Matthew Clarkson

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For his contemporary, a mayor of Philadelphia, see Matthew Clarkson (mayor).

Matthew Clarkson. The town of Clarkson in Western New York was named after him.

Military service[edit]

He served in the Revolutionary War, first on Long Island, subsequently under Benedict Arnold. He was at Saratoga and, later, on the staff of General Benjamin Lincoln, was present at the surrender of Burgoyne, at Savannah (1779) and at the defense of Charleston (1780). He was also present at the surrender of Cornwallis.

After the war, Clarkson was commissioned brigadier general of militia of Kings and Queens Counties in June 1786 and Major General of the Southern District of New York in March 1798.

Political service[edit]

When the war ended, Lincoln became Secretary of War and Clarkson became his assistant. He served as a member of the New York State Assembly for one term (1789–1790) and introduced a bill for the gradual abolition of slavery in the State. As a Regent of the University of the State of New York he was presented at the court of French King Louis XVI. He served as U.S. Marshal (1791–1792), State Senator 1794-1795, a member of the commission to build a new prison 1796-1797 and President of the New York (City) Hospital (1799). In 1802, Clarkson was the Federalist candidate for U.S. Senator from New York but was defeated by DeWitt Clinton. He was President of the Bank of New York from 1804 until his death in 1825.

Town of Clarkson[edit]

On April 2, 1819, the town of Clarkson was established by the New York State Legislature and named in honor of General Clarkson. Although there is no evidence that he ever lived in Western New York, he reportedly owned a sizable amount of land there, and he gave 100 acres (405,000 m²) to the town.