Facts and Events
He was born in Ulster County in the colony of New York, in a location now part of Orange County, New York. He was the grandson of James Clinton a soldier in Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army and the son of Charles Clinton, an Anglo-Irish colonist and a colonel in the French and Indian War.
He was the brother of George Clinton, who was governor of New York from 1777 to 1795 and U.S. Vice President from 1805 to 1812. James Clinton's first wife was Mary DeWitt, daughter of an old Dutch family. Sons with her included DeWitt Clinton, later Governor of New York and George Clinton, Jr., who served in Congress. His second wife was Mrs. Mary Gray, and his children with her included James G. Clinton, who served in Congress.