New York Genealogical and Biographical Record
Helps for New York Genealogists (NYG&B 1871).
- 2:186, Elizabeth, [dau. of Daniel l'Estrange and Phebe Purdy], married to Joseph Sackett a son of the Reverend Mr. Samuel Sackett a Presbyterian Minister of what is now called Yorktown.
Slosson Genealogy (NYG&B 1872).
- 3:111, Nathan [son of Nathaniel and Margaret (Belden) Slosson], b. Norwalk, recorded in Kent, Jan. 30, 1738–9; bap. Wilton, March 18, 1739; m. Oct. 13, 1768, Elizabeth Hubbell, b. Stratfield, Conn., Feb. —, 1747, dau. of Jehiel and Elizabeth (Sackett) Hubbell, and g.dau. of Rev. Richard Sackett, pastor of the second church of Greenwich, Conn. He served in the war of the Revolution; was "a Sergeant Major in the cavalry," and was detailed to the commissary department. He was at the capture of Burgoyne. He joined the church in Kent, June—, 1807. He settled on the homestead of his father, in Kent, and there d. Oct. 5, 1821, aged nearly 83 years. She joined church in Kent, March 29, 1807, and d. Jan. 16, 1829, aged 81 years 11 months.
New York Marriage Licenses (NYG&B 1872).
- 1699 May 11, Richard Sackett & Majory L. Sleade.
Brief Notes of the Early History of the Dewey Family in America (NYG&B 1875).
- 6:64, Thomas Dewey, [s. Thomas Dewey & Constant Hawes], b. March 26, 1664–5, m. Hannah Sackett of Westfield, and d. there without issue, April 27, 1692.
- 6:65, Ashbel Dewey, b. April 23, 1734, m. in 1754–5 (pub. Sept. 15, 1754), Mary Phelps of Westfield. She d. March 27, 1762, and he m. March 17, 1763, Mehitable Cadwell, b. Dec. 7, 1740 (dau. of Abel Cadwell of Westfield, and Anna Dwight. See Hist. Dwight Family, p. 441). He d. April 28, 1765, æt. 31. His widow m. for a 2d husband, Daniel Sackett, Jr., of Pittsfield, Mass.
Further Additions to Dewey Family History (NYG&B 1877).
- 8:108–109, Thomas Dewey [6:64] d. March 8, 1690 (and not April 27, 1692). His widow, Hannah, née Sackett, was b. March 7, 1668–9. She is believed to have been the Hannah Dewey (mentioned on p. 176) … as the one, whose pedigree was then unknown, who m. Benjamin Newberry, Jr., of Windsor, Ct.
- 8:109, Sarah Dewey, …, dau. of Israel and Sarah Dewey, m. Dec. 22, 1743, Joses Sackett, of Westfield.
13:53–62, Extracts from "Gov. William Beach Lawrence." An address delivered before The New York Historical Society, at the Annual Meeting, January 2, 1882. By Gen. Jas. Grant Wilson. (NYG&B 1882).
- William Beach Lawrence was born October 26th, in the first year of the century, in the lower part of the city, then the focus of fashion. He was the only son of Isaac Lawrence and his wife Cornelia, daughter of Dr. Abraham Beach, one of the ministers of Trinity Church, who was a lineal descendant of the first Anglo-American child born in the colony of Connecticut. Isaac Lawrence was an opulent merchant and a prominent figure in Wall Street; Mrs. Lawrence, an exemplary wife and mother, who in early life was a great beauty. Lawrence's ancestors came from England about the middle of the seventeenth century, and received a patent for the portion of Long Island now constituting the towns of Flushing, Hempstead, and Newtown.
Young Lawrence was sent to the school of the Rev. E.D. Barry in Thames Street, where he made great progress in his studies, and at the age of twelve entered Rutgers College in New Jersey, being too young to gain admission at Columbia. Two years later he entered the latter institution. He was the youngest member of the class of 1818, and its last survivor. Lawrence was graduated with high honors, standing second only to Henry J. Anderson, who was three years his senior.
After his graduation, Lawrence made a tour through the West in the summer of 1818, visiting Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Louisville, Lexington, and St. Louis.
On his return to New York, Lawrence entered the office of William Slosson, an eminent commercial lawyer, and afterward spent some time under the instruction of Judges Gould and Reeves, in whose law school, at Litchfield, Conn., John C. Calhoun was then a student.
Having somewhat impaired his health, by close and continuous study, Mr. Lawrence spent a winter in the South, visitng, during his sojourn there, some of the celebrated families of South Carolina, such as the Draytons, Middletons, Pinckneys, and Rutledges, to whom he had taken letters of introduction, and on his way North spent several days with Jefferson, at Monticello. Soon after his return to New York he married, on the day that Napoleon died, in May, 1821, a daughter of Archibald Gracie, one of the prominent merchants of that period. Their marriage was followed by a voyage to Europe, an unusual event among young Americans of that early day. In going abroad, in one of Mr. Gracie's ships, Mr. Lawrence possessed advantages which very few have enjoyed, his father, as President of the Branch Bank of the United States, and a personal friend of President Monroe, obtaining for him letters of introduction from that gentleman, as well as his predecessors, Jefferson and Madison. The sage of Monticello made Mr. Lawrence the bearer of letters to Lafayette, who entertained him and Mrs. Lawrence for a fortnight at La Grange, and subsequently invited the young American to be present at his recital to Mr. Sparks of the circumstances which induced him to join Washington in the Revolutionary struggle.
Mr. Lawrence also carried with him private letters from John Quincy Adams, then Secretary of State, to many American diplomatic representatives; from De Neuville, then French Minister at Washington, introductions to French society, while Joseph Bonaparte, his father-in-law's friend and frequent guest, both in his town house and at his Hell Gate country seat, made him favourably known to the beautiful Princess Borghése, and other members of the Bonaparte family. Perhaps no young American, not excepting Irving and Motley, ever met with a more distinguished European reception than was extended to Mr. Lawrence.
Although Mr. Lawrence gained admission in the highest circles, he did not devote all his time to social life and sight-seeing, but consecrated a large portion of the two years that he spent in the old world to serious study, his passion for which was so great that he converted the carriage used in making the tour of Europe into a travelling library, and constantly sought the society of savants and statesmen. During the winter that he spent in Paris, while making daily visits to the Sorbonne and École de Droit, he attended the brilliant lectures on political economy, by Jean Baptiste Say, thus laying the foundation for those studies which he pursued through life.
Returning to his native city in the summer of 1823, Mr. Lawrence was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court, and began his professional career, without, however, abandoning his special studies in public and international law. In 1825, Lawrence delivered an address before the New York Academy of Fine Arts, thus showing that his legal studies during his European tour did not prevent his cultivating a taste for the beautiful, with Canova and Vasi for instructors, and the galleries of Germany, France, and Italy for schools.
In the spring of 1826, Lawrence was Secretary of Legation to the Court of St. James, being so appointed by request of the Minister, Albert Gallatin, who had known him in Paris, and when, in the succeeding year, that exceedingly able statesman returned to the United States, Mr. Lawrence was confirmed as chargé d'affaires. So satisfactorily were the duties of mission discharged by him that he not only received from President Adams and his Secretary of State, Henry Clay, the highest commendations, but assurances, which the change of administration defeated, of the appointment of Ambassador to Berlin.
Soon after his return to New York, Lawrence formed a law partnership with Hamilton Fish.
Mr. Lawrence exhibited a warm interest in the welfare of his native city. He took an active part in projecting the Erie Railway, and was one of its earliest directors. The construction of the High bridge, and the consequent preservation of Harlem River navigation, was due to his untiring efforts and those of other far-sighted citizens of New York.
In 1850, Lawrence left his native city for Newport, where he had already spent several summers on his estate known as Ochre Point. Here he had previously erected a commodious mansion with a charming outlook on the Atlantic and within sound of its ceaseless waves dashing against the rock-bound coast. Here he gathered about him one of the largest and most valuable private libraries of the land, a considerable portion of his 10,000 volumes in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish, relating to international law and political economy. Here for thirty years, with occasional absences in Europe or a winter in Washington, he enjoyed what Milton calls "the quiet and still air of delightful studies."
But he was no scholarly recluse. Soon after his settlement in the then sleepy old town, but now, in the words of the Duke of Argyll, "the grandest watering-place in the world," Lawrence was elected Lieut.-Governor of Rhode Island, and subsequently became Governor under a provision of the constitution. In the politics of his adopted State, he labored long and strenuously to procure the abolition of the barbarous practice of imprisonment for debt, and, during the Maine Liquor Law excitement, he successfully opposed the measure in Rhode Island on constitutional grounds. This conscientious act ensured his defeat at the ensuing election.
As a consistent Democrat he always opposed the disabilities laid on naturalized citizens by the constitution of Rhode Island, and clearly demonstrated their injustice; but his efforts in this direction were unattended by success. Governor Lawrence in his politics was ever true to the principles which in early life he had personally learned from Jefferson and Madison.
After the death of Henry Wheaton, Lawrence brought out, for the benefit of his destitute family, an edition of the "Elements of International Law." The first edition, to which he furnished a large portion, appeared in 1855, and made the name of Wheaton well known throughout the United States and Europe. It met with almost universal adoption in courts and consular offices. A second edition, bringing the text down to date, appeared in 1863. Lawrence's Wheaton has ever since been the accepted text-book among diplomatists, and as such, is always referred to in the United States Senate, to which body, in connection with the President, the whole treaty power is confided. It is the standard work in the English language, and it has appeared in many of the continental tongues of Europe. It has even been translated into the languages of China and Japan. In a personal interview with Bismarck, the great Chancellor acknowledged to Governor Lawrence his constant use of the work.
In 1868, the first volume was published, in Leipsic, of Governor Lawrence's magnum opus on International Law, and the fourth appeared in the autumn of 1880. The fifth and sixth volumes now in MS, will complete this important monument to the great legal writer. It may with safety be said, that this work, which was written and issued in French, is the most complete and valuable contribution to International Law that has yet appeared either in Europe or America, and sufficient for the literary fame of William Beach Lawrence had he published nothing else.
Governor Lawrence achieved great professional distinction in appearing before the British and American international tribunal at Washington in 1873, in the celebrated case of the Circassian, involving more than half a million dollars. He won the suit, obtaining for his clients a reversal of a decision of the United States Supreme Court, the only instance of that character which has occurred in our history. As an international counsellor he was unsurpassed, perhaps, on either side of the Atlantic.
While in Europe, Brown University conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws, and he was distinguished as the first recipient of the title of Doctor of Civil Law granted in the United States, a degree conferred by the Regent of the University of the State of New York. Governor Lawrence was a member of many learned societies, notably of the British Social Science Association. He was also one of the original members of the Institute of the Law of Nations.
Ochre Point was for a quarter of a century a centre of social life, and few persons of standing in the world of law, letters, politics, or science, visited Newport without being entertained there.
In October , Governor Lawrence came to New York, with the double intention of attending his youngest son's marriage and of delivering his Gallatin address [proposed anniversary address to the New York Historical Society on his friend Albert Gallatin]. For several months he lingered, daily growing physically weaker, but continuing to the last with clear and unclouded intellect. On Saturday morning, March 26, 1881, he died. He was temporarliy interred in St. Mark's Churchyard,* but he now sleeps with his kindred at Newtown, Long Island, in the family burial-ground, purchased in 1660, where a noble monument will soon rise to his memory.
Footnote *. "There was an assemblage of prominent persons at old St. Mark's Church, corner of Second Avenue and Stuyvesant Place, yesterday afternoon, to attend the funeral services of William Beach Lawrence. The Rev. Dr. Beach carter, of Grace Chapel, a cousin of the deceased jurist, conducted the services. The pall-bearers were Hon. Hamilton Fish, Hon. Charles O'Conor, Hon. Samuel B. Ruggles, David Dudley Field, General George W. Cullum, U.S.A., Dr. J.C. Welling, of Washington, Hon. James W. Gerard, J.S. O'Sullivan, and Dr. William A. Watson. Among those present were Ex-Governor John T. Hoffman, General Grant Wilson, Judge Charles A. Peabody, Edward F. De Lancey, George Peabody Wetmore, Hon. John Jay, Mason Jones, Hon. E.W. Stoughton, Augustus Schell, Pierre and Louis Lorillard, and Gunning S. Bedford. The remains were placed in a vault in the churchyard. They will be taken to the Lawrence family cemetery, near Newtown, Long Island."—New York paper, March 29, 1881.
13:62, Gov. William Beach Lawrence. Lawrence Pedigree [extracts]. (NYG&B 1882).
- John Lawrence, second son of Captain [John] Lawrence [and Deborah Woodhull], was born at Newtown, September 9, 1695, and married December 8, 1720, Patience, daughter of Joseph Sackett. He was a wealthy farmer, and died, May 7, 1765, leaving a widow and ten children.
William Lawrence, fifth child of the preceding, was born July 27, 1729, and married, May 14, 1752, Anna, daughter of Isaac and Diana Brinkerhoff, after whose death he married, April 14, 1771, Mary, daughter of Charles Palmer. By these marriages he had twelve children, seven of whom were living when he died, January 13, 1794.
Isaac Lawrence, eighth son of William, was born February 8, 1768, and married Cornelia, daughter of Rev. Abraham Beach, D.D. He was a prominent New York merchant, and for twenty years president of the Branch Bank of the United States. He died July 12, 1841, leaving one son and six daughters. Cornelia A. married the poet, James A. Hillhouse, of New Haven; Harriet married Dr. John A. Pool, of New Brunswick; Josephine C. married Dr. Benjamin McVicker; Julia B. married Thomas L. Wells, a prominent New York lawyer; Marie E. married W. Ingraham Kip, Bishop of California, and Hannah E. married Henry Whitney, and died in 1844.
William Beach Lawrence, only son of Isaac and Cornelia Lawrence, had six children, five of whom survive him.
William Beach, a lawyer, who died in 1870.
Isaac, who, in 1878, was the Democratic candidate for Governor of Rhode Island.
Esther Gracie, who married Dr. W.L. Wheeler, formerly of the United States Navy.
General Albert Gallatin, who served with distinction during the late war. Married, in 1865, Eva, youngest daughter of Gen. J.P. Taylor, U.S.A., and niece of President Taylor. Have one daughter, Esther.
Cornelia Beach, married Baron Von Klenck, of Hanover. Have two daughters, Marie Bertha and Frederica.
James G. K., married Catherine Augusta Le Roy. Have one son, William Beach Lawrence, born in 1881.
Records of the First and Second Presbyterian Churches of the City of New York (NYG&B 1882).
- 13:88, Oct 30th 1796, Joseph Sacket & Sarah North.
The Register Book for the Parish of Jamaica. Kept by the Rev. Thomas Poyer, Rector from 1710 to 1732 (NYG&B 1888).
- 19:11, Thos ye Son of Jos: & Hannah Sackett [bp.] May 11, 1729 at Newtown.
- 19:53, Ben: Moore & Hannah Sackett both of New Town 10ber 27, 1710 at New Town, publish'd.
- 19:57, Thos Whitehead & Hannah Sacket 9ber 5, 1725 at Newtown, licens'd.
- 19:57, Wm Sackett & Mary Janes xber 31, 1729 at N.T. licens'd.
- 19:58, Joseph Sackett & Millicent Clowes March 23, 1730 at Jamaica, licens'd.
New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. Digital image (American Ancestors, http://www.americanancestors.org). (Researched & transcribed by Chris Sackett).