John Watts, a Tribute on a Pedestal

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John Watts was a New York political figure who served not only under the Crown but as a member of Congress after the American Revolution. He served in several other official positions, too, which are listed on the backside of the marble pedestal upon which his imposing statue rests.   So his ancestor would not be forgotten, the larger-than-life bronze statue of Watts was commissioned by his namesake, Major General Watts de Peyster, and sculpted by George E. Bissell.  Watts is depicted wearing fur-trimmed robe and a judge’s wig and holding a scroll of paper.  His statue dominates the tiny Trinity Churchyard Cemetery in New York City.

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VIR AEQUANIMITATIS

JOHN WATTS,

BORN IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK AUGUST 27, 1749 [O.S.]

AND DIED THERE SEPTEMBER 3, 1836. [N.S.]

LAST ROYAL RECORDER OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK,

1774 – 1777. NO RECORDS DURING THE REVOLUTION;

SPEAKER OF ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK

JANUARY 5, 1791 – JANUARY 7, 1794.

MEMBER OF CONGRESS 1793 – 1795;

FIRST JUDGE OF WESTCHESTER CO. 1806;

FOUNDER AND ENDOWER OF THE LEAKE AND WATTS

ORPHAN HOUSE IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK; ONE OF

THE FOUNDERS AND AFTERWARDS, PRESIDENT OF

THE NEW YORK DISPENSARY 1821 – 1836. &C. &C. &C.

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