 1824
Succeeded by
James Tallmadge, Jr.
Preceded by
Samuel Young
Speaker of the New York State Assembly
1827 – 1828
Succeeded by
Peter Robinson
Preceded by
Peter Robinson
Speaker of the New York State Assembly
1830
Succeeded by
George R. Davis
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Perkins King
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 11th congressional district

1831 - 1833
Succeeded by
John Cramer
New York State Senate
Preceded by
James Powers
New York State Senate
Third District (Class 1)

1840 - 1843
Succeeded by
Stephen C. Johnson