Charles DeWitt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people named Charles DeWitt, see Charles DeWitt (disambiguation).
Charles DeWitt
Charles De Witt.jpg
Charles De Witt, member of the Continental Congress from New York.
Born (1727-04-27)April 27, 1727
Kingston, New York, U.S.
Died August 27, 1787(1787-08-27) (aged 60)
Kingston, New York, U.S.
Resting place Dutch Reformed Cemetery
Hurley, New York
Occupation Miller, statesman
Known for Delegate to the Continental Congress
Spouse(s) Blandina DuBois DeWitt
Children Johannes Charles DeWitt, Margrietje DeWitt, Maria DeWitt, Gerret DeWitt, Ann DeWitt
Relatives Charles G. DeWitt

Charles DeWitt (April 27, 1727 – August 27, 1787) was an American miller and statesman from the U.S. state of New York. He served as a delegate to the Continental Congress.

Early life[edit]

DeWitt was born in Kingston, New York, the only son of Johannes and Mary (Brodhead) DeWitt.[1] DeWitt attended school in Kingston and pursued classical studies. He helped his family operate a flour mill in Greenkill (in what is now Rosendale, New York). The first mill at the site was built by Mattys Mattysen Van Keuren in 1677. Van Keuren had no children and when he died the mill was passed on to his nephew, who was a DeWitt.[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

He was first elected to New York's Colonial Assembly to represent Ulster County in 1768. He was returned to that seat in every election until the Assembly was replaced in the American Revolution by a Provisional Congress for the colony in 1775. That year he was one of the members who voted to approve the work of the Continental Congress. As the revolution drew near, and the Ulster militia was expanded, he was named Colonel of the 2nd Ulster Militia regiment on December 21, 1775.[2]

DeWitt served in the New York Provincial Congress from 1775-1777 while continuing his militia duties.[3] In the New York Provincial Congress he served on the committee that drafted the state's first constitution.[4] He also served on the Committee of Safety.[5] After active warfare slowed, he was elected to the New York Assembly under the new government. He served in the assembly from 1781-1785 and 1785-1787.[6] The assembly sent him as a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1781 and 1784.[7]

DeWitt supplied a great deal of flour to the Continental Army from his grist mill on the Greenkill. He died on August 27, 1787 in Kingston and is interred in the Dutch Reformed Cemetery in Hurley, New York.[8] He wrote his will on July 7, 1776 as he prepared to set out for the defense of New York City. He left the mill to his son Gerret, who expanded it in 1806, and the water-powered mill would continue in operation until 1922.[citation needed]

Family life[edit]

DeWitt married Blandina DuBois (1731–1765) on December 20, 1754 in Hurley, New York. The couple had five children, Johannes Charles DeWitt, Margrietje DeWitt, Maria DeWitt, Gerret DeWitt and Ann DeWitt.[9] DeWitt's grandson Charles G. DeWitt served in the U.S. Congress.[10]


  1. ^ Brink, Benjamin Myer (1908). Olde Ulster, Volume 4. Benjamin Myer Brink. p. 342. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  2. ^ Order of the Founders and Patriots of America (1902). Register: 1902. authority of the General court of the Order. p. 207. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  3. ^ Sons of the Revolution. New York Society (1893). Year Book. Sons of the Revolution. New York Society. p. 283. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  4. ^ White, J. T. (1909). The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography: Being the History of the United States as Illustrated in the Lives of the Founders, Builders, and Defenders of the Republic, and of the Men and Women who are Doing the Work and Moulding the Thought of the Present Time, Volume 11. J. T. White. p. 331. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  5. ^ The Secretary (1914). Year Book of the Holland Society of New York. The Secretary. p. 274. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  6. ^ Hough, Franklin Benjamin (1862). The New-York Civil List: Containing the Names and Origin of the Civil Divisions, and the Names and Dates of Election Or Appointments of the Principal State and County Officers, from the Revolution to the Present Time. Weed, Parsons & Company. p. 342. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  7. ^ Schenkman, A. J. (2009). Washington's Headquarters in Newburgh: Home to a Revolution. The History Press. p. 63. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  8. ^ Dietz, Theodore (2012). Dutch Esopus / Wiltwyck / Kingston Memories. Dorrance Publishing. p. 65. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Bergen, Tunis Garret (1915). Genealogies of the State of New York: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation, Volume 3. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 1319. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "DE WITT, Charles Gerrit, (1789 - 1839)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress,. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 

External links[edit]