Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State

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Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State's Geni Profile

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Frederick Theodore Frelinghuysen

Birthplace: Millstone, Monmouth, NJ, USA
Death: Died in Newark, Essex, NJ, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Frederick Frelinghuysen and Mary Frelinghuysen
Husband of Matilda Elizabeth Frelinghuysen
Father of Frederick Frelinghuysen and George Griswold Frelinghuysen

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About Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State

Frederick Theodore Frelinghuysen (August 4, 1817 – May 20, 1885) was a member of the United States Senate representing New Jersey and a United States Secretary of State.

Early life and education

Frelinghuysen was born in Millstone, New Jersey, to Frederick Frelinghuysen (1788–1820) and Mary Dumont. His father died when he was just three years old, and he was adopted by his uncle, Theodore Frelinghuysen (1787–1862).

His grandfather Frederick Frelinghuysen (1753–1804) was an eminent lawyer, one of the framers of the first New Jersey Constitution, a soldier in the American Revolutionary War and a member (1778–1779 and 1782–1783) of the Continental Congress from New Jersey, and from 1793 to 1796 a member of the United States Senate.

His uncle, Theodore Frelinghuysen (1787–1862), was Attorney General of New Jersey from 1817 to 1829, was a U.S. Senator from New Jersey from 1829 to 1835, was the Whig candidate for Vice President of the United States on the Henry Clay ticket in the 1844 Presidential election, and was Chancellor of New York University from 1839 until 1850 and president of Rutgers College from 1850 to 1862.

Frelinghuysen was graduated from Rutgers College in 1836, and studied law in Newark with his uncle, to whose practice he succeeded in 1839, after he was admitted to the bar. He became attorney for the Central Railroad of New Jersey, the Morris Canal and Banking Company and other corporations.

Marriage and children

He married Matilda Elizabeth Griswold and had three daughters and three sons, including: Frederick Frelinghuysen, George Griswold Frelinghuysen (1851-1936), Theodore Frelinghuysen (?-1931), Matilda Griswold Frelinghuysen who married Henry Winthrop Gray, a daughter who married Charles L. McCauley, and Lucy Frelinghuysen.


Frelinghuysen was a delegate to the 1860 Republican National Convention from New Jersey and from 1861 to 1867 was Attorney General of New Jersey. He was a delegate to the Peace conference of 1861 in Washington, and in 1866 was appointed by the Governor of New Jersey, as a Republican, to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate. In the winter of 1867, he was elected to fill the unexpired term, but a Democratic majority in the New Jersey Legislature prevented his re-election in 1869.

In 1870, he was nominated by President Ulysses S. Grant, and confirmed by the Senate, as United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom to succeed John Lothrop Motley, but declined the mission. From 1871 to 1877 he was again a member of the United States Senate, in which he was prominent in debate and in committee work, and was chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs during the Alabama Claims negotiations.

He was a strong opponent of the Reconstruction measures of President Andrew Johnson, for whose conviction he voted (on most of the specific charges) in the impeachment trial. He was a member of the joint committee which drew up and reported (1877) the Electoral Commission Bill, and subsequently served as a member of the Electoral Commission that decided the 1876 Presidential election. As a Republican, he voted with the eight-member majority on all counts.

On December 12, 1881, he was appointed United States Secretary of State by President Chester A. Arthur to succeed James G. Blaine, and served until the inauguration of President Grover Cleveland in 1885.

Retirement and death

Frelinghuysen retired from work and moved back to his home in Newark. He died there in May, aged 67, less than three months after retiring. He was buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Newark.

Adopted by Theodore Frelinghuysen (1787 - 1862)

(son of Frederick Frelinghuysen, uncle and adoptive father of Frederick Theodore Frelinghuysen, great-uncle of Joseph Sherman Frelinghuysen, great-great-uncle of Peter Hood Ballantine Frelinghuysen, Jr., and great-great-great-uncle of Rodney P. Frelyinghuysen), a Senator from New Jersey
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Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State's Timeline

August 4, 1817
Millstone, Monmouth, NJ, USA
September 30, 1845
Age 28
Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, United States
May 9, 1851
Age 33
May 20, 1885
Age 67
Newark, Essex, NJ, USA