April 20th event will honor legacy of New York’s Founding Father
Clinton served as the first governor of New York and started both the New York public school system and the State University of New York during his time in office. He later went on to serve as vice president under two memorable commanders in chief: Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. As vice president, Clinton strongly supported the addition of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution and was chiefly responsible for its eventual inclusion.
The Kingston celebration marks the 200th anniversary of Clinton’s death, on April 20, 1812. Clinton’s remains were moved from Washington, DC, to Kingston’s Old Dutch Church burial ground in 1909. The city is the site of one of the state’s first settlements, and the original New York state constitution was written at the old Ulster County courthouse.
“We hope that this remembrance of Governor Clinton’s life will introduce those who are unfamiliar with him to some of his tremendous accomplishments for both the state of New York and the U.S. as a whole,” said City of Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo. “We invite everyone to come out to Kingston and help us celebrate his achievements and his lasting legacy, which impacts us to this day.”
On April 20th, celebration attendees will meet at 11:30 a.m. at Academy Green Park and march with the Kingston High School band to Clinton’s gravesite at the Old Dutch Reformed Church, 272 Wall St. The laying of ceremonial wreaths will take place at noon. After the ceremony, author John P. Kaminski will give a presentation at 1:30 p.m. at the Ulster County Courthouse, 285 Wall St., exploring Clinton’s life in greater detail. A reception will follow at 3:00 p.m. at DAR Headquarters, 3 Crown St. (behind the courthouse).
There will be a first viewing of a large work on canvas of Clinton by area artist Joe Tantillo, who is also making 13-inch by 19-inch signed and numbered giclee prints for sale at the Old Dutch Church. Call 845-338-6759 to inquire.
Born in Little Britain, N.Y., which at the time was part of Ulster County, Clinton served with the British in the French and Indian War, rising to lieutenant. He later became an outspoken anti-British voice, and in 1776 he assumed a position as a brigadier general in the New York militia. He was elected vice president in 1804 and 1808, and was the only person who has served in the position with two different presidents.
“As governor of New York and later as our country’s vice president, George Clinton played a vital role in creating opportunities for education and personal freedom,” said Ulster County Executive Mike Hein. “He truly is a founding father of our state and our country, and this is a great opportunity to honor him on the anniversary of his death two centuries ago.”
“This is as much a celebration of our history and our heritage as it is of George Clinton, a man who served with distinction as our Governor and later as our country’s Vice President,” said Nina Postupack, Ulster County Clerk. “An individual that holds the honor of being the longest serving County Clerk in our state, 53 years.”
For more information about the celebration, contact Ulster County Clerk Nina Postupack at 845-340-3040 or firstname.lastname@example.org or call Ulster County Historian Anne Gordon at 845-331-7380.