WATSON, James, (1750 - 1806)

Senate Years of Service: 1798-1800
Party: Federalist

Courtesy U.S. Senate Historical Office

WATSON, James, a Senator from New York; born in Woodbury, Conn., April 6, 1750; completed preparatory studies; graduated from Yale College in 1776; commissioned lieutenant in a Connecticut regiment in 1776 and resigned as a captain in 1777; studied law; admitted to the bar and practiced; appointed in 1780 by the assembly as a purchasing commissary for the Connecticut Line; moved to New York City in 1786; engaged in mercantile pursuits; member, State assembly 1791, 1794-1796, serving as speaker 1794; regent of New York University 1795-1806; member, State senate 1796-1798; elected as a Federalist to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John Sloss Hobart and served from August 17, 1798, to March 19, 1800, when he resigned to accept an appointment by President John Adams as United States naval officer at New York City; unsuccessful candidate for lieutenant governor in 1801; member of the Society of the Cincinnati; organizer and first president of the New England Society in New York City, from 1805 until his death there May 15, 1806.