Isaac Leggett Varian

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Isaac Leggett Varian

Birthdate: (71)
Birthplace: Peekskill, Westchester, NY, United States
Death: August 10, 1864 (71)
Peekskill, Westchester, NY, United States
Place of Burial: Cortlandt Manor, Westchester, NY, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Isaac L Varian and Tamar Varian
Husband of Catherine Hopper Varian
Father of Andrew Hopper Varian; Tamar Letitia Concklin; Isaac Varian; Matilda Campbell Lewis; Mary Elizabeth Weeks and 4 others
Brother of Gilbert Coutant Varian; George Washington Varian and Emeline Coutant Jordan

Occupation: Mayor of New York, 1841-1843
Managed by: Douglas Arthur Kellner
Last Updated:

About Isaac Leggett Varian

Varian was a prominent Democrat and led Tammany Hall from 1835 until 1842. He was a member of the New York State Assembly (New York Co.) in 1831, 1832 and 1833; Mayor of New York City from 1839 to 1841; and a member of the New York State Senate (1st D.) from 1842 to 1845, sitting in the 65th, 66th, 67th and 68th New York State Legislatures.

As Tammany Hall leader, Varian presided over a critical period in Democratic history, which saw the defection, and return of the Locofoco faction, which was in existence from 1835 until 1840, and was the decisive factor in the 1837 mayoral election won by Whigs against the divided Democrats.

Varian first ran for mayor in 1838, losing to Whig Aaron Clark by only 519 votes in an election tainted with allegations of massive Whig fraud and intimidation. In 1839 Varian beat Clark by 1,067 votes despite blatant electoral misconduct. During Varian's first term the legislature passed a bill that mandated voter registration and made it a lot harder to commit electoral fraud.

By Professor LLOYD ULTAN, Bronx County Historical Society

Historic Abodes II - Valentine-Varian House - 8/10/2000

The second oldest house in The Bronx is the Valentine-Varian House. It is now located on Bainbridge Avenue between Van Cortlandt Avenue East and 208th Streets. It is one of the abodes in The Bronx that can inform us of how people lived in the past.

The Valentine-Varian House was built about 1758 by blacksmith Isaac Valentine, but it was originally located on the northwest corner of Bainbridge Avenue facing Van Cortlandt Avenue East, which was the original post road connecting New York to Boston. The structure was made of local fieldstone that was abundant in the area. Wide pinewood boards were used for the floor, and they were held together by nails made by the blacksmith himself.

As the American Revolution approached, Isaac Valentine was a member of the local militia. However, when the British captured the area in October, 1776, he stayed behind to protect his property. That was a wise move, because his house was to be used by units of both sides, and it was to be in the midst of six battles during the course of the war. Throughout the conflict, the house was in a perilous position, but managed to survive. In 1781, The Comte de Rochambeau, the head of the French army allied to the Americans, slept in that house.

After the war, Isaac Valentine, saddled with unpaid debts, sold the house in 1792 to Isaac Varian, a New York City butcher who wanted to become a farmer. Varian married three times and fathered sixteen children. One grandchild, Isaac Leggett Varian, served as New York City's mayor, 1841-1843. Throughout the nineteenth century, Varians resided there and worked their farm. By 1906, the area was rapidly urbanizing, and land taxes were rising. It became impossible to farm the land profitably. William F. Beller, an officer of the New York City Customs House, purchased the building.

Beller knew the house's great history and rented it over the years to people who paid little or no rent just to keep it in repair. His son, William C. Beller, at the urging of Borough Historian Theodore Kazimiroff, donated it to The Bronx County Historical Society and paid for its refurbishing and its relocation to its current site. On Memorial Day, 1968, the Society opened it to the public as the Museum of Bronx History.

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Isaac Leggett Varian's Timeline

June 25, 1793
Peekskill, Westchester, NY, United States
May 6, 1812
Age 18
August 14, 1814
Age 21
August 16, 1815
Age 22
July 16, 1817
Age 24
July 7, 1819
Age 26
May 19, 1823
Age 29
January 28, 1826
Age 32
May 24, 1828
Age 34
May 24, 1828
Age 34