Augustus Van Wyck (October 14, 1850 – June 8, 1922) was a Supreme Court Justice of Brooklyn, New York. In 1898 he received the Democratic Nomination for New York State governor against the Republican choice, Theodore Roosevelt.
Son of William Van Wyck, Augustus was born October 14, 1850. His brother was Mayor Robert A. Van Wyck and his brother-in-law was Confederate General Robert Hoke. Roots of the Van Wyck family date back to early Dutch immigration to North America. One of the first descendants of the family, Cornelius Barents Van Wyck came from the town of Wyck, the Netherlands in 1650.
Augustus Van Wyck's education led him to Phillips Exeter Academy and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to study the practice of law. Moving to Richmond, Virginia Van Wyck practiced law for a brief period before moving to Brooklyn, New York in 1871.
He was an active member of the Democratic party in Brooklyn. In 1882 Van Wyck was elected as President of the County General Committee. He also was active in state, county, and national conventions of the Democratic party.
Supreme Court Justice of Brooklyn
In 1884, Augustus Van Wyck was elected to the Superior Court in Brooklyn until transferred to the Supreme Court where he remained until 1896.
Democratic Nomination for New York State Governor
Much to Van Wyck's surprise, he was nominated by his fellow Democrats to oppose the Republican, Theodore Roosevelt, in the race for Governor of New York in 1898. Although Van Wyck was seen as a strong candidate, Roosevelt's popularity in the aftermath of the Spanish–American War led him to win the election by 17,786 votes. Van Wyck received 643,921 votes, while Roosevelt received 661,715 votes.
After the election Van Wyck resumed his law practice on 149 Broadway, New York.
He died after an operation for an "intestinal ailment" at Hahnemann Hospital on June 8, 1922, at the age of 71.