John Meredith Read, Jr.

Is your surname Read?

Research the Read family

John Meredith Read, Jr.'s Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


John Meredith Read, Jr.

Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA, USA
Death: Died in Paris, France
Immediate Family:

Son of John Meredith Read and Priscilla Read
Husband of Marie Delphine Read
Father of Harmon Pumpelly Read; Emily Meredith Spencer; John Meredith Read, III and Marie Delphine Meredith de Foras
Brother of Emily Marshall Hyde; Mary (1) Read; Mary (2) Read and Priscilla Read

Managed by: Alissa Ann Smith
Last Updated:

About John Meredith Read, Jr.

John Meredith Read, Jr. (1837–1896), U.S. Minister to Greece 1873-1877, U.S. Chargé d'Affaires to Greece 1877-1879.

New York State Adjutant General, United States Consul General to France, Algeria and Germany, United States Minister to Greece, Charge d' Affaires, Germany.

Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. Law degree from Albany Law School, 1859. Appointed aide-de-camp to Governor of Rhode Island with rank of colonel.

In 1860, while New York State Adjutant General, Read was chairman of a committee of three, which drafted a bill in behalf of New York State, appropriating $300,000 for the purchase of arms and equipment. He subsequently received the thanks of the war department for his ability and zeal in organizing, equipping and forwarding troops. Republican who supported Lincoln and one of the originators of Wide-Awake political movement in New York.

Regent of Cornell University, 1865-1874. In 1868 he was instrumental in election of General Grant to the presidency.

Appointed United States Consul General, France and Algeria, 1868. Acted as consul general of Germany, 1870-1872. First United States Minister to Greece, 1873-1879. Gained release of American ship Armenia from Greek authorities. In 1876 he persuaded Greek government to revoke order banning sales of English tranlated Bibles. Responsible for protecting American citizens and interests during Balkan crisis and war, 1875-1878. Officially resigned as a diplomat, September 23, 1879. Received approbations for his diplomacy skills from Europe and America. In 1881, King George of Greece, made him a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer, this being the highest honor Greece could bestow.

Member and president of the Archaeological Society of Athens. Author of, "A Historical Inquiry Concerning Henry Hudson" and other works. Honorary companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. Member of the Cincinnati.

Read's father was John M. Read, 1797-1874 and great grandfather was George Read, signer of the Declaration of Independence.

view all

John Meredith Read, Jr.'s Timeline

February 21, 1837
Philadelphia, PA, USA
April 7, 1859
Age 22
Albany, New York, USA
July 13, 1860
Age 23
Albany, New York, USA
January 7, 1863
Age 25
Albany, New York, USA
January 27, 1869
Age 31
Albany, New York, USA
May 9, 1873
Age 36
Paris, France
December 27, 1896
Age 59
Paris, France