James Watson (politician)

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James Watson (April 6, 1750-May 15, 1806) was a Federalist U.S. Senator from New York. He was born in Woodbury, Connecticut and graduated from Yale College in 1776. He was commissioned lieutenant in a Connecticut regiment during the American Revolutionary War and resigned as a captain in 1777. He then studied law, was admitted to the bar and practiced law in Connecticut. In 1780, he was appointed by the Connecticut General Assembly as a purchasing commissary for the forces of the Connecticut Line.

He moved to New York City in 1786 and engaged in business pursuits. He was a member of the State Assembly in 1791, 1794-1796 and served as speaker in 1794. He was a member of the State Senate Southern District 1796-1798 and served as a regent of New York University from 1795-1806.

He was elected as a Federalist to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John Sloss Hobart and served in the 5th and 6th Congresses 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.

He was an unsuccessful candidate for lieutenant governor of New York in 1801. He was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati and an organizer and the first president of the New England Society in New York City, from 1805 until his death there in 1806.

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