William Floyd

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William Floyd
William floyd.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1789 – March 3, 1791
Preceded byNew district
Succeeded byThomas Tredwell
Personal details
Born(1734-12-17)December 17, 1734
Brookhaven, Province of New York
DiedAugust 4, 1821(1821-08-04) (aged 86)
Resting placeWesternville Cemetery, Westernville, New York
Political partyDemocratic-Republican

William Floyd (December 17, 1734 – August 4, 1821) was an American politician from New York, and a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence.

Life and work[edit]

Floyd was born in Brookhaven, Province of New York on Long Island, into a family of English and Welsh origins, and took over the family farm when his father Nicholl Floyd died. The William Floyd Estate consists of the home, grounds and a cemetery of the Floyd family. Over the course of 200 years, eight generations of Floyds have managed the 25-room mansion and 613-acre property.[1] Prior to the 20th century, the estate was much larger.[2]

William's great-grandfather Richard Floyd was born in Brecknockshire, Wales in about 1620 and settled in the Province of New York. His grandfather Richard after 1688 purchased 4,400 acres from the Tangier Smith family in the Mastic Neck of the Town of Brookhaven. His father Nicoll built a house there in 1723 that would become the birthplace of William, who was a member of the Suffolk County Militia in the early stages of the American Revolutionary War, becoming Major General. He was a delegate from New York in the First Continental Congress from 1774 to 1776. He was a member of the New York State Senate (Southern District) from 1777 to 1788.

On July 4, 1787, he was elected an Honorary Member of the New York Society of the Cincinnati. In March 1789, he was elected to the 1st United States Congress under the new Constitution as an Anti-Administration candidate and served until March 3, 1791. Floyd was a presidential elector in 1792, voting for George Washington and George Clinton. Floyd, for whom the town of Floyd, New York is named, became a resident of Oneida County in 1794. He is buried at the Westernville Cemetery in Oneida County.[3]

In 1795, Floyd ran for Lieutenant Governor of New York with Robert Yates on the Democratic-Republican ticket, but they were defeated by Federalists John Jay and Stephen Van Rensselaer. Floyd was again a presidential elector in 1800, voting for Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr; and in 1804, voting for Thomas Jefferson and George Clinton. Floyd was again a member of the State Senate (Western District) in 1808.

In 1820, Floyd was again chosen a presidential elector, but did not attend the meeting of the electoral college, and Martin Van Buren was appointed to fill the vacancy. In the 1820 Census, when Floyd was 86, he had 6 slaves and 2 free black residents lived in his household[4] at the General William Floyd House in Westernville, New York. The William Floyd House, the family home, is located in Mastic Beach, is part of Fire Island National Seashore and is open to visitors.[5]

Family and Descendants[edit]

John Gelston Floyd was his grandson.


There are several places and institutions named after William Floyd, including:


  • United States Congress. "William Floyd (id: F000224)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • Biography by Rev. Charles A. Goodrich, 1856
  • The New York Civil List compiled by Benjamin Franklin Hough (1863; page 165)


U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Thomas Tredwell