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After this entry comes that of the marriage of her sister, who although older than Agnes, was not married until later.
"Helen Denise Freneau, eldest daughter of Philip and Eleanor Forman Freneau, was married to Mr. John Hammill, of New York, on Monday eve, Dec. 15th, 1816; both of the above ceremonies at Mount Pleasant, Monmouth Co., N. Y."
"Departed this life on Friday A.M., the 28th day of March, Mr. Edward Leadbeater, at Mount Pleasant in the forty-eighth or forty-ninth year of his age, and interred in the Locust Grove, at his own request, on the Sabbath day following."
Mrs. Leadbeater had six children, the youngest of whom was only about six months old at the time of her husband's death. Her eldest daughter, Jane, was the only one whose birth was recorded by Freneau in the old Bible: "Agnes Leadbeater, my second daughter, had her eldest daughter, Jane Grey Leadbeater, born in New York." The date is not registered. Jane married Dr. Sweeny, and had two children, a son and a daughter. Her eldest son, Philip, to whom was given his grandfather's surname as well as his Christian name, married Helen Denison, and had one daughter. Mrs. Leadbeater's second daughter, Euphemia Kearny, married Mr. Samuel Blatchford, son of Dr. Thomas Windeatt Blatchford, a well-known physician of Troy, N. Y., and grandson of the Reverend Samuel Blatchford of Devonshire, England, who came to America in 1795. The late Judge of the U. S. Supreme Court was his cousin. Mrs. Appleton Bonaparte is likewise a member of this family. Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Blatchford have several children, one of whom is Captain Richard Milford Blatchford of the 11th infantry,U.S.A.
Edward Henry Leadbeater married a daughter of the Reverend Nehemiah Dodge. His daughter married Lieutenant-commander Jacob Noël, U. S. A. Mrs. Leadbeater's third daughter, Catherine Ledyard, mar
ried Mr. Edward Biddle, grandson of Clement Biddle of Philadelphia, who was cousin to the celebrated financier, and nephew to Captain Nicholas Biddle, — they have had seven children, all living but one. The youngest child of Mrs. Leadbeater, whom we have mentioned as being only six months old at the time of her father's death, married Dr. Charles Townsend Harris, nephew of Townsend Harris, consul-general to Japan, and the first American envoy to that country.1
Dr. Harris, after graduating from the N. Y. University, took a medical course in Paris, and afterwards studied chemistry in Giessen under Baron von Liebig. While in Paris Dr. Harris formed a pleasant acquaintanceship with the Duc. de Montpensier, which they continued by correspondence after Dr. Harris' return to America. Dr. Harris is lineal descendant of Simon Fraser, twelfth Earl of Lovat.2 The records of this family now in their possession extend back to 1631. Dr. Harris left two sons and two daughters. Mrs. Blatchford, Mrs. Biddle, and Mrs. Harris are yet living.
At the death of Washington, Mrs. Leadbeater was in her sixth year, but her recollection of him was vivid till within the last few years of her life. She remembered distinctly his visiting her father's house in Philadelphia several times, and she always resented any allusion to her father's want of esteem for the first President, whom she admired very much. She always insisted upon her father's sentiments of admiration for General Washington's character, notwithstanding his former violent opposition to his policy. Mrs. Leadbeater lived under every administration from the first till Cleveland's first term inclusive. Notwithstanding
Mr. Griffiths has published the life of Townsend Harris under the title of Our First Diplomat to Japan."
There is a complete and exhaustive record of the Harris family in preparation for publication.
her great age, she retained the use of her faculties to a remarkable degree until a few years before her death. She could talk by the hour of her dearly loved father, and frequently entertained visitors by repeating conversations she had heard him take part in. She retained much of the vivacity and even freshness of her youthful days till a late period in life. It is related of her, shortly after the death of the wife of her son Philip, that during their summer at Long Branch: The governor, who was a guest of the same hotel, announced that he would open the "hop" that evening with the handsomest lady there. As the hour approached, and none of the beauties had been bespoken, there was considerable wonderment as to who the unknown one could be. Philip was in mourning for his wife, and as his daughter was quite young, they did not make their appearance; but Mrs. Leadbeater, yielding to the urgent solicitations of His Excellency, entered the room leaning on his arm. Very lovely she looked, too, in her silver-gray silk and snowy crape turban, which rivalled her silvery curls; and at the appearance of her sweet face all sentiments of former jealousy were allayed. She was quite unconscious of the joke, but when His Excellency insisted upon her opening the evening, she yielded his arm to a more youthful aspirant for the honor.
A few years before her death the exceptionally brilliant faculties of Mrs. Leadbeater became clouded, owing partly to a serious disaster which caused two apoplectic strokes. During her last illness she received unremitting care from the members of her household, which consisted of a daughter, two granddaughters, and two great-grandchildren. This family presented the rather unusual sight of four generations living together.'
1 At the present time there are living fifty-three lineal descendants of the poet Freneau.
On the sixth day of August in the year 1888, the dear old lady peacefully resigned her soul into the hands of her Maker. She was buried in the family vault of Dr. Charles Townsend Harris at Ocean Hill, Greenwood.
Among her papers we have found an account of the exhumation of the body of her father's old and valued friend, James Madison, the fourth President of the United States.1 The account contains a moral good for us to learn, the nothingness of all that is created, and that God alone is great.
"In digging for the foundation for the monument erected over the grave of President Madison the coffin was exposed to view. The appearance of the remains is thus described : 'The board placed above the coffin had decayed, but no earth had fallen in upon it, and everything appeared to be as when the coffin was deposited there, except that the coffin was slightly out of place, allowing a partial view of the interior. As there was no fastening to prevent it, the part of the lid covering the superior portion of the body was raised, and several gentlemen present looked in upon the remains of the great Virginian. The coffin itself, of black walnut, was in perfect preservation and the interior was nearly filled with a species of moss, which adhered tenaciously to the wood. Beneath this, and partially hidden by it were a few of the largest and hardest bones. The lower jaw had fallen away, the bones of the breast and ribs were gone and the only parts of the skeleton which remained were the skull and portions of the cheek bones, the vertebræ of the neck, the spine and the largest bone of the arms. All else of the upper part of the body had returned to the dust whence it was taken, and in a few years more every trace of the body will disappear, until the trump of the resurrection shall unite the scattered particles.'
1 James Madison died in the year 1836, and was exhumed twenty-one years after burial.
THE RISING GLORY OF AMERICA
[Poem composed and recited by the poet at his graduation, Class of 1771.]
Sæcula feris, quibus oceanus
SINECA, MED. Act. III. v. 375.
ARGUMENT. The subject proposed - The discovery of America by Columbus - A philosophical enquiry into the origin of the savages of America — The first planters from Europe - Causes of their migration to America The difficulties they encountered from the jealousy of the natives — Agriculture descanted on Commerce and navigation — Science -Future prospects of British usurpation, tyranny, and devastation on this side of the Atlantic - The more comfortable one of Independence, Liberty, and Peace - Conclusion.
Now shall the adventurous Muse attempt a theme
Than all that went before—
Now through the veil of ancient days renew
The period fam'd when first Columbus touch'd
These shores so long unknown-through various toils,
But why, to prompt your tears, should we resume
The tale of Cortez, furious chief ordain'd
(All conquering motive in the human breast)