Samuel Laurence Gouverneur (1799 – September 29, 1865) was a lawyer
and civil servant who was both nephew and son-in-law to James Monroe,
the fifth President of the United States.
1 Early life
2.1 Relationship with Monroe
3 Personal life
5 External links
Gouverneur was born in 1799 in New York City. His father was Nicholas
Gouverneur (1753–1802), a merchant with the firm Gouverneur &
Kemble, and mother was Hester (née Kortright) Gouverneur
(1770–1842), sister of the First Lady Elizabeth Kortright Monroe.
His younger sister, Maria Charlotte Gouverneur (1801–1867), was
Thomas McCall Cadwalader (1795–1873).
His maternal grandparents were Lawrence Kortright, a wealthy merchant,
and Hannah (née Aspinwall) Kortright. His paternal grandparents
were Samuel Gouverneur (1720–1798) and Experience (née Johnson)
Gouverneur (1720–1788). He was a first cousin of U.S.
Gouverneur Kemble (1786–1875) through his aunt
Gertrude Gouverneur, wife of merchant Peter Kemble.
He graduated from Columbia College in 1817.
In 1824, Gouverneur was elected as a People's Party (faction of the
Democratic-Republican party[a]) member of the New York State Assembly,
serving in the
48th New York State Legislature
48th New York State Legislature in 1825. He was aligned
with Assembly Speaker Clarkson Crolius, also from New York County.
On November 19, 1828, he was appointed Postmaster of New York City,
U.S. Representative and Senator Theodorus Bailey who
died in office on September 6, 1828. While in New York he invested
in racehorses, and the
Bowery Theatre along with James Alexander
Hamilton, son of Alexander Hamilton, and Prosper M. Wetmore.
Gouverneur served as Postmaster until July 4, 1836, when he was
succeeded by Jonathan J. Coddington.
Relationship with Monroe
Gouverneur served as private secretary to his uncle, the fifth U.S.
James Monroe who served two consecutive terms as President
from March 4, 1817 until March 4, 1825.[b] Gouverneur helped former
president Monroe to press his claims to Congress to repay mounting
debts. After Elizabeth Monroe's death in 1830, Monroe came to live at
the Gouverneurs' home, and died there in 1831. Gouverneur was
executor of Monroe's estate, which had to be sold off to pay the
Monroe was buried in the Gouverneur family vault at the New York City
Marble Cemetery, until descendants had the remains moved to the James
Monroe Tomb in the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. A
ceremony was held at the Gouverneur vault 175 years later, on July 8,
Monroe's personal papers were left to Gouverneur, who also was asked
to support his wife's sister Eliza Monroe Hay (also his cousin, then a
widow). Gouverneur started work on publishing the papers or a book
on Monroe, but it was never finished. After Mrs. Hay died in 1840, the
Gouverneurs moved to
Washington, DC where he worked in the consular
bureau of the
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State from 1844 to 1849. After
congress agreed to buy the papers of President Madison, Gouverneur
proposed a similar arrangement, which was concluded in 1850. Some
personal papers would be retained for a few generations.
On March 9, 1820, Gouverneur was married to Maria Hester Monroe, his
first cousin and the daughter of President Monroe. The wedding was
officiated by the Rev. William Dickinson Hawley and was the first
wedding held in the
White House for a child of a president.[c][d] The
wedding was small, with only 42 guests and no cabinet members invited,
Thomas Jesup served as groomsman for Gouverneur. The
couple went on a brief one-week honeymoon, and upon their return,
Commodore and Mrs.
Stephen Decatur gave them a reception at the
Decatur House on May 20, 1820. Another ball was planned, but was
cancelled due to Decatur's death two days later in a duel. After
moving to New York, the Gouverneur's bought and lived at 63 and 65
Prince Street at
Lafayette Street in Manhattan. Together, Samuel and
Maria were the parents of three children:
James Monroe Gouverneur (1822–1885), a deaf-mute who died at the
Spring Grove Asylum in Baltimore, Maryland;
Elizabeth Kortright Gouverneur (1824–1868), who married Dr. Henry
Lee Heishell, James M. Bibby, and Colonel G. D. Sparrier.
Samuel Laurence Gouverneur, Jr. (1826–1880), who married Marian
Campbell (1821–1914), and became the first U.S. consul in Fuzhou,
China (then spelled Foo Chow).
In 1932, the Gouverneurs' sold their Prince Street residence to Miles
R. Burke.[e] On June 20, 1850, his wife Maria died at the Oak Hill
estate, which was sold two years later in 1852. In September 1851, the
widower Gouverneur married Mary Digges Lee (1810–1898), a
Thomas Sim Lee
Thomas Sim Lee (1745–1819). They retired to the Lee
estate called "Needwood", near
Frederick, Maryland and Harpers Ferry,
West Virginia. This stressed family relations during the American
Civil War, with Gouverneur associated with the Union government, while
his in-laws had deep roots in the Confederate states.
Gouverneur died at his Needwood estate on September 29, 1865.[f]
His estate was left to his second wife.
His granddaughter Rose de Chine Gouverneur, born in
China in 1860,
married Roswell Randall Hoes (1850–1921) and died on May 26, 1933.
Their sons Gouverneur Hoes (1889–1943) and Laurence Gouverneur Hoes
(1900–1978) established the
James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library
Fredericksburg, Virginia building that housed the James Monroe
Law Office, administered by the University of Mary Washington.
^ The "People's Party" or anti-Crawford faction of the
Democratic-Republican Party joined forces with the "Clintonians"
(supporters of DeWitt Clinton) to oppose the
Bucktails faction of the
^ Monroe was Gouverneur's uncle as he was married to his mother's
sister Elizabeth Kortright Monroe.
^ The first documented wedding ceremony held in the
White House was
when Dolley Madison, wife of President James Madison, arranged the
wedding of her youngest sister, Lucy Payne Washington, to Supreme
Thomas Todd in 1812.
^ There might have also been a private wedding of Abigail Adams' maid
Betsy Howard in 1801.
^ After three years it was owned by John Ferguson and then was sold to
Charles H. Contoit in 1873, and then Daniel Mahoney in 1900. On
April 28, 1905, a historical plaque was placed on the building in a
ceremony with several Monroe descendants in attendance. A crowd of
"thousands" included General
Frederick Dent Grant
Frederick Dent Grant and an army
attachment. However, by the 1920s the once-elegant pair of houses
had fallen into disrepair and were covered in advertisements.
A group tried to save one of the houses in the 1920s, but it suffered
damage when a move was attempted.
^ Other sources say he lived until 1867.
^ a b c Sturm-Lind, Lisa (2018). Actors of Globalization: New York
Merchants in Global Trade, 1784-1812. BRILL. p. 18.
ISBN 9789004356412. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
^ George Morgan (1921). The life of James Monroe. Small, Maynard &
Company. pp. 416–418.
^ John Woolf Jordan; Thomas Lynch Montgomery; Ernest Spofford;
Frederic Antes Godcharies (1914). Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania
biography: illustrated. 3. Lewis Historical Publishing Company.
^ Riker, James (1881). Harlem (City of New York): Its Origin and Early
Annals: Prefaced by Home Scenes in the Fatherlands; Or, Notices of Its
Founders Before Emigration. Also, Sketches of Numerous Families, and
the Recovered History of the Land-titles. p. 518. Retrieved 27
^ a b c Pelletreau, William Smith (1907). Historic Homes and
Institutions and Genealogical and Family History of New York. Lewis
Publishing Company. p. 162. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
^ Hough, Franklin (1858). The New York Civil List: Containing the
names and origin of the civil divisions, and the names and dates of
election or appointment of the principal state and county officers
from the Revolution to the present time. Weed, Parsons and Co.
p. 126. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
^ "BAILEY, Theodorus - Biographical Information".
bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States
Congress. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
^ a b c d Marian Campbell Gouverneur (1911). As I remember:
recollections of American society during the nineteenth century. D.
Appleton and Company. pp. 256–259, 314–315. (Author is
^ Jon Meacham (April 30, 2009). American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the
White House. Random House. p. 181.
^ a b c Dorothy S. Eaton (1963). "
James Monroe papers, 1758-1839".
History of the Collection. US Library of Congress. Retrieved March 14,
^ Jefferson Siegel (August 8, 2006). "Monroe's gone, but not
forgotten, on E. Second St". he Villager. Retrieved March 14,
^ Monroe, James (1904). Papers of James Monroe: Listed in
Chronological Order from the Original Manuscripts in the Library of
Congress. U.S. Government Printing Office. Retrieved 27 February
^ a b
Doug Wead (2008). "Murder at the Wedding Maria Hester Monroe".
Archived from the original on May 5, 2011. Retrieved March 13,
2011. Excerpt from All The President's Children: Triumph and
Tragedy in the Lives of America's First Families. Simon and Schuster.
2004. ISBN 978-0-7434-4633-4.
^ "How many wedding ceremonies have been held at the White House?".
While House History web site. The
White House Historical Association.
Archived from the original on May 26, 2011. Retrieved March 13,
White House Brides and Envisioned Flowers: Two Nineteenth-Century
White House Weddings" (PDF).
White House History (23): 54. Archived
from the original (PDF) on 2011-03-03.
^ Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd (1975). Burke's presidential families of
the United States of America. Burke's Peerage. pp. 155–156.
^ a b "Monroe House to Be Retrieved From the Use of Ragpickers; Home
Where Framer of Famous Doctrine Died Has Fallen Upon Bad
Days--Interior Ruined, Only a Mantelpiece Remaining to Arrest Its
Former Elegance" (PDF). New York Times. October 22, 1922.
^ "Tablet to Mark House in which Monroe Died; Unveiled Yesterday in
Prince St. with Impressive Ceremonies, Several Descendants There;
Patriotic Societies Attend and Gen. Grant Commands Body of Infantry
from Governors Island" (PDF). New York Times. April 29, 1905.
^ New-York Historical Society (1973). Mary Black, ed. Old New York in
early photographs, 1853-1901: 196 prints from the collection. Courier
Dover Publications. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-486-22907-2.
^ Michael Pollak (September 23, 2007). "Subway Sightseeing: Monroe's
Final Rest". New York Times.
^ Edmund Jennings Lee (ed.). Lee of Virginia, 1642-1892: Biographical
and Genealogical Sketches of the Descendants of Colonel Richard Lee.
p. 392. ISBN 978-0-7884-2103-7.
^ "General News". New York Times. October 11, 1865.
Samuel L. Gouverneur correspondence, 1822-1851". New York Public
Library. Retrieved March 13, 2011.
^ "History of the
James Monroe Museum". University of Mary Washington.
Retrieved March 14, 2011.
Nicholas Jenkins. "Samuel Laurence Gouverneur". W. H. Auden Family
Ghosts. Stanford University. Archived from the original on July 20,
2011. Retrieved March 13, 2011.
Samuel Laurence Gouverneur, Sr. at Find a Grave
Mary Digges Lee Gouverneur at Find a Grave
Monroe family tree
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Elizabeth Kortright Monroe
Eliza Monroe Hay
Maria Hester Monroe
Samuel L. Gouverneur
Maria Charlotte Gouverneur
Thomas McCall Cadwalader
John Lambert Cadwalader
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