Joseph C. Yates

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Joseph Christopher Yates
7th Governor of New York
In office
January 1, 1823 – December 31, 1824
LieutenantErastus Root
Preceded byDeWitt Clinton
Succeeded byDeWitt Clinton
Personal details
Born(1768-11-09)November 9, 1768
Schenectady, Province of New York, British America
DiedMarch 19, 1837(1837-03-19) (aged 68)
Schenectady, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic-Republican
Spouse(s)Ann Ellice
Maria Kane
Elizabeth Delancy

Joseph Christopher Yates (November 9, 1768 – March 19, 1837) was an American lawyer, politician, statesman, and founding trustee of Union College.


Born in Schenectady in the Province of New York, Yates catapulted himself up the ranks of his day, becoming successively the mayor of Schenectady (1798) where he served twelve one-year appointed terms, state senator (1805), state Supreme Court justice (1808), and the seventh governor of New York (1823–1824). Yates has the distinction of being the only Governor of New York from Schenectady County. He also served as a Trustee of Union College and President of the Schenectady Savings Bank.

Yates was a presidential elector in 1828.

The home he inhabited in Schenectady while the state's chief executive still exists on Front Street in the city's Stockade District.

As Governor, Yates sat for a portrait by John Vanderlyn, famed for his rendition of such eminent historical figures as George Washington, Aaron Burr, James Monroe, George Clinton, Andrew Jackson and Zachary Taylor. The painting is owned by the City of New York.[1]


Joseph was born to Christopher "Colonel Stoeffel" Yates and his wife Jannetje Bradt in the autumn of 1768.

In the course of his days he took three wives: the first was for love: Ann, widow of James Ellice; the second was for money, Maria, daughter of John Kane; the last was for clout, as he required it to further his ambitious political career, Elizabeth De Lancey, a daughter of John De Lancey, of Westchester County, New York.

Yates had three children, all daughters: Helen Maria, the oldest, was born on September 28, 1797. She was married to Colonel John K. Paige and died January 25, 1829. Anna Alida was born September 14, 1806, married to John D. Watkins, a resident of Georgia. Jane Jesepha was born November 6, 1811, married to Samuel Neil of New York.


Joseph C. Yates died on March 19, 1837. He was initially buried in a family cemetery in Schenectady County, New York. In 1889, his daughter Jane reinterred the remains of Joseph Yates and those of several other family members to the Neil family mausoleum in the churchyard of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Bronx County, New York. At present, there are no markers on the Neil family mausoleum to indicate that Gov. Yates is buried there.

In recognition of his contributions to public life in his native state Yates County, New York and the Town of Yates are named after Governor Yates.


Political offices
Preceded by
DeWitt Clinton
Governor of New York
1823 - 1824
Succeeded by
DeWitt Clinton