Biographies & Memoirs

Cadwallader Colden: A Biography

Cadwallader Colden: A Biography

The first complete biography of Cadwallader Colden (1688-1776), the longest-serving Lieutenant Governor of New York and a brilliant intellectual, multifaceted colonial Renaissance man, and consummate royalist.

This is the first complete biography of Cadwallader Colden (1688-1776), one of the most accomplished intellectual and political figures in the American colonies before the Revolution. As the longest-serving Lieutenant Governor of New York he was intimately involved in the tumultuous political life of the times. His History of the Five Indian Nations (1727) was the first English history of the Iroquois and a popular book both in the colonies and in Europe.
  Colden was also a trained physician. Though he never practiced, he significantly improved the public health of the colony. Furthermore, he was an internationally recognized botanist, the author of the first scientific paper published in the colonies, and an accomplished cartographer who published the first map in the colony of New York.
  A prolific letter writer, Colden corresponded with many of the major intellectuals of his day, including Benjamin Franklin and Samuel Johnson. In addition, he wrote extensively on a wide range of topics, including philosophy, history, the natural sciences, and mathematics.
  Why has this distinguished individual fallen into obscurity? As an ardent royalist he was the most vilified of the colonial leaders and was even burned in effigy. This well-researched and long-overdue biography tells the fascinating story of this multifaceted colonial Renaissance man.


Chapter 1: Before Taking Root: 1688–1718

Chapter 2: The New New Yorker: 1718–1728

Chapter 3: A Country Gentleman Remains Focused on Colonial Concerns: 1729–1738

Chapter 4: Concentrated Correspondence and Evolving Enlightenment: 1739–1748

Chapter 5: Continuity and Change: 1749–1758

Chapter 6: Political Peak and Reputational Nadir: 1759–1768

Chapter 7: An Octogenarian: 1769–1776

Chapter 8: Epilogue and Legacy


Papers and Publications


If you find an error or have any questions, please email us at Thank you!