Matthias B. Tallmadge

  (Redirected from Matthias Burnett Tallmadge)

Matthias Burnett Tallmadge (March 1, 1774 – October 1, 1819) was a member of the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate and a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New York and the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York.

Matthias B. Tallmadge
Currently part of Mabel Brady Garvan Collection, Yale University.
1810 portrait by Ezra Ames.
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York
In office
April 9, 1814 – July 1, 1819
Appointed byoperation of law
Preceded bySeat established by 3 Stat. 120
Succeeded byRoger Skinner
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New York
In office
June 12, 1805 – April 9, 1814
Appointed byThomas Jefferson
Preceded byJohn Sloss Hobart
Succeeded bySeat abolished
Personal details
Born
Matthias Burnett Tallmadge

(1774-03-01)March 1, 1774
Stamford,
Province of New York,
British America
DiedOctober 1, 1819(1819-10-01) (aged 45)
Poughkeepsie, New York
Political partyDemocratic-Republican
Spouse(s)
Elizabeth "Eliza" Clinton
(m. 1803⁠–⁠1819)
RelationsJames Tallmadge Jr. (brother)
George Clinton (father in law)
Children8
EducationYale University
Brown University
OccupationAttorney

Early lifeEdit

Tallmadge was born on March 1, 1774 in Stamford, Province of New York, British America,[1] He was the son of Colonel James Tallmadge and Ann Sutherland Tallmadge.[2] Among his siblings was James Tallmadge Jr., who later served as a member of the United States House of Representatives and Lieutenant Governor of New York.[2]

Tallmadge graduated from Yale University in 1795 and received a master of arts degree from Brown University in 1798.[1][3]

CareerEdit

Tallmadge joined the militia in 1798 and served as adjutant of the regiment commanded by Theodorus Bailey.[3] Tallmadge studied law with Ambrose Spencer, was admitted to the bar, and entered private practice in Herkimer, New York until 1805.[1] He was town supervisor in 1801,[3] and served in the New York State Senate (1803-1805).[1]

Federal judicial serviceEdit

Tallmadge received a recess appointment from President Thomas Jefferson on June 12, 1805, to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of New York vacated by Judge John Sloss Hobart.[1] He was nominated to the same position by President Jefferson on December 20, 1805.[1] He was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 23, 1805, and received his commission on January 17, 1806.[1] Tallmadge was reassigned by operation of law to the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York on April 9, 1814, to a new seat authorized by 3 Stat. 120.[1] His service terminated on July 1, 1819, due to his resignation.[1]

Embezzlement investigationEdit

In 1818, the clerk of William P. Van Ness' court, Theron Rudd, who had also worked for Tallmadge, was accused of embezzling more than $100,000 (about $1.6 million in 2019) intended to pay court judgments.[4] Upon being discovered, Rudd fled with the money.[4] He later returned to the United States and was prosecuted.[4] He was sentenced to 10 years of hard labor, and the US government obtained a judgment against him, but he never paid it and the money was never recovered.[5]

The investigation into Rudd's theft also considered the issue of Tallmadge's and Van Ness' culpability.[4] Investigators later determined that while they might have been guilty of lax supervision, particularly Van Ness, since Tallmadge had been absent from court because of an extended illness, they were not involved in the theft and were not responsible for Rudd's actions.[4]

Investigation into performanceEdit

Also in 1818, Congress appointed a special committee to look into the official conduct of Van Ness and Tallmadge, who apparently did not work well together.[6] The friction between them was largely responsible for the split of New York's district court into southern and northern districts in 1814.[6] While assigned to the northern district, Tallmadge's frequent ill health often required Van Ness to preside over both courts.[6]

The investigation considered whether Van Ness and Tallmadge were failing to capably perform their duties.[6] The committee determined in February 1819 that Tallmadge had not always held court for the northern district on the dates required by law, but that this was not an impeachable offense.[6] The committee took no further action, and Tallmadge's continued illness caused him to resign in July 1819.[6]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1803, Tallmadge married Elizabeth "Eliza" Clinton (1780-1825), who was a daughter of George Clinton, the longtime Governor of New York, and later Vice President.[2] They were the parents of eight children:[2] George Clinton; James S.; Charles William; Cornelia; Theodore Bailey; Rebecca; Mary E.; and Elizabeth.[3]

Tallmadge died on October 1, 1819, in Poughkeepsie, New York.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Matthias Burnett Tallmadge at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  2. ^ a b c d "Guide to the Matthias B. Tallmadge Papers (1715-1868) MS 612". dlib.nyu.edu. New York University. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d Talmadge, Arthur White (1909). The Talmadge, Tallmadge and Talmage Genealogy. New York, NY: The Grafton Press. p. 130-131.
  4. ^ a b c d e Report of the Committee Appointed to Inquire Into the Conduct of Judge William P. Van Ness. Washington, DC: U.S. House of Representatives. 1819. p. 1-5.
  5. ^ Legall, Paul (May 28, 2012). "Lawyer's epic legal battle over family's sunken ship revisited". Law Times. Toronto, Canada: HAB Press.
  6. ^ a b c d e f New-York Historical Society (2011). "Historical Note: Matthias B. Tallmadge". Guide to the Matthias B. Tallmadge Papers, 1715-1868. New York, NY: New-York Historical Society Museum and Library.

SourcesEdit

Legal offices
Preceded by
John Sloss Hobart
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New York
1805–1814
Succeeded by
Seat abolished
Preceded by
Seat established by 3 Stat. 120
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York
1814–1819
Succeeded by
Roger Skinner