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Nathaniel Pitcher

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nathaniel Pitcher
8th Governor of New York
In office
February 11, 1828 – December 31, 1828
LieutenantPeter R. Livingston
Charles Dayan
Preceded byDeWitt Clinton
Succeeded byMartin Van Buren
Lieutenant Governor of New York
In office
January 11, 1827 – February 10, 1828
GovernorDeWitt Clinton
Preceded byJames Tallmadge, Jr.
Succeeded byPeter R. Livingston (acting)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 18th district
In office
March 4, 1831 – March 3, 1833
Preceded byHenry C. Martindale
Succeeded byDaniel Wardwell
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 12th district
In office
March 4, 1819 – March 3, 1823
Preceded byJohn Savage
Succeeded byLewis Eaton
Member of the New York State Assembly from Washington and Warren Counties
In office
Serving with William Cook, John Gale, Isaac Sargent, David Woods
Preceded byMichael Harris, John Reid, David Abel Russell, James Stevenson, Roswell Weston
Succeeded byDuncan Cameron, Jason Kellogg, Alexander Livingston, John McLean Jr., Isaac Sargent
In office
Serving with John Gale, Henry Mattison, John Richards, Isaac Sargent
Preceded byPaul Dennis, Samuel Gordon, John Richards, John Savage, Charles Starbuck, John White
Succeeded byMichael Harris, John Reid, David Abel Russell, James Stevenson, Roswell Weston
In office
Serving with Kitchel Bishop, William Livingston, John McLean, Daniel Shepherd, one vacancy
Preceded byIsaac Harlow, Jason Kellogg, William Livingston, John McLean, Solomon Smith, James Starbuck
Succeeded byKitchel Bishop, Peleg Bragg, John Gray, James Hill, Jason Kellogg, William Robards
Town Supervisor of Kingsbury, New York
In office
Preceded byThomas Bradshaw
Succeeded byFelix Alden
Personal details
Born(1777-11-30)November 30, 1777
Litchfield, Connecticut
DiedMay 25, 1836(1836-05-25) (aged 58)
Sandy Hill, New York
Political partyDemocratic-Republican
Spouse(s)Margaret Scott (m. 1782–1815)
Anna B. Merritt (m. 1791–1824)
RelationsZina Pitcher (half-brother)
Military service
AllegianceUnited States
New York
Branch/serviceNew York (state) New York State Militia
Years of service1802–
RankBrigadier General
Commands17th Brigade
Battles/warsWar of 1812

Nathaniel Pitcher (November 30, 1777 – May 25, 1836) was an American lawyer and politician who served as the eighth Governor of New York from February 11 to December 31, 1828.

Pitcher was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, and raised in Sandy Hill, New York (Hudson Falls). He was educated in Sandy Hill, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and became an attorney. He became active in politics as a Democratic-Republican, and served in local offices including town supervisor and justice of the peace. He served in the New York State Assembly, as probate court judge of Washington County, and as a federal tax assessor during the War of 1812. He was also a longtime veteran of the New York Militia; he served during the War of 1812, and after the war he commanded a brigade with the rank of brigadier general.

From 1819 to 1823, Pitcher was a member of the United States House of Representatives. In 1826, he was elected Lieutenant Governor of New York. He served in 1827 and early 1828, and succeeded to the governorship after the February 1828 death of DeWitt Clinton. He served out the rest of Clinton's term, and left office after Martin Van Buren became governor in January 1829. In 1830, Pitcher was again elected to Congress, and he served one term, 1831 to 1833.

Pitcher died in Sandy Hill on May 25, 1836, and was buried at Baker Cemetery in Hudson Falls.

Early life

Pitcher was born in Litchfield on November 30, 1777.[1] He was the son of Nathaniel Pitcher Sr. (1750–1802), a veteran of the American Revolution who led the detachment that captured Lake George's Fort George from the British in 1775.[2] The younger Pitcher was raised and educated in Sandy Hill, New York (now Hudson Falls).[1] He studied law, was admitted to the bar, and practiced in Sandy Hill.[3]

Early career

Pitcher entered politics as a member of the Democratic-Republican Party, and he served as Kingsbury's town supervisor from 1804 to 1810.[1] He was a member of the New York State Assembly from 1806 to 1807, 1815 to 1816, and 1816 to 1818.[1]

From 1812 to 1813, Pitcher served as surrogate judge of Washington County.[1] He was Kingsbury's town clerk in 1813 and 1814, and also served as a justice of the peace, with appointments in 1804, 1806, 1807, 1808, and 1811.[1][4] During the War of 1812, Pitcher was appointed the federal revenue assessor for the 10th District of New York, which included Washington County, and was responsible for collecting taxes imposed to support the war effort.[5]

Military career

Pitcher's father had been active in the militia,[6] and the younger Nathaniel Pitcher followed him into military service, receiving his commission as an ensign in 1802.[7] In 1808 he was appointed as adjutant of the regiment commanded by Micajah Pettit.[8] Later in 1808 he was promoted to major, and appointed as inspector of the brigade commanded by Warren Ferris.[9] In 1814, Pitcher was included in a militia detail of 13,500 soldiers that was activated for federal service during military operations on the Canada-western New York border during the War of 1812.[10]

In 1815, Pitcher was appointed lieutenant colonel and second in command of the militia's 121st Regiment.[11] Later in 1815, he succeeded Pettit as commander of the 17th Brigade, and was promoted to brigadier general.[12] As a result of his military service, Pitcher was frequently referred to in public records and newspaper stories as "General Pitcher"[13] or "Gen. Pitcher".[14]

Later career

He was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the 16th and 17th Congresses (March 4, 1819 – March 3, 1823).[1] He was a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention in 1821.[1]

Pitcher was Lieutenant Governor of New York in 1827 and 1828 and became Governor of New York upon the death of Governor DeWitt Clinton.[1] He completed Clinton's term, February 11, 1828, to December 31, 1828, and was succeeded by Martin Van Buren.[1][15]

He was elected as a Jacksonian to the 22nd Congress (March 4, 1831 – March 3, 1833).[1]

Death and burial

Pitcher died in Hudson Falls on May 25, 1836,[1] and was buried at Baker Cemetery in Hudson Falls.[1]


Pitcher's first wife was Margaret Scott (1782–1815).[16] Their children included sons Augustus (1808–1876),[17] Matthew Scott (1810–1858),[18] and Montgomery Pike (1813–1841).[18]

On March 15, 1823, Pitcher was married to Anna B. Merritt (1791–1824) of Freedom Plains, New York.[19] She became ill and died soon after giving birth to their son Edward Merritt (1824–1860).[20][21] Edward Merritt Pitcher moved to California in the 1840s, where he was an early settler of Sacramento, and a member of Sacramento County's first board of supervisors.[21][22][23]

Pitcher's siblings included Zina Pitcher, a prominent physician and mayor of Detroit.[24]


The town of Pitcher in Chenango County is named for Pitcher.[25]

Attempts to locate portrait

Pitcher is the only Governor of New York for whom no likeness is known to exist, and attempts to locate one have proved unsuccessful.[26][27] One image that is sometimes identified as a portrait of Pitcher[28] is not his likeness, as the clothing worn by the subject and the facial hair clearly date it to the 1850s–1860s era, at least 20 years after Pitcher died.[26]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–2005, p. 1742.
  2. ^ "The Ticonderoga Expedition of 1775", p. 382-385.
  3. ^ History of Washington Co., New York, p. 431.
  4. ^ History of Washington Co., New York, p. 117.
  5. ^ A Register of Officers and Agents, p. 32.
  6. ^ Military Minutes of the Council of Appointment, p. 795.
  7. ^ Military Minutes of the Council of Appointment, p. 582.
  8. ^ Documents of the Senate of the State of New York, p. 996.
  9. ^ Documents of the Senate of the State of New York, p. 1026.
  10. ^ New York City and Vicinity During the War of 1812–15, pp. 162–164.
  11. ^ Documents of the Senate of the State of New York, p. 1561.
  12. ^ Documents of the Senate of the State of New York, p. 1641.
  13. ^ The Decline of Aristocracy in the Politics of New York, pp. 274, 313, 422.
  14. ^ Proceedings of the Workingmen's State Convention, p. 4.
  15. ^ "On the first instant the oaths were administered to Martin Van Buren, Governor, and Enos T. Throop, Lieut. Governor", p. 5.
  16. ^ The Stebbins Genealogy, pp. 295–296.
  17. ^ "Death Notice, Augustus Pitcher", p. 7.
  18. ^ a b "Cemetery Records Kingsbury, New York: Baker Cemetery".
  19. ^ "Marriage Notice: Nathaniel Pitcher and Anna B. Merritt", p. 3.
  20. ^ "Death Notice, Anna B. Pitcher", p. 3.
  21. ^ a b "California Pioneer and Immigrant Files, 1790–1950".
  22. ^ "Roseville’s first Postmistress was a trail blazer".
  23. ^ "Death Notice, Edward M. Pitcher", p. 3.
  24. ^ National Cyclopedia of American Biography, pp. 214–215.
  25. ^ The Origins of Unusual Place-Names, p. 103.
  26. ^ a b "Fail to Uncover Likeness of Hudson Falls Man Who Served As Governor", p. 5.
  27. ^ "Pataki Portrait Easy, Artist Says", pp. 1-2B.
  28. ^ Images of America: Kingsbury and Hudson Falls, p. 12.






External links

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

with Ezra C. Gross 1819–21 and Reuben H. Walworth 1821–23
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 18th congressional district

Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Lieutenant Governor of New York
Succeeded by
Preceded by Governor of New York
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 11 July 2022, at 05:34
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