Chapman, Chandler, Astor connection
William Jay, the youngest son of John Jay had five daughters and one son, John Jay II. John married Eleanore Kingsland Fields. Their oldest child was Eleanore who married Henry Chapman. It is this family that we trace.
Sixth Generation: Eleanore Kingsland Jay married Henry Grafton Chapman
Eleanor Kingsland JAY was born on May 16, 1839, in New York. She married Henry Grafton CHAPMAN in 1858 in New York. She had four children by the time she was 25. Her husband Henry Grafton passed away on March 14, 1883, in Manila, Philippines, at the age of 48. They had been married 25 years. She died on June 8, 1921, in New York, New York, at the age of 82, and was buried in Bedford, New York.
Seventh Generation: Children of Eleanore Kingsland Jay and Henry Grafton Chapman
A. Henry Grafton Chapman, Jr (1860-1913) married Francis Pembroke Perkins
B. John Jay Chapman (1862-1933) married (1)Mina Eliza Timmons married (2)Elizabeth Astor Winthrope Chanler
C. Eleanor Jay Chapman (1864-1929) married Richard Mortimer
D. Beatrix Jay Chapman(1864-1942) married (1)Sir George Head Barclay married (2)Raymond De Candolle
A. Seventh Generation: Henry Grafton Chapman, Jr and Francis Pembroke Perkins
JJChapmanbio: Henry Grafton Chapman, who died in his fifty-third year in January, 1913, was one of those quiet men who seem to bear no relation to the age they are born in. By his endowments, his tastes, and his education he was fitted to be an amateur of a kind very common in Europe,—one of the studious, well-nigh learned children of culture, who love books, pictures, music, philosophy, the lamp, and the quiet conclave with infinite good talk. If Henry Chapman had had the fortune to have been born in Europe or in China, and to inherit money, his life would have been a record of cheerful success, even as it was, in America, a record of cheerful toil. For some reason there was a glory about his boyhood. He was the prize boy of his set; brilliant things were predicted of him by every one. His talents and charms, his goodness and his good looks set off, as with a foil, a moral worth which every one found in him. A singular sweetness and gentleness of disposition remained to him all his life. It survived the more ambitious qualities with which we had all endowed him in his teens. It gilded his life and made his friends forgive him everything; for he was the most negligent of men. You could not see him unless you looked him up and dug him out from among his books and papers. He would hold you in converse on a corner of Broadway at midnight with a discussion about Plato, and would never miss you if he saw you not again for fifteen years—when he would resume the discussion with the old fervor. His talk was ready, apt, amusing, drenched in reading. He was always writing plays which were never produced, and essays just to clear his thoughts. He always had many varieties of tales, poems, and literary ventures on hand. Whenever I met him I wondered why I did n’t see more of him. But he was hard to see more of: he was elusive. He sought his own habitat, and would never come out of it, save on compulsion.The course of his experiments in life, before he settled down to steady work at literature, might easily be paralleled in the lives of many men of letters in all countries. After Harvard College and the Harvard Law School, came work in law offices, a few discouraging years at the bar, a few other years spent in business ventures. Then five years of organized reform. In this latter field my brother did valuable work, and for some years he was extremely active at Albany as an agent of the Civil Service League. He was also the editor of the League’s newspaper. Both his legal training and his literary facility came into play in these avocations. Mr. George McAneny writes me: “His quiet influence during the period of his active touch with public affairs did a great deal for the betterment of things in this town. I knew him best during his secretaryship in the Civil Service Reform League, to the work of which he gave a devoted order of service—just as his grandfather, John Jay, as a member of Governor Cleveland’s first Civil Service Commission, had given before him. He made ‘Good Government,’ the organ of the League, a much more serviceable organ than it ever had been before, adding to its influence everywhere. He proved, too, a most valuable aid in the handling of legislation affecting the Civil Service, proposed from year to year at Albany,—always, I believe, with good result. He went about everything quietly, but he did a lot of useful work.” Henry Chapman certainly was fitted to be a journalist of the first order, but he lacked the impulsion; and I cannot blame him for deserting reform, since this led to his taking up a kind of work for which he had a real gift—namely, translation. All his life long my brother wrote verses which were marked by singular ease and grace. He was the producer of the occasional verses demanded by his college class, by the Porcellian Club, by the OBK, etc. He could write any species of verse, and he loved to do so. His ear was true and very experienced. He knew a little Latin and Greek, and a great deal of French and German, which languages he had learned as a boy in Europe. He could write French and German, and could read, you might say, any modern language; for he had a passion for etymology and was always pushing his studies further in this field. He had a wide miscellaneous reading in English, French, and German, but his main hobby was modern philosophy, upon which he loved to hold forth. Dr. Baker, the musical adviser of G. Schirmer, with whom Henry was most closely associated in the work of translating songs, wrote as follows in the Bulletin of New Music: “In the death of Henry Grafton Chapman, which occurred on January 16 in New York, the house of G. Schirmer mourns the loss of a friend and gifted coadjutor, a man to whom the musical world owes a debt of gratitude and respect. Of highly versatile talent, Mr. Chapman’s lifework—the work which shall live after him—was finally found in the poetic reproduction in English of those choice poems by foreign writers to which music has been set by composers of genius. “Let none regard this work as a matter of small moment, as something to be tossed off in idle hours, or as something of low degree not to be ranked with the finer products of literary labor. It is true that, only too frequently, a ‘good working translation’ is the utmost ambition of the English versifier; a version which will ‘sing well,’ which rhymes fairly well, and does not conflict too glaringly in accentuation with the original;—as for ‘sense’ and ‘poetic feeling,’ these are made wholly secondary considerations, if considered at all. “Mr. Chapman’s work was on a different plane. He entered at once into the mood and spirit of the poem before him. Equally at home in styles naive, sentimental, humorous, capricious, or passionate, he then, by some genial alchemy of which he possessed the secret, transmuted the exotic prototype into English verse often equal in excellence to, and not seldom surpassing, the original in poetic flow and fervor. He still observed the metre and the accent, and the rhyme, too, wherever possible, but rendered these subordinate to the thought and expression, using them, like the foreign authors, as a vehicle for ideas and emotions, not as a jingle.
Eighth Generation: Children of Henry Grafton Chapman, Jr and Francis Pembroke Perkins
I. Henry Grafton Chapman, III (1888-1970) married Martha Minerva Altpeter
Henry Grafton Chapman was born on July 16, 1888, in New York, the child of Henry Grafton and Frances Pembroke. He had one son and one daughter with Martha Minerva Altpeter between 1922 and 1923. He died in October 1970 in Bonita, California, at the age of 82, and was buried there.
Ninth Generation: Children of Henry Grafton Chapman, III and Martha Minerva Altpeter
i. Elizabeth C Chapman(1922-1950)
ii. Robert G Chapman(1926-1974) married (1)Raymona J Reynolds married (2)Janette A Stubbs married (3)Margie L Rogers
B. Seventh Generation: John Jay Chapman (1862-1933) married (1)Mina Eliza Timmons married (2)Elizabeth Astor Winthrope Chanler
John Jay CHAPMAN* was born on March 2, 1862, in New York. He married Minna Eliza TIMMINS and they had three children together. He then married Elizabeth Astor Winthrop and they had two children together. He died on November 4, 1933, in New York, at the age of 71, and was buried in Bedford, New York
JJ Chapman Bio: Biography He was born in New York City. His father, Henry Grafton Chapman, was a broker who eventually became president of the New York Stock Exchange. His grandmother, Maria Weston Chapman, was one of the leading campaigners against slavery and worked with William Lloyd Garrison on The Liberator. He was educated at St. Paul’s School, Concord and Harvard, and after graduating in 1885, Chapman traveled around Europe before returning to study at the Harvard Law School. He was admitted to the bar in 1888, and practiced law until 1898. Meanwhile he had attracted attention as an essayist of unusual merit. His work is marked by originality and felicity of expression, and the opinion of many critics has placed him in the front rank of the American essayists of his day. In 1887 Chapman assaulted a man for insulting his girlfriend, Minna Timmins. He punished himself for this act by putting his left hand into fire. It was so badly burnt he had to have it amputated. He married Minna Timmins in 1889 and they had two children, including future pilot Victor Chapman. Timmins died giving birth to their third child. Chapman later married Elizabeth Chanler. Chapman became involved in politics and joined the City Reform Club and the Citizens’ Union. He lectured on the need for reform and edited the journal The Political Nursery (1897-1901).
He is the subject of a biographical and critical essay by Edmund Wilson in The Triple Thinkers which recounts the reasons behind Chapman’s deliberately burning off his own left hand.
“Great Men” wrote John Jay Chapman, A.B. 1884, “are often the negation and opposite of their age. They give it the lie.” He was writing in 1897 about Ralph Waldo Emerson, but the remark states the theme of his own life and its defect. Chapman is one of America’s lost writers; indeed, he may be the best of them. On his particular subjects, literature and politics, he is unique, invaluable–and quite forgotten.
Chapman’s generation takes us from the Civil War to the time of Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Ford, and Edith Wharton. The son of a respected Wall Street figure and the great-granddaughter of John Jay, the nation’s first chief justice, Chapman studied law at Harvard before returning to New York City to practice. There he plunged into Reform politics, opposing Tammany Hall and in general attacking the pervasive corruption of the Gilded Age. Chapman was a man of extreme, sometimes violent impulses: his Harvard friends had called him “mad Jack.” His political work in the 1890s was by no means cloistered: though a patrician to his fingertips, he was more than willing to harangue the Broadway crowds at the tumultuous political rallies of the time and even to leave the platform to grapple with hecklers. Nevertheless, most of his reform efforts consisted of writing and organizing. From 1897 to 1901, he published at his own expense, and mostly wrote, a reformist monthly, the Political Nursery, which Edmund Wilson later called “one of the best written things of the kind which has ever been published anywhere.” In 1898 Chapman actively promoted Theodore Roosevelt as an independent reform candidate for governor of New York, but the alliance collapsed when Roosevelt chose instead to run, successfully, as the candidate of the state Republican organization, which Chapman held no better than Tammany Hall.
Perhaps the failure of Roosevelt’s reform candidacy stood in Chapman’s mind for the failure of reform itself, and helped push him to withdraw from politics. This he did around the turn of the century. At the same time, his circumstances had become easy enough for him to give up his law practice. After his first wife’s early death in 1897, he had married Elizabeth Chanler, a member of the Astor family, and by 1901 they had moved to an estate at Barrytown on the Hudson River. There Chapman concentrated on literary work.
Eighth Generation: Children of John Jay Chapman and Mina Elizabeth Timmons
I. Victor Emanuel Chapman(1890-1916)
II. John Jay Chapman(1893-1903)
III. Conrad Chapman(1896-1989) married Judith Daphne
I. Eighth Generation: Victor Emanuel Chapman(1890-1916)
Victor Chapman Bio: Victor S. Chapman (April 17, 1890 in New York – June 24, 1916 near Douaumont) was a French-American pilot remembered for his exploits during World War I. He was the first American pilot to die in the war.Chapman was the son of American essayist John Jay Chapman. His mother, Minna Timmins, died in 1898, when he was eight. He and his father moved to France soon after. In France, Chapman obtained dual-citizen status as a French and US citizen. His father re-married, to Elizabeth Chanler, an Astor heiress, when Chapman was a teenager. Chapman returned to the United States in his late teens to attend Harvard University. After graduating, Chapman returned to Europe, spending time in France and in Germany. During this period, he became interested in architecture, becoming an expert in the field.[
When World War I broke out, his father and stepmother moved to London, England. However, Chapman decided to stay in France, joining the French Foreign Legion on August 30, 1914, and served in the 3rd March regiment of the Legion. He became friendly with four men during his days on the trenches: a Polish fighter who was known only as “Kohl”, and Americans Alan Seeger, Henry Fansworth, and David King. The trio of Americans watched as Kohl was killed by a bullet while walking with his friends. After Kohl’s death, Chapman and two other friends, (Norman Prince and Elliot Cowdin), were given an opportunity to fly in a fighter airplane. Chapman requested transfer to the Aéronautique Militaire, the army’s air arm. He attended flight school and was certified as a pilot. Chapman flew many missions for the 1st Aviation Group and was commissioned a sergeant. He was chosen as one of the founding members of N.124, the Escadrille Americane, also known as the Lafayette Escadrille. On June 17, 1916, he was flying over the Verdun sector when he was attacked by four German airplanes. During the engagement, Chapman suffered a head wound, most likely from an attack by then four-victory German flier Walter Höhndorf. Chapman landed his airplane safely, with Höhndorf getting his fifth victory as a result. While recovering Chapman found out that his friend, Clyde Balsley had been wounded in a separate incident. Prior to his last flight Chapman put loaded oranges onto his aircraft, intending to take these to Balsley who was in hospital recuperating from his wounds. Chapman was attacked north of Douaumont by German flying ace Leutnant Kurt Wintgens, a close friend of Höhndorf. With Wintgens flying a Halberstadt D.II that day against Chapman’s Nieuport 16, Wintgen soon gained the upper hand. Chapman was killed when his airplane crashed.]
Chapman earned many medals and commendations during his military career. Chapman was interested in the arts and in writing. He often found inspiration to write while he was in the middle of battles, and many of the letters he sent to his father were written in these circumstances. A book of these letters, called Letters from France, was published after his death. In his memory, the composer Charles Martin Loeffler, a friend of Chapman’s father, composed his quartet Music for Four Stringed Instruments.
II. Eighth Generation: John Jay Chapman, Jr (1893-1903)
He was born in 1893, in New York. He had two brothers. He died as a child of drowning on August 13, 1903, in Austria. His mother died four years after his birth.
III Eighth Generation: Conrad Chapman(1896-1989) married Judith Daphne
Conrad CHAPMAN was born on December 24, 1896, in New York. His mother died after his birth. He married Judith Daphne about 1933. He died on August 18, 1989, in Boston, Massachusetts, at the age of 92, and was buried in Bedford, New York. He had no children.
Eighth Generation: Children of John Jay Chapman and Elizabeth Astor Winthrope Chanler
IV. Chanler Chapman (1901-1982) married Olivia “Livy” James
V. Sydney Ashley Chapman (1907-1994)
IV. Eighth Generation: Chanler Chapman (1901-1982) and Olivia “Livy” James
Sports Illustrated June 13, 1977 by Robert H. Boyle Step In And Enjoy The Turmoil So says Chanler Chapman, 76. The slingshot and pinking cicadas with a .22 are about it, sportswise, but turmoilwise he upholds the honor of his family, an interesting feat
It was a splendid day in Paris in the 1920s when William Astor Chanler, former African explorer, big-game hunter, Turkish cavalry colonel and patron of the turf, limped into Maxim’s for lunch with a friend. The colonel had lost a leg, not on the field of battle but as the result, it was whispered, of a brawl in a bordello with Jack Johnson, the prizefighter. A familiar figure in Maxim’s, Colonel Chanler informed the headwaiter that he wished to be served promptly because one of his horses was running at Longchamp that afternoon. The colonel and his friend sat down, and when, after taking their order, their waiter did not reappear swiftly, the colonel began tussling with something beneath the table. With both hands he yanked off his artificial leg, bearing sock, shoe and garter, and hurled it across the restaurant, striking the waiter in the back. Colonel Chanler shouted, in French, “Now, may I have your attention?” Back home in the U.S., the colonel’s oldest brother, John Armstrong Chanler, known as Uncle Archie to members of the family, had a simpler way of obtaining service: when dining out, Uncle Archie would carry a pair of binoculars around his neck to keep close watch on his waiter’s comings and goings. With or without binoculars, Uncle Archie was likely to get attention wherever he went. He sported a silver-headed cane engraved with the words LEAVE ME ALONE. He had spent three and a half years involuntarily confined in the Bloomingdale lunatic asylum in White Plains, N.Y. because, among other peculiarities, he liked to dress as Napoleon and often went to bed wearing a saber. In a farewell note he left the night he escaped from Bloomingdale in 1900, Uncle Archie wrote to the medical superintendent, “You have always said that I believe I am the reincarnation of Napoleon Bonaparte. As a learned and sincere man, you therefore will not be surprised that I take French leave.”
Given the drabness of the present age, it is heartening to note that the spirit of the eccentric sporting Chanlers lives on in Barrytown, N.Y., 100 miles up the Hudson River from New York City. Here, in the decaying but still gracious estate country of Edith Wharton novels, a handful of Chanter descendants carry on in their own fashion. There is Richard (Ricky) Aldrich, grandnephew of Uncle Archie and grandson of Margaret Livingston Chanler Aldrich, who fought for the establishment of the U.S. Army Nursing Corps. Ricky, 36, manages Rokeby, the family seat and farm, where he collects and rebuilds antique iceboats (such as the Jack Frost, a huge craft that won championships in the late 19th century) and ponders the intricacies of Serbian, Croatian and Polish grammar. Ricky studied in Poland for a spell, but left in 1966 after he was caught selling plastic Italian raincoats on the black market. The most obvious fact about Ricky is that he seldom bathes. As one boating friend says, “Ricky would give you the shirt off his back, but who’d want it?”
Then there is Chanler A. Chapman, regarded by his kin as the legitimate inheritor of the family title of “most eccentric man in America.” As Ricky’s brother, J. Winthrop (Winty) Aldrich, says, “Only members of the Chanler family are fit to sit in judgment on that title.” Winty, who is Chanler Chapman’s first cousin once removed, says, “Television has done Upstairs, Downstairs, The Forsyte Saga and The Adams Chronicles, but they should do the Chanlers. The whole story is so improbable. And true.” Everyone who has met Chanler Chapman regards him as brilliantly daft. While teaching at Bard College, Saul Bellow, the Nobel laureate, rented a house on Chapman’s estate, Sylvania (“the home of happy pigs”), and found in him the inspiration for his novel Henderson the Rain King. In the novel, written as an autobiography, Henderson shoots bottles with a slingshot, raises pigs and carries on extravagantly in general. “It’s Bellow’s best book,” Chapman says, “but he is the dullest writer I have ever read.”
Now 76 and possessed of piercing brown eyes, a bristling mustache and wiry hair, Chapman nearly always wears blue bib overalls and carries a slingshot. He is fond of slingshots, because “they don’t make any noise,” and he shoots at what tickles his fancy. Not long ago he fired a ball bearing at a Jeep owned by his cousin, Bronson W. (Bim) Chanler, former captain of the Harvard crew, inflicting what Chapman calls “a nice dimple” in the left front fender. Ball bearings are expensive ammunition, however, so, for $4, Chapman recently bought 600 pounds of gravel. He calculates this supply of ammo should last at least five years.
Before his infatuation with slingshots, Chapman was big on guns. He hunted deer, small game and upland birds and ducks, mostly on his estate. Indeed, at one time he had 115 guns, and his shooting habits were such that friends who came to hunt once never cared, or dared, to return again. Chapman had only to hear the quack of a duck and he would let loose with a blast in the general direction of the sound. On a couple of occasions it turned out that he had fired toward hunters crouched in reeds, using a duck call. “Almost got a few people,” he would say matter-of-factly.
Chapman is the publisher of the Barrytown Explorer, a monthly newspaper that sells at the uncustomary rate of 25¢ a copy on the newsstand and $4 a year by subscription. The paper’s slogan, emblazoned above the logo, is WHEN YOU CAN’T SMILE, QUIT. “You can abolish rectitude,” as Chapman once expatiated opaquely, “you can abolish the laws of gravity, but don’t do away with good old American hogwash.”
The Explorer prints whatever happens to cross Chapman’s lively mind. “Opinions come out of me like Brussels sprouts,” he says. There are poems by Chapman (who always gives the date and place of writing, e.g., Kitchen, Sept. 13, 7:15 a.m.), and a regular Spiel column, also by Chapman, in which he offers his unique observations on the world (“A sunset may be seen at any time if you drink two quarts of ale slowly on an empty stomach” or “What’s good for the goose is a lively gander” or “Helen Hokinson has turned atomic” or “Close the blinds at night and lower the chances of being shot to death in bed. That goes for the district attorney who wants to be a judge”). Chapman always signs the Spiel column, “Yrs. to serve, C.A.C., pub.”
Chapman has been married three times. His first wife, from whom he was divorced, was Olivia James, a grandniece of Henry and William James. Robert, a son by that marriage, lives in a house in Florence, Italy, which his father thinks is called “the place of the devil.” (Robert reportedly used to live in a cave, where he made kites.) Another son by this marriage, John Jay Chapman II, lives in Barrytown. After attending Harvard, he went to Puerto Rico, where he became a mailman. He married a black woman, and they have several children. When Chanler Chapman’s old school, St. Paul’s, went coed, he was enthusiastic about his granddaughter’s chances of getting a scholarship. “She’s a she,” he said, ticking off reasons. “She’s a Chapman. She’s a Chanler. And she’s black.”
Five years ago, John Jay Chapman II persuaded post office authorities to transfer him from Puerto Rico back to Barrytown, where he now delivers the mail. Asked if his son truly likes delivering mail, Chapman exclaimed, “He can hardly wait for Christmas!” Not long ago. Chapman and Winty Aldrich, who lives with Ricky at Rokeby, the ancient family seat next door to Sylvania, were musing about the twists and turns in the family fortunes. Winty observed, “Isn’t it remarkable, Chanler, that Edmund Wilson called your father the greatest letter writer in America, and now your son may be the greatest letter carrier!” Chapman, who is, upon occasion, put off by his cousin, let the remark pass without comment. (“Winty is the essence of nothing,” Chapman says. “He has the personality of an unsuccessful undertaker and he uses semicolons when he writes. He knits with his toes.”)
Chapman’s father was John Jay Chapman, essayist, literary critic and translator. A man of strong convictions, John Jay Chapman atoned for having wrongly thrashed a fellow student at Harvard by burning off his left hand. At the same time, he used to go to bed at night wondering, according to Van Wyck Brooks, “What was wrong with Boston?”
Chanler Chapman’s mother, Elizabeth Chanler, was one of the orphaned great-great-grandchildren of John Jacob Astor, each of whom came into an inheritance of some $1 million. They were called the “Astor Orphans” by Lately Thomas in A Pride of Lions, a biography of the 19th-century Chanlers. “There was never anything wrong with the Chanler blood until crossed with the yellow of the Astor gold,” says Winty Aldrich.
By blood, the Chanler descendants are mostly Astor, with an admixture of Livingston and Stuyvesant. Knickerbocker patricians, they are related, by blood or marriage, to Hamilton Fish Sr., Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jimmy Van Alen, Marion the Swamp Fox, Julia Ward Howe and General John Armstrong. It was the last who built Rokeby in 1815 after he blotted his copybook as Secretary of War by letting the British burn the Capitol and White House.
It has been said of Chanler Chapman that the genes on the Chapman side of the family provided the polish, while the Chanler genes imparted raw psychic energy. Chapman’s middle name is Armstrong; he was named in honor of Uncle Archie, his mother’s oldest brother. “Archie was a pure bedbug,” Chapman says. That may be understating the case. After escaping from the Bloomingdale asylum, where he had been committed by his brothers (with the help of Stanford White, the architect and a close family friend). Uncle Archie fled first to Philadelphia, where he was examined by William James, and thence to Virginia. He changed his last name to Chaloner and started a long legal battle to have himself declared sane in New York.
At his Virginia estate, Merry Mills, Archie indulged his love of horsemanship and hatred of automobiles. He discovered an obscure state law requiring the driver of a motor vehicle to “keep a careful look ahead for the approach of horseback riders, [and] if requested to do so by said rider, [such driver] shall lead the horse past his machine.” Mounted on horseback, clad in an inverness cape and armed with a revolver. Uncle Archie would patrol the road in front of Merry Mills demanding that motorists comply with the law. “A green umbrella was riveted to the cantle of his saddle, a klaxon to the pommel,” J. Bryan III, one of his admirers, wrote in The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. “After nightfall, he hung port and starboard lights from the stirrups and what was literally a riding light from the girth. The klaxon was his warning, the revolver his ultimatum.”
In the midst of the legal battle for his sanity, Uncle Archie shot and killed a wife beater who had invaded his house. To commemorate the encounter, he sank a silver plate in the floor with the cryptic inscription HE BEAT THE DEVIL. He was absolved of the killing, which occurred in 1909, shortly after Harry K. Thaw shot Stanford White, but the New York Post noted, “The latest prominent assassin has taken the precaution to have himself judged insane beforehand.” Archie sued for libel, and the case dragged on to 1919, when he won both the suit and his fight for sanity in New York.
By now Uncle Archie had come to love automobiles and made peace with his brothers and sisters. He came visiting in a Pierce-Arrow he had had custom-made. Parts of the rear and front seats were removed to make room for a bed and a field kitchen, and the car was painted with blue and white stripes copied from a favorite shirt. Chanler Chapman would meet Uncle Archie in Manhattan, and they would drive back and forth between the Hotel Lafayette and Grant’s Tomb. “He told me he was the reincarnation of Pompey,” Chapman says, “but that he was going to have more luck than Pompey and take over the world. His eyes would gleam and glitter. He would also rub an emerald ring and say to the chauffeur when we came to a light, ‘Watch, it’s going to turn red!’ or, ‘Watch, it’s going to turn green! See!’ ” In Barrytown, Uncle Archie dined, as family members pretended not to notice, on ice cream and grass clippings.
At St. Chanler Chapman was nicknamed Charlie Chaplin, after his own exploits. From the start Chapman had what the St. Paul’s masters called “the wrong attitude.” Some years afterward he wrote a book with that title about his days at St. Paul’s. (In Teacher in America, Jacques Barzun praises The Wrong Attitude for Chapman’s “penetrating remarks.”) Once young Chapman jumped into an icy pond to win a $50 bet, and he collected a purse of $100 for promoting a clandestine prize fight in which he was knocked out. On another occasion, boys paid 50¢ apiece to watch Chapman fill his mouth with kerosene and strike a match close to it. Flames shot across the room. On the side, he dealt illegally in firearms, selling one Smith & Wesson .32 time after time. It jammed after every third or fourth round and, invariably. Chapman would buy it back from the disgruntled owner at a reduced price. A center in club football, he practiced swinging a knee smartly into the ribs of an opponent, but when he cracked the rib of a boy he liked, he felt such remorse that he gave the boy a silver stickpin shaped like a broken rib with a diamond mounted over the break.
Chapman was too young for World War I. He desperately wanted to serve after his half-brother, Victor, was shot down and killed while flying for the Lafayette Escadrille. Fortunately, he was distracted by his Uncle Bob, Robert Winthrop Chanler, the youngest, biggest and, in many ways, the most raffish of the Chanlers. “Uncle Bob dreaded the thought that Chanler would be filled with pieties,” says Winty Aldrich.
After studying art in Paris for nine years, Uncle Bob settled on a farm near Sylvania and ran for sheriff of Dutchess County. He won after acquiring acclaim by hiring a baseball team, which included Heinie Zimmerman of the Cubs, to play against all comers. While sheriff, Uncle Bob wore a cowboy suit and retained Richard Harding Davis as his first deputy. Having divorced his first wife, he returned to Paris, where he vowed to marry the most beautiful woman in the world. He fell in love with Lina Cavalieri, an opera singer, who, if not the most beautiful woman in the world, was certainly one of the most calculating. After only a week of marriage to Uncle Bob, she left him to live with her lover. That was bad enough, but then the news broke that Uncle Bob had signed over his entire fortune to her. Uncle Archie, down in Virginia busily fighting for his sanity, remarked to reporters, in words that became famous, “Who’s loony now?”
Uncle Bob divorced Lina, who settled for a lesser sum than his every cent, and back in New York he began living it up again, with nephew Chanler sometimes in tow. During this period he was doing paintings of bizarre animals and plants, which became the vogue, and he bought three brownstones in Manhattan, made one establishment of them and called it “the House of Fantasy.” The place was filled with macaws and other tropical birds, and parties there (orgies, some said) lasted for days. Ethel Barrymore is reputed to have remarked of the House of Fantasy, “I went in at seven o’clock one evening a young girl and emerged the next day an old woman.”
Chapman found two of his other Chanler uncles tedious. One, Winthrop Astor Chanler, was extremely fond of riding to hounds. Indeed, when Uncle Wintie died, his last words were “Let’s have a little canter.” Then there was Lewis Stuyvesant Chanler who, like all the Chanlers, was a staunch Democrat. In 1906 he ran for lieutenant governor of New York, with William Randolph Hearst at the head of the ticket. Hearst lost but Uncle Lewis won-at that time the lieutenant gubernatorial candidate ran separately-and in 1908 he was the Democrats’ choice to run for governor against Charles Evans Hughes. Hughes won, but the campaign waged by Uncle Lewis, which began with an acceptance speech on the front steps of Rokeby, still stirs the family. Not long ago, Hamilton Fish Sr. visited Rokeby, where he strongly urged Winthrop Aldrich to run for office. When Winty demurred, Uncle Ham, sole survivor of Walter Camp’s 1910 All-America football team, 6’4″ tall and ramrod straight at 88 years of age, said, “Look at your Uncle Lewis!” Winty replied, “But Uncle Ham, Stanley Steingut [State Assembly Speaker] and Meade Esposito [Brooklyn Democratic leader] wouldn’t know anything about Uncle Lewis. Nobody remembers Uncle Lewis.” Eyes blazing, Uncle Ham exclaimed, “Everyone remembers Uncle Lewis!”
Chanler Chapman went to Harvard in 1921. “He ran a gambling den there,” recalls Peter White, a cousin, who is a grandson of Stanford White. “He had a bootlegger, and all the gilded aristocracy from St. Paul’s, St. Mark’s and Groton as his customers. Chanler and his partners took in $300 to $400 a week. They didn’t drink until their customers left at three in the morning, but then they drank themselves blind.”
While in Cambridge, Chapman joined the Tavern Club founded by 19th-century Boston literati. “Two years ago Chanler celebrated his 50th anniversary as a member of the club,” Winty Aldrich says. “It is a tradition to present a gold medal to a man who has been a member for 50 years. Being proper Bostonians, the members do not have a new medal struck, but give the honoree one that had been presented to some deceased member. Chanler was very excited-I had heard he was to get the gold medal that belonged to Oliver Wendell Holmes-but for one reason or another he couldn’t attend the ceremony. The members were relieved. They thought Chanler might bite the medal in half, or hock it.”
After Harvard, Chapman went to Paris where he acquired his lasting affection for horse racing. He went broke at the track, and his Uncle Willie, Colonel William Astor Chanler (also known as African Willie, because he had explored parts of the Dark Continent where Stanley said he would not venture with a thousand rifles), gave him a job at an ocher mine he owned in the south of France. Six weeks in the mine were enough. Seeking fresh adventure, Chapman joined an acquaintance who was sailing a 47-foot ketch, the Shanghai, from Copenhagen to New York. But Chapman found the trip a bore-“The ocean is the dullest thing in the world. The waves just go chop, chop, chop”-except for a stop in Greenland, where he swindled the Eskimos by trading them worn-out blankets for furs. Off Nova Scotia he lost the furs and almost everything else when the Shanghai foundered on rocks, forcing all to swim to shore.
Back in the U.S., Chapman undertook a career as a journalist. He worked for the Springfield, Mass. Union for two years and then joined The New York Times. “Anyone who spends an extra week in Springfield has a weak mind,” he says. The Times assigned Chapman to the police beat on the upper East Side but Chapman decided that crime, like the ocean, “bores the hell out of me.” He spent a year playing cards with the other reporters and then quit to work for a book publisher.
In 1932 Chapman took over Sylvania and became a full-time farmer. He devoted a great deal of effort to organizing dairymen so they might obtain better milk prices, but division in the ranks made the task impossible. Then, during World War II, Chapman, with the seeming compliance of President Roosevelt, worked up a plan to seize the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon off Newfoundland from Vichy France. He was called off at the last minute by F.D.R., who had apparently been having a lark at his neighbor’s expense. Chapman next volunteered as an ambulance driver for the American Field Service and served in Africa and Burma. Nautically, his luck seemed to pick up where it had left off with the sinking of the Shanghai-a freighter taking him to Egypt was torpedoed 600 miles southeast of Trinidad. “It was very entertaining,” he recalls. “The vessel was carrying 1,900 tons of high explosives.” Fortunately, the ship, which had been struck in its boilers, went down in seven minutes and did not explode. Chapman had the foresight to stick $200 in traveler’s checks and a bottle of Abdol vitamin pills inside his life jacket before scrambling into a lifeboat. After a week’s sail, he and the other survivors made it to Georgetown, British Guiana.
After the war, Chapman and his wife were divorced and he married Helen Riesenfeld, who started the Barrytown Explorer with him. She died in 1970, and three years later Chapman married Dr. Ida Holzberg, a widow and psychiatrist. “It’s convenient for Chanler to have his own psychiatrist in the house,” says Winty Aldrich. Like the second Mrs. Chapman, Dr. Holzberg is Jewish. While chaffing her recently, Chapman said, “Jesus Christ, maybe I should have gone Chinese the third time around.” Mrs. Chapman, or Dr. Holzberg, as she prefers to be called, is listed on the masthead of the Explorer, but her duties are undefined. “She wants to get off the masthead because she gets angry at me every other day,” Chapman says. Dr. Holzberg is petite, and Chapman affectionately refers to her as “Footnote” or “Kid,” as in “O.K., Footnote” or, “Kid, I like you, but you’ve got a long way to go.” As Chapman figures it, his wives are getting shorter all the time, but he likes that because they have a lot of bounce-back, Dr. Holzberg especially, “because she’s got such a low center of gravity.”
Over the years, Chapman has conducted his own radio interview show but at present he is off the air. His last sponsor was a dairy, for whom he used to deliver remarkable commercials, such as, “Their man is on the job at five in the morning. You might even see him back at a house for a second time at nine, but let’s skip over that.” Some of Chapman’s taped interviews are memorable, like the one in which he kept referring to the mayor of San Juan, P.R., where Chapman happened to be on vacation, as the mayor of Montreal. “San Juan, Señor,” the mayor would say plaintively every time Chapman referred to Montreal.
Perhaps Chapman’s finest accomplishment with the tape recorder came at a great family gathering at Rokeby in 1965. About 150 Chanlers, Astors, Armstrongs and other kin assembled to celebrate the sesquicentennial of the house. Among those present at the main table were William Chamberlain Chanler, who is known as Brown Willie, and Ashley Chanler, the son of African Willie. Ashley is generally accounted a bounder by the rest of the family, and on this occasion he was wearing a Knickerbocker Club tie, which disturbed Brown Willie, a retired partner in the proper Wall Street firm of Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam and Roberts. Believing that Ashley had been dropped from the Knickerbocker Club (as indeed he had been previously, for nonpayment of dues), Brown Willie voiced his annoyance and a loud debate ensued. “No one knew what was going on,” says Winty Aldrich. “It wasn’t until later that we found out it was all over a necktie. But Chanler was seated near them, and the moment the argument started he turned on his tape recorder, held up the microphone and began egging them on. When Ashley said that he had been reinstated in the Knickerbocker Club, Chanler shoved the microphone at Brown Willie and said, ‘You lose that round, counselor.’ “
Nowadays Chapman is primarily confining his attentions to the Explorer and his slingshot, with an occasional reversion to his guns. “Stop the presses!” he exclaimed the other day to a caller. “We’re replating for wood alcohol! An unlimited supply of energy. No fermentation at the North and South Poles, so the penguins and Eskimos are out of luck. First flight to Venus by booze.” He also was elated about reprinting a piece by Abram Hewitt on War Relic, “really a second-rate horse, still being promoted as quite a stud.”
The shooting in early spring, Chapman said, had been superb. The frozen Hudson was breaking up, and he liked to go down to the river with a .22 to shoot at pieces of ice. The most challenging shot was at twigs floating by. “Crack a little twig when it’s just barely moving!” he exclaimed. “It’s better than any shooting gallery. You feel like a newborn baby.” Friends who happen along at this time of the year may be greeted as William Humphrey, the novelist, was. Chapman insisted he shoot his initials into the snow by the front porch.
Chapman is hopeful that this will be a good year for 17-year locusts. Good, that is, from his point of view, not theirs. “They don’t come every 17-years, you know,” he says. “They come every five or six. I use .22 longs with birdshot in them and, boy, those locusts can absorb a lot of dust. They’re only three-quarters of an inch long, but they’re built out of armor plate. You have to hit them just right. I like to take a little stool that unfolds and pop them when they’re swarming. Shooting on the wing. That’s the only way. I wouldn’t shoot them sitting down.”
Chapman says now he’s just looking for things that give him pleasure. Has he a word of advice for others who would seek the happy life? Yes. “Things are going up and coming down,” he says. “Earthquakes are expected. Step in and enjoy the turmoil.”
That is Chandler Chapman Astor story!
Ninth Generation: Children of Chanler Chapman (1901-1982) married Olivia “Livy” James
i. John Jay Chapman(1926-2011) married Isabel FANTAUZZI
ii. Robert Robinson Chapman(1933-1997)
iii. Victor Chapman (1936-2011)
iv. Marie Weston Chapman (1938-2013)
I. Ninth Generation: John Jay Chapman and Isabel Fantuzzi
Obit John Jay Chapman, II, 84, of Red Hook, NY, died Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at his home surrounded by his family. A veteran of the Korean War, he served with the US Marine Corps. He went on to work for the US Postal Service in Red Hook until his retirement. Jay was a member of St John’s Episcopal Church in Barrytown, NY. Born May 30, 1926, in Springfield, MA, he was the son of the late Chanler A. and Olivia (James) Chapman. He married Isabel Fantauzzi on Nov. 7, 1957 in New York City. He is survived by his wife: Isabel F. Chapman, a son: Tomas (Laura) Fantauzzi Millan of Tivoli and their children Samot (Tosha) Millan, and Cesar Millan, a son: Perfecto Millan of Red Hook, and his sons Alexis & David Millan, a daughter: Raquel Chapman of Paris, France and her children Julian & Edward Bricambert, a son: Antonio Millan of Puerto Rico, and his children Elian & Rosibel Millan, a son: John Plail of Texas, a sister: Maria Weston Chapman of Rhinebeck, a brother: Victor Chapman of Oregon, and cousins: J. Winthrop Aldrich, Richard Aldrich, and Rosalind Aldrich Michahelles. A brother, Robert Robertson Chapman, predeceased him in 1996. Funeral services will be held at 1:30PM on Sunday, January 16th, at St. John the Evangelist, Church, River Rd, Barrytown, NY.
Five years ago, John Jay Chapman II persuaded post office authorities to transfer him from Puerto Rico back to Barrytown, where he now delivers the mail. Asked if his son truly likes delivering mail, Chapman exclaimed, “He can hardly wait for Christmas!” Not long ago. Chapman and Winty Aldrich, who lives with Ricky at Rokeby, the ancient family seat next door to Sylvania, were musing about the twists and turns in the family fortunes. Winty observed, “Isn’t it remarkable, Chanler, that Edmund Wilson called your father the greatest letter writer in America, and now your son may be the greatest letter carrier!”
i. Ninth Generation: Robert R Chapman (1933-1997)
Robert Robertson Chapman was born on March 8, 1933, in Red Hook, New York. In 1952 he saw action in the Korean War. He had two brothers and two sisters. He died on March 1, 1997, at the age of 63 in Broward Florida. I believe he was unmarried.
Robert, a son by that marriage, lives in a house in Florence, Italy, which his father thinks is called “the place of the devil.” (Robert reportedly used to live in a cave, where he made kites.)
ii. Ninth Generation: Victor Chapman (1936- 2011)
Chapman, Victor W. 8/23/1949 3/13/2011 Victor was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y He was a counselor for Multnomah County and the Veterans Administration. He died on March 11, 2011, in Oregon, at the age of 75.
iii. Ninth Generation: Maria W Chapman(1937-2013)
Maria Weston Chapman was born on March 26, 1937, in Boston, Massachusetts. She had three brothers. She died on November 25, 2013, in Rhinebeck, New York, at the age of 76, and was buried in Barrytown, New York.
a. Eighth Generation: Sydney Ashland Chapman(1907-1994)
She was born in 1907 in New York. She had one brother. She died in 1994 at the age of 87 in Barrytown, where she had spent her life. She was unmarried
C. Seventh Generation: Eleanore Jay CHAPMAN(1864-1929) married Richard Mortimer(1852-1918)
Eleanor Jay CHAPMAN was born on November 7, 1864, in New York. She married Richard Mortimer on April 26, 1886, in New York. She had four children by the time she was 27. She died on December 9, 1929, in Tuxedo,New York, at the age of 65
William Yates Mortimer, who was educated in Europe, married Elisabeth Thorpe, daughter of Aaron Thorpe of Albany. He inherited the bulk of his father’s estate and by clever management greatly increased his property. He died in 1891, leaving a large sum to charity, and survived by his widow and two sons, Richard Mortimer, who married Miss Eleanor Jay Chapman, grand-daughter of the late Hon. John Jay, and Stanley Mortimer, who married Miss Tissie Hall, daughter of the late Valentine Hall.
Eighth Generation: Children of Eleanore Jay Chapman and Richard Mortimer
a. Mary Eleanore Mortimer(1887- ) married Maxime Hubert Furland
b. Stanley Grafton Mortimer(1888-1947) married Kathleen Hunt Tilford
c. Richard Mortimer, Jr(1889-1918)
d. Wilfreda Mortimer(1891-1946) married John Morris RUTHERFURD
a. Eighth Generation: Mary Eleanore Mortimer(1887- ) married Maxime Hubert Furland
Mary Eleanor MORTIMER was born on April 25, 1887, in New York. She married Maxime Hubert Furlaud on November 29, 1885. They had two children during their marriage. Her husband was active producing fine cognac with the label Hubart Furland Cognac. He died in Argentina at age 95. They were married 83 years!
Mary Eleanor Mortimer is known for her sculpture.
a. Ninth Generation: Children of Mary Eleanore Mortimer(1887- ) married Maxime Hubert Furland
i. Richard Mortimer Furland(1923- ) married Isobel
ii. Maxime Jay Furland(1925-1999) married Alice E Nelson
i. Ninth Generation: Richard Mortimer Furland(1923- ) married Isobel
Bio: Richard Mortimer Furlaud was born in 1923. Richard currently lives in Palm Beach, Florida. Before that, Richard lived in Palm Beach, FL in 2011. Before that, Richard lived in New York, NY from 1994 to 2012.
Richard Mortimer Furlaud is related to Isabel Furlaud, who is 81 years old and lives in Palm Beach, FL. Richard Mortimer Furlaud is also related to Richard Furlaud, who is 63 years old and lives in New York, NY.
He was a successful pharmaceutical executive worked with
Tenth Generation: Children of Richard Mortimer Furland and Isobel
Richard Furland (1943)
ii. Ninth Generation: Maxime Jay Furland married Alice E Nelson
Maxime Jay Furlaud was born on June 29, 1925, in New York. He married Alice E Nelson in 1970. He died on March 3, 1999, in Barnstable, Massachusetts, at the age of 73, and was buried in Truro, Massachusetts. He was a screenwriter and playwriter. He was also involved with gestalt therapy
D. Seventh Generation: Beatrix Mary Jay CHAPMAN(1864-1942) married (1)Sir George Head Barclay (1862–1921) married (2)Raymond DeCandolle
Beatrix Mary Jay CHAPMAN was born in 1864 in New York. She married Sir George Head Barclay and they had one daughter. Her first marriage ended in divorce and she then married Raymond De Candolle whom she had developed a relationship with in June 1920 in London. She died on December 12, 1942, at the age of 78.
Perhaps the most fashionably-attended wedding so far in the season was that which took place at high noon yesterday at the picturesque old Jay homestead, Bedford House, Katonah, Westchester, between Miss Beatrix Chapman, daughter of Mrs. Henry G. Chapman, and granddaughter of the Hon. John Jay, and George Barclay, Secretary of the British Legation at Washington, of Monkhams, Essex, England NY Times
Bio: Sir George Head Barclay b. 23 March 1862, d. 26 January 1921 Sir George Head Barclay was born on 23 March 1862 at Walthamstow, Essex, England.1 He was the son of Henry Ford Barclay and Richenda Louisa Gurney.1 He died on 26 January 1921 at age 58. He was educated at Eton College, Windsor, Berkshire, England.1 He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England.1 He held the office of Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Iran between 1908 and 1912.1 He was invested as a Commander, Royal Victorian Order (C.V.O.).2 He was invested as a Knight Commander, Order of St. Michael and St. George (K.C.M.G.).2 He was invested as a Knight Commander, Order of the Star of India (K.C.S.I.).2
Eighth Generation: Children of Eleanore Jay Chapman(1864-1942) and Sir George Head Barclay (1862–1921)
a. Eighth Generation: Dorothy Katherine Barclay(1893–1953) married Sir Coleridge Arthur Fitzroy Kennard (1885-1948)
Bio: Dorothy Katherine Barclay, b. between 1886 and 1890, d. 15 January 1953 Dorothy Katherine Barclay was born between 1886 and 1890 at Rome, Italy.1 She was the daughter of Sir George Head Barclay. She married Sir Coleridge Arthur Fitzroy Kennard, 1st Bt., son of Hugh Coleridge Downing Kennard and Helen Wyllie, on 5 April 1911.2 She and Sir Coleridge Arthur Fitzroy Kennard, 1st Bt. were divorced in 1918.2 She died on 15 January 1953.2 Her married name became Kennard.
: Sir Coleridge Arthur Fitzroy Kennard, 1st Bt. was born on 12 May 1885.1 He was the son of Hugh Coleridge Downing Kennard and Helen Wyllie.2 He married, firstly, Dorothy Katherine Barclay, daughter of Sir George Head Barclay, on 5 April 1911.1 He and Dorothy Katherine Barclay were divorced in 1918.1 He married, secondly, Mary Graham Orr-Lewis, daughter of Sir Frederick Orr-Lewis, 1st Bt. and Maude Helen Mary Booth, on 21 July 1924.3 He died on 7 October 1948 at age 63.3
He was created 1st Baronet Kennard, of Fernhill, co. Southampton [U.K.] on 11 February 1891.4 He was with the Diplomatic Service between 1908 and 1919.1
Ninth Generation: Children of Dorothy Katherine Barclay and Sir Coleridge Arthur Fitzroy Kennard
i. Sir Laurence Charles Ury Kennard, b. 6 Feb 1912, d. 3 May 1967
ii. Lt.-Col. Sir George Arnold Ford Kennard, b. 27 Apr 1915, d. 13 Dec 1999
i. Ninth Generation: Sir Laurence Charles Ury Kennard married Joan Liesl Perschke
Sir Laurence Charles Ury Kennard, 2nd Bt. was born on 6 February 1912.1 He was the son of Sir Coleridge Arthur Fitzroy Kennard, 1st Bt. and Dorothy Katherine Barclay.2 He married Joan Liesl Perschke, daughter of William Thomas Perschke, on 27 April 1940.1 He died on 3 May 1967 at age 55, without issue.3
He was educated at Eton College, Windsor, Berkshire, England.1 He was created 2nd Baronet Kennard, of Fernhill, co. Southampton
ii. Ninth Generation: Lt Col Sir George Arnold Ford Kennard married (1)Cecilia Violet Cokayne Maunsell Married (2)Mollie Jesse Rudd Wyllie Married (3)Nichola Carew, Married (4)Georgina
Lt.-Col. Sir George Arnold Ford Kennard, 3rd Bt. was born on 27 April 1915.2 He was the son of Sir Coleridge Arthur Fitzroy Kennard, 1st Bt. and Dorothy Katherine Barclay.3 He married Cecilia Violet Cokayne Maunsell, daughter of Major Cecil John Cokayne Maunsell and Wilhelmine Violet Eileen Fitz-Clarence, on 12 October 1940.2 He and Cecilia Violet Cokayne Maunsell were divorced in 1958.4 He married, secondly, Mollie Jesse Rudd Wyllie, daughter of Hugh Wyllie, on 30 September 1958.4 He and Mollie Jesse Rudd Wyllie were divorced in 1974.4 He married, thirdly, Nichola Carew, daughter of Peter Gawen Carew and Ruth Chamberlain, in 1985.1 He married, fourthly, Georgina Wernher, daughter of Maj.-Gen. Sir Harold Augustus Wernher, 3rd Bt. and Anastasia Mikhailovna de Torby, Countess de Torby, in December 1992 at London, England.4 He and Nichola Carew were divorced in 1992.1 He died on 13 December 1999 at age 84.2
He was educated at Eton College, Windsor, Berkshire, England.2 He was commissioned in 1936, in the service of the 4th Queens Own Hussars.4 He fought in the Second World War, where he was mentioned in despatches twice, and was a POW (1939-41).2 He was Lieutenant-Colonel of the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars between 1955 and 1958.4 He was with Cement Marketing Company between 1967 and 1979.4 He succeeded to the title of 3rd Baronet Kennard, of Fernhill, co. Southampton [U.K., 1891] on 3 May 1967.4 On his death, his baronetcy became extinct.
Child of Lt.-Col. Sir George Arnold Ford Kennard, 3rd Bt. and Cecilia Violet Cokayne Maunsell
Tenth Generation: Zandra Kennard+3 b. 17 Jun 1941
Zandra married Maj. John Middleton Neilson Powell.5 They had two children.
Eleventh Generation: Edward Coleridge Cockayne Powell