George Clinton was born in Little Britain, New York, on July 26, 1739. He took part in the French and Indian War and afterwards studied law. He then took up the practice of law and became a member of the New York assembly, where he gained a reputation as a fiery patriot. He was elected to the Second Continental Congress but was not available to sign the Declaration of Independence, having already been commissioned as a brigadier general in the militia in 1775. In 1777, he was elected the first governor of New York State, serving until 1795. As governor, he developed a reputation for skillful management of finances and for a severe attitude towards Loyalists. When political parties began to develop at the end of Washington's administration, Clinton cast his lot with Jefferson's Republicans. Clinton stepped aside from the governorship in 1795, but was re-elected in 1800. In 1804, he was elected as Jefferson's vice-president, the first under the provisions of Amendment XII to the United States Constitution. His ambition to be nominated for president were unfulfilled in 1808 and he accepted the nomination for another term as vice-president under James Madison. George Clinton died in Washington DC on April 20, 1812.