Peter Anderson Cowdrey, Esq.

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ChartsAncestors of Edward Ambrose Cooke
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Peter Anderson Cowdrey, Esq., son of Samuel Cowdrey, Esq. and Eliza Anderson, was born at Stamford, Connecticut, 11 October 1803.1,2 He died at Yonkers, Westchester Co., New York, 27 March 1852,3 and was buried at the Green-Wood Cemetery, Lot 1683/6 Section 107, Brooklyn, Kings Co., New York.4

Peter married Maria Burritt, daughter of Abel Burritt and Henrietta McCrackan, at New Haven, Connecticut, 1 September 1829.1,3

Peter Cowdrey graduated at age 18 from Columbia College, New York with highest honors and delivered the valedictory address. He followed his father into law and was soon admitted to the Bar. He was subsequently appointed Counsel for the Corporation of the City of New York.

When LaFayette visited the the United States in 1824, Peter Cowdrey, at age 22, was delegated by the City to present to Lafayette a memorial of his visit. He made this presentation at a dinner on 6 September (LaFayettes' birthday) in the presence of the President and numerous other illuminaries of the day. Peter Cowdrey was on the fast track.

In his early career, he and Daniel Webster were opposed as counsels for the plaintiff and defendant. It was a trial of high public interest, though the details are wanting in Alverson's book. In any event, Cowdrey won the case and was heartily congratulated by many.

He was much sought after to make addresses at many public affairs, ahd he was known as a tall, graceful man. He spoke before large audiences at the State Fair to make the keynote address. As a speaker, his voice and style were pleasing and convincing, while his modesty was captivating. Amiable in temper, and chivalrous in spirit, he won the hearts of all.

About 1848 he purchased a large farm three miles from Yonkers. He and his wife became members of the First Presbyterian Church there. He enlarged and beautified the home into a typical country estate, christening it Ingleside. Old-time hospitality was always there, and at Christmas with a houseful of relatives and beds on the floors for the children, "old Santa Claus would come in great coat and fur cap, loaded down with baskets of presents, and passing from one to another gathered in the two big parlors."

In summer when the great black ox-hears, and white ones too, hung in luscious bunches from the cherry-trees, guests from the city and town would be invited, and great waters and fruit dishes full would be placed around for all to partake of them. The orchard was famous for its most delicous peaches, and friends came from near and far to enjoy them.

From this farm there were many fine view points. Peter Cowdrey planned to build on what was called Barrack Hill. From this elevation there was a beautiful vista reaching down into the valley, where the fine arches of High Bridge rose in symmetry, carrying the aqueduct which ran from Croton Lake to the City. To the right were the Palisades, with the Hudson flowing at their base, and Long Island Sound further to the east.

Unfortunately, he died at an early age. In late February, 1852, the trains were blocked with snow. Rather than letting his family fret over his non-arrival, he went on foot, arriving very late at night. The exposure and exertion were too much. He died of pneumonia a month later.

The funeral was held at Ingleside, and later at Clinton St. in New York City at his sister's home where his large number of friends could attend. He was buried in the family plot at Green-Wood Cemetery.1,3

Family

Maria Burritt b. abt. 1808, d. 26 Oct 1853
Children
  • Reverend Samuel Burritt Cowdrey1 b. 25 Jun 1830, d. 18 May 1903
  • William Lathrop Cowdrey1 b. 4 Feb 1832, d. 31 Jul 1884
  • Edward Augustus Cowdrey1 b. 18 Sep 1833, d. 7 May 1865
  • Charles Mitchell Cowdrey1 b. 20 Nov 1835, d. 25 Mar 1890
  • Clinton Cowdrey1 b. 17 Sep 1837, d. 19 Apr 1901
  • Frederick Cowdrey1 b. 10 May 1839, d. 7 Aug 1899
  • Eliza Anderson Cowdrey1 b. 21 Dec 1840
  • Maria Burritt Cowdrey+1,3 b. 6 Jan 1844, d. 22 Oct 1927
  • Henrietta McCrackan Cowdrey1 b. 1 Jun 1846, d. 24 Jul 1905
  • Cornelia Louisa Cowdrey1 b. 12 May 1850, d. 25 Nov 1864

Citations

  1. [S15] Mary Bryant Alverson Mehling, Cowdrey-Cowdery-Cowdray Genealogy: William Cowdrey of Lynn, Massachusetts, 1630 and His Descendants ([New York, New York]: Frank Allaben Genealogical Co., 1905), 295-301, further cited as Mehling, Cowdrey Family.
  2. [S457] United States Census for 1850 [Seventh Census of the United States], Yonkers Township, Westchester County, New York, population schedule, sheet 240, dwelling 470, family 632, Peter A Cowdrey household, age 45, born in Connecticut, a farmer with $10,000 in real estate, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com); original data: NARA micropublication M432, 1009 rolls, roll #615.
  3. [S213] Bible Record of Family and Descendants of Henry G. Cooke, The Comprehensive Bible; Old and New Testaments, According to the Authorized Version... (Hartford, Connecticut: Andrus & Judd, 1832); Compiler's genealogy files.
  4. [S281] Burial Inquiry Results, online http://www.green-wood.com/, viewed 3/13/06.