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Clarkson Crolius Sr.
Date: 1773 - 1843
Clarkson Crolius
Remarks: Clarkson Crolius, Sr. was the best-known member of a dynasty of potters who produced stoneware in lower Manhattan for over a century, beginning in the 1730s and continuing until the middle of the 19th century. The family produced utilitarian pots that were essential in homes for preparing and preserving food. Started as a small enterprise by Clarkson Crolius, Sr.'s German-immigrant grandfather, the Crolius stoneware business flourished in the early 1880s and evolved from serving a local market to shipping wares throughout the United States. In addition to being a potter, Clarkson Crolius, Sr. was a successful politician, dominating politics in the Sixth Ward (around City Hall) from the early years of the nineteenth century until his death in 1843. From 1802-05, he was an alderman of the Sixth Ward, and from 1806-7 he was a state assemblyman. After serving as major and acting colonel in the 27th Regiment during the War of 1812, Crolius returned to the assembly, serving from 1815 to 1825. During his last year in the assembly, he was unanimously elected speaker of the house. From 1838 to 1843 he was collector of the Port of New York. He was also a Grand Sachem of the Tammany Society, and a founder and vice-president of the American Institute.