CLINTON, De Witt, nephew of George Clinton, was born at Little Britain, N. Y., March 2, 1769, and died at Albany, N. Y., Feb. 11, 18.8. He was graduated at Columbia, in 1786, practiced law, was United States senator (democrat) 1802-3, and thereafter remained in the politics of his state (see NEW YORK, BUCKTAILS), of which he was governor 1817-22, 1824-7, holding other offices in the state and city of New York in other years. He was the anti-Madison candidate for president in 1812 (see FEDERAL PARTY, II.), and his wing of the democratic party thereafter maintained a general, though tacit, alliance with the federalists which developed into the national republican, afterward whig, party, though Clinton personally preferred Jackson to Adams in 1828. One evidence of Clinton's peculiar federalist-democratic tendencies was his devotion to internal improvements, but as a measure for the benefit of the state, not of the nation. To him New York is indebted for the successful completion, if not for the original idea, of the Eric canal, which was at first contemptuously called "Clinton's Ditch," but which developed New York's domestic commerce.
—See 1 Hammond's Political History of New York; Hosack's Memoir of Clinton; Renwick's Life of Clinton; Campbell's Life and Writings of Clinton; Jenkins' Governors of New York; S L. Mitchell's Discourse on Clinton; 4 W. H. Seward's Works (Biography of Clinton).