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John Peter Van Ness

John Peter Van Ness (1770 - March 7, 1846) was a United States Representative from New York. Born in Ghent, New York to an old Dutch family. He completed preparatory studies and attended Columbia College in New York City. He studied law and was admitted to the bar, but never practiced. He was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the Seventh Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John Bird and served from October 6, 1801, to January 17, 1803, when his seat was declared forfeited, as he had accepted and exercised the office of major of militia in the District of Columbia bestowed on him by President Thomas Jefferson. He then made Washington his home and was president of the second council in 1803. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel commandant of the first legion of militia in 1805, brigadier general in 1811, and major general in 1813; he was an alderman of the city of Washington in 1829 and mayor from 1830 to 1834.

Van Ness was second vice president of the Washington National Monument Society in 1833 and was president of the commissioners of the Washington City Canal in 1834, and president of the branch bank of the United States at Washington, D.C.; he was also president of the National Metropolitan Bank from 1814 until his death 1846. Interment was in the Van Ness Mausoleum, which stood on H Street, NW between Ninth and Tenth Streets in Washington, D.C. In 1872, Van Ness was reinterred in Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown.


United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Bird
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
Isaac Bloom
Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Gales, Jr.
Mayor of Washington, D.C.
Succeeded by
William A. Bradley


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