David Mathews


David Mathews
For the U.S. HEW secretary, see F. David Mathews; for a similar name, see David Matthews

David Mathews (died 1800) was a lawyer and politician from New York City. He was a Loyalist during the American Revolutionary War and was Mayor of New York from 1776 until 1783.

Mathews lived in Flatbush and was mayor, in 1776, when he was implicated in a plot to kidnap George Washington, then Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. Mathews and William Tryon, the governor of Province of New York, were implicated in the plot, as was a member of Washington's Life Guard, Thomas Hickey, who was eventually executed. The New York Provincial Congress ordered Mathews's arrest for "being Engaged in a Conspiracy against the Authority of the Congress and the Liberties of America." The charges were never proven, and he was briefly imprisoned, and then either escaped or was paroled and returned to New York.

When British forces occupied the city in August 1776, Mathews resumed his office as mayor. When the British evacuated on November 10, 1783, he left with other loyalists to Nova Scotia. He was appointed attorney general and a member of the Executive Council by Lieutenant Governor Joseph Frederick Wallet DesBarres. Although an elected house of assembly was to have been established, this did not occur.

The remainder of Mathews life would be spent enmeshed in the particular political struggles of a colony without a house of assembly. Having held a respectable elected office in New York, he had difficulty adjusting to Nova Scotia's restrictions.

References

Preceded by
Whitehead Hicks
Mayor of New York City
1776—1783
Succeeded by
James Duane



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