L'Hommedieu, Ezra, 1734-1811

Alternative names

Hide Profile

Member of the Continental Congress.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Southold to Jedediah Elderkin, 1774 June 15. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270591225

Sylvester Manor and its grounds are located on Shelter Island, a small island situated between the north and south forks of eastern Long Island. The island was inhabited by Montauk Indians until its settlement by the first European settlers in 1652, Nathaniel (Nathaniell in most records) and Grissell (also recorded Grizzell) Sylvester. Shelter Island was settled following its purchase by a group of four merchants, Nathaniel Sylvester, his brother Constant Sylvester, and Thomas Middleton and Thomas Rouse. The four owned a sugar plantation in Barbados and purchased Shelter Island to use as a provisioning plantation to supply timber, food, and other goods to Barbados, where such materials were scarce or land was exclusively used to grow valuable sugar cane. In 1652, Nathaniel Sylvester and his wife Grissell Brinley, moved to Shelter Island, creating the property that would later bear their family name.

The Manor remained in the Sylvester family for two further generations before passing to Mary Sylvester (Nathaniel’s great-great granddaughter) and her husband Thomas Dering, The Manor then remained in the prominent Dering family for another two generations before debt finally forced the sale of the property. Dering records do not appear in any number in the Archive. The property was purchased from the Derings in 1827 by Samuel Smith Gardiner, a Suffolk County and New York attorney who had married into a different branch of Sylvester descendents.

Samuel Gardiner’s wife was Mary Catherine L’Hommedieu, the daughter of Ezra L’Hommedieu, a very prominent attorney, national and state political representative, Suffolk County Clerk for some twenty years, and a great-great grandson of Nathaniel Sylvester. Although Ezra L’Hommedieu never owned Sylvester Manor, the collection houses a substantial volume of his papers. The Gardiner family produced three daughters, Mary L’Hommedieu Gardiner, Phoebe Dayton Gardiner (sometimes spelled Phebe, particularly in earlier records), and Frances (Fanny) Gardiner.

Mary L'Hommedieu Gardiner wed Eben Norton Horsford, a professor of chemistry at Harvard University and a pioneer in food science and chemistry, and later owner of the Rumford Chemical Works in Providence, Rhode Island. Mary and E.N. produced four daughters, Lillian, Mary Catherine (Kate), Gertrude, and Mary Gardiner (Mamie). Mary died in 1855, and E.N. Horsford married her sister Phoebe two years later. Phoebe gave birth to one daughter, Cornelia Conway Fenton (referred to as Nellie in her younger years). Samuel Gardiner died in 1859, passing the Manor to Phoebe and E.N. Horsford, at which time it essentially became a summer home, as the Horsfords were well established in a large home at 27 Craigie Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Following E.N. Horsford’s death in 1893, and Phoebe’s in 1903, Sylvester Manor passed to Cornelia Horsford, who owned the property until her death in 1944. She never married. At Cornelia’s death in 1944, the property passed to the Fiske family, a prominent family of Boston attorneys into which Gertrude Horsford had married. August Henry Fiske first inherited the Manor for a brief time before passing the estate to his son Andrew Fiske, who held the Manor from 1949 until his death in 1992.

The Manor was initially used as a residence and provisioning plantation, and the original house was constructed soon after Nathaniel and Grissell’s arrival. Provisioning activities likely ended in 1680 at Nathaniel’s death, but farming and trading continued. The current surviving house was constructed around 1735, probably by Brinley Sylvester who appears to have been a successful merchant. By the time Samuel Gardiner became the owner of the manor in the early 19th century, the lands attached to the Manor had been significantly reduced and much of the remaining usable farmland was leased to local farmers. As mentioned earlier, when the Horsfords took possession of the estate, it essentially turned into a summer home, where the family hosted prominent members of the Boston social elite, although some small scale farming still occurred. Formal gardens were created and expanded during this period, and the property included several farming cottages as well as barns and additional out-buildings. Cornelia Horsford returned the home to a year-round residence, continuing work on the gardens and overseeing a substantial renovation to the property in 1908.

The estate currently is made up of approximately 270 acres, the manor house, and several barns and out-buildings. Sylvester Manor remains in the possession of the descendents of Nathaniel Sylvester and is today being used as an organic farm. In addition, several seasons of archaeological digs were conducted by the University of Massachusetts Boston, providing further information on the original buildings and activities conducted on the site. See http://www.fiskecenter.umb.edu/excavations.htm for information on the archaeological activities.

Due to the large number of individuals whose records are included in the Archive, more detailed Biographical Notes are made at the appropriate level of the finding aid.

Sylvester Manor Archive, MSS 208, Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University Libraries.

Thompson, Benjamin F. History of Long Island, Vol. II . Port Washington, N.Y.: Ira Friedman, Inc., 1962

From the guide to the Sylvester Manor Archive, 1649-1996, (© 2010 Fales Library and Special Collections)

Sylvester Manor and its grounds are located on Shelter Island, an 8,000-acre island situated between the north and south forks of eastern Long Island that was inhabited by Manhansett Indians until its purchase in 1651 by the first permanent European settlers . Nathaniel Sylvester, an Englishman born and raised in Amsterdam, and three Barbadian planters, his brother, Constant, Thomas Middleton, and Thomas Rouse, bought the property to use in the Caribbean provisioning trade. Enslaved Africans, impressed Natives, and European indentured servants raised livestock and produced timber for barrels, and food to sell in the West Indies, where most arable land was devoted to valuable sugar cane. In 1653, Nathaniel (Nathaniell in most records) Sylvester and his wife Grissell Brinley (also recorded Grizzell), married and moved to Shelter Island, creating the establishment that would later bear their family name. The property was granted royal manor status by Governor Richard Nicoll of New York Colony in 1666.

In 1752 with the death of Brinley Sylvester, the estate passed to his daughter, Mary (Nathaniel’s great-great granddaughter), and her husband Thomas Dering. The Manor remained in the Dering family for another two generations before debt forced the sale of the property. Dering records do not appear in any number in the Archive. The property was purchased from the Derings in 1827 by Samuel Smith Gardiner, a Suffolk County and New York attorney who had married into a different branch of Sylvester descendents.

Samuel Gardiner’s wife was Mary Catherine L’Hommedieu, the daughter of Ezra L’Hommedieu, a very prominent attorney, national and state political representative, Suffolk County Clerk for some twenty years, and a great-great grandson of Nathaniel Sylvester. Although Ezra L’Hommedieu never owned Sylvester Manor, the collection houses a substantial volume of his papers. The Gardiners produced three daughters, Mary L’Hommedieu Gardiner, Phoebe Dayton Gardiner (sometimes spelled Phebe, particularly in earlier records), and Frances (Fanny) Gardiner.

Mary L'Hommedieu Gardiner wed Eben Norton Horsford, a professor of chemistry at Harvard University, a pioneer in food science, and founder of the Rumford Chemical Works in Providence, Rhode Island. Mary and E.N. produced four daughters, Lillian (also Lilian), Mary Katherine (Kate), Gertrude, and Mary Gardiner (Mamie). Mary died in 1855, and E.N. Horsford married her sister Phoebe two years later. Phoebe gave birth to one daughter, Cornelia Conway Fenton (referred to as Nellie in her younger years). Samuel Gardiner died in 1859, passing the Manor to Phoebe and E.N. Horsford, at which time it became a summer home, as the Horsfords were well established in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Following her mother's death in 1903, Cornelia Horsford, who never married, retained the property until her death in 1944. The property then passed to the Fiske family, a family of Boston attorneys into which Gertrude Horsford had married. Augustus Henry Fiske briefly inherited the Manor before passing the estate to his son Andrew, who held the Manor from 1949 until his death in 1992. His widow, Alice Hench Fiske, retained life interest until her death in 2006.

The original house was probably constructed soon after Nathaniel and Grissell’s arrival. Provisioning activities likely ended in 1680 at Nathaniel’s death, but farming and trading continued. After Brinley Sylvester, a successful merchant operating regionally in the New England and New York sphere, tore down the first dwelling, he constructed the current surviving house around 1735 By the time Samuel Gardiner became the owner of the manor in the early 19th century, the Manor property had been significantly reduced and much of the remaining arable land was leased to local farmers. When the Horsfords took possession they hosted members of Boston's intellectual and social elites during the summers. Some small scale farming continued. The existing gardens were formalized and expanded, and the Horsfords set up monuments and fenced enclosures including two extant graveyards, to relate their understanding in landscape features of the property's history. After her mother's death, Cornelia Horsford maintained the home as a summer residence, continuing work on the gardens and overseeing a substantial renovation to the residence by the well-known architect, Henry Bacon, in 1908.

The estate currently comprises approximately 243 acres, the manor house, and several subsidiary houses, barns and out-buildings, most of which date to the nineteenth century. Sylvester Manor remains in the possession of family descendents and is today being cultivated as an educational organic farm. In addition, nine seasons of field schools were conducted by archaeological teams from the University of Massachusetts Boston, providing further information on the original buildings and activities conducted on the site. See http://www.fiskecenter.umb.edu/excavations.htm for information on the archaeological activities.

Due to the large number of individuals whose records are included in the Archive, more detailed Biographical Notes are made at the appropriate level of the finding aid.

Sources:

Sylvester Manor Archive, MSS 208, Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University Libraries.

Thompson, Benjamin F. History of Long Island, Vol. II . Port Washington, N.Y.: Ira Friedman, Inc., 1962

From the guide to the Sylvester Manor Archive, 1649-1996, (© 2012 Fales Library and Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Survey map of Fonda's Patent, Oneida County, New York. American Periodical Series I
referencedIn American Philosophical Society Archives. Record Group IIa, 1743-1806 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Delord family. Papers, 1799-1914. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Survey map of Sadaqueda Patent, Montgomery and Oneida Counties, New York, 1784. American Periodical Series I
referencedIn University of the State of New York. Board of Regents. Minutes, 1795 Jan.-1796 Mar. Churchill County Museum
referencedIn Legal documents and letters relating to the Brotherton Indians, 1795-1843. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf New York (State). Treaty between the Onondaga Tribe and the State of New York, 1788 Sept. 12. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Clinton, George, 1739-1812. DS, 1782 October 25, Poughkeepsie, New York. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
creatorOf L'Hommedieu, Ezra. Autograph letter signed : Southold to Jedediah Elderkin, 1774 June 15. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Land patent collection, 1790-1864. New York State Historical Documents
referencedIn Survey map of Platt's Great Location, Clinton County, New York. American Periodical Series I
referencedIn DeWitt, Moses. Survey map of Ezra L'Hommedieu's land at the south end of Seneca Lake, Schuyler County, New York, 1789. American Periodical Series I
referencedIn Thorpe, Francis Newton, 1857-1926. Copybook of the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention of the State of New York, 1801. University of Pittsburgh
referencedIn Republican Party (N.Y.). Broadside, 1805 April 25. American Periodical Series I
creatorOf Sylvester Manor Archive, 1649-1996 Fales Library & Special Collections
referencedIn Frederick M. Dearborn collection of military and political Americana, Part I: The Revolution and the Administration, 1669-1958. Houghton Library, , Harvard College Library, Harvard University
referencedIn Tayler, John. Papers, 1775-1829. American Periodical Series I
referencedIn Southold Free Library. Miscellaneous papers, 1736-1979. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Legal documents and letters relating to the Brotherton Indians, 1795-1843. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Sylvester Manor Archive, 1649-1996 Fales Library & Special Collections
referencedIn L'Hommedieu family. Papers, 1736-1888. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith American Philosophical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Barnard, Frederick A. P., (Frederick Augustus Porter), 1809-1889 person
correspondedWith Botta, Anne C. Lynch (Anne Charlotte Lynch), 1815-1891 person
associatedWith Brinley, Francis, 1632-1719 person
associatedWith Clinton, George, 1739-1812. person
associatedWith Curtis, Mary Gardiner Horsford, (Mamie), 1855-1893 person
associatedWith Dearborn, Frederick M. (Frederick Myers), b. 1876 person
associatedWith Delord family. family
associatedWith Dering, Sylvester, 1758-1820 person
associatedWith Dewey, Melvil, 1851-1931 person
associatedWith DeWitt, Moses. person
associatedWith Durant, H. F., (Henry Fowle), 1822-1881 person
associatedWith Dyckman, William N. person
associatedWith Dyckman, William N. person
associatedWith Elderkin, Jedediah, person
associatedWith Farlow, Mary Leila, (Lilian), 1848-1927 person
correspondedWith Fields, Annie, 1834-1915 person
associatedWith Fiske, Andrew, 1912-1992 person
associatedWith Fiske, Augustus Henry, 1880-1944 person
associatedWith Fiske, Gertrude Hubbard Horsford, b. 1852 person
associatedWith Floyd, Nicoll, 1762-1852 person
associatedWith Floyd, William, 1734-1821 person
associatedWith Gardiner, David person
associatedWith Gardiner, Lion, 1599-1663 person
associatedWith Gardiner, Mary Catherine L'Hommedieu, 1806-1838 person
associatedWith Gardiner, Samuel Smith, 1789-1859 person
associatedWith Gelston, David person
associatedWith Grant, Ulysses S., (Ulysses Simpson), 1822-1885 person
associatedWith Hall, James, 1811-1898 person
associatedWith Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 1809-1894 person
associatedWith Horsford, Cornelia Conway Fenton, 1861-1944 person
associatedWith Horsford, Eben Norton, 1818-1893 person
associatedWith Horsford, Jerediah, 1791-1875 person
associatedWith Horsford, Mary Catherine, (Kate), 1850-1927 person
associatedWith Horsford, Mary Katherine, (Kate), 1850-1927 person
associatedWith Horsford, Phoebe Dayton Gardiner, 1826-1903 person
associatedWith Jackson, Helen Hunt, 1830-1885 person
associatedWith Jay, John, 1745-1829 person
associatedWith Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826 person
associatedWith Jewett, Sarah Orne, 1849-1909 person
associatedWith Lester, Thomas person
associatedWith L'Hommedieu, Benjamin, 1694-1755 person
associatedWith L'Hommedieu family. family
associatedWith L'Hommedieu, Mary Catherine Havens, 1765-1843 person
associatedWith Liebig, Justus, Freiherr von, 1803-1873 person
associatedWith Lloyd, Henry, 1685-1763 person
associatedWith Lloyd, James person
associatedWith Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 1807-1882 person
associatedWith New York (State). corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State). Legislature. corporateBody
associatedWith Palmer, Alice Freeman, 1855-1902 person
associatedWith Republican Party (N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Rumford Chemical Works. corporateBody
associatedWith Smith, John, 1752-1816 person
associatedWith Southold Free Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Stanton, Edwin McMasters, 1814-1869 person
associatedWith Susquehannah Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Sylvester, Brinley, 1694-1752 person
associatedWith Sylvester, Constant person
associatedWith Sylvester, Constant person
associatedWith Sylvester, Giles, 1657-1704 person
associatedWith Sylvester, Grissell, 1635-1687 person
associatedWith Sylvester, Nathaniel, 1610-1680 person
associatedWith Tallmadge, Benjamin, 1754-1835 person
associatedWith Tayler, John. person
associatedWith Thorpe, Francis Newton, 1857-1926. person
associatedWith Tyler, John, 1790-1862 person
associatedWith Tyler, Julia Gardiner, 1820-1889 person
associatedWith University of the State of New York. Board of Regents. corporateBody
associatedWith Van Buren, Martin, 1782-1862 person
associatedWith Wilson, George F., (George Francis), 1818-1883 person
associatedWith Wyandance, Sachem, ca. 1571-1659 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (State)
New York (N.Y.)
Shelter Island (N.Y.)
New York (State) |x Genealogy |v Archival resources.
New York (State) |x Genealogy |v Archival resources.
Cambridge (Mass.)
Shelter Island (N.Y.)
Subject
Novelists, American--19th century
Slavery--New York (State)--Long Island--History
North Atlantic Region--History
New York (State)--History--1775-1865
Farm produce
Law--United States--History
North Atlantic Region--Commerce--History--17th century
New York (N.Y.)--Social life and customs
Long Island (N.Y.)--History--19th century
Cookery, American--History--19th century
Authors and artists
Law--New York (State)--History
Long Island (N.Y.)--History--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
Books and reading--United States--History--20th century
Education and state--United States--History--19th century
Rumford Chemical Works
Agriculture and state
New York (N.Y.)--History--Revolution, 1775-1783
North Atlantic Region
Chemistry--History--19th century
Gardening--History
New York (State)--History--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
Food science and technology
Norumbega (Extinct city)
Long Island (N.Y.)--History--20th century
Governors--New York (State)
Shelter Island (N.Y.)--History
New York (N.Y.)--History--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
North Atlantic Region--Commerce--History--18th century
Genealogy
Long Island (N.Y.)--History
Slavery--America--History
Long Island (N.Y.)--History--17th century
American literature--19th century
Farming
Education, Higher--United States--History--19th century
Vikings--North America
Authors, American--19th century--Correspondence
Food industry and trade--New York (State)--New York
Book collecting
Harvard University--History--19th century
Fiction--19th century
Plantation life
Food science and technology--History
Long Island (N.Y.)--History--Colonial period
Authors--United States
Occupation
Farmers--New York (State)
Function

Person

Birth 1734-08-30

Death 1811-09-27

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6cn7t5m

Ark ID: w6cn7t5m

SNAC ID: 44583099