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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Read

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 489-496 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The American family of Read, which began with Colonel John Read, born in Dublin, Ireland, 1668, son of Henry Read, Esq., and grandson of Sir Charles Read, of the ancient family of Barton Court, Oxfordshire. He was in line of descent from Thomas Read, lord of the manors of Barton Court and Breedon, in Berkshire, and high sheriff of Berks, 1581, descended from Rede of Troughend. The Reads in America have been persons of the highest distinction, including a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a commodore United States navy, a chief justice of the state of Delaware, a senator from Pennsylvania, an adjutant-general of the state of New York, first United States consul-general to France, and minister to Greece — in fact, a history of the Read family in America is like calling the roll of the country's noted men. In England the family has a noble and exceedingly ancient record dating to a remote period. A manuscript of Queen Elizabeth's time has a passage in which Rede of Troughend is thus described: "Ye Laird of Troughwen, the chief of the name of Reed and divers followers." In 1542 the Redes of Troughend were reckoned the second clan of the dale of Rede. The oldest forms of the name ofthe family in Redesdale are Rede and Read, which in the Troughend family became changed to Reed, and in the Barton Court family to Reade, except the American branch,which spells it Read. A stone tablet in Elsdon Church, Redesdale, had this remarkable inscription above the coat-of-arms: "The ancient family of Troughend for above eight hundred years." The last of the Troughend chiefs was Ellerington Reed, who sold Troughend, and died in 1829. This would take the clan back to the year 1000, as the tablet was erected to Ellerington Reed, who died January 5, 1758. Barton manor, the cradle, if not the birthplace, of the race, was acquired by Thomas Reade, founder of the Barton Court line, in 1550. In 1644 a force of Cromwell's men attacked Barton Court, which was vigorously defended. The storming party only gained access by means of the torch, and the once stately pile was reduced to a heap of smouldering ruins. Barton Court is on the west bank of the Thames, a short distance north of Abingdon. Richard Read (or Reade) of Culham rectory, Oxfordshire, ancestor of the American Reads, was third son of Thomas Reade (died 1604), and Mary Stonehouse (died 1625), and grandson of Thomas Reade, first lord of Barton Court; Richard Read married Helen, eldest child of Sir Alexander Cave, of Bargrave and Rotherby Leicester. His second son, Sir Charles Read, born 1622, died 1674, of Whitefriars, London, and Dublin, married Catherine Russell, a kinswoman of his cousin, Sir William Russell. Sir Charles Read's eldest son, Henry Read, married Mary Molines, descendant of the old Oxfordshire house of De Molines, which survive in Lord Ventry. Henry Read's only son, John Read, was first of the family to cross over to America, and with him the American family begins. He was of the sixth generation from Thomas Reade, first lord of Barton manor, and of the third from Richard of Culham Rectory, and tenth from Edward, high sheriff of Berks, 1439.

(I) Colonel John Read, only son of Henry and Mary (Molines) Read, was born in Dublin, Ireland, January 15, 1688, of English parentage. He fell in love at an early age with his cousin, a beautiful girl, who died before their engagement terminated in marriage. The shock so overcame him that he determined, in spite of his parents' opposition, to seek relief in entire change of scene. Crossing the ocean to Maryland, he purchased lands in several counties in that province, to which he added others in Delaware and Virginia. On his home plantation in Cecil county, Maryland, where his eldest son George was born, he erected a spacious brick mansion subsequently destroyed by fire. He possessed slaves, whom he treated with unvarying humanity. "Jim" was the head of his house servants, as "Juba" was the head of those of the next generation. He was fond of field sports, and the country rang with the sound of his dogs and gun. He was both hospitable and generous. He gave all the land to endow the churches in his vicinity, both in Maryland and Delaware. His life was honorable in all its relations. He was one of the original proprietors of the city of Charlestown, at the head of Chesapeake bay, a town in which many of his friends, the elder generations of the Washington family, and eventually General Washington himself, became deeply interested. Tradition preserves an account of the youthful Washington's visit to Colonel Read at the close of the latter's active, well-spent life. As one of the original proprietors of Charlestown, Colonel Read was appointed by the colonial legislature one of the commissioners to lay out and govern the new town. In the course of his active career he held several military commissions, and in the latter part of his life he resided on the plantation in New Castle county, Delaware, where he died June 15, 1756, in his sixty-ninth year. He is buried in New Castle county. His will was signed the day of his death, as is mentioned in an indenture some thirty-five years later, for the original will was carried away by the British army, with many of the public records of New Castle county. Colonel Read embodied the characteristics which have always distinguished the Read family, piety, severe integrity, original and powerful intellectuality, devotion to friends and country, and fascinating manners. In figure, he resembled his English ancestors, being fuller in form than the majority of his American descendants. He was a remarkably handsome man, six feet in height, with a ruddy complexion, dark, expressive eyes, and was noted for his great strength. Bequeathing to his descendants the traditions of a well-ordered life, he was a fitting progenitor of an illustrious line of statesmen, jurists, soldiers, sailors and divines. Three of his sons were numbered among the founders and fathers of the United States. There are two portraits of Colonel John Read; one represents him in his youth, in the striking costume of the reign of Queen Anne; the other depicts him in middle life, in the wig and dress of the time of George II. After a long period of single life his early sorrow was consoled by his marriage, April 16, 1731, to Mary Howell (born 1711, died September 22, 1784), a charming young Welsh woman, many years his junior. When very young, she was brought from Wales to Delaware by her parents. Her father became a large planter, and her uncle was one of the founders of Newark, Delaware. Mrs. Read survived her husband nearly thirty years. Her nephew, Colonel Richard Howell, was a distinguished Revolutionary officer, and for eight years governor of New Jersey. He was the ancestor of Chief Justice Agnew, of Pennsylvania; Verina Howell, wife of Jefferson Davis, president of the Southern Confederacy, and of Rear Admiral John Cumming Howell, who distinguished himself in the war of the rebellion. Six sons and a daughter were born to Colonel John and Mary (Howell) Read. The only daughter, Mary, married Gunning Bedford, Sr., who was a lieutenant in the war against the French in 1775, and took an active part in the revolution. He was commissioned major and lieutenant-colonel, and was wounded at the battle of White Plains, while leading his men to the attack. Later he was muster-master general, member of the continental congress, and governor of Delaware. He left no issue. The sons were:

  1. George, "The signer," see forward.
  2. William, formerly of Philadelphia, afterward of Havana, where he was assassinated in 1763; he married Elizabeth Chambers, and had a daughter, Mary.
  3. John, planter, of Cecil county, Maryland; he never married.
  4. Thomas, married Mary Peale; no issue.
  5. James, of further mention.
  6. Andrew, planter, of Cecil county, unmarried.
  7. Mary, of previous mention.

(II) Hon. George Read, eldest son of Colonel John and Mary (Howell) Read, was born on the plantation in Cecil county, Maryland, September 18, 1733, died in the Read colonial mansion in New Castle county, Delaware, September 21, 1798. He was, in a peculiar sense, father of the state of Delaware, for he was author of her first constitution, in 1776, and of the first edition of her laws. He figured in her assembly twelve years, was vice-president of the state, and at one time her acting chief magistrate. He penned the address from Delaware to the king, which so impressed George III. that Lord Shelbourne said, "he read it over twice." He was one of the two, and the only southern statesman, who signed all three of the great state papers on which our history is based, viz.: the original petition to the king from the congress of 1774, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States. He received a classical education under Dr. Francis Allison, studied law, and was admitted to the Philadelphia bar at the age of nineteen. In 1754 he removed to New Castle, Delaware. He was appointed attorney-general of Delaware under the crown at the age of twenty-nine. He warned the British government of the danger of attempting to tax the colonies without giving them representation in Parliament, and, finding no change in the attitude toward the colonies, he resigned his office and accepted a seat in the first congress which met at Philadelphia in 1774. He still hoped for reconciliation, and voted against the motion for independence. But when he found the "die was cast," he signed the "Declaration," and henceforth was the constant originator and ardent supporter of measures in behalf of the colonial cause.

He was president of the constitutional convention in 1776. In 1782 he was appointed by congress a judge in the national court of appeals in admiralty. In 1786 he was a delegate to the convention which met at Annapolis, Maryland, and culminated in the calling together, 1787, of the Philadelphia convention that framed the constitution of the United States. In this august body he was a prominent figure. After the adoption of the constitution, which Delaware was the first to ratify, he was elected to the United States senate, and at the expiration of his term he was re-elected. He resigned his seat in 1793, and became chief justice of Delaware, which high judicial office he held until his death. Hon. George Read was justly entitled to the prefix "Honorable." He was known by the plain class as "the honest lawyer." He was a man of the highest integrity, who gathered about him a large circle of warm friends, who looked to him for guidance and advice. A proof of his devotion to friendship was shown in the case of John Dickinson. The latter not only opposed the "Declaration," but refused to sign it, and thereby lost his popularity entirely. Through the friendship and political and personal influence of George Read, he was after a time restored to public life, became president successively of the states of Delaware and Pennsylvania, and one of the delegates to the convention that framed the national constitution. There are three original portraits of Hon. George Read, of Delaware: one of these, by Trumbull, is in the historical painting, "The Declaration of Independence," which is in the capitol at Washington. He figures prominently in other historical pictures.

January 11, 1763, Hon. George Read married Gertrude, died September 2, 1802, daughter of Rev. George Ross, for nearly fifty years rector of Emanuel church, New Castle. A brother of Mrs. Read had been attorney-general of Delaware under the crown; another, Rev. A. Ross, was celebrated as the author of eloquent and patriotic sermons during the revolution, while still another brother, George Ross, was an eminent judge and signer of the Declaration of Independence. She was a descendant of Ross of Rosshire, Scotland, the ancient earls of Ross, and Rev. George Ross, the American ancestor who came to America in 1703 as a missionary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, located at New Castle, Delaware. The beautiful Read mansion, on the west bank of the Delaware, in New Castle, was the scene of elegant hospitality in its day. It was one of the family residences in the south. It was partially destroyed by fire in 1824, but was restored and is still standing.

The children of George and Gertrude (Ross) Read were:

  1. John, died in infancy.
  2. George, for thirty years U. S. district attorney of Delaware; married Mary, daughter of General William Thompson, and had issue.
  3. William, consul-general of the kingdom of Naples; married Anna McCall, and had issue.
  4. John, see forward.
  5. Mary, only daughter, married Matthew Pearce, and had issue.

(II) Commodore Thomas Read, the first naval officer of that rank in command of the American fleet, was fourth child of Colonel John Read and his wife Mary Howell. He was born at the family home, New Castle, Delaware, 1740. On October 23, 1775, then being aged thirty-five, he was made commodore of the Pennsylvania navy, and had as fleet surgeon Dr. Benjamin Rush, later a signer of the Declaration of Independence. On June 7, 1776, he was appointed to the highest grade in the continental navy, and assigned to one of the four largest ships, the thirty-two-gun frigate "George Washington," then being built on the Delaware. His ship being still on the stocks, he volunteered for land service, and was directed by the commission of safety to join General Washington. He gave valuable assistance in the celebrated "crossing of the Delaware" by Washington's army, and at the following battle of Trenton commanded a battery composed of guns taken from his own frigate, which raked the stone bridge across the Assanpink. After much service by sea and land, he resigned and retired to his country seat at White Hill, New Jersey, where he dispensed a constant hospitality, especially to his old associates in the Order of the Cincinnati, of which he was an original member. His friend, Robert Morris, the "financier of the Revolution," persuaded him to take command of his old frigate, the "Alliance," which Morris had purchased, and make a joint adventure to Chinese seas. His first officer on the voyage was Richard Dale, afterward commodore in the United States navy. He sailed for Canton, where he arrived safely, having discovered two islands, to which he gave the names "Alliance" and "Morris." They formed a part of the Caroline Islands, but the rights of Commodore Read's discovery have never been asserted. Returning to Philadelphia on the voyage home, he arrived September 17, 1788, and, October 26 following, he died at his New Jersey home, aged forty-nine. Robert Morris concluded his obituary of him in these words: "While integrity, benevolence, patriotism and courage, united with the most gentle manners, are respected among men, the name of this valuable citizen and soldier will be revered and loved." Commodore Read married, September 7, 1779, at his home in White Hill, New Jersey, Mrs. Mary Field (maiden name Peale); he left no descendants.

(II) Colonel James Read, fifth son of Colonel John and Mary (Howell) Read, was born at the family home in New Castle county, Delaware, 1743, died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 31, 1822. He was the youngest of the three sons of Colonel John Read who were so prominently and intimately connected with the revolutionary period of our country's history. He had a distinguished military, official and civil career. He was regularly promoted from first lieutenant to colonel for gallant service at the battles of Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine and Germantown. He was first lieutenant of Delaney's company of Philadelphia "associators" (volunteers), whose first service was with Washington on that memorable Christmas night in 1776, which preceded the victory at Trenton. He was appointed by congress November 4, 1778, one of the three commissioners of the navy for the middle states, and on January 11, 1781, congress invested him with sole power to conduct the navy board. After the war was over and his naval accounts settled, Colonel Read was in business in Philadelphia, where he held many important public and private positions. He was flour inspector; one of the four commissioners to settle the conflicting claims of Connecticut and Pennsylvania, concerning large tracts of land in Pennsylvania; member of the select council for many years; director of the City Library Company and the Bank of North America; and president of the Mutual Assurance Company against fire. He was a communicant of the First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia. He faithfully served his God and his country, dying, as he had lived, without fear and without reproach. Colonel Read married, about 1772, Susan Corey, of Philadelphia. They had one daughter, Maria, died at the age of twenty-five; two others died in infancy.

(III) Hon. John (2), fourth son of Hon. George ("The Signer") and Gertrude (Ross) Read, was born in the Read mansion, New Castle, Delaware, July 17, 1796. He studied law with his father, was admitted to the bar, and removed to Philadelphia, where he married. He was appointed by President John Adams, in 1797, agent general of the United States under Jay's treaty. He was continued in this important office under President Thomas Jefferson until 1809. He published at this time a volume entitled British Debts. He was city solicitor of Philadelphia, member of both common and select councils, and in 1812 active in the defense of the Delaware against British invasion. He was state senator 1816-17, appointed by the Pennsylvania legislature as state director of the Philadelphia Bank, and later became president, serving until 1841. He was an active churchman, and prominent in the national councils of the Protestant Episcopal church. He was for many years rector's warden of Christ Church, St. Peter's, and St. James. His humanity and philanthropy were manifest during the yellow fever outbreak in Philadelphia in 1793, when he contributed most liberally from his purse, and exposed his life throughout the whole course of the epidemic in behalf of his suffering fellowmen. His home was on the south side of Chestnut street, Philadelphia, between Seventh and Eighth streets. Like his father, he was a collector and reader of rare books. In his latter days he would relate with dramatic force the incidents of his childhood, which was passed amid the most stirring scenes of the revolution. His portrait, by Sully, shows him in his mature years. Hon. John Read married, 1796, Martha, eldest daughter of General Samuel Meredith, ex-treasurer of the United States. This marriage allied the ancient families of Read, Ross and Meredith. George Clymer, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and a framer of the Constitution of the United States, was an uncle of Martha Meredith Read. Her mother was a daughter of Dr. Thomas, sister of General John and Colonel Lambert Cadwalader. Her grandfather, Reese, son of Reese Meredith, of the county of Radnor, was born in Wales, 1705, emigrated to Philadelphia, 1727, and married the daughter of Samuel Carpenter, proprietor of the "Slate Roof House," partner of William Penn, and one of the executors of his will. Reese Meredith descended from the very ancient Cambrian family of Meredith, to which belong Lord Athlumney and Baron Meredith, and the Merediths, baronets of Greenhills and Carlandstown, county Meath, Ireland. He was one of the wealthiest men of his day. There were born to Hon. John Read and wife five children, who were all taken, in accordance with ancient family custom, to Emanuel Church, New Castle, to be baptized:

  1. John Meredith; see forward.
  2. Edward, died in infancy.
  3. Henry Meredith, A.M., M.D., graduate of Princeton (1820) and of the medical school, University of Pennsylvania. He was of brilliant promise, but died March 16, 1826, aged twenty-six years, unmarried.
  4. Margaret Meredith, died in infancy.
  5. Margaret Meredith, a woman of rare accomplishments and a society favorite, died March 13, 1854, unmarried, in her forty-eighth year.

(IV) Hon. John Meredith Read, LL.D., eldest son of Hon. John (2) and Martha (Meredith) Read, was born in Chestnut street, Philadelphia, two doors above Fifth street, opposite Independence Hall, July 21, 1797, and died in the same city, November 29, 1874. He was a "great jurist and a wise statesman." He was graduated at the University of Pennsylvania, at the age of fifteen, was admitted to the bar, 1818, elected to the Pennsylvania legislature, 1822, and again, 1823. He was city solicitor of Philadelphia, and a member of the select council. He was appointed United States district attorney of the eastern district of Pennsylvania, 1837, and held that office eight years. He was solicitor general of the treasury department, and attorney general of Pennsylvania. Although his family were eminent and powerful Federalists, he early became a Democrat, and one of the founders of the "Free Soil" wing of that party. This militated against him in 1845, when he was nominated to the senate as judge of the United States supreme court, for the southern senators opposed his confirmation and he earnestly requested the president to withdraw his name. He was an early and effective advocate of the annexation of Texas, and the building of railroads to the Pacific. He powerfully assisted President Jackson in his war against the United States Bank, yet after its downfall was requested by Nicholas Biddle to become his counsel. In the celebrated trial of Castner Hanway for treason, Judge Read was engaged with Hon. Thaddeus Stevens and Judge Joseph J. Lewis for the defendant, and made such a masterly argument that Mr. Stevens said he could add nothing, for his colleague's speech had "settled the law of treason in this country." This great triumph gave Judge Read an international reputation, and English jurists paid the highest compliments to his genius and learning. At the Democratic convention held in Pittsburg (1840) he offered a resolution against the extension of slavery, which concluded with these remarkable words: "Esteeming it a violation of states rights to carry it (slavery) beyond state limits, we deny the power of any citizen to extend the area of bondage beyond the present dimension; nor do we consider it a part of the constitution that slavery should forever travel with the advancing column of our territorial progress." Holding such strong views, he naturally became a founder of the Republican party. He delivered in Philadelphia, at the beginning of the campaign of 1856, his celebrated speech upon the "Power of Congress over Slavery in our Territories," striking a keynote that resounded through the campaign. Under the lead of Judge Read the Republican party gained its first victory in Pennsylvania, for he was elected judge of the supreme court by a majority of thirty thousand. This brought him prominently forward as a candidate for the presidency, an arrangement opposed by Simon Cameron. In the Pennsylvania Republican convention, Judge Read's supporters were defeated. In the Chicago convention he received some votes, although he had thrown his influence in favor of Lincoln. The decisions of Judge Read run through forty-one volumes of reports. He was a most learned and able judge. His opinion was the basis of the act of March 31, 1863, authorizing the president during the Rebellion to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. His decision relieved the land in "Independence Square" from taxation forever. He denied an injunction to prevent running of street cars on Sundays, saying he would not stop the "poor man's carriage." He was a gentleman of the old school, of the highest sense of honor, of great dignity of character, and in social intercourse kind, affable and courteous. He was a man of the strictest integrity, despising everything that was low and vile. He lived up to the high traditions of his race, and was one of the worthiest descendants of Colonel John Read, of Delaware.

Chief Justice Read was grand master of Masons of Pennsylvania; and grand high priest of the grand chapter; his grandfather, Dr. Thomas Cadwalader, was one of the founders of Masonry in the province, and his own family, the Reads, had filled the highest offices in Masonry in Delaware. The best likeness of Judge Read is a miniature by Henry Brown, which was admirably engraved by Samuel Sartain. The London Graphic published a copy of this engraving of Judge Read, with a spirited notice written by his kinsman, Charles Reade, the English novelist. Chief Justice Read married (first), March 20, 1828, Priscilla, daughter of Hon. J. Marshal, of Boston, born December 19, 1808, died in Philadelphia, April 18, 1841. She was granddaughter of Lieutenant Marshal, of the Revolutionary army, and eighth in descent from a captain in Cromwell's army who was promoted for bravery at the siege of Leicester and the battles of Marston Moor and Naseby. Mrs. Read and her sister Emily Marshal were celebrated belles of their day. By his first wife, Priscilla Marshal, Chief Justice Read had six daughters, only one of whom survived infancy, Emily Marshal Read, who married, in 1849, William Henry Hyde, who died leaving only one daughter, Emma H. Hyde, who married George W. Wurts, first secretary of legation and charge d'affairs of the United States at Rome. He had also a son, General John Meredith Read, later United States minister to Greece (see forward). Chief Justice Read married (second) Amelia, daughter of Edward Thompson, and sister of Hon. John R. Thompson, of New Jersey, and Admiral Edward Thompson, of the United States navy. She survived him twelve years, dying September 14, 1886, without issue.

(V) General John Meredith (2), son of Chief Justice John Meredith (1) and his first wife, Priscilla (Marshal) Read, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February 21, 1837. His preparatory education was obtained at the military school. He was graduated from Brown University, A. M., class of 1859, and later at the Albany Law School, LL.B. He studied civil and international law in Europe, was admitted to the Philadelphia bar, and removed to Albany, New York, at the age of eighteen. While at Brown he commanded a company of national cadets which afterwards furnished many commissioned officers to the United States army during the rebellion. At twenty he was appointed aide-de-camp to the governor of Rhode Island, with the rank of colonel. He engaged actively in the presidential campaign of 1856, and in 1860 organized the "Wide Awake" movement in New York, that carried that state for Lincoln. At the age of twenty-three he was appointed adjutant general of New York, with the rank of brigadier general. When Fort Sumter was fired upon, General Read was appointed chairman of a committee of three to draft a bill appropriating three million dollars for the purchase of arms and equipments. He afterwards received the thanks of the war department of the United States for his "energy, ability and zeal" in the organization and equipment of troops during the war. In 1868 he took a leading part in the election of General Grant to the presidency, who appointed him consul-general of the United States for France and Algeria, to reside in Paris. General Read also acted as consul-general in Germany during the Franco-Prussian war, and for a period of nineteen months directed all the consular affairs of that empire in France, including the protection of German subjects and interests during the first and second sieges of Paris, 1870-71. For his services during this trying period he received the commendation of the president of the United States (General Grant), the repeated thanks of both the French and German governments, and the personal thanks of Prince Bismarck. The emperor himself desired to confer upon him an order of knighthood and a rare, costly service of Dresden china. A resolution to allow the acceptance of these gifts failed to pass Congress, so the emperor's intention could not be carried out. Four years after he had ceased to act for Germany, Prince Bismarck sent him his likeness with a complimentary autograph dedication. In France his popularity was great. He was invited by the French minister of war to preside over a commission to examine into the expediency of introducing the English language in the French army. For this again he received the thanks of the French government. On November 7, 1873, General Read was appointed United States minister to Greece. During his mission there he performed many important official acts that called for the encomiums of his own government and of Greece, and secured him the personal friendship of King George of Greece and his sister, Queen Alexandra, of Great Britain. For his untiring efforts in pleading the cause of Greece before the courts of Europe, and which resulted in the return to Greece by the Berlin Congress of her ancient possessions, King George created him a knight grand cross of the Order of the Redeemer, the highest dignity in the gift of the Greek government. For his services to his own country during the war of the secession, he was named honorary champion of the military Order of the Loyal Legion.

General Read revisited his native land in 1874, and was honored by all political parties, banquets being given in his honor at Washington, Philadelphia and New York, while at Albany a complimentary dinner was given him. In England he received marked courtesy at the hands of the queen and members of the royal family. For his literary and scientific services he received the thanks of the state department of the United States, the National Academy of Design, the English East India Company, the Russia Company, the Society of Antiquaries, the Archaeological Society of Greece, and the French Academy. He was president of the American Social Science congress at Albany, 1868, and vice-president of the British congress of the same at Plymouth, 1870. He was an honorary member of a great number of learned societies. In America he had embraced Masonry, attaining the thirty-second degree. He was author of many public addresses, official reports, learned papers, and an important historical inquiry concerning Henry Hudson, discoverer of the Hudson river. The official organ of the prime minister of Greece said "The departure of General Read from Greece has called forth universal regrets." The secretary of state, in an official paper, said "The manner in which you have conducted the duties as minister of this government in Greece has been such as to merit hearty approval. Your performance of the delicate and important duties of consul-general in Paris during the Franco-German war was such as to call forth not only the approbation of your own government, but also of the French and German authorities."

General Read married, at Albany, New York, April 7, 1859, Delphine Marie, daughter of Harmon Pumpelly, of Albany, whose father, John Pumpelly, born 1727, served with distinction in the early French and Indian wars, was present at the siege of Louisburg, and was at the side of Wolfe when he fell mortally wounded on the Heights of Abraham, in 1759. He served in the Revolution, and died in 1820, at the great age of ninety-three. Harmon Pumpelly, born in Salisbury, Connecticut, August 5, 1795, died in Albany, New York, September 29, 1882. His elder brothers, James, Charles, and William, like him reached an advanced age, were noted for their wealth, philanthropy and public spirit. Harmon Pumpelly was largely interested in all the most important institutions and enterprises of central and western New York, and his home was the seat of refined and unremitting hospitality. Mrs. General Meredith Read, one of the most beautiful women of her day, was as popular at Athens as she had been in Paris, and her salon in both capitols was a center of American and European fashion and culture. She displayed her courage and humanity in the trying hours of the Franco-German war. When Paris was in the hands of the commune, she remained with her husband, and faced the terrible dangers of that time. They had four children: Major Harmon Pumpelly; John Meredith; Emily Meredith; Marie Delphine Meredith.

(VI) Harmon Pumpelly, eldest son of General John Meredith (2) and Delphine Marie (Pumpelly) Read, was born at Albany, New York, July 13, 1860. He was educated at Paris and Athens, St. John's Military School, at Sing Sing, New York, and Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut. He became a member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, a New York Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London, and of the Geographical Society of Paris. He has devoted much time to historical research, and is author of Rossiana, an exhaustive history of the Ross, Read, and related families; it is from this book that the material for the sketch was largely obtained; and is the author of a very rare book on the Pumpelly Family and of a pedigree of the Read Family. Major Read is the highest authority on symbolism and heraldry in the United States, and has written many reliable papers published in the newspapers and other publications. He ran for member of assembly in one of the strongest Democratic districts, and, though defeated, received a very large vote. He is an eminent Mason, and one of the most learned members of the craft in Masonic history and symbolism. He has attained the thirty-second degree, Scottish Rite, and captain general, Knights of the Golden Cord, Ancient French Rite. He comes from a family highly distinguished in Masonry. His grandfather, Chief Justice Read, was grand master of Pennsylvania, and his cousin, Hon. William Thompson Read, grand master of Delaware. His father received the highest degree in Scottish Rite Masonry, the thirty-third degree, in Greece. His ancestor in the sixth degree, Dr. Thomas Cadwalader, was one of the founders of the first Masonic lodge in America. Major Read was for three years regent of Philip Livingston Chapter, Sons of the Revolution. He is an active and influential member of the Republican party, and interested in the National Guard of his state. He was inspector of rifle practice of New York with the rank of major. He was president of the Young Men's Association of Albany, an honor to which some of the most eminent men in the state have aspired. It was under his administration that the Harmanus Bleecker fund was given to the association. He was acting chairman of the committee appointed by the mayor to receive and entertain the Duke of Veragua when he visited the city, and was secretary of the committee to receive the postal congress. He is captain and governor-general of the Knights of Albion, member of the Order of the Cincinnati of Delaware, Descendants of the Signers and of the Mayflower Descendants, and of the Society of Colonial Wars. He is the first national guard officer to receive official recognition as such in France. Major Read married Marguerite de Carron d'Allondans, of an ancient French family.

(VI) John Meredith, second son of General John Meredith Read, was born at Albany, New York, June 27, 1869. He is a member of the historical societies of Pennsylvania and New York. During the Spanish-American war, he recruited a regiment of 2,700 men, 800 of whom were from Albany. He married Countess Alix de Foras, of ancient French family, and has a son, John Meredith Read.

(VI) Emily Meredith, eldest daughter of General John Meredith Read, was married at her father's residence, Newport, Rhode Island, August 21, 1884, to Hon. Francis Aquilla Stout, of New York. She married (second) Edwards Spencer, descendant of Jonathan Edwards.

(VI) Marie Delphine Meredith, youngest daughter of General John Meredith Read, was born in Paris, France, where her father was United States consul-general, and was christened in the American Episcopal Church in the Rue Bayard, her godfather being Sir Bernard Burke. She married Count Max de Foras, of the castles of Marclaz and Thuyset; they have three children: Countess Hugette, Countess Delphine, and Count Joseph. The arms of the Foras family are: or a cross azure; of the de Carron d'Allondans; azure, three titles or; crest, out of a coronet an eagle displayed, bearing on its breast a tile; of the Read family: gules, a saltire, between four garbs; or crest on the stumps of a tree, very a falcon, rising belled and jessed or. Motto: Cedant arma togae.

Nearly two hundred years have elapsed since Colonel John Read settled in Delaware. During that period his direct descendants have been of the highest prominence in the general court and in the three states, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York. While the collateral or related families may be found in every state, the family is a justly honored one, a statement fully proven by the foregoing pages.

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