Pierrepont, Edwards, 1817-1892

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Lawyer, of New York, N.Y., U.S. attorney general, and ambassador to Great Britain.

From the description of Papers of Edwards Pierrepont, 1847-1900. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 81338859

A prominent New York lawyer and politician and Democrat who was against secession and supportive of the use of force to protect the Union. President Lincoln appointed him to try the cases of those who had been imprisoned in the North for suspected disloyalty to the Union cause and after the war President Grant appointed him U.S. Attorney General.

From the description of Letter, Jan. 29, 1863. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 53791434

Edwards Pierrepont (1817-1892) was an American lawyer, jurist, and statesman. Born Edwards Munson Pierpont in North Haven, Connecticut, Pierrepont later reverted to an earlier spelling of the family name. He studied at Yale College alongside Samuel J. Tilden, William Maxwell Evarts, and Benjamin Silliman, Jr., graduating in 1837. He studied law at the New Haven Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1840. He practiced law in Columbus, Ohio, before moving to New York and establishing his practice there in 1846. In 1857, Pierrepont was elected judge for the New York City Superior Court. He was a member of the New York State Constitutional Convention (1867-1868), and a member of the Committee of Seventy appointed by Governor Samuel J. Tilden to investigate and curtail Tweed Ring corruption. In 1862, Abraham Lincoln appointed him to a commission for cases involving state prisoners in the custody of military authorities. In return, Pierrepont helped organize the War Democrats in support of Lincoln's 1864 re-election. In 1868, however, Pierrepont aligned himself with Ulysses S. Grant, who later appointed him to several offices, including United States Attorney General. In this capacity he was responsible for the prosecution of Lincoln assassination conspirator John H. Surratt. He also led the prosecution of the Whiskey Ring," a conspiracy by various politicians and government agents to divert tax revenues from whiskey, though as many of the perpetrators were Republican Party members and confederates of President Grant, Pierrepont's tenure as Attorney General lasted only one year. Afterward, he served as United States minister to Great Britain, then returned to private practice. Edwards Pierrepont died on March 6, 1892, in New York City.

From the guide to the Edwards Pierrepont papers, 1839-1910, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)

Edwards Pierrepont served as judge of the New York Supreme Court (1857-1860), a member of the military commission for the cases of state prisoners in the custody of the federal military authorities during the Civil War, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (1869-1870), Attorney General of the United States (1875-1876), and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States to Britain (1876-1877).

From the description of Edwards Pierrepont letter, 1884 Aug. 21. (Louisiana State University). WorldCat record id: 301577931

From the description of Edwards Pierrepont papers, 1862-1866. (Louisiana State University). WorldCat record id: 301588264

A statesman and jurist, Pierrepont practiced law in Ohio and New York before being appointed as Ulysses Grant's attorney general in 1875-1876. He also served as minister to England 1866-1867 and back in New York, worked against "Boss" Tweed in 1870. Pierrepont died in 1892.

From the description of Edwards Pierrepont papers, 1856-1889. [1856-1889] (University of Iowa Libraries). WorldCat record id: 275163777

Edwards Pierrepont was born in North Haven, Connecticut, on March 4, 1817. He graduated from Yale College in 1837, studied law at the New Haven Law School, and was admitted to the bar in 1840. He practiced law in Columbus, Ohio, and Edwards Pierrepont was born in North Haven, Connecticut, on March 4, 1817. He graduated from Yale College in 1837, studied law at the New Haven Law School, and was admitted to the bar in 1840. He practiced law in Columbus, Ohio, and moved to New York in 1846 to establish his law practice. Pierrepont was elected judge of the superior court of New York City in 1857. A supporter of the Union cause, he helped organize the War Democrats in support of the re-election of Lincoln in 1864. He returned to the regular Democratic party in 1866 but in 1868 switched his support to Ulysses S. Grant who later appointed him to several offices. Pierrepont was a member of the New York state constitutional convention (1867-1868) and a member of the Committee of Seventy which exposed the ©Tweed ring.♯ He was appointed attorney general of the United States in 1875 and served as minister to Great Britain (1867-1877). Pierrepont died on March 6, 1892.

From the description of Edwards Pierrepont papers, 1813-1902 (inclusive). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702168513

Edwards Pierrepont (4 March 1817 - 6 March 1892) was a U.S. attorney general and minister to England. He was born Munson Edwards Pierpont in North Haven (now New Haven), Connecticut. Pierrepont opted later in life to drop his first name and adopt an earlier spelling of the family name. Pierrepont came from a distinguished lineage that first arrived in North America in 1650. He was a descendant of one of the founders of Yale College, James Pierpont.. Edwards was groomed for admission into Yale by Noah Porter, who eventually became president of the college. Graduating in 1837, Pierrepont had a distinguished academic career, earning the highest rank in his class and delivering the coveted graduation oratory. Although a member of the Democratic party, Pierrepont was a bitter critic of the secession of southern states in 1860-1861 and advocated the use of force to restore the Union. During the course of the war, he became a prominent War Democrat. In 1862 he was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln to try the cases of those individuals who had been imprisoned throughout the North for suspected disloyalty to the Union cause. In 1864 he became involved with Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton in a plan to promote the presidential candidacy of New York governor Horatio Seymour, who, Pierrepont thought, would keep the country united to continue the war. When George McClellan won the Democratic nomination in 1864, Pierrepont, who opposed McClellan's candidacy, played an instrumental role in organizing War Democrats for Lincoln, helping the president capture a second term. After the election, Pierrepont remained on good terms with Stanton and represented him successfully in December 1865, when a Baltimore resident sued Stanton for illegal imprisonment. Pierrepont's principal defense was the the Habeas Corpus Act of 1863 made such lawsuits against government officials illegal. Later in 1867 Pierrepont was hired by Attorney General Henry Stanbery and Secretary of State William H. Seward to direct the government's prosecution of John Suratt for complicity in the Lincoln assassination conspiracy. Pierrepont, Edwards - National Biography Online http://www.anb.org (Retrieved April 28, 2009)

Hugh McCulloch (7 Dec. 1808-24 May 1895) was a banker and secretary of the treasury. Born in Kennebunk, Maine, the son of Hugh McCulloch, a merchant and shipbuilder, and Abigail Perkins. After studies at Thornton Academy, McCulloch entered Bowdoin College in 1824 but left in his sophomore year because of illness. He taught school from 1826 to 1829 and then read law in Kennebunk and Boston. Having decided that the prospects for a young lawyer would be greater in the West, he headed for Indiana and opened a law practice in the frontier community of Fort Wayne in the summer of 1833. McCulloch, Hugh - National Biography Online http://www.anb.org (Retrieved April 28, 2009)

From the description of Edwards Pierrepont letter, 1866. (University of Georgia). WorldCat record id: 425960598

Biographical Note

  • 1817, Mar. 4: Born, North Haven, Conn.
  • 1837: Graduated, Yale College, New Haven, Conn.
  • 1840: Admitted to Connecticut bar
  • 1840 - 1841 : Tutor, Yale College, New Haven, Conn.
  • 1846: Married Margaretta Willoughby
  • 1857: Judge, New York superior court, New York, N.Y.
  • 1867 - 1868 : Member, N.Y. Constitutional Convention
  • 1869 - 1870 : United States district attorney
  • 1876 - 1877 : United States minister to Great Britain
  • 1892, Mar. 6: Died, New York, N.Y.

From the guide to the Edwards Pierrepont Papers, 1847-1900, (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

Edwards Pierrepont was born in North Haven, Connecticut, on March 4, 1817. He graduated from Yale College in 1837, studied law at the New Haven Law School, and was admitted to the bar in 1840. He practiced law in Columbus, Ohio, and Edwards Pierrepont was born in North Haven, Connecticut, on March 4, 1817. He graduated from Yale College in 1837, studied law at the New Haven Law School, and was admitted to the bar in 1840. He practiced law in Columbus, Ohio, and moved to New York in 1846 to establish his law practice. Pierrepont was elected judge of the superior court of New York City in 1857. A supporter of the Union cause, he helped organize the War Democrats in support of the re-election of Lincoln in 1864. He returned to the regular Democratic party in 1866 but in 1868 switched his support to Ulysses S. Grant who later appointed him to several offices. Pierrepont was a member of the New York state constitutional convention (1867-1868) and a member of the Committee of Seventy which exposed the Tweed ring. He was appointed attorney general of the United States in 1875 and served as minister to Great Britain (1867-1877). Pierrepont died on March 6, 1892

Edwards Pierrepont, attorney, judge, Attorney General of the United States, and minister to Great Britain, was born in North Haven, Connecticut, the son of Giles and Eunice (Munson) Pierpont (Edwards later adopted an early family spelling of his surname), March 4, 1817. He attended Yale College, graduating in 1837. Pierrepont studied law at the New Haven Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1840. From 1840 to 1841, he was a tutor at Yale. In the latter year he went to Columbus, Ohio, where he became a law partner of Phineas B. Wilcox. In 1846 he moved to New York City and established a successful legal practice. He also became an active worker for the Democratic party and was elected judge of the superior court of New York City in 1857. He was a supporter of the Union cause and helped to organize the War Democrats in support of the reelection of Lincoln in 1864. He returned to the regular Democratic party in the election of 1866, but with the nomination of Seymour and Blair in 1868, he switched his support to Ulysses S. Grant who later appointed him to several offices.

In 1867 Pierrepont assisted the United States Attorney General in the prosecution of John H. Surratt for complicity in the assassination of Lincoln. He was a member of the New York state constitutional convention, 1867-1868, and a member of the Committee of Seventy which exposed and attacked the "Tweed ring." Pierrepont was appointed Attorney General of the United States in 1875. From 1876 to 1877 he served as minister to Great Britain. In the latter part of his life, Pierrepont published many pamphlets on financial questions, most of which advocated the adoption of a bimetallic standard of currency.

Pierrepont was married in 1846 to Margaretta Willoughby of Brooklyn, New York. He died on March 6, 1892. (See also the chronology which follows).

  • 1817: Born in North Haven, Connecticut, son of Giles and Eunice (Munson) Pierpont; great-great-grandson of the Reverend James Pierpont, a founder of Yale College; christened Edwards Munson Pierpont
  • 1833: Entered Yale College in the Class of 1837; classmate of William Maxwell Evarts, Benjamin Silliman, Jr., Samuel Jones Tilden, and Morrison Remick Waite.
  • 1837: Graduated from Yale College.
  • 1837 - 1841 : Studied law in Columbus, Ohio and at New Haven Law School; served as a tutor in Yale College, 1840-1841.
  • 1841 - 1845 : Practiced law in Columbus, Ohio.
  • 1846: Removed to New York City and entered the practice of law; married Margaretta Willoughby.
  • 1848: Daughter, Margaretta Willoughby Pierrepont, born.
  • 1857: Elected Judge of the Superior Court of the City of New York (served 1857-1860).
  • 1860: Son, Edward Pierrepont, born.
  • 1862: Appointed to Special Commission on Prisoners of State, together with John Adams Dix.
  • 1864: Instrumental in organizing War-Democrats in favor of Lincoln's re-election.
  • 1867: Elected a member of the New York State Constitutional Convention; appointed by the United States Attorney General to conduct the prosecution against John H. Surratt, accomplice in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
  • 1868: Supported Ulysses S. Grant for president.
  • 1869: Appointed United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (served 1869-1870).
  • 1870: Member of "Committee of Seventy" against "Tweed ring" in New York.
  • 1871: Named director, counsel, and treasurer of the Texas and Pacific Railroad.
  • 1872: Campaigned for Ulysses S. Grant in the Grant-Greeley presidential contest.
  • 1873: Declined nomination as United States Minister to Russia; awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Yale College.
  • 1875: Appointed United States Attorney General in the Grant Cabinet (served 1875-1876). Involved in prosecution of the "whiskey ring."
  • 1876: Appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Great Britain (served 1876-1877).
  • 1878: Awarded an honorary D.C.L. from Oxford University; re-entered private practice.
  • 1883: Elected director of the Chicago Central Elevated Railroad Company.
  • 1885?: Death of son, Edward Pierrepont.
  • 1892: Died March 7 in New York City.

From the guide to the Edwards Pierrepont papers, 1813-1902, (Manuscripts and Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Norton, Edward. Edward Norton letter : Fort Smith, Ark., to R. Fayeweather and Edwards Pierrepont, New York, N.Y., 1849 Apr. 27. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Washburne, E. B. (Elihu Benjamin), 1816-1887. E. B. Washburne papers, 1829-1889 (bulk 1852-1882). Library of Congress
referencedIn Golden Family Collection, 1795-1996 Working Men's Institute of New Harmony, Indianahttp://www.workingmensinstitute.org/
creatorOf Pierrepont, Edwards, 1817-1892. Edwards Pierrepont papers, 1862-1866. Louisiana State University, LSU Libraries
referencedIn Woolsey family. Woolsey family papers, 1750-1976 (inclusive), 1811-1921 (bulk). Yale University Library
creatorOf Aspinwall, William Henry, 1807-1875. Letter, 1864 April 30 : New York, N.Y., to [Judge Edwards Pierrepont]. Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies Library
creatorOf Pierrepont, Edwards, 1817-1892. Letter, 1864 Feb. 14, New York, N.Y., to William M. Evarts. Dartmouth College Library
referencedIn Dana family. Dana family papers, 1764-1967 (inclusive), 1805-1961 (bulk). Yale University Library
referencedIn Autograph File, P, 1554-2005. Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard
referencedIn George William Curtis Letters, 1851-1892 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
referencedIn Chase, G. K. G.K. Chase letter, 1876 Nov. 20. Louisiana State University, LSU Libraries
referencedIn Dana family. Dana family papers, 1764-1967 (inclusive), 1805-1961 (bulk). Yale University Library
referencedIn Ulysses S. Grant Papers, 1819-1969, (bulk 1843-1885) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Edwards Pierrepont Papers, 1847-1900 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Pierrepont, Edwards, 1817-1892,. Autograph letter signed from Edwards Pierrepont, London, to Charles E. Flower [manuscript], 1877 April 20. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Stanton, Edwin L. (Edwin Lamson), 1842-1877. Edwin L. Stanton papers, 1866-1875. Louisiana State University, LSU Libraries
creatorOf Belknap, William W. (William Worth), 1829-1890. Letters, 1869-1887. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Dana family papers, 1805-1961 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Charles Sumner correspondence, 1829-1874. Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard
referencedIn William Gilman Thompson autograph collection, 1771-1924 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
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
creatorOf Woods, William Burnham, 1824-1887. Letter to Edwards Pierrepont, 2 December 1875. Harvard Law School Library, HLS Library
creatorOf Pierrepont, Edwards, 1817-1892. Papers of Edwards Pierrepont, 1847-1900. Library of Congress
referencedIn Dana family papers, 1805-1961 (bulk 1833-1894). Library of Congress
creatorOf Pierrepont, Edwards, 1817-1892. Edwards Pierrepont papers, 1813-1902 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf Pierrepont, Edwards, 1817-1892. Letter, Jan. 29, 1863. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
creatorOf Edwards Pierrepont papers, 1839-1910 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Woolsey family papers, 1750-1969, 1811-1921 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn E. B. Washburne Papers, 1829-1889, (bulk 1852-1882) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Weir, John Ferguson, 1841-1926. John Ferguson Weir papers, 1838-1957 (inclusive), 1861-1928 (bulk). Yale University Library
referencedIn Grant, Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson), 1822-1885. Papers, 1843-1969 (bulk 1843-1908) Library of Congress
referencedIn Union Defence Committee of the City of New York. Records, 1861-1885 (bulk 1861-1865). Churchill County Museum
creatorOf Pierrepont, Edwards, 1817-1892. Edwards Pierrepont letter, 1866. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
creatorOf Pierrepont, Edwards, 1817-1892. Letters, 1863 Aug. 20 -- 1866 Sept. 13, to William M. Evarts. Dartmouth College Library
creatorOf Pierrepont, Edwards, 1817-1892. Edwards Pierrepont papers, 1856-1889. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Evarts family. Evarts family papers, 1753-1960 (inclusive), 1798-1901 (bulk). Yale University Library
creatorOf Holley, Alexander H. (Alexander Hamilton), 1804-1887. Papers, 1818-1887. Connecticut Historical Society
referencedIn Smithsonian Archives. Ru 26: Office Of The Secretary, Incoming Corres..
creatorOf Edwards Pierrepont papers, 1813-1902 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Woolsey family. Woolsey family papers, 1750-1950 (inclusive), 1811-1921 (bulk). Yale University Library
referencedIn Autograph album kept in Columbia, South Carolina [manuscript] 1875-1878. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Hamilton Fish Papers, 1732-1914, (bulk 1840-1890) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Grant, Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson), 1822-1885. Papers. Ohio History Connection, Ohio Historical Society
referencedIn Grant, Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson), 1822-1885. Ulysses S. Grant papers, 1819-1974 (bulk 1843-1908). Library of Congress
referencedIn Taylor, Tom, 1817-1880,. Autograph letter signed from Tom Taylor to Mr. Flower [manuscript], 1877 April 13. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Thompson, William Gilman, 1856-1927,. William Gilman Thompson autograph collection, 1771-1924 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf Brown, Addison, 1830-1913. Addison Brown letter : to Benjamin Harris Brewster, 1882 June 6. Cornell University Library
referencedIn John A. Dix Collection, 1831-1879 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library
creatorOf Hay, John, 1838-1905. Correspondence, 1854-1914, "Paris" to "Platner". Brown University, John Hay Library
creatorOf Farwell, Charles Benjamin, 1823-1903. Letter: Chicago, [Ill.], to E[dwards] Pierpont [i.e., Pierrepont], Washington, [D.C.], 1875 June 5. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
creatorOf Pierrepont, Edwards, 1817-1892. Edwards Pierrepont letter, 1884 Aug. 21. Louisiana State University, LSU Libraries
referencedIn Smithsonian Institution Annual Report. 1881.0.
referencedIn George W. Childs Letters, 1862-1892 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
referencedIn Evarts family papers, 1753-1960, 1798-1901 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Fitz, Charles. Charles Fitz letter, 1865 Nov. 28. Louisiana State University, LSU Libraries
referencedIn General Records of the Department of Justice. 1790 - 2002. Photographs of Attorneys General
referencedIn Fish, Hamilton, 1808-1893. Hamilton Fish papers, 1732-1914 (bulk 1840-1890). Library of Congress
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
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associatedWith National Bimetallic Coinage Association. corporateBody
associatedWith National Executive Silver Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith National Union Convention (1866 : Philadelphia, Pa.) corporateBody
associatedWith Norton, Edward. person
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associatedWith Republican Party (U.S.) corporateBody
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associatedWith Yale University corporateBody
associatedWith Yale University. Faculty. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Georgia--Macon
New York (State)--New York
United States
United States
United States
United States
Louisiana--New Orleans
United States
United States
New York (State)
Europe
Europe.
Mississippi
New Orleans (La.)
United States
Subject
Cotton--History
Practice of law
Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)
Banks and banking
Statesmen--Correspondence
Whiskey frauds
Smithsonian Exchange
Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)--Mississippi
Practice of law--New York (State)--New York
Silver coins--Law and legislation
Silver question
President--Election--1864
Law
Restitution--History
Bimetallism
Occupation
Cabinet officers
Lawyers
Diplomats
Function

Person

Birth 1817-03-04

Death 1892-03-06

English

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