Francestown New Hampshire Attorney, Governor, Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and Navy, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice: Levi Woodbury (1798-1851)

Levi Woodbury was born on 22 December 1789 in Francestown NH,

reportedly “named after his uncle Levi, who had been captured during the American Revolution, and had died in Dartmoor Prison in England.”

Levi, the younger led a much more auspicious life. He graduated from Dartmouth College in the class of 1809 and was admitted a few years later to the New Hampshire Bar. In 1823 when the New Hampshire Historical Society was formed with Governor Plumer as president, Levi Woodbury was Vice President, and president the following year.

He was a “Jacksonian” who was elected Governor of New Hampshire in 1823.  In 1825 and also in 1841 he was elected United States Senator. He was appointed Secretary of the Navy in 1831 and Secretary of the Treasury in 1834 by President Andrew Jackson; in 1845 he was appointed a Supreme Court Justice of the United States.

His record of public service has been unmatched by any other New Hampshire citizen. A historic marker (#43) was placed in Francestown in 1907.  The description reads: “Born in Francestown, this ardent Jacksonian rose to hold some of the nation's highest offices. After serving his state as legislator, judge, and Governor, he became U.S. Senator, Secretary of the Navy, Secretary of the Treasury, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice. His record of public service has been unmatched by any New Hampshire citizen.  This marker is located near the First Unitarian Church (“The Old Meeting House” 1773) at the junction of Routes 136 and 47.

His portrait hangs in the New Hampshire State House in Concord NH, on the Second Floor corridor, West Face, Beginning at Room 208. This portrait was copied by T. Lawson from original by Charles Bird King. It was a gift to the State of New Hampshire in 1874.

*Additional Reading*

-Gov. Levi Woodbury of NH-

Memoir of Hon. Levi Woodbury, LL.D.-

-Library of Congress Archives for Woodbury-Blair Family-


John-1 Woodbury, who settled Salem MA 1626-27. Freeman, deputy of the General Court. Died 1641. One of the five Old Planters to whom 1000 acres was granted in that part of Salem afterwards incorporated as Beverly MA, where he and his brother William planted and their descendants multiplied.

Peter-2 Woodbury, youngest son, bapt 19 Feb 1640

Josiah-3 Woodbury, b. 15 June 1682

Josiah-4 Woodbury, b. 16 Feb 1708-9

Peter-5 Woodbury, b. 28 March 1738; he signed a 1770 petition relative to town affairs in Amherst NH, and was a member of Capt Taylor's company during the American Revolution who marked in Dec 1775 to Winter Hill. In April 1776 he signed a document pledging to resist the British with arms and fortunes, and was on the Committee of Safety.

Hon. Peter-6 Woodbury, b. 17 Jan 1767; m. Mary Woodbury. He removed from Beverly MA to Francestown NH in 1773.  She was descended from Peter-2 through Peter-3 (b 1664), Peter-4 (b 1705), James-5 (b 1738 who was Mary's father).

Levi-7 Woodbury, son of Hon. Peter and Mary (Woodbury) Woodbury of Francestown NH, was born in 22 December 1789 in Francestown NH [one source says b. 2 Dec 1789 in Mt. Vernon NH however the memoirs written by his son, state Francestown], and died 4 Sep 1851 in Portsmouth, Rockingham Co NH and is buried in Portsmouth. He married 23 May 1819 in Portland ME to Elizabeth Williams Clapp, dau of Hon. Asa Gabriel & Elizabeth Wendell (Quincy) Clapp. She was b. 25 Aug 1796 in Portland, Cumberland Co ME and d. 9 June 1873 in Portsmouth, Rockingham Co NH. They are buried with their children in the Harmony Grove Cemetery, in Portsmouth NH. [stone]
Children of Levi & Elizabeth W. (Clapp) Woodbury:
1. +Mary Elizabeth Woodbury; m. Montomery Blair
2. +Frances Anstris Woodbury, b. 1823; ; m. Archibald H. Lowery
3. Virginia Lafayette Woodbury; m. Hon. Gustavus Vasa Fox, son of Jesse & Olivia (Flint) Fox on 29 Oct 1855 in Portsmouth NH. He was a Capt. USN, Asst. Secretary of the Navy and Special Envoy to Russia. He was b. 13 June 1821 in Saugus, MA and d. 29 Oct 1863 in NY NY, age 62years.
4. Charles Levi Woodbury, b. 22 May 1820 Portsmouth NH; d. 1 July 1898 in Boston, Suffolk Co MA, buried Portsmouth NH; attorney; a member and VP of NEHGS (1895). NH Rep. in 1857. He is buried with his parents in Harmony Grove Cemetery, Portsmouth NH
5. Ellen Carolina de Quincy Woodbury, b. 1828, d. 22 Sep 1909, age 81 year in Atlantic City NJ; buried Portsmouth NH, in the Harmony Grove Cemetery.

Mary Elizabeth Woodbury, dau of Levi & Elizabeth W. (Clapp) Woodbury, b. 1821, d. 1887 ; m. 1846 to Montgomery Blair as his 2nd wife. He b. 10 May 1813 Franklin Co. KY, and d. 27 July 1883 in Silver Spring MD. He m1) Caroline Buckner who d. in 1844; he graduated from West Point Military Academy, studied law, admitted to the bar in St. Louis MO in 1837; from 1839-41 was US district attry for Missouri, 1842-43 mayor of St. Louis MO, 1843-49 Judge of Court of Common Pleas; in 1853 moved to Maryland, in 1855 counsel for Dred Scott, 1861-1864 US Postmaster General; 1878 member MD House of Delegates, 1882. The Blair Home in Washington DC at 1651 Pennsylvania Avenue is now owned by the US Government (purchased in 1941) and serves as the President's Guest House for visiting foreign dignitaries. unsuccessful candidate for US Congress.
Child of Montgomery & Caroline (Buckner) Blair:
1. Elizabeth Better Blair, b. 1840, d. 1872; m. 1869 C.B. Comstock
Children of Montgomery & Mary E. (Woodbury) Blair:
2. Minna Blair, b. 1849/1850 Missouri, d. 1919; m. 1884 Stephen Olin Richey
3. Woodbury Blair, b. 1848-1852, d. 1933; m. 7 July 1907 to Emily Wallach, dau of Richard Wallach the first Mayor of Washington CD; Woodbury was 1st the Postmaster-General of Lincoln, Nebraska; one source states he had an illegitimate child by Maria Lathan Anderson, by the name of Ethel Anderson Fogg, (who was adopted by the Fogg family). She is the mother of actor Edward Mongomery Clift.
4. Marie/Mariah Blair, b. abt 1854, d. age 6 [listed in DC census 4 July 1860]
5. Gist Blair, b. 10 Sep 1860, d. 1940; m. Laura Lawson Ellis. Adopted child, Laura Lawson Blair, b. 6 Apr 1922 [dau of George Park & Katherine (O'Reilly) Lawson].
6. Montgomery Blair Jr., b. abt 1860-1865; m. 1895 Edith Draper. Children: Charles,
Edith, Minna, Montgomery, Virginia, William and Ellen.

Frances Anstris Woodbury, dau of Levi & ELizabeth W. (Clapp) Woodbury, was b. 1823 and d. 1895; She married 29 Oct 1849 in Portsmouth NH to Archibald H. Lowery, Esq. of NY. He was b. 1812 in Washington D.C., and d. 1896.
Children of Archibald H. & Frances A. (Woodbury) Lowery:
1. Woodbury Lowery, b. 17 Feb 1853 NY NY; res. Washington DC; d. 11 Apr 1906 in Taormina Sicily. His funeral was held at Rock Creek Episcopal Church in Washington D.C., and was buried in Rock Creek Cemetery.
2. Virginia “Ginny” Lowery, b. 1866 Washington D.C., d. 1910 ; m. 1895 to Duke Jose Ambrosio of Brunetti-Gayoso-Cobos aka Jack Brunetti. He b. 6 Feb 1839 son of Count Lazare Fernando of Brunetti-Salvioni and Princess Maria of Gayoso-Cobos-Tellez. He held several positions for the Spanish government, including that of minister to Mexico, and ambassador at St. Petersburg Russia.

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2 Responses to Francestown New Hampshire Attorney, Governor, Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and Navy, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice: Levi Woodbury (1798-1851)

  1. Larry D woodbury says:

    Very useful information for family tree

  2. Jose M Luzon says:

    Virginia Woobury Lowery died in 1935. They lived in Rome at Palazzo Brancaccio the first decades of the 20th century. The splendid art collection they possesed was dispersed. Part of it came as a legacy to the Prado Museum

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