The Story of the Man Broome County Was Named After
We toss around the name “Broome” County every day, but have you ever stopped to think about the name and where it originated from?
John Broome was born on July 19, 1738, on Staten Island. The youngest of four children, Broome originally wanted to get into law and studied with William Livingston who served as a representative in the Continental Congress, and signed the Continental Association and the United States Constitution.
Somewhere along the line, Broome decided law just wasn’t what he wanted to practice in life and so he walked away and picked up a job with his brother in importing British goods.
In 1775, at the age of 37, Broome joined the American Revolution. During this time Broome also was a member of the New York Provincial Congress and then became a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention in 1777.
Following the American Revolution, Broome served as an Alderman and as the New York City Treasurer. Broome was also head of the New York City Chamber of Commerce and is often credited as being the one who made things happen to have tea imported from China.
In 1795, New York Governor George Clinton appointed Broome to chair New York City’s Health Committee in the midst of an outbreak of yellow fever. As if Broome didn’t already have mounds on his plate, he decided to run for U.S. Congress, not once, but twice, and both runs were unsuccessful.
Broome didn't accept defeat and walk away from politics though, He would go on to serve as a member from New York County of the New York State Assembly and then as a member of the New York State Senate.
In 1804, Broome was elected Lieutenant Governor of New York and would go on to win the election three times, under two governors. However, his career in politics ended when he died in office in 1810 at the age of 72.
And there you have it – the story of the person that Broome County was named after. By the way, did you know there is a town called Broome in Schoharie County and a street in Manhattan called Broome Street? Bet you can guess who the town and the street were named after!