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daughter of Jacob and Mary Satterly, born August 25, 1759, died July 7.
1793, whom he married July 7, 1781, and had children, Benjamin F. 5 ,
and Hannah 5 who died young. Benjamin F. 6 * was born May 15, 1784,

* Extract from the Minules of the New York Historical Society at a stated meeting
May 1, 1S49. — In the absence of the President, Honorable Albert Gallatin, LL.D.,
Honorable Luther Bradish, First Vice President, in the Chair, Henry Austin Brady,
Esq., announced to the Society the sudden decease, on the 21st of April last, of the
Honorable Benjamin F. 5 Thompson, of Hempstead, L. I., and read the following
sketch of his life : Honorable Benjamin Franklin 3 Thompson was born at Setauket,
Suffolk County, Long Island, May 15, 17S4. His ancestors were early settlers of
Connecticut and Long Island. His father, Samuel 4 Thompson, was an eminent phy-
sician and was born in 173S and died in 1S11, aged seventy-three years. Mis.
Thompson, the mother of our late associate, died in 1793, when he was about ten
years of age. In 1794 he was sent to the Clinton Academy at Easthamplon. and re-
turned home in April, 1795, and attended the village school at Setauket until Oc-
tober, 1796, when he was transferred to the academy at Huntington, L. 1. In 1S02
he was admitted to the freshman class at Yale College, New Haven, during the
Presidency of the Reverend Timothy Dwight. At the end of a year he left college
at his father's request. In October, 1S04, he commenced the study of medicine with
Dr. Ebenezer Sage, of Sag Harbor, L. I., and in 1S06-7 he attended the medical lect-
ures at Columbia College, New York, and the chemical lectures at the New York
Hospital, and in a short time afterwards was licensed as a physician and soon at-
tained an extensive practice. About this time, mostly by his exertions, a library
society was formed at Setauket, but after a few years it was dissolved and the books
were dispersed. In 1S11 he was appointed Clerk of the County of Suffolk. On the
4th of July of the same year he pronounced an oration at Setauket. In 1S12 he
was appointed Surgeon to the Brookhaven Regiment commanded by Colonel Davis.
He married in 1810 the daughter of the Reverend Zachariah Greene, and about this
time was appointed a Justice of the Peace and a Master in Chancery, and in 1S12
was elected to the Legislature of this State. From December, 1813, to December.
1S15, he was Collector of the internal revenue and direct taxes of the Counties of
Kings and Queens. He resigned this employment and was immediately elected to
the Legislature. In 181S he relinquished the practice of medicine and commenced
the study of law with the Honorable Selah B. Strong, of Setauket, now one of the
Judges of the Court of Appeals of this State. In 1821 he was admitted an attorney
of the Suffolk Common Pleas, and was afterwards admitted an attorney and coun-
sellor of the Supreme Court of this State. In 1S24 he removed from Setauket to
Hempstead. Queens County, where he resided uniil his decease. In 1S26 he was
made District Attorney, and for ten years discharged the duties of that office. In
1825 he published a work called " The Justice's Guide." On the 4th of July, 1 827,
he pronounced, at North Hempstead, L. I., an oration which was much admired and
extensively published by the lending newspapers of the country. In 1S3S he com-
pleted his " History of Long Island " upon which he had been engaged for many years.
This work was published in this city in t83g and was very successful. A second edi-
tion, much enlarged, was published in 1S43, and at the time of his death a third
edition, revised and partly re-written, was nearly ready for the press. In 1S45 he read
a paper before this Society on the Indian names of places on Long Island, and was,
at that time, appointed a member ol the committee on the preparation and publica-
tion of an Indian map of this State, which still remains unfinished.

Mr. Thompson for several years before his decease was engaged in making a
collection of curious American epitaphs, with the intention of publishing a w
that subject, somewhat similar to that of the Rev. Timothy Alden. lie also several
years since wrote a series of letters describing in a highly entertaining manner every
town, village, and locality on Long Island, with sketches of the principal inhabitants



24 The Family of Thompson, of the County of Suffolk, N. Y. [Jan.,

^^"tlf^'S^S^S - ^ '^ VaH0US -W P«< d on

^^z:^^^^- d r ,ove ror !] is,oric ~ c h_w hi ch

to him (or the collection -nrlnrl! ?• } decease . and we are much indebted

history of this Sta e H, f P ^ t tI0 ". Of mate,ial s for the illustration of the local
the las" horn -ofWsiife ^ "^ ° f h ' S CuUivated m ' nd unimpatred t

" No pale gradations quenched that ray "
of h"V::. S take " fr ° m US in the midst of his "-fulness and in the sixty-fourth year
by the r Sode d t y y: then ^^ the f °"° Wi "S resoluti °» s . "'». « his own burying-ground

l^^&m^ntenta^o/iuin^?^'^"^^ Wh ° Se death taSt a ">«>«=
mon destiny than e vohernf i ' , N °,' that he WaS less ]iable to °nr com-

tensivelvk/own andcllled too in ' ' ,"' ^^V* S ° WeU beloved and *° ex-
employment, in the mfd t oV h?s T?" 6 " 1 " SUal . health in the very act of professional
paired' the vast store" o his knowleH ' "^ V ' B ° r ° f '^ CU ' tiva,ed in,e " ec ' "»«».

dimmed and has natural strength ,K S f i" < ? ni ? M,t accum tilation, the eye yet un-
saddened ; *ri*&%T2lt™£ZL and'tV ^ " ,d ab ™ ad ^'indeed
grief, lor no ordinary citizen comnan m ^ ? P °" ourselv es the insignia of

»o injustice to the ivb T,rU a ' ' ° r f " end has been taken f ™m us. It were

has not yet been'oo „'"? b ed up^our S 'co" 15 ""' f ° r ' f^ ' audable fa ™
it is not now designed to nstit, , i , Com P arlsoll s we know are invidious ;

The worth of X m o h ill / >**&**?• »° r d "es the occasion require it

dated when we ^l^t^^C^^Z^^ ^ "^ '* ^ ^

removal. Others no doubt iW» \ ab ,a "Mully the space now vacant bv his

and others, ,o , wh hav ha oi noJ 1° ^ heW ^ T' hold aS lead y a ^n ;
research, and indifference to Decn nh™ l^iP^r \ degree ° f industr y- lo ^ e of
'"'"wtlypowe^t^^^SJ^:.^ ' f these qualities were or are
said that they never exisednoL 1 '" d vlduaIs > " ca " nevertheless in truth be
'han i„ B*r,&i^?^^^"*™ff"toP^ ia n in any one person
and intimacy for years om Si nf , ^ h ' m f 6 "- In an ocula '' intercourse
toils has been S. n P °/ h.s character, his genius, his learning and his

*«*y and it is°;™ e m eS as^Wl t ,V ' nS - ^ » '""f W^nnity of knowing the
east together. As a faTh er and ^ h g ' I P T°. v "! ° Ul ' ,,fe ,hat our lots w£ re so long
valuabfe would be lost ",o the ? a n ; sband - l »e best m ght imitate him ; and nothing
As a neighbor peaceable an d Sfl ^ fw "?! Uch Saved lhat sadl y mars its b ^s
that it was in h?s poler to do so ' H, " ' ^ e "° WS '•' WaS ° n ^ " eCessar y t0 know
satisfied by wishing we 1 but that n n r™^ not ! ha f s ent,men.al benevolence which is
As a man he sot.X ,'„ 1 i P' act,cal klnd which would do good.

dition of his rte g Pe Cu liar e in S hi 10 T^ ^ ^ r«? iome by in fo™ a tion the con-
ace. Pecubar in his views upon theology, yet that peculiarity was



1896.] The Family of Thompson, of the County of Suffolk, N. Y. 25

to the bar. He followed the legal profession for the remainder of his
life, but was better known by his literary labors. His "History of Long
Island " has preserved his name to posterity in the most imperishable
manner. He married, June 12, 1810, Mary Howard, born October 5,
1794, eldest daughter of the Rev. Zachariah Greene.* He had four chil-

never allowed to interrupt a full and free intercourse with its professed teachers ;
and not a few of them, and the best informed too, but will bear us witness that they
were ever edified and instructed by such intercourse. To all he was ever ready and
happy to impart from his great stock of varied literature ; his was never a light
" placed under a bushel, but on a candlestick and it gave light to all in the house."
We offer no minute and particular account upon these facts ; at this time they
require none at our hands. The future biographer will detail them with interest
and with pride. A lover and a master of ancient and modern learning, an admirer
of genius and of talent, a devoted disciple within the temple of knowledge, a
martyr to the cause of usefulness to the present and future generations, he has been
sacrificed before his time. " His sun," in the emphatic language of Scripture, " has
gone down while it is yet day."

The village he aided so much to advance in wealth and notice, the place of his
wearied carking cares and labors, the fair spring with her carpet of green and per-
fume of flowers, the genial summer redolent with life, the mellow autumn rich in
variegated increase, nor the chill winter, fitting emblem of mortality, shall now
know his presence no more forever. 'Tis a withering thought ; and but for the
hope within we should sink beneath its influence. Yet shall lie live ; not as frail
humanity, but as destined from the beginning — immortal. Time and his brother
Death shall work no farther change ; they write no wrinkle upon the placid brow of
the eternal spirit. Its smile is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever. As the
carol of the birds, the zephyr's dirge-like music, or ocean's unchanging bass, it is
still the same, though we grow old and exchange insensibly the buoyancy of youth
for the depression of age and the tomb. Such a mind should be and is perennial as
eternity. His own history of his dear native island shall perpetuate and embalm his
memory.

We loved Thompson for his amiable qualities, his accomplished erudition, and
his natural delight in imparting it to those around him. Faults he certainly had ; but
they were the faults of a generous nature. To deny him these were to deny him
human. Malice he harbored not. His mind he freely spoke, 'tis true, and as freely
did he extend his hand in token of a reconciled and honorable feeling. It is a great
thing to die ; we know not how it is to others, but we again repeat it is a great thing
to die ! Were the living to properly appreciate this truth, not a moment would be
lost in the preparation ; but they do not. With him the Rubicon of life was suddenly
passed ; the messenger Death came quick ; the shaft flew strong ; he expired un-
conscious of the summons. The laying off of this earthly vesture, the final leaving
of this tried existence — endeared by home, family, and friends — for the unseen, un-
tried, and immaterial existence of the supposed future, has never, in all time, been
looked upon complacently by the natural man. It was even so with him. "The
dim unknown ; the undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveller returns,"
puzzles the will. What noble lights in science and in arts, what bright constel-
lations of worth and virtue, what resplendent luminaries of wisdom and of learning,
what glorious youth and seraphic beauty, people that alleged " spirit land " and what
rich voices stud those shadowy realms ! Ruth, Deborah, and Mary ; Sappho, the
mother of the Gracchi, and the Queen of the South ; creatures who were once the
light, the grace, and beauty of our world are there ; with Herodotus and Tacitus.New-
ton and Locke, Shakespeare and Milton, Gibbon and Bacon. And now another de-
voted worshipper at the altar of truth has passed forever hence, and, as we believe, has
joined a pure and sacred band, the literati, and the perfection of ages whom he loved
here so well, and had only gone before to the Paradise of God.

*" Washington received the Declaration of Independence on the o,th of July,
with instructions to have it read to the army. He immediately issued an order for
the several brigades then in and near the city to be drawn up at 6 o'clock that even-
ing, to hear it read by their several commanders or their aids. The brigades were
formed in hollow squares on their respective parades. The venerable Zachariah
Greene (commonly known as ' Parson Greene,' the father-in-law of Mr. Thompson,
historian of Long Island), yet (1855) living at Hempstead, at the age of ninety-six



26 The Family of Thompson, of the County of Suffolk, N. Y. [Jan.,

dren : Henry Rutgers °, bom March 17, 18 13, and having been for several
years an officer of one of the New York banks, died in the thirtieth ye^r
of Ins age, unmarned high]y beloved and October '5 18^

Mary Greene", born June 20, 1815, died unmarned Harriet Sat erlv ' *
born November 9, ,8,8, married June 12, ,837, died -—Jacob

T\ Vanderhoof, Esq., died ; and Edward Z>,f born September 2

1 8,i, marned Elizabeth Lush, July re, ,843, of HempsSd, L I '
aiea ■ . Male line extinct.

T ™? r ' S l m ro Uel u T J hom 1 P SOn contracted a second marriage on March 10
1795, with Ruth daughter of Timothy and Sebiah SmTth, by whom he
had a daughter Mary Woodhull*, born January 11, I7 „6 and a son

Hv d n to mXi v LUd The W f b0Pn T^ 5 ' '799.! the 'on^ children who
uvea to matuntv. 1 he former died unmarried, December 28 1821
and the latter married February 12, l84 2, his cousin Soph a d'au^ht r

t ua °v n 26 T 8 C ,f " e r } |- 1 "?' "fT °i Dr ' SamUe1, Thompson died
r n 77/. ,u 34, C ol° nel Samuel Ludlowl Thompson and his wife
both died ,n the year 1865, and were interred in the old buryino-J u, d
on the homestead at Setauket. Male line is now extinct. 7 § °

born T rarvTr 6 if l0 .H 6 Thom P s ° n > d °™ daughter, Mary Ludlow',
corn January 14, 1844. She married, first, William Leroy Berrian and
had one daughter, Mary Berrian', and second, on January 14 1868 Thomas
Strong Gnffing, a gentleman farmer on the old estate at Setauket (This
estate during the lifetime of Colonel Thompson, was cons dered a
model farm and his exhibits at the International Exhibition ,8 > in

CoTotl'Ser r E Tmn >** ™ * ^T™ in the ^can S £
era with )Z Lf T P re S\ ment > and «*> assistant adjutant-gen-
wa ' tL h T Capt ^' Under General McClellan in the late civil

Sr'9 Id -t T S ° nS ; ^ h ° maS Str °"g 7 Griffing, born December £>

r a nf' r ^ meS R ° gerS Griffin ^ who died aged four months 187?'
Captain Gnffing was a nephew of the late TunVp Q fr "' Z o, A 7/ , -

Manor and was therefor/a relative" 6 oftis' wt. 'cTptin' G k^g 'and
h s wife were both buried in the Strong family vault on StroS Neck
Sd^fth^mily.^ 6 ° ldTh0m P S0 " h0 ~ d ^s recentl 3 N b e et

the Park fountain now k w„ w SqUare was formed at th e spot where

and that th de UraUon'wa^^^^tf""^ " "as within the square, on horseback?

concluded, three hea.ty cleers wtre e ivin V °' Ce * T °i ** f^" Whe " il was
assembled at the City Hall at rhphlj' r ' tj " J o e " yS afterw ard, the people
^&:'~E Xt ractfyomL^»f s m e ldR no ffT% Street, ,0 hear the Declaration

* Harriet Snt'Lw" 'rl '' .* " /// "' ^"'"lution, vol. ii., p a



Online LibraryNew York Genealogical and Biographical SocietyThe New York genealogical and biographical record (Volume 74) → online text (page 5 of 34)