Arthur Breese

Catharine Livingston and Arthur Breese
Henry's Grandparents

Green Book
Gilbert Will
Dau Alida and Col. Jacob Rutsen and Henry Van Rensselaer
Son James
      Granddau Cornelia and Dr. Lawrence Van Kleeck and
                  Major Andrew Billings
      Granddau Judith and John Moore
            Great granddau Lydia Moore and Rev. William Henry Hart
            Great granddau Maria Moore and Rev. David Moore, D.D.
      Grandson Gilbert James
Dau Catharine and Jonathan Thorn
Dau Margaret and Peter S. Stuyvesant

Arthur Breese
(11 Sep 1770, Shrewsbury NJ)
(13 Aug 1825, Utica NY)
+ Catharine Livingston 4 Nov 1793, Poughkeepsie NY
(18 Aug 1775, Poughkeepsie NY)
(21 Aug 1808, Utica NY)

Rear Admiral Samuel Livingston Breese (6 Aug 1794 - 17 Dec 1870)
Sarah Breese (6 Dec 1795, Saybrook CT - 3 Dec 1853)
Elizabeth Breese (30 Jun 1797 - Oct 1890)
Catherine Walker Breese (9 Oct 1798 - 1 Mar 1886)
Chief Justice Sidney Breese (15 Jul 1800 - 27 Jun 1878)
Susan Breese (20 Jun 1802 - Apr 1864)
Henry Livingston Breese (12 Mar 1804 - 2 Aug 1817)
Arthur Breese, Jr (22 Dec 1805 - Oct 1838)
Mary Davenport Breese (9 Jan 1808 - Aft. 1884)

Pioneers of Utica
By nature inactive in temperament and easy of disposition, Mr. Breese was yet possessed of strong sense and much personal worth, of sterling integrity, of large hospitality, and generous in his care for the religious, educational and other important interests of the town and neighborhood. He bore his part among the founders of the Oneida Bible Society and the Utica Academy, and as trustee of the village corporation, and of the Presbyterian Church, of which latter he was a communicant.

He was somewhat of an epicure, and fond of the delicacies of the table, his larder and ice-house being always well supplied, and he never so happy as when surrounded by his friends, to enjoy with him his good cheer. A capital judge of wines, his cellar was liberally stocked with choice kinds, of his own important. In manners he was quiet and rather taciturn, though cheerful and genial, with the looks and bearing of a thorough gentleman. His features were regular, his eyes large and expressive, and though, in later life, a little beyond embonpoint, he was in his younger days remarked for his personal beauty.

Breese Family of Olde Whitesborough
Families of Olde Whitesborough 1784-1824 p. 33
Arthur Breese graduated from Princeton University and received his honorary Bachelor's Degree from Yale College in 1789, and following in the wake of the westward migration settled in Whitesboro in 1793. In 1808 he moved to Utica.

In 1801 Arthur Breese served jointly as the Inspector and also as Brigade Major of the 2nd Brigade of Cavalry of the New York State Militia.

His home was on Main Street opposite the Village Green. After his arrival in Whitesboro in 1793 where he became a partner with Jonas Platt, he also served as Deputy Oneida County Clerk. Jonas Platt was the Oneida County Clerk at that time.

In 1796 he was elected to the New York State Assembly. In 1798 - 1808 he served as the first Surrogate Judge of Oneida County NY.

On March 23, 1799 he was a member of the Aqueduct Association of the future Village of Whitesboro. He was one of the first Trustees of The United Presbyterian Societies of Whitestown and Old Fort Schuyler in 1804 and 1805.

Arthur had 15 children: Nine by his first wife and six by his second wife.

Biographical Monographs, on the families of Breese
Family Memorials - A series of Genealogical and Biographical Monographs, on the families of ..., Breese, ...", Edward Elbridge Salisbury, 1885
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 [Arthur Breese'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 father to the General, who laid his hand gently on my head, and said 'God bless you, my dear!"

[This is the source of the family story told by my mother of my grandmother still having the glasses used when they entertained Lafayette, but no one knowing which glass had been his.]


The New York State Historical Association
The New York State Historical Association
ARTHUR BREESE (Princeton 1790.)
Arthur Breese was a native of New Jersey, studied law in the office of Elias Boudinot,President of the Continental Congress, was admitted to the bar in 1792 and located at Whitesboro in 1793. He was a brother-in-law [Error: nephew-in-law] of Jonas Platt and by virtue of this relation became Deputy County Clerk of Herkimer County. He was elected to the Assembly in 1796, became first Surrogate of Oneida County and held the office until 1808, when his Federalist principles made him obnoxious to the Council of Appointment, which put another in his place. Upon his removal to Utica he was made one of the clerks of the old Supreme Court and Court of Chancery. He held the latter office until his death. He does not seem to have been very active in the practice of the law, but he was a man of fine personal character, of cultivated and scholarly tastes, who left a family the members of which filled very useful and honorable positions in life. His son, Samuel,


Oneida County, NY Vol. 1
14 June 1825 - 6 June 1826 Died on Sunday morning the 14th inst. at New York, in the 53rd year of his age Arthur Breese Esq. of this place. At a very early period in the settlement of this section of the country, he established himself at Whitesboro in the profession of the law. On the creation of the Clerkship of the Supreme Court for the Western District, he received the appointment of Clerk, and remained the incumbent until his death. He was a man of much personal and private worth, of sterling integrity, and exemplary piety; and his loss is deeply felt by his friends and fellow citizens and by a numerous and interesting family.

[The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans]
Rear Admiral Samuel Livingston Breese

Rear Admiral Breese
BREESE, Samuel Livingston, naval officer, was born at Utica, N.Y., in 1794. He began his naval career as midshipman in 1810, was commissioned Leutenant in 1816, and captain in 1841. In 1845 he was attached to the Mediterranean squadron in command of the frigate Cumberland, and during the Mexican war took part in the capture of Tuspan, Tabasco, and Vera Cruz. He was assigned to special duty on the great lakes in 1848; had command of the Norfolk navy yard from 1853 to 1855; of the Mediterranean squadron from 1856 to 1859; and of the Brooklyn navy yard from 1859 to 1861. In July, 1862, he was commissioned commodore. He was created rear-admiral on the retired list in September, 1862, and appointed light-house inspector. In 1869 he was port admiral at Philadelphia, and died at Mount Airy, Pa., Dec. 17, 1870.
pay receipt

[The Pioneers of Utica]
Rear admiral of the Navy of the United States, who entered the navy in 1810, and after sixty years of duty, including the war of 1812, the Mexican war, service at the Norfolk and Brooklyn navy yards, and as commander of the European Squadron, was placed on the retired list; he died December 17, 1870.

[Encyclopedia of American Biography]
BREESE, SAMUEL LIVINGSTON, naval officer, was born in 1794 in Utica, N. Y. He was present at the battle of Lake Champlain in 1814; was present at the capture of Vera Cruz in 1847; and was promoted to rear admiral in 1862. He died Dec. 17, 1870, in Mr. Airey, Pa.

Family Memorials - A series of Genealogical and Biographical Monographs, on the families of ..., Breese, ...", Edward Elbridge Salisbury, 1885
Samuel Livingston, born Aug. 6, 1794; who married: first, Frances Hogan daughter of Jacob and Fanny (Carpender) Stout, 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 Airy near Philadelphia, Pa., Dec. 17, 1870. He was a member of the Class of 1813 in Union College, without graduation; and at an early age "received his warrant as Midshipman in the United States Navy. In 1814 he served under Commodore McDonough at the battle of Lake Champlain, and for gallant conduct at Plattsburg received a sword and a vote of thanks from Congress. He served in the Mediterranean against the pirates of Algiers and otherwise, in 1826-7, and was in the Levant during the war between Turkey and Greece. He also served with distinction in the war between the United States and Mexico, in 1846-7 -- was at the battles of Vera Cruz, Tuspan and others: of the last named place he was for a short time Military Governor. As Commodore he commanded the United States Squadron in the Mediterranean in 1856-7, during the Crimean War. In 1861, at the outbreak of the rebellion in our Southern States, he was Commandant of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He was one of the thirteen Commodores first selected to fill the list of Rear Admirals, when that rank was introduced into the United States Navy in 1862. His last official duty was as Admiral of the Port of Philadelphia, in 1868."

Forest Hills Cemetery, Utica NY


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