He graduated from Yale College in 1811. Then he studied law at Litchfield Law School, was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in New York City in 1813.
He fought as a captain in the War of 1812. He was Recorder of New York City from 1841 to 1846, and from 1848 to 1851. He was elected as a Whig to the 30th United States Congress, holding office from March 4, 1847, to March 3, 1849.
He was Superintendent of the Metropolitan Police from 1857 to 1862.
In 1861, he ran on the "Independent People"s" ticket for Canal Commissioner but was defeated by Democrat William West. Wright. He was Clerk of the New York Court of Appeals from 1863 to 1865, elected in 1862 on the Democratic/Constitutional Union ticket.
Afterwards he resumed the practice of law in New York City.
Democratic Party, Whig Party.
He was a member of the Board of Aldermen in 1834 and, under the new city charter, of the Common Council in 1836. He was a member of the New York State Senate (1st Doctorate) from 1837 to 1840, sitting in the 60th, 61st, 62nd and 63rd New York State Legislatures.