John Lansing, Jr.

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Founding Fathers
John Lansing.jpg
John Lansing, Jr.
State New York
Religion Dutch Reformed[1]
Founding Documents United States Constitution

John Lansing, Jr. (January 30, 1754) was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, representing the state of New York.[2]

On December 12, 1829, Landing disappeared. When he died or how was never determined.

Early life

John Ten Eyck Lansing, Jr., was born in the City of Albany, on January 30, 1754, and was a son of Gerrit and Jannetje "Jane" Lansing. He studied law with Robert Yates, in Albany, and with Mr. Duane, in the City of New York.[3]



In 1776 and 1777 he was the military secretary of Major General Schuyler, in command of the Northern Department to resist the advance of Burgoyne.


After being admitted to the Bar, Mr. Lansing pursued his profession in the City of Albany. From 1780 to 1784, he was a member of the Assembly for the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Sessions from the County of Albany. On February 3, 1784, he was appointed a member of Congress under the articles of confederation, and on October 26 following, was re-appointed. On January 13, 1786, he was elected Speaker of the New York Assembly. On April 28, 1786, he, together with John Haring, Melancthon Smith and Robert Yates, was appointed on the Commission that met at Hartford in that year and made final decision of the territorial claims of New York and Massachusetts. On September 29, 1786, he was appointed by the Council of Appointment, Mayor of Albany, and in 1786, he was again elected a member of the Assembly from the City and County of Albany. On January 27, 1787, he was again delegated to Congress under the Confederation.

Constitutional Convention

On March 6, 1787, the New York Legislature appointed him one of the three delegates, Alexander Hamilton and Robert Yates being the other two, to the Constitutional Convention which assembled May 25, 1787, and framed the Constitution of the United States. He retired from the Convention on July 5 and united in a letter with Mr. Yates to Governor Clinton explaining his reasons for so doing.

New York

In 1788, Mr. Lansing was a member from Albany City and County of the New York State Convention, which ratified the Federal Constitution, he voting against the ratification. On December 12, 1788, the Assembly of New York re-elected him Speaker for the 12th Session.

By the Act of March 6, 1790, he was appointed by the Legislature one of the Commissioners on the part of the State of New York to settle the controversy of that State with Vermont, and on September 28, he was appointed one of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the said State. On July 6, 1791, he was appointed one of the Commissioners to distribute the money received from the State of Vermont to the various claimants. On February 15, 1798, he was appointed Chief Justice of the New York Supreme Court, in place of Chief Justice Robert Yates, who had resigned under the Constitutional limit of 60 years. On October 21, 1801, he was appointed Chancellor of the State of New York, in place of Robert R. Livingston, who had also resigned under the above limit.

Later life

In February, 1804, he was nominated by a Legislative Republican caucus to the office of Governor of the State of New York, but declined the nomination. On January 28, 1817, he was appointed a Regent of the University. In 1825, he was chosen a Presidential Elector from the City and County of Albany and was appointed secretary of the Electoral Board.


On December 12, 1829, in the 76th year of his age. Mr. Lansing disappeared, and was presumed to have died. He possessed a large, handsome person with fine regular features, eyes and complexion light. He had good powers of conversation, was dignified and kind in manner and of varied information.

The most common explanations for Lansing's death are that he slipped and fell into a river, or was mugged and killed during the robbery.[4]

Personal life

He married, in 1781, Miss Ray, daughter of Robert Ray, by whom he had four children, all daughters.

He is the author of a small volume entitled "Reports of Select Cases in Chancery and the Supreme Court of the State of New York in 1824 and 1826," published at Albany in 1826.


  1. We the People
  2. A Biography of John Lansing Jr. 1754-1829
  3. The Medico-legal Journal, Volume 23
  4. The Delegate from New York, Or, Proceedings of the Federal Convention of 1787: From the Notes of John Lansing, Jr