Richard Riker

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Richard Riker (September 9, 1773 in Newtown, Queens County, New York – September 26, 1842 in New York City) was an American lawyer and politician from New York.

Life[edit]

He was the son of Congressman Samuel Riker and Anna (Lawrence) Riker (niece of Jonathan Lawrence). He was admitted to the Bar in 1795.

In 1801, he was appointed District Attorney of the First District which included New York, Queens, Kings, Richmond, Suffolk and Westchester counties. He was the first District Attorney to act in New York County where until 1801 the New York State Attorney General had prosecuted personally.

He was a second to DeWitt Clinton in a duel with John Swartwout on July 30, 1802 at the Weehawken Dueling Grounds in Weehawken, New Jersey. Clinton was a supporter of Alexander Hamilton and Swartwout was a supporter of Aaron Burr. Swartwout was wounded in the leg. On November 14, 1803 Riker was shot in the leg by John Swartwout's brother, Brigadier General Robert Swartwout, in a duel in Weehawken at which Pierre C. Van Wyck acted as Riker's second.[1]

Riker was a member from New York City of the New York State Assembly in 1806.

In March 1807, Riker married Janette Phoenix, daughter of Daniel Phoenix (ca. 1740-1812, New York City Treasurer 1784-1809), and they had six children.

Riker remained in office until 1810, and was District Attorney again from 1811 to 1813.

He was Recorder of New York City from 1815 to 1819, from 1821 to 1822, and from 1825 to 1838.By the 1830s, he had become a member of a group known as the New York Kidnapping Club. {Leslie M. Harris, In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City, 1626-1863, University of Chicago Press, 2003, p. 208}

References[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Josiah O. Hoffman
as Attorney General
New York County District Attorney
1801 - 1810
Succeeded by
Cadwallader D. Colden
Preceded by
Cadwallader D. Colden
New York County District Attorney
1811 - 1813
Succeeded by
Barent Gardenier
Preceded by
Josiah Ogden Hoffman
Recorder of New York City
1815 - 1819
Succeeded by
Peter A. Jay
Preceded by
Peter A. Jay
Recorder of New York City
1821 - 1823
Succeeded by
Samuel Jones
Preceded by
Samuel Jones
Recorder of New York City
1824 - 1838
Succeeded by
Robert H. Morris