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Erastus Root
'Portrait of General Erastus Root' by Rembrandt Peale, High Museum.JPG
Portrait of General Root by Rembrandt Peale
Lieutenant Governor of New York
In office
January 1, 1823 – December 31, 1824
GovernorJoseph C. Yates
Preceded byJohn Tayler
Succeeded byJames Tallmadge Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York
In office
Preceded byPerkins King
Succeeded byJohn Cramer
Constituency11th district
In office
Preceded bySamuel Sherwood
Succeeded byDorrance Kirtland
Constituency8th district
In office
Preceded byNathan Wilson
Succeeded byArunah Metcalf
Constituency12th district
In office
Preceded bySeat established
Succeeded byJohn Russell
Constituency14th district
Personal details
Born(1773-03-16)March 16, 1773
Hebron, Connecticut Colony, British America
DiedDecember 24, 1846(1846-12-24) (aged 73)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic-Republican (Before 1831)

Jacksonian (1831-1838)

Whig (1838-1846)
Elizabeth Stockton
(m. 1806)
Parent(s)William Root
Zeruiah Baldwin Root
Alma materDartmouth College
Military service
Branch/serviceNew York State Militia
RankMajor General

Erastus Root (March 16, 1773 – December 24, 1846) was an American lawyer and politician from New York. He is most notable for serving four separate non-consecutive terms in the  U.S. House of Representatives in the early 19th Century.

Early life

Root was born on March 16, 1773, in Hebron in the Connecticut Colony. He was a son of William Root (1731–1790) and Zeruiah (née Baldwin) Root (1729–1792).[1]

He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1793 and became a teacher. Then he studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1796, and commenced practice in Delhi, New York.


Erastus Root was a member of the New York State Assembly (Delaware Co.) in 1798–99, 1800–01, and 1802. Root was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the 8th United States Congress, holding office from March 4, 1803, to March 3, 1805. Afterwards he resumed his law practice. He was then elected to the 11th United States Congress, holding office from March 4, 1809, to March 3, 1811, and was Chairman of the Committee on Claims. Root was a member of the New York State Senate (Middle D.) from 1812 to 1815, sitting in the 35th, 36th, 37th, and 38th New York State Legislatures.[2]

In 1815, Root contested successfully the election of John Adams to the 14th United States Congress arguing that ballots that were cast for "Erastus Rott" should be counted for him, and took his seat on December 26, 1815, served until March 3, 1817, and was Chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the War Department.

He was again a member of the State Assembly (Delaware Co.) in 1818, 1819, 1820, and 1820–21; and was a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1821. He was Lieutenant Governor of New York from 1823 to 1824, but was defeated when running for re-election on the ticket with Samuel Young in 1824. However, in March–April 1824, Erastus Root was honored with two votes at the Democratic-Republican Party Caucus to be the party's candidate for U.S. Vice President at the election later that year.[3][4]

He was again a member of the State Assembly (Delaware Co.) in 1826, 1827, 1828, and 1830; and was Speaker in 1827, 1828, and 1830.[5]

He was elected as a Jacksonian to the 22nd United States Congress, holding office from March 4, 1831, to March 3, 1833, and was Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture. In 1838, this time as a Whig, he ran again for the House but was defeated.

He was again a member of the State Senate (3rd D.) from 1840 to 1843, sitting in the 63rd, 64th, 65th, and 66th New York State Legislatures.[6]

Root also served as Major-General of the New York State Militia.[7]

Personal life

On October 4, 1806, Root was married to Elizabeth Stockton (1788–1871), a daughter of Charles W. Stockton and Elizabeth (née North) Stockton. Together, they were the parents of five children, three girls and two boys, including:[1]

Root died in New York City on December 24, 1846. He was originally buried at the Old Cemetery, but later re-interred at Woodland Cemetery, both in Delhi.

Legacy and honors

The Town of Root in Montgomery County, New York is named for him.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Root, James Pierce (1870). Root Genealogical Records. 1600-1870: Comprising the General History of the Root and Roots Families in America. R. C. Root, Anthony & Company. pp. 122, 153–156, 211. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  2. ^ Hough, Franklin Benjamin (1858). The New-York Civil List: Containing the Names and Origin of the Civil Divisions, and the Names and Dates of Election Or Appointment of the Principal State and County Officers, from the Revolution to the Present Time : Compiled from the Public Records in the Office of the Secretary of State, and Other Authentic Sources. Weed, Parsons & Company, publishers. p. 300. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  3. ^ John Stilwell Jenkins: History of Political Parties in the State of New-York (Alden & Markham, Auburn NY, 1846)
  4. ^ Bio at Virtual American Biographies
  5. ^ Root, Erastus (1832). The Speeches of General Erastus Root on the Resolution of Mr. Clayton of Georgia Proposing a Committee of Visitation to the Bank of the U.S.: Delivered on the 7th, 8th and 14th Days of March, 1832 in the House of Representatives. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  6. ^ History of Delaware County, N. Y.: With Illustrations, Biographical Sketches and Portraits of Some Pioneers and Prominent Residents. W. E. Morrison. 1880. p. 62. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  7. ^ Murray, David (1898). Delaware County, New York; History of the Century, 1797-1897. Centennial Celebration, June 9 and 10, 1897. William Clark, publisher. p. 168. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  8. ^ Frothingham, Wasjington (1892). History of Montgomery County. D.Mason. p. 335. Retrieved May 30, 2017.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
New district Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 14th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 12th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 8th congressional district

Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Lieutenant Governor of New York
Succeeded by
Preceded by Speaker of the New York State Assembly
1827 – 1828
Succeeded by
Preceded by Speaker of the New York State Assembly
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 11th congressional district

Succeeded by
New York State Senate
Preceded by New York State Senate
Third District (Class 1)

Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 20 February 2023, at 20:08
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