Saturday, February 26, 2011

Samuel Denman (business partner of Samuel Meeker) & wife Anna Maria; and their terrible tragedy

Anna Maria [Hampton] Denman in detail

In the last entry, an advertisement for Meeker's firm “Meeker, Denman, & Co.” in the Philadelphia Gazette, October 23, 1797 was shown. Samuel Denman was Samuel Meeker’s brother-in-law. Samuel Meeker married Jane Hampton on March 3, 1792 in St. John’s Church Elizabethtown, N.J.

Recorded: 1792 Mar. 3 - Samuel Meeker, of Philadelphia, Merch't., to Jane daughter of Jonathan Hampton, Esq. of Elizabeth Town. Jane had a younger sister Anna Maria Hampton. Anna Maria married Samuel Denman (1774-1816) on December 10, 1801 by Rev. Henry Kollock, pastor of the First Presbyterian church at Elizabethtown.

Perhaps due to the divorce of Samuel’s twin sister Phebe from Alexander Cochran, Samuel’s first business partner, now Meeker dropped Cochran and joined forces with his brother-in-law Samuel Denman. So far as I know Anna Maria and Samuel Denman had two sons: tragically both died at a young age. Young Jonathan Hampton Denman died July 23 1804, age 4 months and three days, “at the Seat of Samuel Meeker Esq.” (Fountain Green.) Young William Denman passed away at age 4 years and 9 months, also at Fountain Green. This couple knew terrible tragedy, and father Samuel Denman also passed away at the young age of 42.

An eulogy to William Denman, age 4 1/2.

The vernal hope of lengthened life is crop'd

The opening blossom in the grave is dropt

Yet weep not, Parents, for his mouldering clay,

But rest your comfort on the judgment day.

For happy innocence, that knows no crime

Shall bloom eternal in the heavenly clime.

In an amazing bit of sleuthing, I found that images existed of the Denmans, preserved in miniature. You can imagine how thrilled I was, to discover images of Meeker's relatives, and to learn some of their story.

American Portrait miniatures

courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Watercolors on ivory in gilded copper case;

hair reserve 2 3/4" x 2 3/8"

artist: Edward Greene Malbone

Samuel and Anna Maria [Hampton] Denman, ca. 1801

The book "American Portrait Miniatures" is now available; by Carrie Rebora Barratt and Lori Zabar. The volume is the first complete catalogue of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection of American portrait miniatures, "tiny, vivid miracles of the painter's art."

The Museum's holdings are the world's most comprehensive.

In a twist of family ancestry, my gt gt grandfather Ben Cory's grandmother was Susanna [Denman] Cory (1773-1851). Thus I have Denman blood, but not by Samuel, for remember, he gifted the portrait to his twin sister.

1 comment:

ASuz said...

I am pleased to let you know that their story was not unendingly tragic. Samuel Denman and Anna Maria Hampton had a third son, Samuel Denman, born in 1806, in Philadelphia. He died in Lawrence Kansas in 1871, having fathered 7 children and marrying twice. He was my great great grandfather.

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