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Daniel D. Tompkins

In office
March 4, 1817 – March 4, 1825
President James Monroe
Preceded by Elbridge Gerry
Succeeded by John C. Calhoun

In office
July 1, 1807 – February 24, 1817
Lieutenant John Broome (1807-1810)
John Tayler (Acting, 1811)
DeWitt Clinton (1811-1813)
John Tayler (1813-1817)
Preceded by Morgan Lewis
Succeeded by John Tayler

Born June 21, 1774(1774-06-21)
Scarsdale, New York
Died June 11, 1825 (aged 50)
Tompkinsville, Staten Island, New York
Nationality American
Political party Democratic-Republican
Spouse(s) Hannah Minthorne Tompkins
Alma mater Columbia College
Religion Presbyterian

Daniel D. Tompkins (June 21, 1774 – June 11, 1825) was an entrepreneur, jurist, Congressman, the fourth Governor of New York, and the sixth Vice President of the United States.



He was baptised Daniel Tompkins, but added the middle initial "D." while a student at Columbia College to distinguish himself from another Daniel Tompkins there. There is controversy as to what the middle initial stood for. Some have suggested Decius, but it can not be ascertained where this information originated.

Early life and career

Tompkins was born in Scarsdale, Westchester County, New York at his home, the estate of Fox Meadow[1]. Daniel D. Tompkins graduated from Columbia College in New York City in 1795. Tompkins studied law and in 1797 was admitted to the bar, practicing in New York City. He was a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention in 1801, a member of the New York State Assembly in 1804, and was elected to the 9th United States Congress, but resigned before the beginning of the term to accept, at age 30, an appointment as associate justice of the New York Supreme Court, in which capacity he served from 1804 to 1807.


On April 30, 1807, he defeated the incumbent Governor Morgan Lewis – Tompkins received 35,074 votes, Morgan Lewis 30,989 - and remained in office as Governor of New York until 1817. He was reelected in 1810, defeating Jonas Platt – Tompkins 43,094 votes, Jonas Platt 36,484. In 1813 he defeated Stephen Van Rensselaer – Tompkins 43,324 votes, Van Rensselaer 39,718 – and in 1816, he beat Rufus King – Tompkins 45,412 votes, King 38,647. He declined an appointment as United States Secretary of State by President James Madison.

During the War of 1812, Tompkins proved to be one of the most effective war governors. He played an important role in reorganizing the state militia and promoted the formation of a standing state military force based on select conscription.

In 1815 Tompkins established a settlement along the eastern shore of Staten Island that came to be called Tompkinsville. He built a dock along the waterfront in the neighborhood in 1817 and began offering daily steam ferry service between Staten Island and Manhattan.

Vice President

Tompkins was elected Vice President on the ticket with James Monroe in 1816, and was reelected in 1820, serving from March 4, 1817, to March 4, 1825. Attempting to unseat the incumbent DeWitt Clinton, he ran in April 1820, as a sitting vice president, for Governor of New York and lost – Clinton received 47,447 votes, Tompkins 45,900. He was a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention in 1821, serving as its president.

While as governor of New York, Tompkins personally borrowed money and used his own property as collateral when the New York state legislature would not approve the necessary funds for the War of 1812. After the war, neither the state nor the federal government reimbursed him so he could repay his loans. Years of litigation did not end until 1824, at which point the State of New York and the federal government owed Tompkins $90,000, a significant sum in those days. His financial problems took a toll on his health, with Tompkins falling into alcoholism, and as vice president he at times presided over the Senate while drunk. He died in Tompkinsville three months after retiring as Vice President and was interred in the Minthorne vault in St. Mark's Churchyard, New York City. Tompkins had the shortest post-vice presidency of any person who survived the office: 99 days (March 4, 1825–June 11, 1825).

Tompkins would be the last Vice-President to be elected to 2 terms with the same President until Thomas R. Marshall was elected Vice-President, first in 1912 with Woodrow Wilson and again in 1916.


  • Daniel D. Tompkins gained a slight notoriety in 20th-century cinema, when he was mentioned by Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street during his psychological evaluation. (However, the screenplay erred: Kringle mentions that Tompkins served as vice-president under John Quincy Adams when Adams's vice president was actually John C. Calhoun. The error is most likely due to confusion arising from the fact that Tompkins was the sixth vice president and Quincy Adams was the sixth president. However, the two did not serve office concurrently because previous presidents had multiple vice presidents).
  • Daniel Tompkins is credited with being one of the founding members of the Brighton Heights Reformed Church on Staten Island. The church was founded in 1823, during his term as vice president. Its first meeting place was in what was known as Quarantine, a predecessor of the facility on Ellis Island.

Please note: The article is incorrect in stating that Tompkins was the last incumbent Vice-President to win re-election until Thomas R. Marshall in 1916. Tompkins' immediate successor, John C. Calhoun served under presidents John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, being elected in 1824 and 1828, and subsequently resigning his seat on Dec. 28, 1832, in order to take a US Senate seat representing South Carolina.

External links


  1. ^ "FOX MEADOW SALES. First Break Made Into Famous Westchester Estate", New York Times, Apr. 3, 1921, p.76


  • [1] New York history, with election results 1807 and 1810
  • [2] New York history, with election results 1813 and 1816
  • [3] Political Graveyard
  • [4] Congress Bio
Political offices
Preceded by
Morgan Lewis
Governor of New York
1807 – 1817
Succeeded by
John Tayler
Party political offices
Preceded by
Elbridge Gerry
Democratic-Republican vice presidential candidate
1816 (won), 1820 (won)
Succeeded by
John C. Calhoun[1]
Political offices
Preceded by
Elbridge Gerry
Vice President of the United States
1817 – 1825
Succeeded by
John C. Calhoun
  1. ^ The Democratic-Republican Party party splintered in the election of 1824. Calhoun was the most prominent of several Republican vice presidential candidates, winning more than six times as many votes as his nearest competitor.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

DANIEL D. TOMPKINS (1774-1825), American politician, was born at Scarsdale, Westchester county, New York, on the 21st of June 1774. He graduated at Columbia College in 1795, and was admitted to the bar in 1797. In 1801 he was elected to the state constitutional convention, in 1803 was a member of the state assembly, and in 1804 was elected to the national House of Representatives, but became a judge of the state supreme court, and served as such until 1807. He was governor of New York in 1807-1817; and in 1817-1825, during both terms of President James Monroe, was vice-president of the United States. In March 1812, under the authority of art. xviii. of the New York constitution of 1777, he prorogued the legislature - the only instance of the exercise of this power. During the War of 1812 he was active in equipping and arming the New York militia. For this purpose he borrowed much money on his personal security, and sometimes neglected to secure proper vouchers. Later the state comptroller announced a shortage of $120,000 in the military accounts, but Tompkins claimed that the state owed him $130,000. Later investigations disclosed that the state actually owed him more than $90,000. In 1821 he was president of the state constitutional convention. He died on Staten Island, N.Y., on the 11th of June 1825.

The Military Papers of Daniel D. Tompkins, 1807-1817 (3 vols., 1898-1902) were published by the state. See D. S. Alexander, Political History of New York, vol. i. (New York, 1906).

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