CAPTAIN JOHN CHENEVARD, JR. (1770-1808)
From a portrait, artist unknown, in the possession of Captain Chenevard's granddaughter, Mrs. H. I. Dyer of Elmwood, West Hartford.
On May 20, 1794, Captain Chenevard married the beautiful Mary Juliana Seymour, only daughter of the First Mayor. His name, is on the memorial presented in 1788 to the May session of the General Assembly for the formation of a troop of horse to be known as the Governor's Volunteer Troop Horse Guards, “whose particular duty shall be to attend upon and Escort the Governor of this State in the times of Peace and War.” In this memorial the name of Chenevard occurs next to that of Thomas Youngs Seymour whose sister, Mary Juliana, he married. He seems to have been a prosperous West India merchant, as were his father, Captain John Chenevard, Sr., and his grandfather, John Michael Chenevard, before him. The latter, a Genevese, came about 1727 to Boston, and was husband of Margaret Beauchamp, whose portrait is illustrated herein.
His tombstone stands strangely unbroken in the depressing neglect and wreckage of the Seymour memorials in the “South Yard.” The beautifully lettered inscription on the large plain slab of gray marble reads: “Sacred to the Memory of Mr. John Chenevard eldest son of the late Capt. John Chenevard who died April 19, A. D. 1808; Aged 38 years. All the various relations of life in which he stood connected evidenced the most affectionate tenderness strict uprightness & fidelity.”
Close to this tombstone is a small plain, head stone broken in half, inscribed: “Mary J. Chenevard Died June 6, 1843 Aged 74.” One unacquainted with the Seymour Family History would not recognize in this stone with its meager inscription the only memorial to the beautiful Mary Juliana Seymour, the daughter of the First Mayor, so celebrated in her time for her character and her beauty.
Henry Seymour (1764-1846), son of the First Mayor, was one of the four Managers of the Election Ball in 1797 when it was given in the theater. His sister, Mary Juliana, now Mrs. Captain John Chenevard, was doubtless one of the ornaments of the occasion. The Ball, of course, was given in honor of Governor Oliver Wolcott.
Governor Seymour, son of the above, is buried in the Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford. His monument, a very tall granite shaft bearing the name Thomas Henry Seymour and various Masonic emblems, was unveiled and dedicated October 27, 1881, with imposing ceremonies arranged by the Knights Templar of the Asylum Washington Commandery. The procession included the First Company of Governor's Foot Guards, the Hartford Light Guards, the Putnam Phalanx, commanderies of Knights Templar, Governor Bigelow, Lieutenant Governor Bulkeley, Morgan G. Bulkeley, Mayor of Hartford, and other persons of distinction. An eulogy was pronounced by the Honorable Richard D. Hubbard, an address on the military and diplomatic services of Governor Seymour by the Honorable Colin M. Ingersoll of New Haven, and an address on the “Masonic Knightly Character and Services” by Sir Knight John F. Root of the Washington Commandery. The invocation was pronounced by the Reverend E. P. Parker, D.D.