Washington, D.C.

The Bank of Washington

Barlow was one of the founders of the Bank of Washington in the District of Columbia, who were Daniel Carroll of Duddington, William Cranch, Robert Front, Frederick May, Franklin Wharton, Joel Barlow, Samuel H. Smith, James S. Stevenson, Joseph Forrest, George Blagden, Thomas Law, Samuel N. Smallwood, Daniel Rapine, Peter Miller, Tunis Craven, and William Prout. (Bank of Washington. National Intelligencer and Washington Advertiser, Sep. 6, 1809.) Daniel Carroll was chosen President, and Samuel Eliot Jr., Cashier. (National Intelligencer and Washington Advertiser, Sep. 18, 1809.)

In 1811, the directors elected were Daniel Carroll of Dudington, Robert Brent, George Calvert, Robert Sewell, Samuel H. Smith, Joel Barlow, George Blagden, John Davidson, James S. Stephenson, Frederick May, William Cranch, and Joseph Forrest. Carroll was elected President, and Griffith Coombe appointed a director in his place. (National Intelligencer, Jan. 17, 1811.) Samuel Harrrison Smith was elected President in 1819. (City of Washington Gazette, Sep. 14, 1819.) George Calvert was elected President in 1828. (Baltimore Patriot, Feb. 7, 1828.)

Daniel Rapine was Mayor of Washington, and Blagden was President of the Board of the Common Council. They opened separate accounts for each city ward in the bank. (An Act Directing the Treasurer to open separate accounts in the Bank of Washington. National Intelligencer, Dec. 8, 1812.)

George Blagden

George Blagden "was a native of Attercliffe, Yorkshire, in England, but was one of the first settlers in Washington, having been here from the laying of its foundation-stone. At the time of his death, and for many years previous, he was superintendent of the masons employed on the Capitol, an Alderman of the City, and a Director of the Bank of Washington." He died about an hour after a six-foot bank of earth on the southwest corner of the Capitol collapsed on him. (Deaths. Vermont Chronicle, from the National Intelligencer, Jun. 16, 1826.) He was Treasurer of the Washington Building Company. (National Intelligencer and Washington Advertiser, Nov. 6, 1801.) His son, Rev. George Washington Blagden, Yale 1823, was an Overseer of Harvard from 1854 to 1859; his wife, Miriam Phillips, was a daughter of John Phillips, Harvard 1788. Wendell Phillips, the abolitionist, was his brother-in-law. (Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale, 1880-1890, p. 226; The history of the Treman, Tremaine, Truman family in America. p. 1683.) George W. Blagden had two sisters and a brother, Thomas. (A discourse commemorative of the Rev. George Washington Blagden, D.D. By Charles Agustus Stoddard, p.14.) Emily Blagden married George W. Phillips. She died at age 31. (Died. Boston Daily Atlas, May 2, 1842.) Thomas Blagden married two sisters of Benjamin D. Silliman. His grandson married a sister of George C. Clark, first president of the American Society for the Control of Cancer.

Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale, 1880-1890, p. 226 / Google Books
The history of the Treman, Tremaine, Truman family in America, p. 1683 / Google Books
A discourse commemorative of the Rev. George Washington Blagden, D.D. / Google Books

Joel Barlow, Yale 1778

"From Noah Webster to Napoléon, Barlow traveled in illustrious company all his life. At Yale from 1776 to 1778, he studied with Timothy Dwight alongside his friend Webster... In 1788, business took him to Paris, where, under the influence of Thomas Jefferson and Lafayette he underwent a political conversion and became a supporter of the French Revolution. Moving to London in 1791, he associated with such progressive thinkers as Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin and wrote defenses of the Revolution that won him honorary French citizenship.... After a year in Hamburg, studying German literature in the company of the poet Friedrich Kopstock, he returned to Paris and formed a friendship with James Monroe that led to his appointment as U.S. consul at Algiers..." As U.S. Consul to France, he was stranded in Poland during the French Army's retreat from Moscow and died. (Joel Barlow (1754-1812). Nineteenth-century American Poetry. By William C. Spengemann, Jessica F. Roberts, 1996.) While in Hamburg in 1795, he assisted English newspaper editor Joseph Gales and family in immigrating to Philadelphia, with a letter of introduction to Col. Oswold. (The Late James Montgomery, the Poet. From the National Intelligencer. The Raleigh Register, Jun. 28, 1854.) He was born in Redding, Conn. in 1754. He was married secretly to the sister of his tutor, Abraham Baldwin, Yale 1772. (Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College, July 1778 - June, 1792, p. 3.)

Joel Barlow (1754-1812) / Google Books
Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College, July 1778 - June, 1792 / Internet Archive

Joseph Gales (1761-1841) was a printer in Sheffield, England, who founded the Sheffield Register and got in trouble with the authorities for supporting the French Revolution. In 1794, he fled to the free city of Hamburg, and immigrated with his family to Philadelphia in 1795, where he was employed by the American Daily Advertiser, where he covered speeches in the U.S. Senate. He founded the Independent Gazetteer and did printing work for a number of congressmen. In 1798, members of the North Carolina delegation offered him the state printing contract, and he sold the paper to Samuel Harrison Smith in 1799, moved to Raleigh and established the Raleigh Register. "It was the leading political voice in North Carolina, first for the Republicans and, after 1824, for the National Republicans of Adams and Clay." He took William Winston Seaton as a partner in 1806, who married one of his daughters. An apprentice, Francis Lumsden, was the cofounder of the New Orleans Picayune. Joseph Gales Jr. (who had been expelled from the University of North Carolina) became a partner of his father's old associate from Philadelphia, Samuel Harrison Smith, in the National Intelligencer in Washington, D.C. His second son, Weston Gales, who was expelled from Yale, joined the Raleigh Register in 1821. The Gales had been Unitarians since their days in Sheffield, where they knew Joseph Priestley, who also became a refugee in Philadelphia. (Gales, Joseph. By Robert N. Elliott. In: Dictionary of North Carolina Biography. William S. Powell, ed. 1979-1996 University of North Carolina Press.) Mrs. Joseph Gales, Winifred Marshall, was a cousin of Lord Melbourne. (Joseph Gales 1761-1841. Joseph Gales. Dictionary of American Biography Base Set. American Council of Learned Societies, 1928-1936.) Love S., Mrs. Weston R. Gales, was a sister of Hon. Russell Freeman of Sandwich, Mass. (Died. Boston Courier, Feb. 7, 1842.)

Gales, Joseph / University of North Carolina

Gales sold the Sheffield Register to James Montgomery, while his sisters remained in Sheffield operating his bookstore. Montgomery was a member of the Church of the United Brethren (Moravian). (The Late James Montgomery, the Poet. From the National Intelligencer. The Raleigh Register, Jun. 28, 1854.) Joseph Gales' son, Weston Gales (1802-1848) and grandson Seaton Gales (1828-1878) were editors of the Raleigh Register before it was sold in 1856. (Gales Family. North Carolina Markers.) Joseph Gales' great grandson, George M. Gales, was an incorporator of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.

Gales Family / North Carolina Markers

Samuel Eliot Jr.

Samuel Eliot Jr. came to Washington about the same time as Cranch. He was an assistant to his uncle, real estate speculator James Greenleaf, whose sisters were Mrs. William Cranch and Mrs. Noah Webster. Cranch was a cousin and boyhood friend of John Quincy Adams, son of Vice President (1789-1797) and President (1797-1801) of the United States, John Adams. (Greenleaf and Law in the Federal City. By Allen Culling Clark. [contrary to this book, Eliot died in 1821].) The Cashier of the Bank of Washington, as in three other banks in town, received the highest salary of all its officials. (Letter from a Subscriber. Maryland Gazette and Political Intelligencer, Jul. 22, 1819.) Samuel Eliot Jr. was the uncle of Rev. William Greenleaf Eliot Jr., who married Judge William Cranch's daughter.

Greenleaf and Law in the Federal City, p. 149 / Google Books

Samuel Eliot Jr. married a daughter of Maryland Gov. Thomas Johnson, a personal friend of President George Washington. His wife's cousin married John Quincy Adams in 1797. Their son, Johnson Eliot, M.D., was one of the originators of the Medical Department at Georgetown University. (Necrology. Journal of the American Medical Association 1884 Jan 19;2(3):79.) Johnson Eliot married Mary John Llewellyn, a descendant of the last royal governor of Maryland, Sir Richard [sic] Eden. Her father, John Llewellyn, had been secretary to Lord Baltimore. (Mrs. Mary John Eliot Dead. Washington Post, Jul. 3, 1915.) Sir Robert Eden was the last Colonial Governor of Maryland, 1769-1776. His wife's brother, Frederick Calvert, was the seventh Lord Baltimore, who died without descendants, and his estates went to Lady Eden. (Americans of Royal Descent. By Charles Henry Browning, 1891, p. 78.)

Necrology. Journal of the American Medical Association 1884 / Google Books
Americans of Royal Descent, p. 78 / Google Books

Thomas Johnson (1732-1819) was the first governor of the State of Maryland. (Johnson, Thomas. Maryland Online Encyclopedia.) Johnson was an original member of the Committee of Secret Correspondence, created by the Continental Congress in 1775. "The original Committee members—America's first foreign intelligence agency—were Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Harrison, and Thomas Johnson. Subsequent appointees included James Lovell, a teacher who had been arrested by the British after the battle of Bunker Hill on charges of spying... The committee employed secret agents abroad, conducted covert operations, devised codes and ciphers, funded propaganda activities, authorized the opening of private mail, acquired foreign publications for use in analysis, established a courier system, and developed a maritime capability apart from that of the Continental Navy, and engaged in regular communications with Britons and Scots who sympathized with the American cause." (Intelligence in the American Revolutionary War. Wikipedia, accessed 6/6/10.) Johnson, George Washington and Thomas S. Lee were directors of the Patowmack Company, which aimed at improving the navigation of the Potomac River. (Notice. Maryland Journal, Jun. 7, 1785.)

Johnson, Thomas (1732-1819) / Maryland Online Encyclopedia
Intelligence in the American Revolutionary War / Wikipedia

Johnson's niece, Louisa Catharine Johnson, daughter of his brother Joshua Johnson, married John Quincy Adams. They were the parents of Charles Francis Adams [Sr., who was one of the Overseers of Harvard who elected Charles W. Eliot the President of Harvard]. (Americans of Royal Descent. By Charles Henry Browning, 1891, p. 68.) "Mr. J. Johnson, previously to the Revolutionary war, had been established in London (England) as a merchant. When the war was declared, he, being a stanch republican, could no longer remain in England with safety, and therefore removed his family to Nantz [Nantes], in France, and was presented by Dr. Franklin to the King and Queen in the capacity of commercial agent, being appointed by the Congress of the old confederation in 1778 or 1779. At Nantz he remained until the year 1783, after the peace, performing the duties of consul and agent for the ports of Nantz, Brest, and Morlaix." In May 1783, he was transferred to London as Consul General, where he served until 1797. He died at the house of his brother, Baker Johnson, in 1802. His grandmother, [Mary] Baker, was the daughter of the commander of an English vessel, who owned land in Maryland. (Joshua Johnson, the Father of Mrs. J.Q. Adams. Written for Neale's Saturday Gazette. In: Daily National Intelligencer, May. 26, 1848.) The Adams family were descendants of William the Conqueror, King of England. (Americans of Royal Descent. By Charles Henry Browning, 1891, p. 68.) Louisa Adams was one of the feminist syndicate that made their financing of the medical school contingent upon admitting women to Johns Hopkins University. William H. Welch, Skull & Bones 1870, was brought in to head the med school.

Americans of Royal Descent, p. 68 / Google Books

"Although far from home, for [President John] Adams there was nothing that alien about the place. It wasn't that southern. Whites outnumbered blacks 3 to1, and Adams probably had more friends in town, which is to say, living within two miles, than Jefferson, including his nephew William Cranch, a lawyer, who had come to the city in 1794 to manage Greenleaf's affairs. The Adams' family doctor in Washington, Dr. Frederick May, was Harvard educated, New England born, and had come to the city in 1796. And don't forget Blodget and Greenleaf, both from Boston and both in the city managing on-going law suits over their failed speculations. Much is made of the southern planter John Tayloe III who was building a mansion, the Octagon House, close to the President's house, but he was the only southern planter to do that. Jefferson, who came to town as Vice President, certainly didn't find his kind of people in the city." (The General and the Plan. In: The Seat of Empire: A History of Washington, D.C. By Bob Arnebeck.)

The General and the Plan / Bob Arnebeck.com

Dr. Frederick May died in 1847 at the age of 74. (Deaths. Daily National Intelligencer, Jan. 25, 1847.) He married Julia Matilda Slacum of Alexandria, Va. (Married. National Intelligencer, Jun. 20, 1811.) His son, Dr. John Frederick May, and grandson, Dr. William May, were on the medical staff of the Garfield Hospital, whose incorporators included John S. Billings, Henry A. Willard, E. Francis Riggs, and Alexander Graham Bell. Mrs. Gardiner G. Hubbard of Massachusetts was a vice president of the Ladies' Aid Society. (The Garfield Hospital. The Washington Critic, Aug. 1, 1887.) Dr. John F. May's wife, Sarah M., was the daughter of P.L. Mills and Caroline Kane of New York City. (Died. New York Times, Jan. 30, 1920.) Their daughter, Edith Sibyl May, was the second wife of William C. Whitney, Skull & Bones 1863, whom she had known since the Cleveland administration. They were married in 1896. She had three children from her previous marriage to Col. Arthur Randolph of the British Army. (Mrs. Wm. C. Whitney Dead. New York Times, May 7, 1899.)

The Garfield Hospital, Aug. 1, 1887 / Library of Congress

Thomas Law

Thomas Law (1756 or 1759 to 1834) was born in Cambridge, England. "His father, Right Reverend Edmund Law, was the Lord Bishop of Carlisle; brother Ewan served in India and was a member of Parliament from 1790-1802; brother Edward was Attorney General and Speaker of the House of Lords; brother John was a bishop; and brother George Henry was Bishop of Chester." He went to India at the age of 17 to serve in the civil service of the East India Company, and was appointed tax collector of Gaya, Bihar in 1783. "In 1794 Law left England and sailed to the United States after filing a suit for restitution against the East India Company who had seized one fifth of his fortune acquired in India to satisfy a claim against a paymaster for whom Law was surety." Thomas Law's sons, John, George and Edmund, were actually born to his mistress in India. He married Elizabeth Parke Custis, granddaughter of Martha Custis Washington and step-granddaughter of George Washington, in 1796, and they had a daughter, Eliza. They separated in 1804 and filed for divorce in 1810. (Thomas Law Family Papers, 1791-1834. Maryland Historical Society.) His English friend and partner in land speculation, William Blane, 1794-1834, was one of the parties contesting Thomas Law's will. (Reported for the National Intelligencer. Daily National Intelligencer, Oct. 25, 1847.) "Warren Hastings was governor general [of India]. It was asserted, though never proved, that Law emigrated to America to avoid being called as a witness in the Hastings trial. When he came here he brought half a million dollars in gold, and soon fell in love with Miss Custis... To ingratiate himself with Gen. Washington, he made large investments in land on Capitol Hill, and the general favored his suit. His marriage was not happy, and it is asserted that when a divorce suit was about to be commenced by Mrs. Law, her husband conveyed his real estate to a friend. The consideration was but nominal, but the papers are said to be legal, and they were recently found in a secret drawer by the friend's grandson." (A Curious Suit Against Gen. Butler. Milwaukee Daily Journal, Apr. 6, 1883.)

Thomas Law Family Papers / Maryland Historical Society

William Blane was a younger brother of Sir Gilbert Blane M.D., 1st Baronet (1749-1834), a physician-in-ordinary to the Prince Regent [who became King George IV in 1820]. In 1804, William Blane bought Foliejon [an ancient hunting lodge a few miles from Windsor Great Park, where the Regent lived after 1812]. Blane's sons, David Anderson Blane (1801-1879), Member of Council at Bombay, 1849-1854, and Thomas Law Blane (1806-1885) were both in the East India Company Service. (Introduction. Templehouse Papers, p. 38. Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.)

Templehouse Papers / Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (pdf, 41pp)
Foliejon Park aka Winkfield Park / Google Maps

A visitor, Thomas Twining, wrote that "One anticipation which he indulged, with great confidence and satisfaction, was that other East-Indians would join him; and he hoped, I was sorry to see, that I might return to Bengal with impressions tending to encourage this migration. As we stood one evening on the bank of the river before his door, he said: 'Here I will make a terrace, and we will sit and smoke our hookahs.'" (Greenleaf and Law in the Federal City. By Allen Culling Clark, 1901, p. 238.)

Greenleaf and Law in the Federal City, p. 348 / Google Books

Eliza Law married Lloyd Nicholas Rogers of Baltimore, Md. Her grandfather's brother, Baron Ellenborough, was "the leading counsel for Warren Hastings during the latter's impeachment trial before the House of Lords in 1788." Her granddaughter, Eleanor Agnes Rogers, married George Robins Goldsborough. She was one of the regents of Mt. Vernon. (Death in Baltimore of Mrs. Goldsborough. (Washington Times, Jan. 31, 1906.)

Death in Baltimore of Mrs. Goldsborough, Washington Times / Library of Congress

The Custis family were Royal descendants of Edward I, King of England, through Benedict Leonard Calvert, the fifth Lord Baltimore, and his son of the same name, the Governor of Maryland. (Americans of Royal Descent. By Charles Henry Browning, 1891, p. 639.)

Americans of Royal Descent, p. 639 / Google Books

His youngest son, Edmund Law, graduated from Yale in 1806. His brother graduated from Harvard in 1804. Their grandfather was the Rt. Rev. Edmund Law (Cambridge 1723), the Bishop of Carlisle, England, whose brother, Edward Law, was the first Baron Ellenborough, lord chief justice of England. Thomas Law was chief magistrate of Behar [Bihar], India, where he made a fortune of £50,000. He emigrated to New York in 1794, "in consequence of ill-treatment by the East India Company and the general political situation." Edmund Law was a member of the Common Council of Washington, D.C. from 1812 to 1814 and 1825. He was briefly a member of the Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida in 1822, and was secretary to Commodore David Porter in Mexico in 1826-27. (Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College, September, 1805 - September, 1815, p. 42.)

Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale, 1805-1815, p. 42 / Google Books

Franklin Wharton, Royal

Lt. Col. Franklin Wharton (1767-1818) was appointed Commandant of the Marine Corps by President Madison. His brother, Robert Wharton, was the multi-term mayor of Philadelphia. (Genealogy of the Wharton family of Philadelphia. By Anne Hollingsworth Wharton, 1880, p. 23.) Franklin Wharton Jr. was a lawyer in New Orleans. He married May Jane Baylor, daughter of John W. Baylor, a U.S. Army Surgeon. Their son, Edward Clifton Wharton, was an associate editor at the Galveston News and New Orleans Picayune until 1880. (Death of E.C. Wharton. The Daily Picayune, Jun. 14, 1891.) The Whartons are descendants of Edward I, King of England. (Americans of Royal Descent. By Charles Henry Browning, 1891, p. 661.)

Genealogy of the Wharton family of Philadelphia / Internet Archive
Americans of Royal Descent, p. 661 / Google Books


cast 06-13-11