About Berryman Brent Breedin
Brent Breedin, 85, and his wife, Catherine, 86, of Columbia, S.C., visited Mobile this week to research his great-great-uncle, Berryman Brent Breedin, who lived from 1794 to 1854 and is buried in Church Street Cemetery.
Breedin has learned that his ancestor moved to Mobile from Virginia in 1817 and became a respected lawyer and community leader. Among many other accomplishments, he was one of the founding members of the Mobile Society of Literature in 1824.
The Breedin headstone stands in the southern part of Church Street Cemetery. According to an undated newspaper article that Brent Breedin found, the inscription reads: "B.B. Breedin — erected by the members of the Mobile Bar. The learned lawyer, honorable advocate, and accomplished gentleman. Born in Jefferson Co., Va., June 22nd, 1794. Died February 26th, 1854."
The obituary continues, "Col. Breedin was a resident of Mobile when the ‘Old Spanish Village around Fort Conde’ never dreamed of aspiring to the proud title of the ‘Queen of the Gulf.’ He watched with pride and exultation the progress of the city — the accumulation of wealth — the spread of its commercial importance, and its growing prosperity, and while the city was thus pushing forward to its ‘Manifest Destiny’ the name of the advocate and lawyer went steadily forward with it.
" ... The monument speaks on its four faces the simple and undefiled truth, and in thus speaking does but simple justice to the Nestor of the Bar of Mobile."
Brent Breedin has also researched his ancestor in New Orleans and in the Library of Congress, where he perused bound copies of the Mobile Advertiser.
An excerpt from the Mobile Advertiser’s obituary reads: "After the reading of the Proceedings of the Committee, eloquent eulogies were pronounced upon the memory and character of the deceased, by several members of the Bar; and all of which was responded to by the Hon. Alexander McKinstry, in happy, appropriate and feeling remarks. — C.W. Rapier, Chairman; John Rolston, Secretary."
"I didn’t learn of the first B.B. Breedin’s existence until I was in my forties and had wondered why my Dad and I bore that name," Brent Breedin said in an e-mail. "B.B. Breedin’s younger brother, Enoch Cartwright Breedin, was my great-grandfather."