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Breese Family Monograph

Part 5 - pages 503 to 510

 (5.) Helen Platt, born July 2, I814; who married Nathan Fitch Graves, then of Oneida Castle, N. Y. (the same gentleman who after her  death became the husband of her elder sister Catharine), June I, 1842: and died July 20, 1844, leaving a son who died in infancy;  

(6.) John Sidney,   born May 8, 1819; who died, a bachelor, at  Detroit, Mich., on his way home from the Far West, July 18, 1856,  "deeply lamented by all who knew him."

(Children of Samuel and Elizabeth (Anderson Breese continued.)

            2. Arthur,  born Sept. 16, 1770; who was twice married; and died Aug. 14, 1825. His first wife was Catharine daughter of Henry Livingston  of Poughkeepsie, N. T., (" who had served as a Major in the Revolutionary army" - but was commonly known as Judge Henry) whom he moarried Nov. 4, 1793. She was of the seventh generation in descent from Rev. John Livingston, "whose name ranks high in the Scotch Church, and  who was one of the commissioners appointed by Parliament to negotiate  with Charles the terms of his restoration to the throne, but who was afterward prosecuted with vigorous rancor for non-conformity, and obliged  to take refuge in Rotterdam;21 whose son Robert (b. 1654) emigrated  from Scotland to America in 1676, and in 1683 married Alida widow of  Rev. Nicolaus Van Rensselaer, and daughter of Philip Pietersen Schuyler; whose son Gilbert married Cornelia Beekman; whose son Robert married Catharine MePheadres; whose son Henry married Susannah Conklin;  whose son Henry ("Judge Henry") married Sarah daughter of Rev.    Dr. Noah Welles of Stamford, Conn., "one of the most beautiful-women in Connecticut." Samuel Finley Breese Morse, the year before his     marriage to Sarah Elizabeth Griswold (a grandchild of Arthur Breese),         purchased an estate at Poughkeepsie on the Hudson, and named it Locust             Grove, which he afterwards found had been the property of his wife's great grandfather Judge Livingston, and called by the same name: here, under a tree once pointed out to me, Catharine Livingston watched for the coming of Arthur Breese down the river, in the days of sloop-navigation. The widow of Sidney Edwards Morse is of the same Livingston blood, Robert and Catharine (McPheadres) Livingston having had, beside Henry and one other son, a son Gilbert Robert who married Martha Kane (cousin German of Chancellor Kent), and was the father of Rev. Dr. Gilbert Robert Livingston, the father of Mrs. Morse. The second Robert Livingston above named was first cousin to Chancellor Livingston's father.  

Mrs. Catharine (Livingston) Breese died in 1808, in her thirty-third year, the mother, as we shall see, of nine children, of whom the eldest was only in his fourteenth year.

Arthur Breese married for his second wife, Oct. 14, 1809, Ann daughter of John Carpender. already named as the third husband of my great grandmother Breese's mother. By his marriage with Mrs. Ascough, mother of my great grandmother Mrs. Sidney Breese (a Penkethman, by her first marriage, - see above, p. 479), John Carpender had two daughters:

  1.  Catharine, who married Capt. Samuel Bayard: dying childless. they left "lands and silver to their nephews and nieces" - including my grandfather Breese's children, to whom Mrs. Catharine (Carpender) Bayard was great aunt of the half blood.22

 2. Ann, who married an Englishman of fortune named Pearce.

After the mother of these children had died, John Carpender married Sarah Stout of Brooklyn, N. Y. (" who survived her husband many years, and died in 1813 ), and had:

1. Sarah, who married William Walton Morris of Morrisania, nephew of Governor Morris, and had nine children, of whom only one, Mrs. Aquila (Morris) Stout, now survives; 2. Fanny, who became the second wife of her uncle Jacob Stout, and had a large family, of which the only daughter, Frances Hogan, was, as will appear later, tile wife of a son of Arthur Breese; and Dr. Arthur Breese Stout of California is the only one now living; 3. Benjamin, a Midshipman, U. S. N., who died in the West Indies;

4. William (known as Colonel Carpender), who married Lucy Weston of a distinguished English family, and had many children; 5. Ann, who was the Second wife of Arthur Breese, and survived him, as his widow, till May 17, 1857, when she died in her seventy-third year, "and in the full possession of all her faculties. She was eminently practical in her views, of excellent sense and judgment, and truthful to a degree; her manners were cultivated and refined; she was witty and vivacious, and graceful in all her movements."

Returning now to Arthur (45) second child of Samuel and Elizabeth (Anderson) Breese. I first quote the words of a daughter, who says:

"At a very.early period in the settlement of the country [having received the             honorary degree of Master of Arts from Yale College in 1789 he was established at Whitestown, Oneida Co., N.Y., in the profession of the law. On the creation of the clerkship of the Supreme Court for the Western District [in 1808], he received the appointment of Clerk, and remained the incumbent until his death. He was a man of much personal and private worth, sterling integrity and exemplary piety."  

From 1808 onward his life was spent in Utica, N. Y., where he owned a beautiful house at the top of the hill on Genesee street, with extensive grounds attached, and at that time quite rural in its surroundings. I well remember a visit made there with my parents and sister, in our childhood, and the lively cousins we then first became acquainted with --one of whom (I need not say a lady) made this playful record of it: 

 "The children were held up to us as models of propriety.... I was deputed to show them the garden and the grounds, and told to pick all the fruit we wished, which they would not even taste without their mother's permission! This made a lasting impression upon me, and I wondered whether all the children in Boston were so well brought up."  

To the same lady's sprightly pen I owe the following reminiscences of this home of her childhood:  

"No stranger of distinction passed through the town without dining, or partaking of fruit and wine, at the house, which was one of the finest in the place at that period. My father was very hospitable, quite an epicure, and noted for his good dinners and always very choice wines.

"When the Court was in session, the judges and lawyers were frequently entertained.  Although scarcely in my teens, I remember seeing Judges Savage, Woodworth, Van Ness, Sutherland and Platt - the latter was a connection of the family, and resided for a time in Utica. Among many others whom I particularly remember
 as constant guests were judge Southard (formerly Secretary of the Navy), John Greig of Canandaigua, Gov. DeWitt Clinton, Commodore Melancthon Woolsey, a near relation [descended, in common with Mrs. Judge Henry Livingston, from Rev. Benjamin Woolsey of Dosoris, L. I., and, on the Livingston side, first cousin of the
first Mrs. Arthur Breese],23 and several officers of the U. S. Navy, that branch of the service having been always largely represented in our family. I have an indistinct recollection of peeping through the crack of the door to catch a glimpse of Commodore Chauncey, whilst he was dining with my father, and can recall visits paid by Commodores Rogers and McDonough, the hero of the battle of Lake Champlain; Chancellor Kent, Col. Malcolm, and seeing the great American novelist J. Fenimore Cooper…

"The venerable and greatly respected Patroon of Albany, Stephen Van Rensselaer, was an occasional guest....

"My mother [the second Mrs. Arthur Breese] was an accomplished housekeeper, presiding with grace and dignity at her table, or in the drawing-room. On matters of taste she was authority in all cases. My lather used to plead, as an excuse for such constant entertaining, his 'having a fine house, a graceful and capable wife, and a well-stocked larder '"

My cousin speaks of a visit of General Lafayette at her father's house in 1824, as follows:

"My father, who was then an invalid, and unable to be present at the reception, was told by the officer of the day that the General and suite would pay him a visit, if he so desired. This exceptional courtesy enabled my parents, and a considerable number of the elite of the city who had been invited, to enjoy the honor of an intro­duction.”

"I can well remember my mother's tasteful decoration of the drawing - rooms with flowers, the display of old-fashioned silver on the sideboard, and the table with choice wine and refreshments; and.perfectly recall the personal appearance of the distinguished guest, the cynosure of all eyes -- his gracious and courtly manners, as with hat in hand he walked quietly up the broad steps of the piazza, and with much ease and apparent pleasure received the various introductions. Upon the conclusion of this ceremony I was led by my rather to the General, who laid his hand gently on my head, and said 'God bless you, my  ear!".  

"George Washington la Fayette, the stepson of the Marquis, accompanied him on this occasion as one of his suite; and in 1869, after 'Time's busy finger had written age upon my brow,' whilst in Paris, and I had become a grandmother, I had the pleasure of meeting his son, Count Edmond la Fayette, who was a lawyer and a fine-looking man of about forty-five years of age, who spoke English with ease. Whilst dining with him one day I mentioned that, when a child, I had been presented to his grandfather when he last visited our country. With the accustomed suavity and politeness for which his nation is so celebrated, he complimented me upon my youthful 'appearance, adding that if it were not rude in him, he should doubt whether I, at that time, were in existence.' . . .'"24  

The same lady gives us the following reminiscence of Aaron Burr :  

"In the year 1823, when about twelve years of age, I met Aaron Burr, who before his disgrace was one of my father's personal friends. Though slender, short, scarcely the medium height, there was something in his appearance which arrested the attention.  He was well formed, with a finely shaped head, a lofty, white forehead, and delicately chiseled features, eyes bright, expressive and piercing, which seemed to look into your very soul and read your thoughts. His voice was not loud, but gentle and persuasive ....

"On one occasion Col. Burr was dining with us en famille, no other guest being present save my eldest brother, Rear Admiral Breese, then a Captain in the U. S. Navy, at home on a furlough.  

"After dinner I, a young girl, arose from the table, leaving the gentlemen over their wine. When on the piazza, ready to start for mv walk, the courtly old politician  made his adieus to my parents, and in the most gallant manner begged permission
to escort me. The gentleman whom I afterwards married remembers seeing me on that occasion walking with Col. Burr, who, with head uncovered, was bowing and looking at me, and listening to my childish remarks with as much apparent pleasure as though they were uttered by one much older ....

"He could look a compliment although at the same time his lips might be tightly
closed !"

The descendants of Mrs. (Breese) Walker, from whose personal reminiscences I have been quoting, own a portrait of her father Arthur Breese, by James; and his daughter Mrs. Sands has one of her mother, the first wife of Arthur Breese, by the same artist. A portrait of Mrs. Ann (Carpender)  Breese, of about the year 1836, by E. D. Brown, is also in the possession of Mrs. Walker's descendants. Mrs. Walkers half-sister, Mrs. Davis of Fort Edward, N. Y., owns a profile-likeness in crayon, supposed to be of about the year 1795, which she and some of her sisters think to
be the best likeness of their father.  

Arthur and Catherine (Livingston) Breese had children as' follows:

(I.) Samucl Livingston, born Aug. 6, 1794; who married: first, Frances Hogan daughter of Jacob and Fanny (Carpender) Stout – see above, about 1825, who died Jan. 8, 1853, without children; and secondly, Emma daughter of Thomas Lovett of New York City, June 21, 1855, who survives as his widow, without children; and died at Mount

21 Mrs. Lamb's History of the City of New York . . . New York, 1877, i. 275; see also The New York Geneal. and Biogr. Record [New York, 1870], ii. 120-21, for the earlier Livingston ancestry.  

22 The late Mrs. (Breese) Walker, who was one of the daughters of my uncle Arthur Breese, owned two silver gravy-boats which bear the Bayard crest (Comp. Mrs. Lamb's Hist. of the City of New York, ut supra, ii. SS). A large round silver salver, with a horse's head engraved upon it. now owned by de­scendants of Mrs. Elizabeth Ann (Breese) Morse. is doubtless another piece of Bayard silver, inherited in the same way. Another silver salver from the Bayard family, dated 1727, is in the possession of Miss Mary L. Snowden at Stratford, Conn., she having received it from her paternal grandmother (see below). The following letter, from Samuel Sidney Breese to his nephew Josiah Salisbury Breese, gives an interest­ing history of the Bayard property referred to in the text:  

"Aug. 19, 1845."

"Dear Nephew,  

Agreeable to your request I now send you statement of the pedigree of our branch of the family who claim title to the Trinity Church lands. 

"This land was granted, in two parcels, by the Dutch Government to Dominie Everardus Bogardus, a Dutch clergyman. [See Mrs. Lamb's Hist. of the City of New York, ut supra, i. 71-72; and Id., p. 79, for a map of Annetje Jans's farm]. The first parcel contained about 60 acres, and the second parcel about 130 acres: the first was designated by the name of Dominie's Bowery, and the second parcel by the name of Dominic's Hook. A description of these tracts I have seen on a map of the city, belonging, I think, to the Brinkerhoff family, and which was in the possession of a lawyer Sullivan, who prosecuted the claims of the heirs in Chancery, when a decree was given against the heirs... Dominie E. Bogardus by will gave this property to his widow Annantia [previously] Jans: she afterwards by will gave it to her eight children, to whom it was confirmed by the English Government when they took possession of this country [Mrs. Lamb says it was confirmed to the heirs in 1667--see i. 253]; one of these eight children was named Sarah, who had, I think, two husbands - Van Buren and Kiersted; I think she survived both, and by will gave her estate to her eight children, one of whom was Blandina, who married Peter Bayard, and by him had two children, Peter and Sarah. This last Peter married a lady named Rachel. who survived her husband, and, being by her husband's will authorized to sell his real  estate, she did sell and convey the same to Mr. Wileman, who immediately thereafter married her, and he by his will gave the same estate back to his said wife Rachel, who survived him. She, Rachel, had three sons by her first husband, and one daughter by her second husband; the names of the sons were Peter, John and Samuel, and the name of the daughter was Elizabeth. Peter and John both died intestate, leaving Samuel their heir at law. This Samuel by will gave his estate to the Breese family  and to the Malcolm family, half to each. those  individuals of the Breese family having the name of  Bayard attached to their names had two shares, the rest one share: myself and the father had each of us only o.e share: Mrs. [Susan Bayard]. Snowden and brother Samuel [Bayard Breese] had each two shares. The Malcolms had their shares in the same way."  

  A copy  of the Will of Samuel Bayard, dated May 24, 1884. loaned to me by the heirs of my uncle    Samuel Sidney Breese, enables me to add some particulars. All the testator's real and personal estate  was given in trust to Samuel Breese, my grandfather, William .Malcolm of New York, and Aaron Burr -  the income to be paid to his wife Catharine, as long as she should live, and, at her death, the principal to be equally divided between the children of my grandfather and those of William Malcoln by his wife Sarah  (Ascough--see above, p. 479), some children of each family, beating the name of Bayard, to have double  portions.    

Col. Malcolm took charge of the property, but the greater part of it was lost to the heirs, being real      estate in the city of New York, now of immense value, to which the Corporation of Trinity Church        claimed title. The first division of the Samuel Bayard estate was made in 1796.  

Not long since, a paper on "Mrs. Anneke (Jans) Bogardus and her Farm" was read by Hon. J. W.  Gerard before the New York Historical Society, which states some facts differently from my uncle's letter above quoted. An abstract of those parts of it which most interest us is here given, in the words of a printed report:

"In the year 1630, when Peter Minuit was Governor or Director-General of New Netherlands, there   landed at New Amsterdam a sturdy Dutchman named Roeloff Jansen. He had been a man of official   standing in his native town of Masterlandt .... Roeloff Jansen caught the spirit of unrest. He had a strong young wife willing to brave the seas, and a little family, and there was a future to make for them.   So they sailed for the Dutchman's new field of adventure and fortune, Nieuw,  Nederland .... After a few years he moved with his family to New Amsterdam, having obtained from Director Van Twiller, in 1636, a ground-brief or patent for the farm or Bouwery of about sixty-two acres which has been for nearly two  hundred years a prominent bone of contention. Roeloff Jansen did not long enjoy his new possessions.

He died in 1637 or 1638, leaving four children, and a widow then and now widely known as Mrs.. Annetje  or Anneke Jans.  Within a year after her bereavement the subject of our monograph became the wife of one of the most prominent and remarkable characters in the early history of our primitive city. Dominie Everardus Bogardus. Dominie Bogardus came over from Holland in 1633....

"The Dominie perished by shipwreck off the coast of Wales in 1647. He was on his way to Holland.  His widow then went to Beverswyck, where she died in 1663. Her remains were interred in the yard of the old Dutch Church in Hudson street in Albany. and there they still are. She left four children by her first husband and four by her second. Sara, the eldest daughter, understood the Indian dialects and was interpreter for Stuyvesant at the treaty - of 1664.

"By the provisions of Mrs. Bogardus's will, Roeloff Jansen's children were to divide among them 1000 guilders, to be realized out of proceeds of the farm on Manhattan Island....

"The farm called the Dominic's Bouwery, which has been the subject of much contention, was granted by Governor Van Twiller to Roeloff Jansen and his wife in 1636. It was then in a very rough state. The grant was confirmed in 1654 by Director Stuyvesant, by a patent to Mrs. Annetje Jans as widow of Everardus Bogardus. It comprised a tract between a line drawn near the north side of Warren street on the south and Canal street, or perhaps Desbrosses street on the north; [bounded] on the west by the river, and on the east by a series of irregular lines west of Broadway. The next deed passed front the heirs to Colonel Francis Lovelace, in March 1670. It was afterwards confiscated to the Crown. In 1697 Governor Fletcher leased it to the Trinity Church Corporation for seven years at a rental of sixty bushels of wheat. Between 1702 and 1708 Governor Cornbury granted it to Trinity in fee, in Queen Anne's name. The quit rent  received by this grant was three shillings, but it was subsequently commuted by a payment in gross to the State Government in 1786. The validity and effect of the patent by Queen Anne has been a frequent subject of discussion in the courts, and forms the principal feature in the claim of title by Trinity Church. One of the first suits was brought by Cornelius Brouwer, a descendant of Mrs. Bogardus, was to recover his share of the farm. The verdict was against him. In 1830, a suit was brought by Cornelius Bogardus for one fifth of one sixth of the proceeds of the land known as the Dominic's Bouwery. The bill was based on the claim of Cornelius, as heir of his ancestor Cornelius, that no statute of limitations runs as against one tenant in common in favor of his co-tenant in possession. The Corporation answered that they did not enter or claim under any deed from ,tits. Anneke Bogardus, or her children or heirs, and never admitted themselves to be holding in common with them, and that, even if originally they were tenants in common, for 130 years they had held in hostility to other tenants in common, thus barring their right. The case was twice decided against the plaintiff. Nine other suits were brought by Cornelius Brouwer in 1847; in 1851 a suit was brought by other descendants of Mrs. Bogardus; they were all unsuccessful. The last attack on the church property was made in 1871 by the Rev. David Groesbeck, who claimed that there had been a perversion and waste of the property....

"But this coveted tract of land has not only been the subject of forensic battle, but bone and sinew ha-'e been engaged in the contest. Heads have been broken, and shots have been fired, in support of the claims of the redoubtable and indefatigable heirs"

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23 See The Descendants of Rev. Benjamin Woolsey of Dosoris. By Benjamin W. Dwight, in The New York Geneal. and Biogr. Record. New York, 1873, iv. 147; and Id., New York, 1874, v. 76.             
24 This is the Marquis Edmond de Lafayette who came to this country in 1881 as one of the represent­atives of France at the Yorktown Centennial Celebration 

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