History's Women: Early America: Cornelia Tappen Clinton - Wife of War Governor Colonel Colonel George ClintonCornelia Tappen Clinton
Wife of Wife of War Governor Colonel George Clinton
1774 – 1810 A.D.

Cornelia Tappen, the “buxom and beautiful daughter of Petrus Tappen,” and his wife, Tjaatje Wynkoop, of Kingston, N.Y., who married Col. George Clinton, February 7, 1770, came of an old Dutch family of Albany, dating back to 1662, when Jurian Teunisse Tappen was married to a daughter of Wybrecht Jacobse. Their son, Tunis, settled in Kingston and was the ancestor of the numerous family of Tappens in Ulster County.

George Clinton was at this time, one of the most prominent members of the Colonial Assembly and so continued until the Revolution. He was elected a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1775 and voted for the Declaration of Independence in July, 1776, but having been appointed brigadier-general, he was obliged to retire from Congress immediately after his vote and was given and before the document was transcribed for the signatures of members, for which reason his name does not appear among the signers. In 1777, he was elected Governor, which office he filled for eighteen years. In 1804, he was elected Vice-President and he continued in that office until his death in Washington, in 1812. During these years, Mrs. Clinton had resided in their home in New Windsor, and later in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Seven children were born to Cornelia and General Clinton, as follows: Catharine, born at New Windsor, married John Taylor of New York and after his death, a few months later, married General Pierre Van Cortlandt; Cornelia, born in New Windsor, married Citizen Charles Genet, minister from the French Republic to the United States; George Washington, born in Poughkeepsie, married Anna Floyd, daughter of General William Floyd, signer of the Declaration of Independence; Elizabeth, born in Poughkeepsie, married Matthias B. Tallmadge; Martha Washington, born in Poughkeepsie, and died unmarried; Maria, born in New York, married Dr. Stephen D. Beekman.

The Remains of Mrs. Clinton Repose beside those of her illustrious husband in the graveyard of the First Dutch Reformed Church in Kingston, where many of her ancestors are buried, and where after resting ninety-six years in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C., his ashes were interred, May 27, 1908.


Reference: The Pioneer Mothers of America: A Record of the More Notable Women of the Early Days of the Country, and Particularly of the Colonial and Revolutionary Periods by Harry Clinton Green and Mary Wolcott Green, A.B. Third Volume, Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.