Josiah Ogden Hoffman

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Josiah Ogden Hoffman
Josiah Ogden Hoffman
Josiah Ogden Hoffman and his wife
New York Attorney General
In office
Preceded by Nathaniel Lawrence
Succeeded by Ambrose Spencer
Personal details
Born April 14, 1766 (1766-04-14)
Newark, New Jersey
Died January 24, 1837 (1837-01-25) (aged 70)
New York City
Spouse(s) Mary Colden
Children 7, including Ogden Hoffman and Charles Fenno Hoffman
Parents Nicholas Hoffman
Sarah Ogden
Occupation American politician

Josiah Ogden Hoffman (April 14, 1766 – January 24, 1837 in New York City) was an American lawyer and politician.

Early life[edit]

Josiah Ogden Hoffman was born on April 14, 1766, in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Nicholas Hoffman (1736–1800) and Sarah Ogden Hoffman (1742–1821). He studied law, was admitted to the bar, and practiced in New York City, and entered politics as a Federalist.


Hoffman was a member of the New York State Assembly (New York Co.) in 1791, 1792, 1792–93, 1794, 1795. He was New York Attorney General from 1795 to 1802, and was also a member of the State Assembly in 1796–97.

From 1810 to 1811, he was Recorder of New York City; again a member of the State Assembly in 1812–13; and again Recorder of New York City from 1813 to 1815.

In 1828, he was appointed as one of the first justices (with Samuel Jones and Thomas J. Oakley) of the then established New York City Superior Court, and remained on the bench until his death in 1837.[1]

Personal life[edit]

On February 16, 1789, he married Mary Colden (1770–1797), and they had four children, including:

  • Alice Anna Hoffman (b. 1790)[2]
  • Sarah Matilda Hoffman (1791–1809), who was engaged to Washington Irving (1783–1859), who studied law at Hoffman's office, but did not wed because of her death before the marriage took place.
  • Ogden Hoffman (1794–1856), a Congressman,[3] who married Emily Burrall and later Virginia Southard.
  • Mary Colden Hoffman (b. 1796)[2]

On August 7, 1802, he married Maria Fenno (1781–1823), daughter of John Fenno (1751–1798). Maria's sister, Mary Eliza Fenmo (d. 1817) married Gulian C. Verplanck. Together, HOffman and Maria had three children, including:

Hoffman died on January 24, 1837, in New York City.


His grandson was Ogden Hoffman, Jr. (1822–1891), was a United States federal judge.


  1. ^ [1] History of the City Superior Court, in the New York Times on August 13, 1890
  2. ^ a b "Josiah Ogden Hoffman" (PDF). Auburn Historic Properties. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  3. ^ "HOFFMAN, Josiah Ogden - Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
Legal offices
Preceded by
Nathaniel Lawrence
New York Attorney General
Succeeded by
Ambrose Spencer
Preceded by
Pierre C. Van Wyck
Recorder of New York City
Succeeded by
Pierre C. Van Wyck
Preceded by
Pierre C. Van Wyck
Recorder of New York City
Succeeded by
Richard Riker