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139. Ens. Jonathan Seymour

139. ENS. JONATHAN6 SEYMOUR, ESQ. (Daniel5, Daniel4, John3, John2, Richardl), born at Hartford, Conn., 1778, died at New York City, 2 Nov. 1841; married first, MARIA LAWRENCE, of New York, who died at New York City; married second, PATIENCE W. BRUEN, who died at New York City, 1 Jan. 1862, daughter of Thomas and Sarah (Woodward).

He was a prominent merchant in New York City, in, the paper making business, and established the Seymour Paper Mills at Windsor Locks, Conn. He was also a book publisher. In 1809 he was commissioned Ensign in the N ew York County Militia.

Daniel and Melancton L. Seymour, of New York, his only children, were appointed administrators, 13 Nov. 1841. His widow was named as Patience W. Seymour.

The will of Patience W. Seymour of New York, dated 30 Dec. 1861, proved 4 Apr. 1862, named Melancthon L. Seymour, son of my dec'd husband, to whom she gave the income of all estate during his life in trust, and he was to dispose of it by will to his heirs. Her heirs-at-law were specified.

Children by first wife:
i. DANIEL7, b. abt. 1809; d. at New York, 8 June 1850, unm. Will of Daniel Seymour of New York, merchant, dated 28 Aug. 1845, proved 24 June 1850, gave all estate to his brother Melancthon L.
ii. MELANCTHON L., b. abt. 1812; d. at New York, 21 Nov. 1865, unm. His will, dated 28 July 1862, proved 9 May 1866, disposed of the estate of Patience W. Seymour (his stepmother) to various persons.

DANIEL7 SEYMOUR (1809-1850) was a man of rare and extensive literary acquirements. He possessed a mind of the highest cultivation, embracing in its accomplishments an extensive; arid thorough knowledge of the language and literature of the nations of Europe and an equally profound acquaintance with the classical literature and languages of antiquity.

He was graduated (B.A.) in 1826 at Columbia College. He stood second in his class and delivered the valedictory oration, choosing as his subject “The Swiss History and Character.” He was a member of The Column, a literary society which, was founded by Columbia men and was a forerunner of the Century Association, where the original silver column is preserved. In 1851, following his death, Robert Kelly, a classmate, delivered “An Address on the Character and Talents of the Late Daniel Seymour” before The Column. His portrait still hangs in Century House.

He pursued the profession of the law for a few years. III health led him to go abroad. He spent several years in Europe, continued his studies, and perfected himself in knowledge of the languages, nearly all of which he spoke and wrote with remarkable precision and correctness.

An example of his facility was the translation of “Woodman, Spare that Tree” into Hebrew, Greek, Latin, German, French, Spanish, Italian, and several other languages.

He devoted the last years of his life to the interests of the public schools and other institutions of New York. In 1848 he was elected to the Board of Managers of the Society for the Reformation of Juvenile Delinquents in New York City. In December of that year, he was appointed one. of a committee of five to study the problem of securing a better location and more adequate buildings for the House of Refuge, at that time located on First Avenue between 23rd and 24th Streets.. In 1850 this committee succeeded in purchasing desirable property on Ward's Island. However, this property proved to be too small so was turned over to the New York City Common Council in exchange for a better site on Randall's Island.

The progressive and courageous character of Daniel Seymour is shown in the final report of the building committee, submitted in 1862: “In January, 1850, however, a report was made by Mr. Seymour – a communication from the Governor, as to the transfer of a portion of the boys to the Rochester House …. The majority of the Committee having reported unfavorably upon the subject, Mr. Seymour made a minority report, which was accepted …. the purport of which was, that a classification and separation of our inmates were essential to their reformation, and that for this purpose a change of location and increased accommodations were required ….” He discharged his duties with the House of Refuge until within three days of his death, with all the fidelity and zeal of his active and benevo1ent mind.

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book/139.jonathan.txt · Last modified: 2014/11/01 14:44 (external edit)