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Caleb Tompkins

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Caleb Tompkins
Caleb Tompkins.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 3rd district
In office
Preceded byJonathan Ward
Succeeded byJeremiah H. Pierson
Member of the New York State Assembly
for Westchester County
In office
Personal details
Born(1759-12-22)December 22, 1759
Scarsdale, New York, United States
DiedJanuary 1, 1846(1846-01-01) (aged 86)
Scarsdale, New York, United States
Resting placeFirst Presbyterian Church Cemetery, White Plains, New York, United States
Political partyRepublican
Other political
RelativesDaniel D. Tompkins (brother)

Caleb Tompkins (December 22, 1759 – January 1, 1846) was a U.S. Representative from New York, and the brother of Vice President Daniel D. Tompkins.

Early life

Caleb Tompkins was born on the Fox Meadows estate near Scarsdale, New York on December 22, 1759, and was the eldest son of Jonathan G. Tompkins, a prominent judge and landowner. He was educated locally, and trained for a legal career.[1][2]

American Revolution

Tompkins served as a Private in the 2nd Regiment of Westchester County Militia (Thomas's Regiment) during the American Revolution.[3][4] In October, 1776 he fled his home to escape British troops, successfully evading capture by submerging himself in a nearby swamp.[5] This incident was known to James Fenimore Cooper, who used a fictionalized version of it in his 1821 novel The Spy.[6][7]

Tompkins remained in the militia after the war, and was a Captain when he resigned in 1797.[8][9]


Tompkins studied law, attained admission to the bar, and practiced in Westchester County. He also inherited Fox Meadows, where he resided throughout his life.[10]

An Anti-Federalist who became a member of the Democratic-Republican Party and later a Democrat who identified with the Bucktails and Jacksonians, he was Scarsdale's first Town Clerk, and held other local offices including Town Supervisor.[11][12][13]

Tompkins was a member of the New York State Assembly from 1804 to 1806.[14] He served as Judge of the Westchester County Court from 1807 to 1820.[15]

Tompkins was elected to the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Congresses, and served from March 4, 1817 to March 3, 1821.[16]

In 1823 Tompkins returned to the position of Westchester County Judge, and he remained on the bench until his death.[17] In 1828 he was an unsuccessful candidate for Congress, losing a narrow contest to Henry B. Cowles.

Death and burial

Tompkins died in Scarsdale on January 1, 1846.[18][19] He was interred in the First Presbyterian Church Cemetery in White Plains.[20]


  1. ^ Marquis Who's Who, Who Was Who in America, 1963, page 533
  2. ^ Lyman Horace Weeks, John Hampden Dougherty, Legal and Judicial History of New York, Volume 3, 1911, page 112
  3. ^ Frank Lindsay Crawford, Charlotte Holmes Crawford, Morris D'Camp Crawford and His Wife, Charlotte Holmes Crawford: Their Lives, Ancestries and Descendants, 1939, page 7
  4. ^ New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Volume 112, 1981, page 95
  5. ^ Porter Sargent, A Handbook of New England, page 236
  6. ^ Sarah Comstock, Old Roads from the Heart of New York, 1915, page 293
  7. ^ John Thomas Scharf, editor, History of Westchester County: New York, Volume 1, Part 2, 1886, page 664
  8. ^ Hugh Hastings, State Historian, Henry Harmon Noble, Chief Clerk, Military Minutes of the Council of Appointment of the State of New York, 1783-1821., Volume 1, 1901
  9. ^ New York State Legislature, Documents of the Senate of the State of New York, Volume 9, 1902, page 365
  10. ^ Silas Constant, Emily Warren Roebling, The Journal of the Reverend Silas Constant, 1903, page 133
  11. ^ Sean Wilentz, The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln, 2006, page 234
  12. ^ John Thomas Scharf, History of Westchester County: New York, Volume 1, 1886, page 662
  13. ^ Westchester County Board of Supervisors, Proceedings of the County Board of Legislators of Westchester County, N.Y., 1795, page 148
  14. ^ Stephen C. Hutchins, Edgar Albert Werner, Civil List and Constitutional History of the Colony and State of New York, 1891, pages 464-465
  15. ^ Henry Townsend Smith, Manual of Westchester County: Past and Present, Volume 3, 1913, page 215
  16. ^ Charles Lanman, Dictionary of the United States Congress, 2006, page 379
  17. ^ Henry Townsend Smith, Manual of Westchester County: Past and Present, Volume 3, 1913, page 215
  18. ^ John Thomas Scharf, History of Westchester County: New York, Volume 1, 1886, page 662
  19. ^ Westchester County Board of Supervisors, Proceedings of the County Board of Legislators of Westchester County, N.Y., 1795, page 148
  20. ^ Thomas E. Spencer, Where They're Buried, 1998, page 254

External links

  • United States Congress. "Caleb Tompkins (id: T000303)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • Caleb Tompkins at Find a Grave
  • Caleb Tompkins at Political Graveyard
  • Caleb Tompkins at Our
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jonathan Ward
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Jeremiah H. Pierson
This page was last edited on 16 May 2019, at 08:31
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