Samuel A. Foote


Samuel A. Foote was born in December 1790. He lived in Watertown, Connecticut with his parents until 1805 when he left to live with his brother Ebenezer Foote, then an attorney in Troy, New York.

His brother sent him to Union College where he matriculated until 1811 - leaving just short of graduation to read for the law. After admission to the bar, he joined his brother's legal practice which had moved to Albany.

In August 1818, he married Miriam Fowler, daughter of an Albany businessman. They had known eachother since she came to live at his brother's house after her nearby home was destroyed by fire in 1810. That marriage produced fifteen children. Following her death in 1832, Samuel married Jane Campbell of New York City. She lived until 1867.

Wherever he was living, Samuel was a notable member of the Dutch Reformed Church.

Following his brother's death in 1814, Samuel continued to practice law in Albany at addresses on State and Montgomery Streets. In 1819, he was appointed District Attorney for the city and County of Albany - an office he held until he was replaced in 1821. In 1828, he closed his Albany practice and removed to New York City.

In April 1851, the governor appointed him presiding judge of the New York State Court of Appeals. At that time, the New York Herald voiced its approval with a ringing endorsement. After an unsuccessful bid for re-appointent, in 1855 Judge Foote was elected to the State Assembly as the candidate of the newly formed Republican Party. He served two terms and earned the title "Watch Dog of the Treasury."

His autobiography, probably written during the 1860s, contains a wealth of mostly fascinating descriptive information on his Albany exploits and about his contemporaries.

Living on a farm in Geneva, New York after his Assembly tenure, he turned to agricultural pursuits. Samuel A. Foote died in Geneva, in May 1878. He had lived about eighty-eight years.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Samuel Alfred Foote has not been assigned a CAP biography number. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Famous Americans; Foote genealogy; Description by Jabez Hammond;
Not to be confused with the same-named contemporary who became governor of Connecticut.

first opened: 12/31/08; updated: 5/21/12