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  American HistoryUnited States: General History and DescriptionRevolution to the Civil War, 1775/1783-1861Biography, A-Z
 
Daniel D. TompkinsDaniel D. Tompkins

Vice-President of the United States

Daniel D. Tompkins was born in Scarsdale, Westchester County, New York, on June 21, 1774. He graduated from Columbia College in 1795, and was admitted to the bar in 1797.

Tompkins entered politics in 1803, when he was elected to the New York State Assembly. In 1804 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, but became an Associate Justice of the New York State Supreme Court instead and served as such until 1807. Tompkins next served as Governor of New York, from 1807 to 1817. During his term he proposed a number of reforms, including the abolition of slavery in the state. He favored the War of 1812, and defended New York from the British as commander of the state militia. In order to equip and arm the militia Tompkins was forced to borrow money on his personal security, but he often failed to secure proper vouchers. After the war he claimed that the state owed him $130,000, even though the State Comptroller showed a shortage of $120,000 in the military accounts; later investigations would prove that New York actually owed Tompkins more than $90,000.

In 1816 Tompkins was elected Vice-President under James Monroe, and served during both of Monroe's terms. Charges that he had misappropriated state funds as Governor dogged him throughout his vice-presidency, however, and he often left Washington for long periods and wasted much of his energies defending himself from critics. He died on Staten Island, New York, soon after leaving office, on June 11, 1825.


New York
War of 1812
James Monroe

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This page was last updated on December 08, 2014.

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