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John Watts (New York politician)

John Watts August 27, 1749 New York City – September 3, 1836 was an American lawyer and politician from New York City who represented New York in the US House of Representatives


  • 1 Life
  • 2 Career
  • 3 Personal life
    • 31 Descendants
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links


Monument to John Watts in the Trinity Church Cemetery in New York

John Watts was born on August 27, 1749 in New York City, the son of John Watts 1715–1789 and Ann DeLancey d 1784, a descendant of the Schuyler family and Van Cortlandt family His maternal grandfather was the French born Etienne de Lancy 1663–1741, a minor member of the French nobility1 He completed preparatory studies and studied law

His sister, Anne Watts 1744-1783, married Archibald Kennedy, 11th Earl of Cassilis and Archibald Kennedy, 1st Marquess of Ailsa was his nephew1


He was the last Recorder of New York City under the English Crown, appointed in 17742

Watts was a member of the New York State Assembly from 1791 to 1793, serving as Speaker during these three terms He was a member of the commission to build Newgate Prison in New York City 1796–1799

Watts was elected as a Federalist to the 3rd United States Congress, and served from March 4, 1793, to March 3, 1795 He was defeated in his run for re-election by Edward Livingston

He was a judge of Westchester County, New York from 1802 to 1807

Personal lifeedit

Watts married his cousin Jane DeLancey Their only son was:

  • Robert J Watts, to whom John G Leake, a distant wealthy relative who died childless, left his extensive properties Robert inherited Leake's personal property the real estate was escheated to the State because of technical problems of the "will" but died very soon The grieving father then founded and endowed the Leake and Watts Orphan House with the Leake inheritance

Watts' daughter, Mary Justina Watts, married Frederic de Peyster

John Watts died in New York City and was laid to rest in a vault in Trinity Churchyard


Watts was the grandfather of Philip Kearny, who was interred in Watts's vault until being removed to Arlington National Cemetery


  1. ^ a b Stevens, Walter Barlow 1921 Centennial History of Missouri, Vol 2, 1921 Chicago : SJ Clarke Pub Co p 76  |access-date= requires |url= help
  2. ^ Richard M Ketchum, Divided Loyalties: How the American Revolution Came to New York, 2003, page 385

External linksedit

  • United States Congress "John Watts id: W000211" Biographical Directory of the United States Congress 
  • John Watts at Find a Grave
Legal offices
Preceded by
Robert R Livingston
Recorder of New York City
Succeeded by
Richard Varick
Political offices
Preceded by
Gulian Verplanck
Speaker of the New York State Assembly
Succeeded by
James Watson
US House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Laurance
Member of the US House of Representatives
from New York's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Edward Livingston

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John Watts (New York politician)

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