Lansing, John, 1754-1829

Alternative names
Birth 1754-01-30
Death 1829-12-12

Biographical notes:

Lansing was serving as Chancellor of New York at this time. He had served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, but withdrew in opposition.

From the description of ADS, 1804 April 26 : Albany. Deed. (Copley Press, J S Copley Library). WorldCat record id: 17437247

Lansing was a New York lawyer. He was a member of the U. S. Constitutional Convention, but did not sign the U. S. Constitution. He served as Chancellor of New York (1801-1814).

From the description of [Letter] 1786 Feb. 19, New York [to] Dear Sir / J. Lansing. (Smith College). WorldCat record id: 244387612

Lansing served as a delegate from New York to the Philadelphia Convention; he withdrew on July 10, believing the convention was exceeding its instructions in drafting a new constitution. Became Chief Justice and Chancellor of New York.

From the description of AMs. Journals. Proceedings of the Convention. 1787 May 25-1787 July 9, Philadelphia. (Copley Press, J S Copley Library). WorldCat record id: 14230070

Lawyer, jurist, Revolutionary War officer; resident of Albany, New York.

From the description of Day book, 1778-1781. (New York University, Group Batchload). WorldCat record id: 58759558

John Lansing, delegate to the Constitutional Convention from New York, was born in Albany on January 30th, 1754. He was admitted to the bar in 1775, but temporarily suspended his practice to serve as aide-de-camp to General Philip Schuyler in 1776 and 1777. Beginning in 1780, Lansing served his first of six terms in the New York State Assembly, where he would be elected speaker twice. He was a member of Congress under the Articles of Confederation from 1785 to 1786, at which point he was chosen to be mayor of Albany. In 1790, he was appointed to the New York State Supreme Court, and became Chief Justice in 1798. In 1801, he was made Chancellor of New York State, a position he held until his retirement in 1814. Upon retiring, Lansing returned to practicing law, and made an unsuccessful attempt to return to the New York State Assembly, running and losing in 1824. He nonetheless kept busy, becoming involved with Columbia College and the State University of New York (where he was named a regent), and spending a great deal of time managing his land holdings, which were nearly 40,000 acres. Lansing disappeared one evening in December of 1829, while he was in New York City for some meetings at Columbia College. Lansing was last seen walking from his hotel to the dock at Cortlandt Street to mail some letters; he never returned and was never heard from again.

From the description of John Lansing notebooks, 1787. (New-York Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 755037810

John Lansing was born in Albany, New York, January 30, 1754. He studied law with Robert Yates in Albany and was admitted to practice in 1775. During 1775-1776, he served as military secretary to General Philip Schuyler. Resuming his law practice in Albany he served in the New York State Assembly six terms, 1780-1784, 1786, and 1788. In 1787, Lansing was chosen, with Robert Yates and Alexander Hamilton, as a delegate to United States Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia. Lansing and Yates withdrew when it became clear that the intent of the convention was to draft a new constitution rather then amend the Articles of Confederation. As a member of the ratifying convention in 1788, Lansing opposed the new U.S. Constitution.

Lansing's judicial career began in 1790 with his appointment as judge of the New York State Supreme Court where he served eleven years, being chosen chief justice in 1798. In 1801, he became Chancellor of New York State and held that post until 1814. Thereafter, he resumed practicing law in New York City until his mysterious disappearance on December 12, 1829.

From the description of Manuscripts, 1776-1823. (New York State Library). WorldCat record id: 122379246


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  • Constitutional history
  • Constitutions
  • Law partnership
  • Lawyers--Accounting
  • Constitutional convention
  • Land subdivision
  • Justice, Administration of
  • Representative government and representation
  • Lawyers--Fees
  • Deeds
  • Real property--New York (State)
  • Constitutional history--Sources
  • Courts--New York (State)
  • Land grants
  • Land titles
  • Law--Cases


  • Lawyers
  • Politicians
  • Statesmen


  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • New York (State) (as recorded)
  • New York (State)--Albany (as recorded)
  • New York (State) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)