Pitcher, Nathaniel (b Litchfield, Conn, 30 Nov 1777; d Sandy Hill [now Hudson Falls,Washington Co], 25 May 1836).Assemblyman, congressman, and acting governor.
By 1786 his family had moved to Kingsbury (Washington Co), where Pitcher farmed and built on his rudimentary education to study law. From 1802 to 1812 he advanced from justice of the peace of Kingsbury to surrogate of Washington Co. A Jeffersonian Republican assemblyman in 1806, Pitcher was reelected in 1814 and 1816 as a supporter of the war.He endorsed De Witt Clinton’s gubernatorial nomination in 1817 but soon joined the Bucktail opposition. Pitcher served in Congress (1819–23) and as delegate to the state’s 1821 Constitutional Convention. He married Anna B. Merritt in 1823, eight years after the death of his first wife, Margaret Scott. In 1825 Pitcher became one of three commissioners to survey an east-west road across the southern Central New York region. Pitcher’s work earned him the 1826 Bucktail nomination for lieutenant governor. Elected to that position, he became acting governor upon Clinton’s death in 1828.
The Albany Regency thwarted Pitcher’s nomination as Martin Van Buren’s running mate in 1828, maintaining that Pitcher, a Freemason, would run poorly in western New York State. In 1830 he was nominated by an anti-Regency county “Coalition Convention” and won reelection to Congress (1831–33). Thereafter he remained active locally as a Whig.
Cole, Donald B. Martin Van Buren and the American
Political System(Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ Press,
Hammond, Jabez D. The History of Political Parties in the State of New-York from the Ratification of the Federal Constitution to December, 1840, 2 vols (Albany: Van Benthuysen, 1842)
Craig and Mary L. Hanyan
Peter Eisenstadt, ed., The Encyclopedia of New York State
(Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2005), [p. 1207].
© Syracuse University Press. Reproduced with permission from the publisher.