Cuyler Reynolds.

Genealogical and family history of southern New York and the Hudson River Valley : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the building of a nation (Volume 2) online

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sending Indians to Newport. On June 15,
1687, the petition of Sarah Potter, of War-
wick, to court was deferred to justices of the
peace of Providence, Warwick and Rochester,
and three months later John deeded to his eld-
est son Robert two hundred acres for love,
etc. John Potter married (first) June 2, 1664,
Ruth, daughter of Edward and Judith Fisher;
(second) Sarah (Wright) Collins. Children
by first wife: i. Robert, born at Warwick,
Rhode Island. March 5, 1663. 2. Fisher. July
12, 1667. 3. John, mentioned below. 4. Will-
iam, May 23, 1671. 5. Samuel. January 10.
1672. 6. Isabella, October 17, 1674: married
John Budlong, son of Francis and Rebecca

(Lippit") Rudlong. 7. Ruth, November 20.
1676. 8. Edward, November 2=;. 1678; mar-
ried, December 27, 1711, Tane (Rurlingham)
Potter, widow of John Potter. 9. Content,
October 2, 1686, died in 1703: married, Jime
I. T70^, Sarah Wright.

(III) John (2), son of John (i) and Ruth
f Fisher^ Potter, was born at Warwick, Rhode
Island. November 21, t66o, died Februarv 5.
171 T, being killed bv the fall of a tree. The
iury of inquest on his death judged him "to
be axedentolly excesery to his own deatli oc-
casioned by the fall of a tree." He married
Jane, daughter of Roger and Mary Burling-
ham. His widow married, December 27, 171 1,
his brother Edward, and it is a very singular
fact relating to these two brothers that thev
each had a son named John, who grew to
maturity having the same mother, namely,

Jane ( Burlingham) Potter. The children of
John, all born at Cranston, Rhode Island,
were: i. John, mentioned below. 2. Fisher,
died April 28, 1789; married, November 10,
1728, Mary, daughter of Samuel and Mercy
(Harding) Winsor. 3. Mary, married, in
1721, Robert Knight. 4. William, married,
February 19, 1721, Martha Tillinghast. 5.
Amy, married John Holmya. 6. Alice.

(IV) John (3), son of John (2) and Jane
(Burlingham) Potter, was born at Cranston,
Rhode Island, before 1695. He lived on the
Rivulet farm, one mile from the Quaker meet-
ing house at Cranston. This house was built
by his grandfather, who was born in 1639.
John Potter married, December 12, 1717.
Phebe, born in 1693, daughter of Thomas and
Ann (irunce. Children, all born at Cran-
ston, Rhode Island: i. John, born December
8, 1718; married. May 24, 1739. Hannah,
daughter of James and Elizabeth Baker. 2.
Joseph, born July 10, 1720, died before 1762 ;
married, January i, 1747, Mary, daughter of
John and Frances (Holden) Low. 3. Mary,
born June 20, 1722; married, December 19.
'7,^9- Joseph Edwards Jr. 4. Robley, born
February 15, 1724; married, December 29,
1742, Timothy, son of John and Rebecca Rus-
sel. 5. Caleb, born October 31. 1725.
6. Stephen, born August 14, 1727, died
November 29. 179'^: married (first) October
31, 1749, Mary Freeborn, (second) Ruth
Freeborn, two sisters, daughters of Gideon and
Ruth Freeborn. 7. Naomi, born May 18, 1729,
died January 27. 1806; married. January 14,
1749, Captain Randall Holden. 8. Ruth, born
May 18, T731 ; married Ezekiel Searles. 9.
W'illiam, born June 19, 1733. to. Thomas,
mentioned below. 11. ."^arah, born March i,
1736; married Mahalie Ilammett.

(V) Thomas, yoimgest son of John (3) and
Phebe (Grunce) Potter, was born at Crans-
ton, Rhode Island, March 23. 173^;, died No-
vember T-^, 1795. He married, October 16,
T/^'^. Esther, born 1738. died t8oo. daus^hter
of l^benezcr and Alary CHust) Sheldon. Chil-
dren: T. Mary, born July 31, 17^6. died May
'.^' 1757- 2. Joseph, mentioned below. вЦ†^.
Rhodes, April 3, 1759. ^'^^^ August 0. 1760.
4. Sylvester, i;. Phebe. fi. Rebecca. 7. Thomas.
8. Amy. 9. Clarke T. B. B., born October 28,

(VI) Joseph, eldest son of Thomas and Esther
(Sheldon) Potter, was Iiprn August 12. T757.



died November 2^, 1824. He removed with his
family in 1792 to Beekmau (now La Grange),
Dutchess county, New York. He married,
December 27, 1781, Anne Knight, born in
1760, died 1833. Children: Philadelphia, born
1782; Paraclete, 1784; Joseph, 1787; Sheldon,
1789; Robert Knight, 1791 ; Egbert Benson,
1797; Alonzo, mentioned below; Horatio
(Right Rev.), 1802.

(\"n) Right Rev. Alonzo Potter, D. D.,
LL. D., bishop of the Protestant Episcopal
church of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, son of
Joseph and Anne (Knight) Potter, was born
at Beekman, New York, July 10, 1800, died
July 4, 1865, on board the steamship "Colo-
rado,'' in the harbor of San Francisco, Cali-
fornia. He was first sent to the district schools
of his native hamlet, and was there favored
with the instruction of a Mr. Thompson, a
man capable of appreciating him. At the age
of twelve he entered the academy at Pough-
keepsie. and having secured a scholarship later
went to Union College. He was confirmed at
Christ church, Philadelphia, by the venerable
Bishop White, and began his theological
studies at the General Theological Seminary.
He was called to be a tutor at the Union
College at twenty and within a year was ad-
vanced to the professorship of mathematics.
He was made a priest by Bishop Bonnell, and
after a period as rector at Boston was made
Bishop of Pennsylvania. His biographer says
of him : "He lived more in his three score
years than most of those who stretch to the
utmost limit of earthly continuance do in their
larger span." He married (first) Sarah Maria
Knott; (second) Sarah Benedict; (third)
Frances Seton. Children, all born at Schenec-
tady, New York: Hon. N. Clarkson, born
April 25, 1825; Howard, Julv 8, 1826; Rob-
ert Brown, mentioned below ; Edward T.. Sep-
tember 25, 1831 ; Henry C, (Right Rev.),
May 2t;, 183!?: Rev. Eliphalet. 1837; Maria,
1839: James Nelson, 1841 ; William A., 1842;
Frank Hunter, 183 1.

(VHI) General Robert Brown Potter, son
of the Right Rev. Alonzo and Sarah Maria
(Knott) Potter, was born Julv 16, 182Q, died
at Newport. Rhode Island. Februarv 19, 1887.
His military career began in New York City,
and he was intimately connected with the
Ninth Army Corps, whose chief was General
Ambrose E. Burnside, of Rhode Island, and
therefore it can be said as of Homer in ancient

days that three cities can claim the honor of
his well-earned fame. After his college course
at Union College, under the care of his grand-
father, young Potter established himself in
New York as a lawyer, and at the beginning
of the civil war was in successful practice
in New York City. After the war broke out,
having no immediate ties, his wife having died
in 1858, a year after their marriage, he de-
termined to go to the front, and immediately
prepared himself by study and drill to take the
position to which his ambition called him.

On the organization of the Fifty-first Regi-
ment in New York he received the commis-
sion of lieutenant-colonel. His superior was
Colonel Ferrero, and Charles W. Le Gendre
was major. The regiment was moved to An-
napolis and soon after was attached to Burn-
side's little army at Annapolis, and brigaded
under General Reno. They had their baptisms
of fire at Roanoke Island, where Potter led
three companies of his regiment to the assault
of the batteries and was the first to enter the
works. At Newbern the Fifty-first had again
the post of honor and stormed the entrench-
ments on the left of the rebel lines. Here
Major Le Gendre was shot through the mouth,
and Lieutenant-Colonel Potter received a ball
in the groin, which passed through his body,
and here Potter showed that cool courage in
which he was not excelled, not even by Grant.
He remained on the field, in spite of his
wound, until the close of the memorable day,
and his judgment in pointing the line of at-
tack decided the victory in favor of the Union
troops. From Newbern the Fifty-first was
moved to support General McClellan, and
soon after General Pope in what is known as
the second Bull Run campaign. Here they
held the left of the Federal lines, covering
Pope's retreat, and here again, at the critical
point of the day, the Union lines broken,
Reno's brigade was called to retrieve the dis-
aster, and Colonel Potter led the gallant Fifty-
first in full view of the remainder of the
army, and broke the rebel lines. At South
Mountain, where the lamented Reno fell, the
Fifty-first was again in the post of honor, and
at Antietam, Potter achieved for himself an
almost romantic fame. The Union troops were
disordered and the bridge over Antietam
Creek, the key to the Federal position, lay in
front of the enemy's line and under the full
fire of their artillery. Potter, seizing the flag


of his regiment, crossed the bridge, calling on
his men to follow him, and thus secured the
position, and in the words of McClellan at
the time, "he saved the day." Some day,
it has been said, this action will be as noted
in history as is the similar dash of Napoleon
over the bridge at Arcolo or over the bridge
at Lodi. At Antictam, again. Potter was
slightly wounded. The Fifty-first, of which,
after the promotion of Ferrero to be brigadier-
general. Potter had sole command, was sent
with General Burnside, his old commander and
life-long personal friend, to take part in the
western campaign ; Potter took a place on
Burnside's staff, and by General Grant's spe-
cial order received an independent command.
During the siege of Knoxville, Potter com-
manded the division in front of the lines, and
with a greatly inferior force so manoeuvred
for seven trying days as to check the advance
of General Longstreet (detached to the cap-
ture of the beleagured city from General
Hood's army) and to admit of the relief
and re-enforcement of that port. It will be
remembered that the final assaults of the rebels
were defeated on the entrenchments in an
almost hand-to-hand fight. Potter had now
reached his true position as a commander of
large bodies. In the Wilderness campaign he
was constantly under fire, and unusually active
in his division. Here Major Le Gendre, now
colonel of his old regiment, the Fifty-first, was
finally disabled, losing an eye. The assault,
after the explosion of the memorable mine at
Petersburg, fell to General Burnside's com-
mand. Unfortunately this officer (General
Burnside). of but too facile a nature, left to
lot the choice of the officer who should lead
the assault, and that fell to an incompetent
officer. General Grant in his memoir says:
"In fact. Potter and Wilcox were the only
division commanders General Burnside had
who w^ere equal to the occasion." Neither of
them was chosen. The eventful history of
the mine explosion needs no further reference.
An intimate friend of General Potter states
that he had matured a plan for destroying the
bridge over the .\i>pnmattox, which would have
confined General Tree's armv and saved further
fighting. A touching incident is related by a
friend of General Potter. He had mounted
his horse in front of Fort Sedgwick, called
"Fort Hell" by his men, to lead his regiment
to battle, when he was struck by a ball and

wounded in the groin, as stated above. While
he lay desperately wounded on the field he was
visited by President Lincoln, who spoke ten-
derly to him, and cheered him with some of
his characteristic words. After the war he
was assigned by the secretary of state to the
command of Rhode Island and Connecticut
district of the military department of the East,
with headquarters in Newport, and in the
autumn of the same year he married his sec-
ond w'ife. A graceful compliment was paid
to Mrs. Potter, who was in receipt of a novel
but acceptable wedding present in the form of
a full major general's commission for her hus-
band, sent under the seal of the war depart-
ment of Secretary Stanton, the general's brevet
having already been received. In 1866 he was
appointed colonel of the Forty-first United
States Infantry (colored), but never assumed
command. This closed his brilliant military
career. General Hancock said of him that
he was one of the twelve best officers (West
Point graduates not excepted) in the army,
and with his well-known modesty he (General
Potter) was wont to say that he might have
made a first-rate officer with the advantages of
an early education at West Point.

After the gigantic failure of the .Atlantic
and Great Western Railroad Company he was
appointed receiver, a position of labor and
trust, and for three years he lived in a car on
the line of the railroad. Later, in the hope
of improving his somewhat shattered health,
he went to England, residing in W'arwick
county, following the hounds, and maintain-
ing by his generous hospitality the credit of
his native land and a true American gentle-
man. On his return he purchased "The
Rocks," which he made his residence, and
during the summer season he entertained in a
liberal manner. He spent his winters in Wash-
ington, making common household with his
brother. Congressman Potter. General Pot-
ter had a good deal to bear in his latter days
in the way of bodily pain, and not a little of
it may have been occasioned, it may be pre-
sumed, by the rigors of the civil war. endured
by him with immense patience and courage.
A memorial was erected to his memory at the
place of his burial, referring to his services
to his country, and testifying to the sincere
admiration in which he was held by his

He married (first) .\pril 14, 18,57, Frances



Tileston ; (second) Abby Austin Stevens,
daughter of John A. Stevens, a distinguished
financier, and president of the Bank of Com-
merce. Children; Robert Burnside, men-
tioned below; Warwick, born October 31,
1871, died October 11, 1893; Austin, born in
New York. January 16, 1873; Frances Tiles-
ton, married James L. Breese.

(IX) Robert Burnside, son of General Rob-
ert Brown and Abby Austin (Stevens) Pot-
ter, was born at New York, January 29, 1869.
He was educated at Groton School, Harvard,
and the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris. He is
by profession an architect and was a member
of the firm of Robertson & Potter, architects,
160 Fifth avenue. New York, from 1900 to
iQio. He was graduated from Harvard in
1891 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and
has a diploma as architect from the French
government. He is a member of the American
Institute of Architects and is well known in
his profession. Mr. Potter is a member of
several prominent clubs and societies, among
them the Knickerbocker Club, the Country
Club, the New York Yacht Club, the Architec-
tural League, The Society of Beaux Arts,
Architects, and the Societe des Architectes
Diplomes par le Gouvernement, Paris. His
permanent address is Antietam Farm, Smith-
town, New York.

This family surname is found
PYNE written both as Pyne and Pine,

Lower stating that its derivation
is from the proximity of the dwelling place of
the original family to a pine forest. The
American possessors of the name are said
to be a mixed Eng^lish, French. Spanish and
German descent. The immediate home of that
branch of the family that left England for
America was the county- of Devon in the south
of England. The eldest branch of the Pyne
family of Devonshire, which in 1797 assumed
the additional name of Coffin, is descended
directly in the male line from Oliver Pyne, of
Ham in Morwenstowe, who settled at East
Down in 1307. His grandfather, the second
son of John de Pyne, of Upton Pyne and Ham
in Morwenstowe, inherited Ham and other
manors about 1332, while the elder brother re-
ceived the main possessions of the family, in-
cluding Upton Pyne. This John de Pyne,
member of parliament in 1332, was a son of
Sir Herbert de Pyne, and was sixth in descent

from Sir Herbert de Pyne, who was lord of
the manor in 1122. This earlier Sir Herbert
was probably the grandson of the Seigneur de
Pins, one of the hundrci and eighteen knights
who fought at Hastings in 1066, and who may
or may not have been killed in that battle, as
nothing definite is known in regard to his
settling in England. It is thus possible that
his grand.son, Sir Herbert, was after all the
first of the family to make his home in the
conquered country, coming over with King
Henry I. in the year iioo. The ancestral home
of the family, the Shute House, still stands
in Devonshire, and the coat-of-arms, belong-
ing presumably to the first Anglo-Norman an-
cestor, was as follows ; Gules, a chevron
ermine between three pine cones, or.

Ancestors in a direct line were Colonel John
Pyn, M. P., of Curr Mallet, to whom refer-
ence is made by Disraeli in his life of Charles
I. ; James Pyne, who lived at Brook House,
Kent, as late as 1400; John de Pyne, M. P.,
1332; Sir Thomas de Pyne, 1314; Sir Robert
de Pyne, 1243 ; Sir Thomas de Pyne of Combe
Pyne and Shute, 1240, High Sheriff of Devon;
Sir Herbert de Pyne, 1225; Nicholas de Pyne,
1191, crusader under Richard Coeur do Lion;
Gilbert de Pyne, in command at the siege of
the castle of Brionne under the Duke of Nor-
mandy, 1090.

During the last century the family name was
borne in England by many persons of culture
and rare artistic and literary attainments.
James Baker Pyne, born in 1800, was a noted
landscape painter, traveling extensively
throughout the continent. William Henry, of
a previous generation, born in 1769, died in
1843, was also a noted painter, beside being an
author of considerable celebrity ; he was
known as "Ephraim Hardcastle." and became
connected with Ackerman, the publisher, to
several of whose publications he contributed
both drawings and writings. The famous Lon-
don publishing house of Rivington was
founded bv a connection of the Pyne family.
Charles Rivington, who was born in 1688. in
Derbyshire, England, bein? the son of Thurs-
ton Rivington. of that locality. This firm,
whose sisrn was the "Bible and Crown," pub-
lishing chicflv theological works, were the pub-
lishers also of Samuel Richardson's "Pamela."
After the death of the founder, the business
was conducted by his sons John and James,
and finally passed into the hands of the Messrs.



Longman, in 1893, the style of the firm ap-
pearing as Rivington, Percival & Company.

James Rivington, born in 1724, died in 1803,
son and successor of the founder of the pub-
Hshing house, made a fortune in the business
wliich, however, he rapidly dissipated, and
coming to America he settled as a bookseller
in Philadelphia, in 1760. The following year
he opened a book store at the lower end of
Wall street. New York, and in 1762 com-
menced selling books in Boston. He failed, and
re-commenced in New York, where in April,
1773, he began the publication of Rivington s
New York Gazetteer, supporting the British
government. This brought him into trouble
with the colonists, who destroyed his printing
press and, melting the type, turned it into
bullets. Rivington returned to England and
procuring a new outfit was appointed king's
printer for New York, where he again set up
his presses and started Rivington' s Nezv York
Laval Gazette, 1777, which afterward became
the Royal Gazette; in this were published some
of Major Andre's verses. About the year 1781
he is said to have changed his politics, fur-
nishing General Washington with important
information; he remained in New York aftei
its evacuation by British troops, and changed
the title of his paper to Rivington' s Nezv York
Gazette and Universal Adviser. But his busi-
ness declined, his paper came to an end in
1783, and he passed the remainder of his life
in comparative obscurity. He died in New
York in January, 1803, his name being pre-
served in the annals of the city and applied
to one of its principal streets ; a portrait, which
has been engraved, is in possession of one of
the Appletons. James Rivington was twice
married and left children.

(I) Percy Rivington Pyne, namesake of
the publisher, and immigrant ancestor of the
Pyne family in America, was born in Eng-
land and came to this country in 1828. He
became prominent in public affairs and as a
philanthropist, and was president of the Na-
tional City Bank. He was also the head and
practicallv the creator of the Delaware. Lack-
awanna & Western railway. His wife was
Catherine S., daughter of Moses Taylor, one
of the foremost merchants and financiers of
the city in his day. Their son, Moses Taylor,
is mentioned below.

iW^ Moses Taylor, son of Percy Rivington
and Catherine S. (Taylor) Pyne, was born

in New York City, December 21, 1855. ^le
was educated at Princeton University, from
which he was graduated with the degree of
A. M. in 1877; and took a subsequent course
at the Columbia Law School, becoming a coun-
sellor at law in 1880. In 1903 he received
the degree of Litt. D. from Columbia Uni-
versity. He has large interests in railway and
industrial corporations, and is a director of
the National City Bank and other institutions.
In politics Mr. Pyne is a Republican; he is a
member of the Episcopal church, being a war-
den and vestryman of Christ Church. River-
dale. Trinity Church, Princeton, and Zion and
St. Timothy churches. New York. Belongs
to the Union, University, Century, Metropol-
itan and droller clubs of New York City. On
lune 2, 1880, he was married at Trenton. New
Jersey, to Anna Margaretta, daughter of Gen-
eral Robert Field Stockton (see Stockton
VII). Children: Percy Rivington. mentioned
below ; Robert Stockton, born in New York,
May 27, 1883, died at Pomfret, Connecticut,
February 25, 1903 ; Moses Taylor, born in
New York. November 5, 18S5.

(Ill) Percy Rivington (2), son of Moses
Taylor and Anna Margaretta (Stockton) Pvne
was born June 23. 1882, in New York City. He
received his preparatory education at St.
Paul's School, Concord, New Hampshire,
which is recognized as one of the foremost
schools of its kind in the country, and from
there he entered Princeton Ufniversity, from
which his father and several other ancestors
were graduated. Ho completed his course after
four years of scholastic and social prominence,
and was graduated Bachelor of Arts in the
class of 1903. In 1904 he began his financial
career in connection with the Farmers' Loan
(S: Trust Company, and in 1 007 he became
associated with the management of the Moses
Taylor estate. On February 8, Tqog, Mr.
Pyne organized the bankinsf and stock broker-
age firm of Pyne, Kendall & Hollister, with
offices in the new National Citv Bank build-
ing at No. 55 Wall St.. and he has since been
successfullv engaged in business in that con-
nection. He is a member of the board of
directors of the Commercial Trust Company
of New Jersey, the East River Gas Company,
the New Amsterdam Gas Company. Syracuse
Sc Bin?hamton Railroad. Cayusra & Susque-
hnnna Railroad, the Delaware. Lackawanna &
W'estern Coal Company ; he is president and



director of the Prospect Company of New
Jersey ; and is trustee and chairman of the
East Side branch of the Young Men's Chris-
tian Association. Mr. Pyne has attained dis-
tinction among the younger men identified
with the great financial interests of Wall
street, and brings to his business and social
life a splendid equipment of natural ability
with all the advantages of a thorough educa-
tion, excellent physical training, culture, and a
long honored name, and his firm has taken a
place of great prominence in the financial

In social life Mr. Pyne has been particu-
larly successful and distinguished, and he is a
member of the leading clubs and societies of
this and other cities. In New York City he
belongs to the Union, University, Racquet and
Tennis, Metropolitan, New York Yacht,
Brook, Down Town, Aero, Automobile.
Princeton, Underwriters, Touring Club of
America, Manhattan, Intercollegiate, \\'hite-
hall, and Motor Car Touring Society. Other
clubs and societies to which he belongs are :
Meadowbrook, Short Beach, Rockaway Hunt-
ing, Morris County Golf, Baltusrol Golf, Gar-
den City Golf. National Golf. Tuxedo, South
Side Sportsmen's Club, Westbrook Golf,
Archdale Quail, Islip, Touring Club of France,
Automobile Association of London, and St.
Nicholas Society.

(The Stockton Line.)
This is a family that for seven hundred
years has been prominent in the public life
of England and America, producing men of
marked ability and distinction. Crusaders,
knights, judges, naval and military heroes,
civic officers, diplomats, governors, senators
and congressmen have brought their honors
to the family name through the long centuries.
The name is derived from two Saxon words,
"stoc," a tree trunk, and "tun," an inclosure,
indicative of the original locality of the fam-
ily in feudal times, which was a forest in-

Online LibraryCuyler ReynoldsGenealogical and family history of southern New York and the Hudson River Valley : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the building of a nation (Volume 2) → online text (page 61 of 95)