Charles Augustus Foote

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Charles Augustus Foote was a graduate of Union College. Attorney and Counselor at Law. Member of Congress from the State of New York in 1824;...Studied law at Kinderhook with Judge Van Schaack; of a number of men there at the time, who afterward became prominent in the world, it was the young Martin Van Buren, who most often came with him to Arbor Hill and in time became an aspirant for the hand of sweet Margaret Foote, Charles' sister, but she had already secretly given her heart to the young clergyman whom she afterward married, and thus lost the opportunity of becoming a Mistress of the White House. After leaving Kinderhook, Charles was for several years in the office of Josiah Ogden Hoffman, Esq., in New York, then returned to Delhi, began an excellent practice, and was sent to Congress in 1824, "but his death ended all," according to Katherine Adelia Foote, his granddaughter. Col. of Militia. He m. in 1808, Marie Baldwin, dau. of Margaretta de Hart and Jesse Baldwin, importing merchant at 161 Broadway, New York. Foote Fam.;204

Foote, Charles Augustus, a representative from New York; born in Newburgh, Orange County, N.Y., April 15, 1785; attended private schools in Newburgh and Kingston, N.Y, and was graduated from Union College, Schenectady, and practiced in New York City and later in Delhi, Delaware County, N.Y.; colonel in the New York State Militia, Sixth Division; trustee of Delaware Academy; president of the village of Delhi; elected to the Eighteenth Congress (March 4, 1823–March 3, 1825); resumed the practice of law in Delhi, N.Y., where he died August 1, 1828; interment in the private burying ground at “Arbor Hill,” the estate of his father. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1744–1989, Bicentennial Edition, Washington, U S Government Printing Office, 1989.


"He sank gradually into a melancholic state that increased until his death in 1828, but little over forty years of age," Katherine Adelia Foote, describing her grandfather.

Charles Augustus Foote, was born April 15, 1785 at Newburgh, or Crompond, New York, to Ebenezer Foote and Jerusha Purdy.
He died August 1, 1828, at Delhi, New York. Married October 10, 1808, Marie, the daughter of Jesse and Margaretta de Hart Baldwin. She died August 29, 1824, and is buried in the tiny, family cemetery, at the family home, Arbor Hill.

Their children were: Frances Foote (b. 1809; m. Charles Marvine); Catherine Bruen (b. 1811; d. 1898); Rensselaer W. Foote (b. 1813; West Point, Capt; killed Gaines' Mills); Harriet Foote (b. 1815; d. 1815); Charles Augustus Foote, Jr. (b. Mar. 18, 1818; d. Feb. 28. 1896; m. Adelia Johnson, Sept. 11, 1845. who d. Aug., 1888); and James Bruen Foote (b. 1821, d. 1910. Married and had a girl, Mariah, presently unknown.)

One of Marie's sisters married the well known lawyer, Judge Aaron Vanderpoel of New York. While in Congress, Mr. Vanderpoel was one day called the "Kinderhook Roarer,” which, as often happens, clung to him through life. When I was taken to see him as a child, I remember him as the mildest of white-haired old men, and much interested in Charles’ little girl. The family now spell their name in various ways as regards capitals. All of the Purdys and Strangs seem to have been in the Assembly at Albany and in other offices.

Another sister, Catherine, married James Bruen of Newark, New Jersey, a brother of Matthias of New York. One of her (Jame's and Matthias's?) aunts, Laura Waldron, was the wife of the English Minister to France. [no Waldron's show connections to lists of 19th Ministers to France from GB. —dff]

Jesse Baldwin was an importing merchant, silks and wines, doing business at 161 Broadway, living at Newark.

Charles attended private schools at Poughkeepsie and Kingston, until he entered Union College, Schenectady, where he was graduated in 1805, going at once to study law with Judge Peter Van Schaack at Kinderhook, then to Judge Josiah Ogden Hoffman, New York. While with the latter he married, and soon after, at the solicitation of his father, came back to Delhi to live, and began practice in the different courts of the State, which he continued until his death.

He was in Congress, 1824-1825. His wife having died in 1824, he sank gradually into a melancholic state that increased until his death in 1828. but little over forty years of age.

He served in the militia in the different grades, being at the time of his death Colonel and Inspector of the 6th State Division. He lies in the family burying ground at Arbor Hill, the estate of Judge Ebenezer Foote, now owned by the Hon. and Mrs. John Davenport Clarke.

  • Ebenezer Foote—The Founder, An Epistemological Light on his Times, Katherine Adelia Foote. Delhi, 1927, and dff.

Family Records

Charles Augustus Foote was born at Newburgh, N.Y. 15 April, 1785 to Ebenezer Foote and Jerusha Purdy [fff, kaf, Foote Fam. Rec;1, Marv Bible;2, Bio. Dir. U.S. Cong]. He died at Delhi, N. Y. 1 Aug., 1828 and is buried “in the private burying ground at “Arbor Hill,” the estate of his father.” [kaf, Delhi;g.s., Bio. Dir. U.S. Cong.] He married 10 May, 1808, Maria Baldwin, daughter of Jesse Baldwin and Margaretta de Hart of New York City, and Newark, New Jersey. She was b. at ___; she died at “Arbor Hill”? and is buried in the family cemetery there.
Children born at ___ [ff pp, Foot Hist;204-5, kaf]:

  • i. Francis Foote, b. 1 Aug., 1809 [f.f.pp., Marv Bible;2]; she d. 27 July, 1891; she m. at ___ 15 Oct.,1832 Charles Augustus Marvin, son of Anthony Marvin and Abigail Paine [Marv. Fam.;378, Foote Hist;204-5]. Their children:
1. Charles Augustus Marvin, b. 8 July, 1833, d. 31 March, 1840 [f.f.pp., d. listed in Marv. Fam;378];
2. George Edward Marvin, b. 14 June, 1836, d. at ___ , m. 15 Oct., 1853 Harriet N. Steele [f.f.pp.], daughter of Dr. Eben Steele and Harriet Danforth [ibid.];
3. Margaret Maxwell Marvin, b. 9 Aug., 1840 [f.f.pp.], d. , m. 28 June, 1871 Isaac Horton Maynard, son of Isaac Horton and Jane Falconer, he was b. at Bovina, N. Y. 9 April, 1838 [ibid.] Their daughter, Frances Maynard, m. David Ford of Rome Georgia and New York City.
  • ii. Catherine Bruen Foote, b. 14 Sept., 1811 [f.f.pp.]; died Nov., 1897; “Never married but spent her time and money on good works.” [Foote Gen.;205].
  • iii. Harriet Baldwin Foote, b. 21 Jan. 1814 [f.f.pp.]; she d. at [Delhi?] 26 Sept. 1814 [f.f.pp., not listed in Foote].
  • iv. Rensselaer William Foote, b. 12 Nov., 1815. Soldier in the U.S. 6th Infantry. Died in combat, 1862.
  • v. Charles Augustus Foote, b. 18 March, 1818; died 28 Feb., 1896 at Delhi; married 11 Sept., 1844 Adelia Johnson, [Foote Hist;338] "Inheriting good competence while still a child, he erected a building during his minority, and for over 60 years conducted there a mercantile and manufacturing business, meanwhile busied with numberless outside interests. Held most of the town offices, was county treasurer for three successive terms. One of the organizers and chief pillar of his church, like his father and grandfather, Trustee of Delaware Academy, Director of the Bank, Com[misioner] of Railroad, and for a few years in business in California where his building was twice swept away, first by the great flood, then by fire. Always gentle and courteous, the village papers said of him at his death, 'The last gentleman of the old school in our midst has passed away.'” Their children were:
1. Katherine Adelia Foote, b. 27 Sept., 1845, “Active in local affairs, and with a large social acquaintance outside Delhi. Member of D.A.R. and County Regent for a number of years. Secretary of State Charities Aid for 25 years. Secretary for Columbia Exposition, etc.” [Foote Hist;338]. She was an editor of a book on her great grandfather, Ebenezer Foote. She lived Delhi, visited Manhattan every season for Grand Opera during which time she would stay in a hotel just around the corner from the Metropolitan Opera House [jpf;90].
2. Charles Augustus Foote, b. Feb., 1862, d. Feb., 1862 [Foote Gen.;205].
  • vi. James Buren Foote, b. 16 April, 1821 [f.f.pp.]; died 13 May, 1910 [Foote;205,338 pencil note for death date, added prob. by Katherine Adelia Foote]. He married ____ and had a daughter,
Mariah Foote, b. ___ [from letter to Rensselaer Foote from his sister and brother Charles, 1850.]



Letter from Charles A Foote, New York City, to his father, Ebenezer Foote, Delhi, New York, "Rvd 24th" 19 May, 1807:

My Dear Father
It has become so common a thing "to leave undone those things "which we ought to have done" that it is hardly worth while to say why I have not written sooner. I staid at Catskill but a very short time (and that I spent in bed) and since having been here I have found myself pretty busily employed about the office exclusive of many little businesses of my own which together have occupied all my time. I live in Beekman street some distance from the office but it is none the worse for that. I suppose at this late hour it would not require an affadavit to convince you that all those rumours which Fred and I collected at the head of the river respecting the election were out in point of fact. There have been some unaccountable mistakes in reckoning up the votes — Whether the canvassers have been in error or whether the people have written the wrong names upon their ballots is a matter of very little consequence. Lewis is handsomely juggled out of his election, and Peter B. out of his cash and federalists out of their hopes of rising again into power if any there were short-sighted enough to entertain serious hopes of that kind. What the details of the business are I know not neither do I care. Let those who win settle those things according to their liking Indeed it is possible that good policy may ere long keep us more quiet even than we are. for who knows but our imported masters may take it into their heads federalism is a nuisance, and deprive us of the privilege of voting for their outcasts, and make irish jacobinism instead of citizenship and property the electoral qualification? — George Clinton will be our next president! — This is a conjecture of my own but founded I think on very good grounds. He has been nominated in Pennsylvania by Duane's men, and this measure is spoken of by Freeman's journal as a "forestalling of public opinion"—that is as much as to say, he is our man as well as yours. If Pens. N.York and Mass. unite in favour of the old Phoenix it's up with Maddison, particularly as there is a division in the "ant. dom," itself, and there is every reason to believe that the Mass. gentry will give him Clinton their support without hesitation for two reasons 1 out of hatred to the Virginians 2 because he is a greater scoundrel than Mad. and therefore nearer the standard of yankee republicanism — Politicks appear to be altogether at a stand here, not a word is to be heard on the subject. Tis not to be wondered at that the Federalists should think it disagreeable subject. There is nothing of the ferment and bustle which I expected to behold — one would scarcely think there were two parties in the Country. — You have seen how Cheetham speaks of Mr. Jef.'s proclamation — warfare. The rascal can speak like an honest man when it suits his purpose — It is high time for the philosopher to abscond — he is evidently in the way and will stand a good chance to be hustled out of his seat unless he quietly [mounts/moves?] down to the "post of honour". Remember me most affectionately to Mother and the Girls and to Frederick, and believe me to be with the utmost respect

Your Son &c– Chs. A. Foote

—Courtesy of the New York State Library, Manuscripts and Special Collections


"Old Thomas is nicely chucked a-one side and will I think go near to an impeachment, at least I think Randolph will try..." Letter from Charles Foote, New York City, to his father, Ebenezer, 8 January, 1808

My Dear Father
By this time I imagine you must have reached home though you have had I fear a very bad time of it. Ever since you left here we have had a continued series of unpleasant weather and considerable quantities of [ice? an/enjoys?] to make bad sleighing and if possible worse walking. Not having seen anything of the power of attorney I conclude you could not prevail upon Noys to put his fist to it. If so — why it cant be helped, that's all—

If Cheetham's paper has reached you as it must have done ere this you will have seen his remarks upon the Embargo business. Yesterday he concluded them I believe for the present. They upon the whole contain some very correct principles, tho not quite up the the mark His ideas respecting French power and ambition are so correct and so much more than we had any reason to expect from such a rascal that they seem to atone for a great many of his old sins in relation to domestic affairs — His intention of upholding Clinton for the next president even at the expense of Mr. Jeffersons favour is now too plain to be doubted, and I have no doubt in my own mind but he will be As usual successfull (By 'he' I mean Clinton himself for Cheetham only expresses the sentiments of his masters) Those Clintons are the most wily politicians in the United States Their management here is the same as it was in the contest for Governor here, and I think we have reason to expect a similar result. Old George may now be considered as in nomination. He is before the public and is the only person who has been expressly and formally put forth. He has therefore got the start of his competitors, and whosoever follows must be content to bear the odium of dividing the republican party. Old Thomas is nicely chucked a-one side and will I think go near to an impeachment, at least, I think Randolph will try such a motion in the House of Representatives whether it would be it would be a gratifying thing to have it made when we know there is good ground for it — Here we have been for years on the eve of a war with Spain. The Comander in chief of our Army in Spanish pay — and this thing known to the Executive who takes no measures to correct the proceedure! I say it was known to him — For fact was laid before him — For if Clark can be believed [_____? crease] proof the fact was laid before him — and if he under these circumstances will shut his eyes to conviction he is as much in fault as if he actually knew it and then refrained in action. They are a precious set of Scoundrels all together — I wish there intercepted dispatches could be made public, not for any good they would do, but for the gratification fo curiosity in seeing how far this french influence has induced our great men to commit themselves and furnish proofs of their own infamy — There is more knavery in the U.S. than meets the public eye — Give my love to Mother and the Girls and Maria's too — And be assured I am most respectfully
Your Son &c. Chs. A. Foote 8th Jany. 1808
I wish you and all the family and very happy New Year I was agoing to send [La?ng's] address]] but it is republishd in the Herald I think it the best that has appeared —

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia

"Many a scoundrel of a Cartman in this City who has been these seven years halleliuias to Republicanism now begin to feel some of its blessed effects," Letter from Charles A. Foote, New York City to his father, Ebenezer, Delhi, New York, 14 January, 1808:

My Dear Father
I have examined the library we are speaking of when you were down and find it contains about three hundred volumes which will average about four Dolls. per vol. This would make twelve hundred Dollars and would bring the price (after deducting the 30 per Cent) of the whole to about a thousand Dollars — This is too heavy a lift for a weak back like mine. Schoonmaker would take a part of them to the amount of three hundred Dollars, which would leave seven — very heavy still! But no method of lightening the ship further for the present. There might be a possibility of heaving some of them overboard between this and Spring by way of sale or exchange — but not to be depended on. If you think it will do — write as soon as possible, for about the first of February they will be tried again at Auction. The time of payment is anything short of ten years. What a pity a poor Devil could not muster 2 or 300 Dollars when he pleased! These Books or at least, all that I wanted might be bought at auction for that sum no doubt.
We have had a violent snow storm here all day, to day for the first this winter. The snow is now six or eight inches deep or more Up the river I suppose the sleighing is of course very good — This is lucky — I hope every Democrat in the Western District will get his wheat safe to market, before this Republican "blistering plaster" is removed. Then let him sing the "overflowing treasury" and see if it add sixpence to the price of grain. Many a scoundrel of a Cartman in this City who has been these seven years halleliuias to Republicanism now begin to feel some of its blessed effects. One good thing is the evil is a general one and falls upon all alike Maddison to the contrary notwithstanding He would have it beleived [sic] the Embargo is a Fanning Mill that will separate "wheat from the chaff" [_] If by wheat he meant Democratick Farmers he is out, I believe for in the end it will be felt by the Country as much as by the "British garrisons" as Duane calls them — However this has nothing to Do with the book [chaff/sser??] — Do you thnk 6 or 700 to much to spend when you have not got it? It is a confounded heavy load to begin the Journey of life with. — Do write soon for if you conclude it not best to saddle myself with such a burden I must try and get Jack to bid up for some of them at the Auction and trust me for the money Tho I do not know this could well be done with a good face — But here I believe are difficulties enough for one letter.

Please to give my best love to all as usual and believe me to be
Most respetfully Your Son &c
Chs. AFoote

{I have written to Uncle Justin by this mail}

I hate to leave a blank here since the postage is the same for that as writing so I'll fill it up with Cheetham — The Rascal has paddled back again. The Republican Committee here sent a Deputation to wait on him and know what he was about. It seems they opened his eyes so effectually that he saw he was on a lee shore: and 'bout ship instantly was the word from the Watch tower — I suppose they made it appear that Jefferson was too firmly established to be shaken without endangering himself, and as he was not to be a competition of Old George it would answer no good purpose to prove him an "accomadating [T/s/bummer?]" &c.

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia

"They are the cursedest set of Jews here that ever sold," Letter from Charles Foote in New York City to his father, Ebenezer Foote, Delhi, New York, 22 October, 1808:

My Dear Father
Yours inclosing $30 for Kemble I received, and have paid the money and taken his receipt.
We were somewhat longer in coming to NewY. than we expected to be when we left home and after all contrived it so as to ride during the whole of the only two rainy days we had in the time — Mother was very well when we left her at York on monday last – Much better than when she left home –
There is not much news worth mentioning except the report of a French War which I do not believe is correct – It however made a great stir among the wiseacres here and nothing else was to be heard of yesterday. Pensylvania & Jersey have both gone to the D–––l. So that Pinckney & King run low Just at present — I do not think we shall be able to leave here before the beginning of the Week after next Maria has concluded to get only a part of her quota of furniture now, everything is so abominably high — They are the cursedest set of Jews here that ever sold – If we were at war with all the world they could not ask for more for every thing that comes from abroad —
Gardner will take this to you if he is not already gone – I must go with it down to the boat immediately through a fine N.E. Storm which I think may last several days and makes it very comfortable getting about town – Give my love to the Girls & Fred – & believe me
Respectfully Yours &c Ch.A.Foote

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia


"It was the old thing, gay and splendid as ever. Gen. Lafayette was there, and all the 'big Bugs.'" Letter from Charles A. Foote, Washington City, to his sister Harriet, Delhi, New York, December 14 1825.

Dear Harriet.
I have just returned from Mrs. Adams'. It was the old thing, gay and splendid as ever. Gen. Lafayette was there, and all the "big Bugs." She always contrives some method of rendering her parties attractive. Last year she shewed Jackson on the 8th Jany. and now the Marquis.
It is to be hoped that another year will not change the scene as much as the last one has, for I imagine that as to her Talapoosic show, if she thinks anything about it, she wishes "her trump back again"— On August 9, 1814, the Creeks signed the Treaty of Fort Jackson, which ceded 23 million acres (93,000 km2) of land in Alabama and Georgia to the United States government] The old General [Lafayette] had his hands full again,—talked to everybody, and really appeared to be, what he seemed to be, a kind hearted fatherly old fellow, who had just returned among his friends and family after a long absence. I told him almost half a lie just to please him, that I had traveled almost a hundred miles to see him, and was disappointed after all. He was exceedingly sorry and very much obliged for the attentions and respect shown him, and ^"all^ that sort of thing" and one might have supposed there was something in it, if it had not been the same to every one. Now I presume, he did not know me from Adam's grandfather, and so with nine out of ten, whom he talked with. — But never mind, it all passes off, and helps to keep the thing agoing — — I had a letter to-day from Gen. Root, saying that Emma Wells is dead. I was about to say — poor girl! But there is no need for such an exclamation. She has made her escape, and for aught that we know in as good a time as it could happen. With respect to the little troublesome concern of this world, she can now say in the slang-phrase of Delhi— "that business is got along with." — I sat down to write you a long letter but it is too late. I feel very much like going to bed. Kiss the little ones for me. and with the usual commissions of love &c believe me
Your affectionate brother
Ch: A. Foote.

  • Katherine Adelia Foote's book on Ebenezer contains this letter, "As will be seen from the next, Charles was no stranger to Washington. Even before his election, business took him there, as well as to New York, for practice in the higher courts. I regret the slang, so different from the letters to Judge Foote, but one wrote differently to a sister, I suspect."

Other Primary Sources

"Representatives," Oswego Palladium. (Oswego, N.Y.) November 29, 1822

The following persons are elected to represent this state, in the 18th Congress, to wit: *Silas Wood, Jacob Tyson, *John I. Morgan, *Churchill C Cambreleng, Peter Sharpe, Joel Frost, *William Van Wyck, Hector Craig, Lemuel Jenkins, John Strong, James L. Hogeboom, “Ste­phen Van Rensselaer, Charles A. Foote, Lewis Eaton, Isaac Williams, Henry R Storrs, John Herkimer, John W . Cady, *John W. Taylor, Henry C. Martindale, John Richards, Egbert Ten Eyck, Ela Collins, Lot Clark, Justin Dwinell, *Elisha Lichfield, Rowland Day, Samuel Lawrence, Dudly Marvin, Robert S. Rose, Moses Hayden, William B. Rochester, Isaac Wilson, *Albert H. Tracy. Note.—Those marked thus* are members of the present Congress.

"Foote finding himself not likely to support himself even by his name retired," Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Thursday. February 5th. 1824

I …returned home where I was shortly obliged to dress for dinner. The company consisted of Messrs. Holmes of Mississipi, Knight of Rhode Island and Ruggles of Ohio, Senators. Messrs. Archer of Virginia, Cassedy of New Jersey, Foote and Van Wyck of New York, Ingham and Stewart of Pennsylvania, Livermore and White of Vermont, Warfield of Maryland, and Wayne and Whittlesey of Ohio.

It is remarkable, that if the last dinner party was unanimous or nearly so against the bill of Roads and Canals this one was as strongly in favour of it and Mr. Whittlesey was very bitter about it, showing very plainly the feelings which actuate the Western people generally. They are considerably exasperated at the illiberality of the people on the sea board with a little reason I think. Mr. Foote of New York exposed himself considerably as he arrived here considerably intoxicated and declined eating any thing saying he had just dined. On the whole he appeared to possess the qualities of a gentleman to a great degree of perfection. Monsieur took it however in very good part, and laughed a good deal about him. This dinner was quite a pleasant one considering the general character of things of this kind. They are not pleasant to me as I have for the most part to break the ice myself with the person who sits near me. A circumstance which in a young man may appear rather presuming and which is sometimes repulsed and sometimes politely received. I know my motive to be good, and as I imagine myself generally conferring a favour, I persist. It is however a pretty hard task. After dinner we went upstairs and immediately some ladies and gentlemen came in, as Madame had wished to form a musical party this evening. Foote finding himself not likely to support himself even by his name retired. As did all the others of the party except Stewart who appeared pleased and stayed here the evening.

…Mr. Addington was here also and stayed till last. Two awkward circumstances occurred. Antonio came to extinguish the candles before he had gone and his carriage was announced to be ready two or three times. Retired in good season.

Bibliography of Foote Family Sources