Fred. (Frederick) Carlisle.

Chronography of notable events in the history of the Northwest territory and Wayne County online

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may make it a pleasure."

Necessity compelled the subject of this sketch to find an occupa-
tion at an early period. The death of his father forced the care of his
mother and brother upon him.

John Person Clark was born near Catskill, on the Hudson river,
April loth, 1808. At the age of ten years he came with his father to
the Territory of Michigan, locating on the Detroit river in the vicinity
of what is now Wyandotte. They there cleared a small farm which
never proved very valuable, so, that in 1825, his father's death left
the family in straightened circumstances, dependent upon John and his
brother for the bare necessaries of life.

In 1826 he made his first venture in the fish business, which subse-
quently contributed to and was the basis of his fortune. The theater of
his business from 1826 to 1836 was the Maumee river and bay. Dur-
ing this period he also cleared a large tract of land for the wood, which

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he disposed of at Toledo. In 1833 he built a canal boat and connected
freighting with his fishing business. In 1836 he located a number of
fishing points on Lake Huron and Michigan and associated with his
brother George and Shadrach Gillett. In 1850 he came toSpringwells
and established a dry dock on the river, which he owned at his decease.
He was the builder of the steamers "Alaska," "Jay Cook," "Pearl,"
" Gazelle," " Riverside " and numerous other steam and sail vessels.
All his efforts in this line as well as in his fisheries brought him good
returns. While he devoted his time to these specialties, he was at the
same time the promoter, and interested in numerous other industrial
enterprises, which have aided in the growth and improvement of
Detroit and added to his own material wealth. At his death he was
the owner of much valuable real estate, both in Detroit and in various
parts of the State. By the provisions of his will he dedicated to the
city of Detroit a large body of realty at a nominal price, on condition
that it should be improved and made available for a public park.

As a business man Mr. Clark was shrewd, but honorable in his
transactions, manifesting exemplary integrity, and honesty, in his deal-
ings, but never submitting to impositions. He was benevolent and
gave liberally to all objects tending to benefit society. He was public
spirited, and encouraged all efforts and enterprises affecting the growth
and prosperity of the country.

Although not a member, he was a regular attendant of the Con-
gregational church, and foremost in his contributions for its advance-

In politics he was Republican, but did not seek preferment as a

At an age when many retire from business, he was engaged in
developing new enterprises of great magnitude.

Mr. Clark was twice married. By his first wife he had four sons
and three daughters. His second wife was EHza W. Whitney, whom
he married in 1863. Her departure preceded his.

At his death his family consisted of Mrs. J. A. Hecking, at the
time residing in Paris, France; Mrs. George Atchison, of St. Louis;
Miss Florence Clark, then at home with her father, but who was
recently married to W. O. Ashley, of the firm of Ashley & Dustin,
steamboat agents, and resides at 114 Adelaide street, Detroit; Norman
S., of St. Louis, Missouri, and A. S. Clark, of Detroit.

Mr. Clark died September 3d, 1888, leaving numerous evidences
of what energy and perseverence, combined with honesty and industry,
will accomplish in the creation of material wealth and the establish-
ment of an unsullied b\isiness reputation.

Mr. Clark was a member of this Society from its organization till
his death.

— 213 —


None who knew the subject of this sketch will fail to recall the
candid, kind and genial man who, for over half a century, made his
home and occupied as an office the little two-story, wooden building
immediately in the rear of the Michigan Insurance, now the First
National Bank, of Detroit, and of whom it was always said, " when he
states a fact, or expresses an opinion on any subject, no discount need
be made for exaggeration or reserve."

Shubael Conant was born in Mansfield, Windham county. Conn.,
August I St, 1783. He was apprenticed to the watchmaker's trade, of
which he acquired a thorough knowledge. At the age of twenty he
turned his attention to the mercantile business, and on the 5th of July,
1809, came to Detroit and opened a store on Jefferson avenue. From
his own memorandum the merchants of that day were as follows:
Joseph Campau, John R. Williams, Conrad Ten Eyck, Antoine De-
quindre, Stephen Mack, Thomas Emerson, Joseph Emerson, Oliver
Williams, John S. Roby, Abraham Edwards, Henry J. Hunt, Prospect
Thibault, Gabriel Godfroy, R. H. Jones, James Abbott, Peter J. Des-
noyer, Barnabas Campau, Hugh Martin, William Jones, William
Meldrum, Shubael Conant, to which he adds this impressive commen-
tary: "What is best to say, I know not."

The firm of S. Conant & Co., David Stone, of Walpole, New
Hampshire, being a partner, continued to do business at the same place
until the surrender of Hull in 181 2. Mr. Conant was at this time a
sergeant in Captain Solomon Sibley's company. On the morning of
the surrender the company was paraded on Randolph street, anxiously
awaiting orders to move forward to resist the British attack, when sud-
denly a white flag was hoisted on the flagstaff of the Fort, which
created a sensation, and as Col. E. Brush rode up, an explanation was
asked by Private Richard H. Jones. Colonel Brush replied:
"Eighteen hundred British and 3,000 Indians are marching up to

attack us; that is our condition." Jones replied, "It's a lie,"

and Robert Smart stepped out of the ranks in front of the company
and, whipping his musket against a post said, in broad Scotch, "I'll be

if the infernal British shall have my gun." The company

were soon after called to lay down their arms and retired to their
homes, as the terms of capitulation exempted the militia as prisoners
of war.

Thus ended Mr. Conant's military experience. After Detroit fell,
Mr. Conant packed the goods of the firm, stored them, and left for
New England.

The mercantile business reviving after Perry's victory on Lake
Erie, Mr. Conant purchased additional stock and returned in Novem-

— 214 —

ber, 1813, and continued business under the tirm name of S. Conant &
Co., until 1816, when he became associated with Col. Stephen Mack,
and did business under the firm name of Mack & Conant, which firm
did the largest business of any house west of Albany until 1820, when,
owing to the delay to realize from claims against the government for
advances made to it, or on its account, to the amount of $50,000, they
became embarrassed and were compelled to assign for the benefit of
their eastern creditors. After the assignment of Mack & Conant, Mr.
C. retired from mercantile life and became the agent of the firm of
Center & Co., Albany, New York, in the purchase of furs.

Mr. Conant was a man of enterprise and kept pace with the cur-
rent improvements of the day, and at his death owned several fine
buildings erected by him, beside other realty outside of Detroit. As a
man, Mr. Conant hved an unblemished and exemplary life. He was
appointed by his peers to many important posts, among them alderman.
Commissioner of the State Internal Improvement Board, commissioner
for building Sault Ste. Marie canal, and president of the Detroit Water

It is needless to say that in all the duties pertaining to these sev-
eral positions, he discharged them with the same fidelity and sound
judgment as he exercised in the conduct of his own private affairs. He
was for many years a member of the first Protestant society and of the
Fort Street Presbyterian church.

Mr. Conant was never married. He had two brothers in the west.
Dr. Harry Conant, who held a distinguished position in the State, and
in Monroe, where he lived and died, and Horatio Conant, M. D., who
resided at Maumee, Ohio.

Mr. Shebael Conant died in 1867, leaving his property to his
nephews and nieces. Harry A. Conant, Secretary of State from 1883
to 1887, was a nephew, and Mrs. General A. S. Williams, of Detroit,
was a neice.

His life and conduct furnishes an example to young men of what
the practice of industry, integrity and frugality in the affairs of life can
accompHsh, and if permitted to live to the age of eighty-four years
may it be said of them, as of him:

"Age sits with decent grace upon his visage,
And worthily becomes his silver locks.
He wears the marks of many years well spent,
Of virtue, truth, well tried and wise experience."

Mr. Conant was one of the organizers of this Society (Historical).

— 215 —

" It was the boast of Augustus that he found Rome brick, but left it of marble.
How much more will be the Sovereign's boast when he shall have it to say : that he
found law dear, but left it cheap — found it a sealed book, left it a living letter — found
it the patrimony of the rich, left it the inheritance of the poor — found it a two-edged
sword of craft and oppression, left it the staff of honesty, the shield of innocence." —

Laws are intended to govern, regulate and control society — to
protect the weak against the strong — to confirm man in his inherent
rights. Their enactment is sometimes the emanation of minds, selfish,
prejudicial, weak and corrupt, and not being carefully considered,
would work infinite wrong, were there no higher power instituted
to correct or prevent it. Hence he who is chosen to adjust, expound
and administer, should be honest, just and wise. Some one writes :
" These four things belong to a judge : to hear courteously, to answer
wisely, to consider soberly, and to give judgment without partiality."

The fact that the subject of this sketch has been successively
elected by the people of Michigan, and has for thirty-one years passed
upon the laws enacted by their legislature, would seem to warrant the
conclusion that he must in an eminent degree possess the attributes
deemed so essential in one occupying the exalted position of Supreme
Judge of this great commonwealth.

James Valentine Campbell is a native of the State of New York,
and was born at Buffalo, February 25, 1823. From his name he would
seem to be of Scottish descent on the paternal side.

His father, Henry Monroe Campbell, was born in Ulster county.
New York, September 10, 1783, and died at Detroit, Michigan, in
January, 1842. The maiden name of his mother was Lois Bushnell.
She was born in Litchfield county, Connecticut, in 1786, and died at
Detroit in July, 1876. Her parents were married at Buffalo, N. Y., in

Judge Campbell came to Detroit with his parents in 1826.
Received his collegiate education at St. Paul's College, from which he
graduated in July, 1841.

He read law in the office of Douglas and Walker, and was
admitted to the bar at Detroit, in October, 1844.

He was elected to the Supreme Bench first in 1857, the term
beginning January i, 1858, and at the close of each term has since been
re-elected as his own successor. In 1859 was appointed Law Professor
in the State University, and in 1866 received the degree of LL. D.
He published his outlines of the political history of Michigan in 1876,
and is recognized as an authority on all questions relating to the history
of the State up to that period.

— 216 —

In his religious views he is Episcopalian, and is a member of the
standing committee of the diocese of Michigan.

His political sympathies were Whig, during the existence of that
party, and since 1854 they have been Republican.

The Judge, while courteous, is firm in his convictions. His
opinions are extensively quoted in the Federal, as well as in the Courts
of this and other States. All questions submitted to him, receive close
and careful consideration ; and while he has a great respect for legisla-
tive acts, he does not hesitate to declare them void, when in his opinion
they conflict with the principles of equity.

Judge Campbell married Miss Corneha Hotchkiss, at Fort Wayne,
Indiana, November 8, 1849. She was born at Oneida Castle, N. Y.,
August 17, 1823, and died at Detroit, May 2, 1888.

The children by this marriage are: Henry Monroe, lawyer; James
v., Jr., banker; Charles Hotchkiss, lawyer; Douglas Houghton,
(Ph. D.), Professor in Indiana University; Edward DeMill, mining
chemist and metallurgist, Dayton, Tenn., and a daughter, Cornelia L.

[March 26, 1890. — Just as the foregoing sketch of Judge Campbell
is going to press, his sudden death this morning is announced. — F. C]


In civil government, firm in our allegiance, yet steadfast in our
laws, liberties and constitution. In private, not yielding to selfish pro-
pensities, inclining neither to avarice nor injustice, to malice or
revenge, to envy nor contempt with mankind.

Such have been the principles, and such the rules which have
governed Horace Gray, and which he has sought to exemplify in
his daily life. Springing from old New England stock, he has pre-
served their independence of thought and opinion, conceding to others
the right to think for themselves, which were the characteristics of the
early Puritans.

Major Horace Gray, was born in Jefferson county. New York
State, September 12, 181 2. Thomas Gray, his father, was a native of
Massachusetts, and served in the Revolutionary Army. His mother.
Thankful Winslow Gray, was born in Connecticut, and was descended
from the historical family of Winslows of New England.

His parents, soon after marriage, removed from New England,
and settled in New York, where the subject of this sketch was born.
Mr. Gray was giv^en all the advantages for acquiring an education
which the public schools of that day afforded, and at the age of seven-
teen sought his fortune in the West, reaching Detroit in the spring of
1829, where an elder brother, Elliott Gray, had already established

— 217 -

himself in the forwarding business. Immediately on arrival at Detroit,
he engaged as a clerk with his brother, and subsequently became a
partner with him and with Samuel Lewis, in the same business. He
continued these relations until 1847, when he purchased a farm on
Grosse Isle, upon which he settled, and where he resides at the present

At the breaking out of the late civil war, Mr. Gray, true to the
principles which actuated and governed his forefathers, tendered his
services to the government, and August 14, 1862, was commissioned
Major in the Fourth Michigan Cavalry, serving as such until February
22, 1864, when physical disability compelled him to resign. In 1842,
Major Gray was married to Miss Mary Francis Bury. They have
had four children, two daughters (now living) and two sons, deceased.


"He stood deservedly high in the councils of the Church, as of sound loyalty
and excellent judgment. The memorial of his name is ' like ointment poured forth.' "
— Pilcher.

The first relation of the Rev. John A. Baughman to Detroit was
in 1825. He was appointed by the Ohio Conference to take charge
with Rev. Solomon Manier, of the Detroit circuit, which at the time
embraced the whole settled portion of the lower Peninsular. He there-
fore could preach in the city only occasionally. His real connection
with Detroit comrnenced when stationed here in 1845, where he
remained two years, and then became agent for the American Bible
Society. He served in this capacity four years and in 1852 was ap-
pointed presiding elder of Detroit district, which position he filled for
two years. He never removed from Detroit after he was stationed
here in 1845.

Mr. Baughman labored twelve years in Ohio and thirty-two years
in Michigan. He was emphatically a pioneer preacher in both States,
being in man}^ places, the first man to preach the gospel to the people.
He received forty-three appointments from the bishop and never failed
heartily to do the work assigned him. He was a man of extraordinary
physical strength, with a pleasant full voice, cheerful manner, pos-
sessed much magnetism, strong faith and untiring industry, greatly
beloved by all, children and adults. He was at home everywhere, in
the pulpit of the modern church, in the desk of the country school
house, on the extempore platform of the camp ground, in the family of
the rich or poor. He attended every session of the conference, and
while he seldom spoke, yet when he did, was listened to with attention
and his counsel had great weight. He was a member of the general
conference of 1844 when the issue of slavery was the occasion of

— 218 —

separation, and took part, faithfull}' representing the sentiment of his
conference. His last sermon was preached in the Jefferson avenue
church February i6, 1868, on "Faith, Hope and Charity." He spoke
with more than ordinary power and fervor. He was unable to preach
in the evening, owing to feeble health and exhaustion from his morn-
ing effort.

Mr. Baughman was born in Hereford county, Maryland, in 1802.
He married Mrs. Sarah H. Baker, at Monroe, in 1826. She was the
widow of the Rev. Samuel Baker, who died at Monroe in 1823. Her
maiden name was Sarah Harvey, and she was born near Rochester, N.
Y., January 22, 1799, of English parentage. Mr. Baughman quietly
fell asleep March ist, 1868.


Samuel Preston Brady was born at Indiana, Indiana county, Pa.,
June 22d, 1809. He was the only son of Gen. Hugh Brad}-, United
States army, and came to Detroit with his father in 1827 from Sackett's
Harbor, N. Y. In June, 1832, he accompanied Col. Whistler, who
was in command of two companies of infantry, from Fort Niagara to
Chicago, then a military frontier post, and returned to Detroit in
March, 1837, and established the business which was afterward carried
on by Brady «& Trowbridge until 1849, when the partnership being
dissolved he entered the forwarding and commission business at the
foot of Woodward avenue. He continued this business until 1868,
when, on account of ill health, he went to Europe and died at Cologne,
Prussia, May 25th, 1868.


The name Brevoort appears in the History of New Amsterdam,
built by the Dutch in 1614, and among its defenders when taken by
the EngHsh in 1664, and the name of New York substituted. Sub-
sequently we find distinguished reference made to the men bearing
the name in both wars between the United States and England, as
well as in the late civil war, and always fighting for the Union.

Commodore Henry Bergan Brevoort, the founder of the Michi-
gan Brevoorts, was a direct descendant of the Brevoorts (sometimes
spelled BreDevoort), of New Amsterdam. He was born in the city of
New York on the 13th day of January, 1775, was appointed midship-
man in the United States navy in 1807 by President Monroe. He soon
rose to the rank of lieutenant and from that to commodore, and died in
Detroit January 30th, 1858.

— 219 —

The late Hon. Charles C. Trowbridge furnishes the following in
reference to Commodore Brevoort's first advent to the northwest:
" The government had ordered the Commodore (then a lieutenant) to
take a gun boat from New Orleans up the Mississippi and Ohio river
to Pittsburg. The Commodore, after working faithfully for three
hundred days, reached Fort Massac, on the Ohio, when on reporting
to the government that he would probably be able to reach Pittsburg
in another year, the order was reversed." The above was told to illus-
trate the navigation of the Mississippi seventy years ago.

Commodore Brevoort was a participant with Perry in the battle
of Lake Erie.

On January 2d, 1823, President Monroe, through Smith Thomp-
son, then secretary of the United States navy, presented him with a
very large silver medal for gallant and meritorious services at the bat-
tle of Lake Erie, known as Perry's victory. And he was again pre-
sented with another large silver medal in 1827, by President Jackson,
for gallant and meritorious services rendered the Union during the war
of 181 2 with Great Britain.

His bravery never was questioned. When he appeared in com-
mand of the Adams, Commodore Perry sent for him and reminded him
that he was a paroled prisoner and that capture meant certain death, and
suggested he had better go below and let his lieutenant command the
ship; his only response was, "Commodore, if a man can't fight with a
halter around his neck, he can't fight at all." The rest is known, for
when the flag ship was sinking Perry had to call the Adams to his

He married Catherine Navarre, who was a descendant in direct
line of Jean Navarre, who was the natural son of Antoine de Bourbon,
father of Henry IV.

Robert Navarre, the grandfather of Catherine, was sent to Fort
Pontchartrain (Detroit) as sub-intendent and royal notary, where he
married Maria Louisa de Mersac in 1734, f^on^ whom are descended
all of the name of Navarre in Michigan and also in the States origin-
ally embraced in the northwest territory, and were allied by marriage
to the McDougals, Campaus, St. Martins, the Mclntoshes, who subse-
quently inherited the estate of the Earl of Moy; the Hunts, the
Anthonys, the Langlades, among the pioneer settlers of Wisconsin,
and the Macombs.

Robert, the eldest son and father of Catherine Navarre, received
from the Pottawatomies a deed of their ancient village, a piece of land
four arpents (about one-half mile) in width on Detroit river, and the
whole depth of Grosse Isle. This grant was ratified by Henr}- Basset,
commandent at Detroit in 1772 (July 15th) and subsequently confirmed
by General Gage. On this land he erected the house in which he lived

— 220 —

and died, which house Commodore Brevoort enlarged and improved,
and which was subsequently known as the Brevoort homestead.

A brother of Catherine, Francois Navarre, who settled at Monroe,
was a colonel in the war of 1812, and was the personal friend of Gen-
erals Wayne, Winchester, St. Clair, Macomb and Cass. It is said that
in his regiment there were thirty Navarres.

This marriage between Henry Brevoort and Catherine Navarre
infused pure Dutch and French blood into the veins of their children,
representing in them old and new Amsterdam and old and new France.

The fruits of this marriage were John, Robert, Ann, Elias, who
settled in New Mexico, and Henry, who married Jane, the daughter of
William Macomb and Jeannette de Marentette, on the 13th day of July,
1841, and who left three sons, William Macomb, who met his death at
Cold Harbor, Va., June ist, 1864, while fighting the battles of the
Union during the late civil war; Henry Navarre Brevoort, who was
born on the Macomb homestead, Grosse Isle, April 3d, 1848.
Henry, after preliminary preparation, entered upon the study of law
with Van Dyke, Brownson & Moran, and was admitted to the bar in the
year 1874. ^^ ^^ '^'^^^ engaged in the active practice of his profession
with such success that on November 5th, 1876, he was nominated and
elected prosecuting attorney for Wayne county, and re-elected in 1878.
That he performed the duties of that office in a manner acceptable to
the public would seem apparent, from the fact that in 1887 he was
elected Circuit Judge of the Wayne County Court, by a large majority.
The Judge presides with much dignity and his decisions evince care
and thought in their preparation.

When off the bench he is social, courteous and genial, has a kind
word for all he meets, rich and poor ahke, and thus has hosts of
friends. In 1880 he married Caroline Miller, daughter of Hon. Joseph
Miller, of Cleveland, Ohio. They have one child, Emma, who was
born May 5th, 1881.

The third son of Henry Brevoort, Elias Thornton, after complet-
ing his education, became connected with the Canada Southern rail-
way, which relation he continued until appointed Deputy Collector and
Cashier of United States Internal Revenue at Detroit. He held this
position until very recently, when he resigned, and engaged in business
of a more profitable and congenial character. He is unmarried.


The late Dr. Lewis Carlisle, was born at South Amboy, Middlesex
county, New Jersey, November 15, 1789. His father, William, was born
at Freehold, Monmouth county, N. J., September 29, 1738. The father

— 221 —

of William Carlisle (John) was one of three brothers who came to
America from Londonderry, Ireland, in 1702, settling in New Jersey,
while the others located, one in Pennsylvania and the other in Virginia.
They left two brothers behind, whose descendants now reside in

Online LibraryFred. (Frederick) CarlisleChronography of notable events in the history of the Northwest territory and Wayne County → online text (page 23 of 51)