Cornelius Lawrence

  (Redirected from Cornelius Van Wyck Lawrence)

Cornelius Van Wyck Lawrence (February 28, 1791 – February 20, 1861) was a politician from New York. He became the first popularly elected Mayor of New York City after the law was changed in 1834.[1]

Cornelius Lawrence
Cornelius Van Wyck Lawrence.jpg
From Volume 3 of 1896's History of the City of New York: Its Origin, Rise and Progress
Collector of the Port of New York
In office
Preceded byCornelius P. Van Ness
Succeeded byHugh Maxwell
61st Mayor of New York City
In office
Preceded byGideon Lee
Succeeded byAaron Clark
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 3rd district
In office
March 4, 1833 – May 14, 1834
Preceded bySeat added
Succeeded byCharles G. Ferris
Personal details
Born(1791-02-28)February 28, 1791
Flushing, New York
DiedFebruary 20, 1861(1861-02-20) (aged 69)
Flushing, New York
Resting placeLawrence Cemetery, Bayside, New York
Political partyDemocratic-Republican
Spouse(s)Lydia A. Lawrence

Early lifeEdit

Lawrence was born in Flushing, New York, on February 28, 1791. He was a cousin of Effingham Lawrence[2] and was a descendant of John Lawrence and John Bowne, both Quakers and pioneer English settlers of Queens, NY.

Lawrence attended the public schools and worked on his father's farm. He moved to New York City in 1812 to embark on a business career, first at the Shotwell, Hicks & Co. auctioneering firm, and later as a partner in the wholesale dry goods firm of Hicks, Lawrence & Co.


Lawrence was elected as a Jacksonian to the Twenty-third Congress, serving from March 4, 1833, to May 14, 1834, when he resigned, becoming mayor of New York (1834–1837). He also served as director in several banks and trust companies and, was president of the Bank of the State of New York for more than 20 years. From 1845 to 1849, Lawrence served as Collector of the Port of New York.

Personal lifeEdit

He had a son, James Ogden Lawrence (died August 1, 1904).[3]

Lawrence died in Flushing on February 20, 1861. He was interred in the family burying ground in Bayside, New York.[4]


  1. ^ "Mayor: Stick With Me, The Best Is Yet To Be". The New York Times. December 30, 1997. Retrieved 2011-05-12. The change, which would require revising the City Charter, passing legislation in Albany or both, would radically transform a political system that dates to 1834, when Mayor Cornelius Lawrence, a Democrat, became the first candidate of a political party elected by New Yorkers.
  2. ^ Andrew R. Dodge, Betty K. Koed, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-2005, 2005, page 1425
  3. ^ New York Times, James O. Lawrence Dead, August 5, 1904
  4. ^ The Lawrence Cemetery, Home page Archived May 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, accessed August 15, 2012

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Churchill C. Cambreleng
Campbell P. White
Gulian C. Verplanck
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 3rd congressional district

with Churchill C. Cambreleng, Campbell P. White,
and Dudley Selden
Succeeded by
Churchill C. Cambreleng
Campbell P. White
John J. Morgan
Charles G. Ferris
Government offices
Preceded by
Cornelius P. Van Ness
Collector of the Port of New York
Succeeded by
Hugh Maxwell