Samuel Rossiter Betts

Samuel Rossiter Betts (June 8, 1786 – November 2, 1868) was a United States Representative from New York and a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Samuel Rossiter Betts
Samuel Rossiter Betts.jpg
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
In office
December 21, 1826 – April 30, 1867
Appointed byJohn Quincy Adams
Preceded byWilliam P. Van Ness
Succeeded bySamuel Blatchford
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 7th district
In office
March 4, 1815 – March 3, 1817
Preceded byAbraham J. Hasbrouck
Succeeded byJosiah Hasbrouck
Judge of the Circuit Court for New York's 2nd District
In office
May 1, 1823 – December 21, 1826
Preceded byPosition created
Succeeded byJames Emott
District Attorney of Orange County, New York
In office
February 5, 1818 – June 6, 1820
Preceded byPosition created
Succeeded byHenry G. Wisner
In office
February 15, 1821 – May 9, 1823
Preceded byHenry G. Wisner
Succeeded byOgden Hoffman
Personal details
Born(1786-06-08)June 8, 1786
Richmond, Massachusetts
DiedNovember 2, 1868(1868-11-02) (aged 82)
New Haven, Connecticut
Resting placeWoodlawn Cemetery
New York City, New York
Political partyDemocratic-Republican
Spouse(s)Caroline Abigail Dewey
RelationsDaniel Dewey (father in law)
EducationWilliams College

Education and careerEdit

Born on June 8, 1786, in Richmond, Berkshire County, Massachusetts,[1] Betts graduated from Lenox Academy in 1803, and was the first from that institution to attended college.[2] He graduated from Williams College from 1806 and read law in 1807,[1] in Hudson, New York.[3] He was admitted to the bar and entered private practice in Monticello, Sullivan County, New York from 1809 to 1812.[1] He served in the United States Army from 1812 to 1814[1] appointed as a judge advocate of volunteers during the War of 1812.[3] He was a division judge advocate, General Court Martial, for the New York State Detached Militia starting in 1814.[1]

Congressional serviceEdit

Betts was elected as a Democratic-Republican from New York's 7th congressional district to the United States House of Representatives of the 14th United States Congress, serving from March 4, 1815, to March 3, 1817.[4][3] He was not a candidate for renomination in 1816.[3]

Later careerEdit

Following his departure from Congress, Betts resumed private practice in Newburgh, New York from 1817 to 1823.[1] He was district attorney for Orange County, New York from 1818 to 1820 and again from 1821 to 1823.[1] He was a Judge of the Supreme Court of Judicature of New York (now the New York Supreme Court), Circuit Court Branch, from 1823 to 1826.[1]

Federal judicial serviceEdit

Betts was nominated by President John Quincy Adams on December 19, 1826, to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York vacated by Judge William P. Van Ness.[1] He was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 21, 1826, and received his commission the same day.[1] His service terminated on April 30, 1867, due to his resignation.[1]


Betts died on November 3, 1868, in New Haven, Connecticut.[1] He was interred in Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York City, New York.[5][3]


Samuel Rossiter Betts married Caroline Abigail Dewey (1798–1882), daughter of Daniel Dewey (1766–1815) and Maria Noble (1770–1813).[citation needed] They had five children.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Samuel Rossiter Betts at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  2. ^ History of the Bench and Bar of New York (Vol. 2), David McAdam, Henry Bischoff, Jr., Jackson O. Dykeman, Joshua M. Van Cott, George G. Reynolds, Richard Henry Clarke (eds.), New York History Company (1897), pps. 43–44
  3. ^ a b c d e United States Congress. "Samuel Rossiter Betts (id: B000427)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  4. ^ "Samuel Rossiter Betts". Govtrack US Congress. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
  5. ^ "Samuel Rossiter Betts". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 31 August 2013.

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Abraham J. Hasbrouck
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 7th congressional district

Succeeded by
Josiah Hasbrouck
Legal offices
Preceded by
William P. Van Ness
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Succeeded by
Samuel Blatchford