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Interpreting the Evidence

George Clinton Statue, Newburgh, NY, 1909

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Eras:

    Turn of the Century and WWI (1890 - 1930)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Analysis & Interpretation

  • Grade Level:

    Lower Elementary
    Upper Elementary
    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:


  • Primary Source Types:


  • Regions:

    Mid Hudson
    New York State

  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load George Clinton Statue, Newburgh, NY, 1909 in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
Statue of George Clinton in Newburgh, New York. Photograph taken in 1909.
Historical Context
This is a statue of George Clinton by Henry Kirke Brown in Colden Square, Newburgh, New York.  The inscription reads, "Member of Continental Congress 1775-1777; Brigadier General Continental Army 1777; Governor of the State of New York 1777-1795 and 1801-1804; Vice-President of the United States 1809-1912."

George Clinton was a true statesman and was involved in many levels of government.  Born in 1739, he was elected to the New York assembly as a young man in 1768.  He was a member of the second Continental Congress, and his name would appear on the Declaration of Independence if his military duties had not required him to leave Philadelphia before he could sign the document.  He served as a brigadier general in the New York militia and the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.  Known as the Father of New York, Clinton was New York's first governor, serving from 1777-1795 and from 1801-1804, longer than any other New York governor to date.  In 1804, he was elected Vice President of the United States under President Thomas Jefferson and was reelected in 1808, serving under President James Madison until his death in 1812.  He is buried in the First Dutch Reformed Church Cemetery, Kingston, New York.

Essential Question
How do symbols and monuments unite people?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and explain how this statue unites people.
Historical Challenges
Is Governor Clinton’s portrait carved in the Great Western Staircase at New York State's Capitol?
When was this statue made? It is a copy of another statue. Where is the original statue located?
Interdisciplinary Connections
English Language Arts: Write a persuasive essay explaining why George Clinton was such an important member of New York's government.