Breese Family Monograph
Part 4 - pages 495 to 502
that none who knew him can doubt that he possessed a naturally amiable
and generous temper; and it is due to candor to say that his kindliness
of spirit sometimes interfered with his strength of purpose, and
occasioned him not a
little embarrassment in determining what was the course of duty. In all his dealings he was strictly upright, never making another's necessity his own opportunity. He had great constitutional diffidence. It was not easy for him to feel at home among strangers, or to mingle freely in the more stirring scenes of life; and yet this retiring, self-distrustful air that pervaded all his movements only drew him closer to the hearts of his friends. His presence was eminently a source of light and comfort in his own house. In the training of his children the exercise of parental authority was so qualified and softened by parental tenderness as to render obedience a matter of pleasure not less than of duty. His friends always met a cordial welcome at his door, and his hospitality scarcely had a limit ....
"While he held
the great truths of the Gospel with unyielding tenacity, he made but
little of denominational differences, where these truths were
recognized; and hence we find him, at different times, in communion with
churches bearing different names, and yet equally holding the Head. His
natural diffidence combined with his inherent sense of propriety to keep
him from an indiscriminate avowal of his religious thoughts and
feelings; but on all occasions that he deemed suitable he was ready to
bear testimony in favor of the truth and excellence of the Gospel. His
Christian character shone with increased brightness as the shadows of
the night of death were gathering around him. The circumstances in which
he was dying were not such as he would have chosen, but they were such
as his heavenly Father had ordained, and that was enough. With serene
composure, and an all-sustaining faith and hope, he passed through the
dark valley, and passed on to his reward."
The children of
Richard Cary and Sarah Louisa (Davis) Morse, beside one who died in
infancy, were four sons: Sidney Edwards,: Richard Cary, William Henry,
and Oliver Cromwell; and five daughters: Elizabeth Ann, Charlotte
Gebhard, Louisa Davis, Mary Russell,: and Rebecca Finley:--all of whom
are now living. The youngest daughter is still unmarried.
Sidney E. Morse Jr. (Y. C. 1856), now of New York married Anna
Matilda Church, a granddaughter of the elder Professor Silliman, and
Schuyler descent through her father, in 1859, and has two
children, both daughters; Richard C. (Y. C. 1862), now Rev. R. C. Morse
of New York, married Jennie E. daughter of Joshua M. Van Cott of
Brooklyn, L. I., in 1883; William H. (Y. C. 1867) married Louise Parish
Townsend of Greenport, L. I., in 1879, and has one child living, a
daughter; Oliver Cromwell (Y. C. 1868), a clergyman, married Ella Jones
of Washington, D. C., in 1881, and has two children, a son and a
daughter. Elizabeth Ann Morse married Samuel Colgate, now of Orange, N.
J., in 1853, and has six sons; Charlotte G. married Rev. Dr. J.
Aspinwall wall Hodge, now of Hartford, Conn., in 1857, and has four sons
living; Louisa D. married Howard Livingston Parmele (grandson of Judge
Jonas Platt of the state of New York), now of Valley Creek, Fannin Co.,
Texas, in 1864, and has two children living, both daughters; and Mary R.
married Edward Austen of Maryland, in 1858, and has three daughters and
Samuel Breese my
grandfather married, secondly. Elizabeth
daughter of Garland Anderson (see chebalter Anderson) of Philadelphia,
Jan.. 7, 1768. It is said to be a fact that the wedding-dresses of the
first wife of Samuel Breese, Miss Finley, happened, on one occasion, to
be tried by the dressmaker on Miss Anderson, who was afterwards to be
his second wife - the two ladies being so similar in figure and size.
By this second
marriage he had:
I. Samuel Sidney, born Sept. 26, 1768 - my mother's "favorite brother," who married Helena daughter of Major John Burrows, an officer in the American Army during the Revolution. of Middletown Point, N. J., Dec. 29, 1801; and died Oct. 15, 1848 at Sconondoa, Oneida Co., N. Y. - a place where I passed many happy days in boyhood, and around which cluster some of my pleasantest early recollections. Here I became fond of country-life, by being allowed to make my first trial of outdoor horseback-riding; to play in a beautiful brook which flowed across my uncle's estate on the side of the house, beyond a neatly kept garden, with bark-paths between borders and beds of rather wild-growing flowers and small fruits; to ramble in a grove of native forest-trees further away, reached by a rustic bridge; and to watch various farm-operations. Here, too, I first saw Indians, a remnant of the Oneidas, to whom the noted Eliezer Williams (by some persons once supposed to be "the Dauphin" of the time of the French Revolution) had ministered; and visited the family of Col. De Ferrier, a wealthy refugee from France, in my uncle's neighborhood, who had married an Indian squaw, never quite weaned from her first habits of life. Ail these novelties to me, so charming in themselves, were made still more enjoyable by the indulgent kindness of my affectionate uncle and aunt, as well as by the companionship of bright-minded and amiable cousins, most of them older than myself, all of whom I shall ever hold in loving remembrance.
"was educated under the care of the Rev. Dr. Woodhull of Monmouth, N.. J., whose school stood upon the ground where the battle of Monmouth was fought. He soon after entered upon the study of the law in the office and under the direction of Judge Boudinot of Newark, N.J. [In 1789 he received the honorary degree of Bachelor of Arts from Yale College.]
Jonathan Forman chartered a sloop at Middletown Point, N. J., where he and his ancestors had long resided. .We went aboard, and
went as far as Keyport down on the bay [Raritan Bay] and reached New
York the next morning, and staid there one day, waiting for fair winds
to take us along. In the morning we went on board, but made rather slow
progress, as most people know who went up and down the Hudson River on
sloops: we had to tack from one side to the other of the river, to make
any headway. We were one week getting to Albany.
Nearly every day, the weather being very pleasant, my cousin,
afterwards Mrs. Henry Seymour) and myself would go ashore; and having a
good, faithful Negro servant with us, named ‑Peter Stoten husband
to one of the colored women servants of the family, he took care of
us--he was very good to us children, and took us ashore to pick flowers
and ferns. I remember one place well--it was called East
Creek: here for the first time we saw hemlock; we thought it
would be so beautiful to put with flowers in vases that we gathered our arms full; uncle
and aunt laughed quietly, but said nothing--they did not tell us we were
coming to a hemlock country. We spent our time very pleasantly, taking
our little boat, and stopping at different places on the river. At
Albany we felt very sad at parting with our faithful servant man, who
had been so kind to us, and had lived with us so many years: he cried
like a child when he turned to leave us. We said two days at Albany with
an old friend who formerly was a neighbor of ours in New Jersey, a Mr.
James Caldwell--his wife and daughters very agreeable. They took us out
of the city to see a tobacco-factory; and a snuff-factory, and to a
chocolate-mill, all of which interested us much. My uncle next day hired
a stout, clever man to take us to our western home. After leaving Albany
we went to Schenectady, and there spent a day and night with another
friend of my uncle's. Next morning we cross'd the river, and traveled
along on the banks of the Mohawk; it was lovely to see the river winding
along, and our stopping at different places; the people, too, so
different, being Dutch, and that was the language they used among
themselves entirely - this amused cousin and myself: at one place we
stopp'd to dine, not far from the house of Sir Willm Johnson, where we
saw for the first time a pillion - had
never seen two persons ride one horse, and staid one day, and the
next, being Sunday, we staid at a large house kept by the widow
Herkimer. It was pleasant, on the river-banks, lire saw also for the
first time a hand-loom with a piece of cloth in it; this was as a
curiosity, as in New Jersey weaving was not done in the family as we
found it here At
last we came to Utica (old Fort Schuyler); here my uncle's brother
Samuel S. Forman met us; he was, and had been three or four years,
living at Cazenovia. We
stopped for one day at the public house we were all invited to take tea
by Bit. Post, which we did, and there for the first time I saw an
Indian; he came in to put wood on the fire - I little thought, then. I
should live so near them for a long time I was afraid of them; in the afternoon Arthur
Breese, then living at whitestown, came *o see us. I think that, at that
time. there might have been from twenty to thirty small houses in Utica;
Peter Smith, father of Gerrit Smith, was then living there. The next
morning we again started, and passed through Whitestown. There we were
shown the house where old Judge White lived, the first settler of
Whitestown. Gen'l Jonas Platt and Arthur Breese both lived here - it was
much pleasanter-looking than Utica. Our first day's ride from early dawn
only brought us to Westmoreland (now Hampton); it was near sundown when
we arrived. We staid at Mr.
Dean's a log-house. After breakfast next day we travell'd on, over very
bad roads, our driver having to walk, and hold up the carriage to keep
it from turning over; with an axe he had to cut away a log, or limb of a
tree. This was the first top-carriage that had ever been through the
count,-y from Utica to Cazenovia, and it was the first for some years.
"When I first
came to Cazenovia it was in May of 1796. Our next neighbor was Colonel
Lincklaen, one of the Holland Land Company; he had been in partnership
with my uncle Sam'l S. Forman in merchandizing. My uncle General Ledyard
was at this time living in Aurora in Cayuga Co.; my cousin Helen (his
daughter) came to visit this uncle Forman, and was married to Colonel
…When I first
went to Aurora, to visit uncle Ledyard, we could only go by sleighs in
winter, and on horseback in summer - it is distant from Cazenovia 65
miles . . . we often had to ride 9 or 10 miles before coming to a log
house--all were log houses--our first stopping-place was Manlius, next
Onondaga, then Marcellus, where we could stay all night, and get
something to eat, and so on all the way; when I first pass'd through
Skeneateles there were but few log houses; at Auburn, but one good log
tavern and store. When we reached, Aurora, it looked beautiful -a few
frame houses, a number of log houses, and the beautiful lake. I remained
there 3 years - it was constantly improving; Judge Phelps was one of the
first settlers, a man very much respected; the society, most of it,
was good. We often took horseback rides for pleasure, down to Cayuga to
see the great bridge then building across Cayuga Lake ....
"While I was
at Cazenovia, uncle S. S. Forman took cousin and myself for a winter's
ride, to Salt Point (now Syracuse), and to see the old Block House . . .
where Syracuse now stands was a primeval forest. About those days
Colonel Lincklaen, his wife and myself went on horseback from Cazenovia
to Whitestown, to visit Judge Platt's and Arthur Breese's families: as
we passed through Oneida Castle, we rode to the house of the old Indian
chief Scpmpmdpaj, who was then living: his squaw had been churning; we
all drank butter-milk to please the old chief; when we first rode up he
was sitting out in a kind of porch - as he saw who it was, he cried out
'Lincklaen! Lincklaen! two squaws; two squaws!' He was a very handsome
old Indian chief… Sometime after this I went to Aurora, and while
there I was married to Samuel Sidney Breese Esq., the eldest brother of
Arthur Breese, by Judge Seth Phelps--there were no clergymen at that
time settled near that place, nor for years afterwards. I returned with
my husband to Cazenovia, where we lived 7 years . . . and then we
removed to Whitestown.... While living there we went with our infant
daughter Elizabeth (six months old), for the first time, to visit our
old friends in New Jersey. We staid two days in Albany, then went to the
dock to see the great wonder, the steamboat Robert Fulton -thousands of
people were there to look at her, crowds as far as the eye could reach.
We went down the river on the sloop call'd the Oneida Chief, two days
and two nights going down.... After a week's visit, alter an absence of
fourteen years, we returned to New York, and took passage on the Robert
Fulton - we went on board at 12 o'cl - the docks were crowded with
people to see the steamer - cannon were fired - it was still so great a
wonder; at West Point cannon were fired, flags hoisted; and at all the
principal villages and towns the docks were filled with spectators. The
fare was then seven dollars, the same on the sloop Oneida Chief . . .
considered the finest on the river.
"These are my
early recollections. I have lived to see wonderful changes and
improvements all through this country--the making of the Erie Canal . .
. the great Central Railroad . . . and the Telegraph perfected . . . and
now I am . . . sitting in my old house in Sconondoa, that was built by
my husband in 1813. Forty-six years ago, and where almost all his life
and mine have pass'd, we have lived happily together. My husband has
gone before, and I shall soon follow him to that land where partings are
By Mrs. Helena Burrows Breese."
(Burrows) Breese died Jan. 5, 1861.
portraits of Samuel Sidney Breese and his wife, by their nephew S. F, B.
Morse, are in the possession of their grandsons Sidney and Arthur
Breese, at Oneida, N.Y. Samuel Sidney and Helena (Burrows) Breese had,
beside one child who died an infant of a few day§, six children, as
(1.) Samuel, born
Sept. 27, 1800, graduated at Hamilton College in 1822; who married:
first, Orphia Jane daughter of Gerry Bacon Esq. of Woodbury, Conn., in
1845, who died in 1862, leaving two sons, Sidney Bacon; (b. 1850) and
Arthur (b. 1858), both now living, and the present representatives of
the elder branch of our Breese family; and,
secondly, Laura C. daughter of Charles Shepard of Hartford,
Conn., in 1869, who survives him. He died Oct. 14, 1874, "respected
and beloved in his neighborhood and by his friends, and an influential
and useful member of society."
(2.) Margaret, born July 16, 1804: who married Joseph Roby, a merchant of Utica, N. Y., Sept. 8, 1829: and died in Albany, N. Y., Mar. 31, 1832, leaving two children, a son and a daughter; of whom the latter died an infant, and the son (b. 1830), named Sidney Breese, an orphan from his eighteenth year, is now living in Rochester, N. Y.., the father of five children, of whom one son, Sidney Breese, has this year entered Yale College.
Sidney Augustus; (b. 1832), Breese Jacob: (b. 1834), Charles
Edward: (b. 1836), and Helen Breese (b. 1809), all of whom are living,
and have married (the two eldest sons twice), and, excepting the
daughter, have had children. The eldest Son is a grandfather; so that
this cousin of mine has already become a great grandmother. The second
son is the present Mayor of Madison, Wise. Helen Breese Stevens married
George H. Sanford of Glens Falls, N. Y., in 1860; but has been for many
years a widow, living with her mother in the old homestead at Sconondoa.
Hallett, born Mar. 18,
1811; who married Nathan Fitch Graves Esq., now a highly respected
lawyer of Syracuse, N. Y., who has been also Mayor of that city, Nov.
23, 1845, without children; and is still living. She is a natural
artist, and it is she who painted the copy of the portrait of my
grandfather Breese mentioned above, which was a present from her father
to my mother;
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