John Winthrop Chanler

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Rep. John Winthrop Chanler

Birthdate: (51)
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Death: October 19, 1877 (51)
Barrytown, Dutchess County, New York, United States (pneumonia)
Place of Burial: New York, New York, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Rev. John White Chanler and Elizabeth Sherriff Chanler
Husband of Margaret Astor Chanler
Father of John Armstrong Chaloner; Winthrop Astor Chanler; Emily Astor Chanler; Elizabeth Astor Winthrop Chapman; Bessie Chanler and 8 others
Brother of Elizabeth Winthrop White; Helen Sarah Chanler and Margaret Stuyvesant Rutherford

Occupation: Lawyer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Winthrop Chanler

John Winthrop Chanler (September 14, 1826 – October 19, 1877) was a prominent New York lawyer and a U.S. Representative from New York. He was a member of the Dudley–Winthrop family and married a member of the Astor family.

Early life

John Winthrop Chanler was born in New York City on September 14, 1826, the only son of the Rev. Dr. John White Chanler, an Episcopalian clergyman, and Elizabeth Shirreff Winthrop. His mother was a great-great-granddaughter of Wait Winthrop and Joseph Dudley and a great-great-great granddaughter of Peter Stuyvesant.

Chanler received his early education from private tutors, and graduated from Columbia College of Columbia University in 1847. He attended the University of Heidelberg, studied law, and was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1851.


A Democrat affiliated with Tammany Hall, Chanler was member of the New York State Assembly (New York Co., 10th D.) in 1858 and 1859. He was nominated for New York State Senate in 1860 but declined. He was an unsuccessful candidate for election in 1860 to the Thirty-seventh Congress, losing to the Mozart Hall Democrats.

United States Congress

Chanler was elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-eighth, Thirty-ninth, and Fortieth United States Congresses, serving from March 4, 1863 to March 3, 1869.

While in Congress, Chanler served on the Committee of Bankrupt Law, Committee on Patents, Committee on Southern Railroads.

His term in Congress was notable for his censure on May 14, 1866 for an insult to the House of Representatives. The censure stemmed from a resolution he introduced expressing support for the vetoes of President Andrew Johnson, in which Chanler called acts of Congress vetoed by Johnson "wicked and revolutionary," and called House members who overruled the vetoes "malignant and mischievous."

He was defeated in his reelection to the 41st Congress for his hostility to Boss Tweed.

Later career

After Tweed was overthrown from running Tammany Hall in 1871, Chanler became a Sachem and Chairman of the General Committee. He ultimately gave up the positions in 1875 due to his declining health.


In 1851, Chanler married Margaret Astor "Maddie" Ward (1838–1875), a member of the prominent Astor family. She was the daughter of Samuel Cutler Ward (1814–1884) and Emily Astor (1819–1841). Margaret's maternal grandfather was William Backhouse Astor, Sr. (1792–1875), her paternal great-grandfathers were John Jacob Astor (1763–1848) and John Armstrong Jr. (1758–1843), her paternal grandfather was Samuel Ward III (1786–1839), and her paternal great-grandfather was Col. Samuel Ward, Jr. (1756–1832). Together, John and Margaret had eleven children:

John Armstrong "Archie" Chanler (1862–1935), who married and later divorced novelist Amélie Rives Troubetzkoy (1863–1945).

Winthrop Astor Chanler (1863–1926), who married Louisa Margaret "Daisy" Terry.

Emily Astor Chanler (1864–1872)

Elizabeth Astor Winthrop Chanler (1866–1937), who married John Jay Chapman (1862–1933)

William Astor "Willie" Chanler (1867–1934), a politician who married Beatrice "Minnie" Ashley (1878–1946)

Marion Ward Chanler (1868–1883)

Lewis Stuyvesant Chanler (1869–1942), a politician who married Alice Chamberlain (1868–1955) in 1890. After their divorce, he married Julia Lynch Olin (1882–1961) in 1921.

Margaret Livingston Chanler (1870–1963), who served as a nurse with the American Red Cross during the Spanish–American War and who married Richard Aldrich (1863–1937)

Robert Winthrop Chanler (1872–1930), an artist who married Julia Remington (1872–1936). After their divorce in 1907, he married Natalina "Lina" Cavalieri (1874–1944)

Alida Beekman Chanler (1873–1969), who married Christopher Temple Emmet

Egerton White Chanler (1874–1882), who died of a brain tumor

Margaret died of pneumonia in December 1875 shortly after attending the funeral of William Backhouse Astor, Sr. She was buried at Trinity Church Cemetery in New York City. In her will, she left $55,000 (equivalent to $1,199,500 in 2016 dollars) to her husband, $1,000 (equivalent to $21,809 in 2016 dollars) a year to her father, and the rest to be divided among her children.

Death and burial

John Winthrop Chanler died at his "Rokeby" estate in Barrytown, New York, also of pneumonia, on October 19, 1877. His funeral was attended by New York Mayor Smith Ely Jr., Hamilton Fish, William B. Astor, Jr., John Jacob Astor, John Reilly, John Kean, Van Horn Stuyvesant, Dr. Austin Flint, and Hamilton Fish, Jr. His pallbearers were Smith Ely, George Warren Dresser, Sidney Webster, Tompkins Westervelt, Carlile Pollock Patterson, Frederick W. Rhinelander, John W. Ehrlinger, and Walter Langdon. He was interred with his wife in the Trinity Church Cemetery in New York City.


According to John Winthrop Chanler's will, his estate was valued between $1,500,000 (equivalent to $33,735,938) and $2,000,000 (equivalent to $44,981,250 in 2016 dollars). The executors were Lewis Morris Rutherfurd, Franklin Hughes Delano, Rutherfurd Stuyvesant, and Tompkins Westervelt. His eldest son, John Armstrong, inherited Rokeby with all its stock, books, pictures, furniture, and personal property of all kinds, $100,000 (equivalent to $2,249,063 in 2016 dollars) on reaching the age of majority, all of his real estate in Dutchess County, and a lot of land in Newport, Rhode Island known as "Cliff Lawn." To Winthrop Astor, he left all the personal property in his New York City home, located at 192 Madison Avenue, all of his real estate in Delaware County, and a house on Cliff Lawn in Newport. To his daughters, Elizabeth, Margaret, and Alida, he gave all of their mother's jewelry, and a lot in Newport for each of them, as well as to his sons William Astor, Marion Ward, Lewis Stuyvesant, Robert Winthrop, and Egerton White. In addition, the will provided $20,000 (equivalent to $449,813 in 2016 dollars) a year for each child for life, enough to live comfortably by the standards of the time.

Biographical Sketches of the state officers and Members of the Legislature of the State of New York, in 1858.

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John Winthrop Chanler's Timeline

September 14, 1826
New York, New York, United States
October 10, 1862
Age 36
New York, New York, United States
October 14, 1863
Age 37
New York, New York, United States
Age 37
Age 37
New York, New York, United States
February 23, 1866
Age 39
Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island, United States
June 11, 1867
Age 40
Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island, United States
Age 40
July 23, 1868
Age 41
New York, New York, United States
September 24, 1869
Age 43
Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island, United States