Clinton County was created in 1788 in a split from Washington County. Samuel de Champlain first explored the region
in 1609, and Europeans began to settle in the area in 1763. The County's legal history includes many notable figures,
including Chancellor Reuben Walworth.
Dutchess County's rich legal history includes one of America's greatest presidents, one of his challangers, a Supreme
Court Justice and numerous figures key to the development of the law in New York. Poughkeepsie, the county seat,
was home to New York's signing of the US Constitution, generally considered the event that secured ratification of that
Franklin County formed in 1808 after a separation from Clinton County. The courthouse in the county seat of Malone
features paintings by Elvira Hosson which illustrate major moments in the County's legal history. These paintings
include Wolf Bounty Scandal, a depiction of the practice of using a single wolf's head to collect multiple bounties, and
Moment of Terror, a recreation of the scene of Orrando Dexter's murder.
What began as a rural farming region was transformed into a sprawling suburb of New York City, Rockland County was
formally established in 1798. However, its legal history began earlier than tha, during the Revolutionary War. George
Washington kept his headquarters in Ramapo, and Rockland County became the site of John André's trial for conspiring
with Benedict Arnold.
Westchester County's Rye is the site of Chief Justice John Jay's boyhood home, and Katonah
is the site of his retirement homestead. However, John Jay is not where the legal history of Westchester County begins
and ends; the County was also home to legal luminaries including Gouvernor Morris, a contemporary of Jay, and Court
of Appeals Judge Jacob D. Fuchsberg.
The Historical Society of the New York Courts 140 Grand Street, Suite 701 White Plains, NY 10601 914.824.5863