James Watson (politician)

James Watson (politician)

James Watson
United States Senator
from New York
In office
August 17, 1798 – March 19, 1800
Preceded by William North
Succeeded by Gouverneur Morris
Personal details
Born (1750-04-06)April 6, 1750
Woodbury, Connecticut
Died May 15, 1806(1806-05-15) (aged 56)
New York City, New York
Political party Federalist
Profession Soldier, Politician

James Watson (April 6, 1750 – May 15, 1806) was a United States Senator representing the state of New York.


Watson moved to New York City in 1786 and engaged in business pursuits. He was a member of the New York State Assembly in 1791, 1794–1796 and was Speaker in 1794. He was a member of the New York State Senate (Southern District) from 1796 to 1798, and was a Regent of New York University from 1795 until his death.

Watson’s townhouse, located at 7 State Street in New York City still stands and is on the National Register of Historic Places.[1] It was also the residence of Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American Catholic Saint. The home is currently occupied by the rectory of the of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church and is part of the Seton Shrine.[2]

In 1798, Watson 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 United States Congress from December 11, 1798, to March 19, 1800, when he resigned to accept an appointment by President John Adams as Naval Officer of the Port of New York.

Watson 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 of New York, from 1805 until his death.


  • Political Graveyard


Political offices
Preceded by
John Watts
Speaker of the New York State Assembly
Succeeded by
William North
Preceded by
William North
United States Senator (Class 1) from New York
Served alongside: John Laurance
Succeeded by
Gouverneur Morris