Sunday, August 7, 2016


Continued from Part I , Part II, and Part III

Nine Children of William Augustus Atlee

William Augustus Atlee's wife, formerly Esther Sayre, began having children in 1764. His mother, Jane Alcock Atlee, died in 1777 in Lancaster, where she had lived as a widow for more than thirty years. The same year his mother died, William A. Atlee had been named a circuit justice of the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, established under a new Constitution, written pursuant to an expressed wish of the Continental Congress. The first four Atlee children were girls who, although they would not pass on the Atlee surname, did give their children traditional Atlee names, while their marriages connected them to eminent families.

Elizabeth Amelia Atlee White
The eldest child, Elizabeth Amelia Atlee, in 1786, married Major Moses White from Rutland, Massachusetts, an aide-de-camp during the war to his cousin, Brigadier General Moses Hazen. Their marriage resulted in her move to Massachusetts, where White worked diligently for decades as Executor of the Hazen estate. Moses White's mother, Miriam Hoyt Hazen, had been the widow of of Moses Hazen's brother, Richard Hazen,before her marriage to John White, in 1753. 

Phillips founded Academy at Exeter and Andover.
In 1803 Elizabeth Atlee White's younger sister, Charlotte Hazen Atlee, who had been four years of age when her sister married, was wed to Moses White's younger brother, Nathaniel. It is possible that she had moved to live with the Whites in Massachusetts after her parents died. 

The White brothers were related by marriage to some of the most elite members of colonial society, including the person for whom the youngest child was named.

Hazen's first was wife, Abigail White, daughter of  John and Lydia Gilman White, married Rev. Samuel Phillips of Andover, brother of John Phillips, who in 1781 endowed and chartered the elite Phillips Academy in Exeter, N. H. and in 1783 the Phillips Academy in Andover. In fact, three White siblings married Phillips siblings. See The Genealogy of William White, which shows the intermarriages between the White, Hazen and Phillips families.

John Phillips, Exeter founder
John and Lydia White's son, William, married John's sister, Sarah Phillips, while son Samuel White married Ruth Phillips. A daughter, Abigail White married General Moses Hazen, mentioned above. 

One daughter, Elizabeth Amelia White, in 1824 married a son of Oliver Peabody, trustee of the Academy from 1794 until 1828, its treasurer from 1808. Elizabeth and her husband, Rev. William Bourne Oliver Peabody, had a son who, with her husband's twin brother, Oliver W. Peabody, helped found the investment firm Kidder, Peabody & Co.1
Meanwhile the Phillips Academies founded in Exeter, New Hampshire, and at Andover, Massachusetts, were becoming among the schools where the most elite of the revolutionary patriots chose to have their sons educated for university preparation for college at Harvard and Yale. 

Mary Rachel Atlee James
The second daughter, Mary Rachel Atlee, married in 1798, several years after her parents died and just a year before her late father's close colleague, Judge McKean, became Pennsylvania's governor. McKean appointed Mary's husband, Edward Victor James, prothonotary for Cambria County, Pennsylvania, created in 1805, although Mary died before he could take office in 1808.

Settlement had already begun to move westward, and Edward James had acquired a tract of land in the county and set out to develop the village of Munster, Pennsylvania, which he hoped would become the county seat once Cambria County was carved out. Munster unfortunately lost out to Ebensburg, almost twice its size. Also in the running was Loretto, the Catholic area dominated by a Catholic priest, Father Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin, a Russian prince whose father had been Russia's ambassador to the Netherlands. Gallitzin was the sole priest at Loretto--the only Catholic church between Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and St. Louis, and he played another role as well, also leading drills for the 142nd Pennsylvania Militia, which would fight in the war of 1812. 2

Jane Atlee Rigg
Jane Atlee (born 1769) married Elisha Rigg, who had been sent by the Episcopal Church as minister to the St. James Church in Lancaster prior to marrying his young parishioner in 1790. By 1799 he and Jane moved to Queen Anne's County, Maryland, where he was transferred to St. Paul's Church to serve under America's first Episcopal Bishop Thomas John Claggett. Rev. Henry Lyon Davis was nearby in St. Mary's County and in Cecil County, serving under Bishop Claggett. Previously, while researching the Presidents Bush Walker family, we noted that Rev. Davis was the brother-in-law of Ann Mercer Davis, Harriet Mercer Walker's sister. Harriet had married George E. Walker in Cecil County and later moved to Illinois, where her son David Davis Walker was born. (See genealogy chart here.) After her husband's death in Maryland in 1804, Jane apparently returned to Lancaster with her children. 

There were three sons who followed.

William Pitt Atlee
The first William Pitt Atlee (born in 1770) died at the age of two--the same year a second son was born and given his deceased brother's name. It is this second William Pitt Atlee whose branch will be followed in the next segment. It is from his branch that David Atlee Phillips is derived. For simplicity, a chart is inserted below to compare this branch (bracketed in red) with the other siblings, since the same names appear in various generations.

Click here for pdf format file.

John Sayre Atlee
John Sayre Atlee (born 1774) was a craftsman who lived in Columbia, Pennsylvania, who made clock cabinets, and appears to have married Elizabeth Fritz in 1848 at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and died there in 1852, having little contact with the rest of the Atlee family.

Edwin Augustus Atlee
Edwin Augustus Atlee (born 1776) went to Dickinson College at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, graduating in 1792 in the same class with future Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney, who also had ties to Mount St. Mary's in Maryland. Edwin married in 1798 Margaret Snyder, whose uncle became Pennsylvania's third governor, Simon Snyder. Not officially elected to the governorship until 1808, Snyder had opposed McKean in 1805, when his Jeffersonian friends attempted to oust "the old patriot," by means of a plan hatched in a Lancaster tavern, described in the Gettysburg press as "sudden, daring and dangerous attempts to demolish the fabric of government and to overthrow the present Republican Administration."

President's Residence in Philadelphia
Returning to Lancaster after graduation from Dickinson, Edwin, a member of a Lancaster militia, was called up during the Whiskey Insurrection, 1791-1794, which required security to protect President George Washington in Philadelphia. During his military experience, Edwin witnessed the terrible consequences of a yellow fever epidemic in 1793, which resulted in his father's death, and likely was the stimulus for his change from a study of law to a career in medicine. 

He then enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania's Institutes of Medicine, which Dr. Benjamin Rush (page 131) had organized to give medical care to revolutionary soldiers and studied under Dr. Benjamin Barton (page 138), a boyhood friend from Lancaster. His son, Edwin Pitt Atlee, born in 1799, would also graduate from the University's medical institute and practice medicine in Philadelphia. 

Dr. George B. McClellan
Both Edwin Atlees (E. A. and E. P.) joined the Society of Friends, departing from the Atlees' tradition in the Anglican and Episcopal church. Both Drs. Atlee were in Philadelphia in 1817 at the time George B. McClellan (page 160) entered the city for his medical studies, and they would often be named with him as doctors who recommended certain patented medications, such as the hernia truss and Parker's Panacea. Dr. McClellan established his surgical practice in 1821 and, in 1824, sought and received the charter for the Jefferson Medical College. Edwin A.'s nephew, Dr. Washington Lemuel Atlee (sometimes known as Dr. Washington Light Atlee), was a private pupil of McClellan's and graduated in 1829. 

It is most interesting here to note that Dr. (later civil war General) McClellan came to Philadelphia from Connecticut, where he had studied under Dr. Thomas Hubbard, the head of surgery at Yale. Hubbard's daughter married William Huntington Russell, co-founder of Skull and Bones. I have written about Hubbard and Russell previously here and here. Incidentally, Dr. James William Scanlan, nephew of Bush ancestor George E. Walker, received his medical degree from Jefferson during the same time Dr. Atlee was in Philadelphia. The pattern which is emerging indicates that both the Walker/Bush family and the Atlee family have a strong historical connection to the University of Pennsylvania, where America's medical establishment was founded.
In 1829 Dr. Edwin A. Atlee moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was pastor of the First New Jerusalem Society (Swedenborgian denomination). His medical practice was at W. 4th and N. Main streets, while he also had the title of vice president at the First District Medical Society of Ohio. By 1832, his son, Dr. Edwin P. Atlee, had become a professor at the Ohio Medical College in Cincinnati as well as being pastor of the Cincinnati Society church.
In 1822 Edwin Pitt Atlee was married to Margaret Collins Bullock, who gave birth to seven children. Following her husband's death in 1836, Margaret married William W. Longstreth., a hardware merchant whose interest coal transportation developed into his becoming president of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in 1864.
Edwin Pitt's younger sister, Esther Barton Atlee, married in 1839 Samuel J. Browne, a miserly pioneer of Cincinnati, who died very wealthy in 1872. Several months before his death, he killed a young boy who had gone into Browne's back yard to fetch a ball. The press had a field day, and a grand jury was in the act of voting an indictment against him at the moment he died.

Browne had invested funds to buy stock in the Eastern Texas Railroad Company to be built in Texas at Sabine Pass, and a stepson, Edwin Augustus At Lee Barker, had moved to east Texas to oversee the investment for several years immediately prior to the start of the civil war. Barker's own two sons had, in fact, been born in Sabine Pass, Texas in the early 1860s.

Unfortunately, the war had devastated that investment, and the rails, removed to hide them from looters, were then stolen by the Confederate army. Browne's will left the land grants, which he hoped would be paid by the State of Texas for building of this road, to the children of his daughter, wife of Dr. Jacob H. Hunt. The railroad was completed after the Civil War under a different name, Sabine and East Texas Railway. [See Sabine Pass at southeast corner of Texas on map.]

You may recall from this blog that the Byrd family and G. H. Walker were involved in building railroads in southeastern Missouri and northern Mississippi, and that David Atlee Phillips' ancestor, Dr. Charles G. Young, had met his wife Mary in Cincinnati, Ohio, while there studying medicine. After Dr. Young completed his studies, he moved to Louisiana, where their first child, Caroline, was born in 1844. In about 1851 he began working to build a railroad between Shreveport and Vicksburg, and in 1855 sat on a committee with Albert Pike in a "commercial convention" in New Orleans. All that had happened before he brought his family to Texas where he continued building the railroad, and where he met his untimely death in 1871.
Another sister of Edwin Pitt Atlee, Mary Patience Atlee (born 1806 in Lancaster), married George Africanus O'Brien, son of Richard O'Brien, consul in both Italy and Algeria during very earliest days of the U.S. State Department. George, born during his father's duties in Africa, married Mary in Philadelphia in 1827, and they would have nine children before Mary's death in 1862. The wedding took place in the midst of the "great separation" period, as reflected in the fact that the wedding ceremony was performed by Swedenborgian pastor, Rev. Manning B. Roche, who had been deposed as an Episcopal priest in 1822. Dr. Atlee was then living in Cincinnati, where he was a licentiate. One year after Mary's marriage to O'Brien, Rev. Roche would make "an evangelistic tour" to Cincinnati, where in 1829 Dr. Atlee became resident pastor. He resigned in 1832, and by 1835 he was back in Philadelphia, preaching at the "Free Quaker" meeting house. By 1847 he was a missionary. In a letter which mentions both Roche and Atlee, Atlee's role in the Swedenborgian movement was laid out:
Atlee, Dr. Edwin Augustus (1776-1852) – prominent Philadelphia Quaker physician and religious activist. Born in Lancaster, he attended Dickinson College and was converted at a Methodist camp meeting – even serving as a Methodist pastor before turning to the simpler and more sacrificial lifestyle he saw in within the Friends. In 1825, letters were published between Atlee and Elias Hicks, leader of the 1827 Hicksite split in the Society of Friends. In 1826, Atlee embraced Swedenborgianism. After the original New Church congregation lost its temple, mainly due to the financial collapse of William Schlatter, Dr. Atlee and Manning Roche led separate societies that met in community halls. He resigned from the denomination in 1832 in a letter which reads in part: “Although I am fully persuaded and convinced that the doctrines of the New Jerusalem are Heavenly, and as a system perfect, yet I am equally convinced that by reuniting with Friends I shall best qualify myself for realizing in life the Divine Truths of the Word, and for usefulness in the vineyards of the Lord.”
Esther Bowes Atlee
Esther Bowes Atlee (born 1778) but died in 1781.

Sarah Ann Atlee 
Sarah Ann Atlee (born 1780) was left motherless at the age of ten when Esther Atlee died in 1790. A year later, Judge Atlee purchased a mill with 57 acres of land lived in the attached mansion with his daughters until his own death two years later when a yellow fever epidemic returned to Philadelphia after 30 years of absence. The youngest Atlee girls, ages eleven and thirteen when their father died, lost their home in 1795, when the Orphan's Court ordered it to be sold. A year after the mansion was sold, Sarah Ann Atlee, at the age of 16, married a wealthy surveyor named Thomas Vickroy who was more than twice her age. A widower with five children, he took his teenage bride west to Bedford Springs, Pennsylvania, where his surveying business was centered, and together they had several more children. Familiar with her family's heritage, Sarah gave her children family names: Her first son was William Atlee Vickroy. Her first daughter was named Esther Amelia, but called "Hettie," who before 1823 married Jacob W. Slick. She died in 1861 after moving to Johnstown in Cambria County, where Jacob Slick died in 1879. Edwin Augustus Vickroy became a surveyor, like his father, and often ran unsuccessfully for county surveyor of Cambia County as a Republican.

Charlotte Hazen Atlee
Charlotte Hazen Atlee (born 1782)  was named for the wife of Brigadier General Moses Hazen, 
Charlotte de la Saussaye, from Montreal, where he had married her in 1770. Following the war, Hazen was stationed in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where the Atlees lived, while he was officer in charge of prisoner guard duty there. One of his decisions resulted in an incident, known as the "Asgill Affair," which drew President Washington into a diplomatic quandary. Hazen was in communication during the incident with Edward Hand, the doctor-turned-Army officer under whom William Augustus Atlee's youngest son Edwin eventually studied medicine. It appears quite likely, therefore, that Hazen's wife, Charlotte, had followed her husband to Lancaster and had become close friends with Esther Atlee, especially since she was present as a "sponsor" at the baptism of their youngest daughter on October 17, 1782. 

As stated previously, Esther died in 1790, leaving Charlotte without a mother at the age of eight years. When her father also died three years later, it appears that Charlotte was taken into the home of either her godmother, Charlotte Hazen, or her eldest sister, who had married Gen. Hazen's paymaster and aide, Moses White. When Charlotte was 21, she married Nathaniel Hazen White, the half-brother of her sister's husband. Both he and her first child had died by 1805, and Charlotte turned to the Baptist church in Haverhill for solace, especially after her sister, Elizabeth Amelia White, died in 1808. A few years later she became a Baptist missionary chosen to accompany a missionary couple named Hough to Rangoon, India. In a letter to the mission board she explained what led her to that decision. While on the mission field in Serampore, she met and married Rev. Joshua Rowe. After his death in India in 1823, she was left with twin girls and an infant son. A narrative dated December 10, 1827, which appeared in the London Morning Herald, was reprinted in a New York newspaper in 1828.

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