Theodore Frelinghuysen   [1787-1862]

US Senator

Theodore Frelinghuysen was the second U.S. Senator in the famous New Jersey Frelinghuysen political dynasty that began with U.S. Senator and Major General Frederick Frelinghuysen [1753-1804], Theodore's father. Although Theodore can not claim the fame his father received from his battlefield exploits, he had quite an interesting national political and educational career himself.

Theodore Frelinghuysen was born on March 28, 1787 in Millstone, Franklin Township, New Jersey. His parents were Frederick Frelinghuysen [1753-1804] and Gertrude Schenck. His siblings were Catherine Frelinghuysen, John Frelinghuysen [1776-1843], a General who married Louisa Mercer, and after her death married Elizabeth Mercereau Van Vechten, Maria Frelinghuysen, and Frederick Frelinghuysen.

Theodore Frelinghuysen married Charlotte Mercer [1790-1854] in 1809. They were unable to have children, but when Theodore's brother Frederick Frelinghuysen died, Theodore and his wife adopted Frederick's son, Frederick Theodore Frelinghuysen [1817-1885], who later also became a U.S. Senator and U.S. Secretary of State. Following the death of Charlotte Mercer, Theodore Frelinghuysen married Harriet Pumpelly.

Theodore Frelinghuysen pursued classical studies and graduated from the College of New Jersey, now Princeton University, in 1804. He then studied law under his brother John Frelinghuysen [1776-1833] and later under Richard Stockton. He was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1808 and practiced law in Newark, New Jersey. During the War of 1812, Theodore Frelinghuysen served as a Captain of the Volunteer Militia.

Theodore Frelinghuysen became Attorney General of New Jersey in 1817 and served in that position until 1829. He was successful in his run for the U.S. Senate in 1828, and served in the U.S. Senate from 1829 until 1835. He then resumed his law practice and served as mayor of Newark, New Jersey from 1837 to 1838. In 1839 he became chancellor of New York University, a post he held until 1850. He then became president of Rutgers College, New Brunswick, New Jersey, a post he held from 1850 until 1862, the year of his death.

During his chancellorship at New York University, Theodore Frelinghuysen, in 1844, ran unsuccessfully for Vice President of the United States on the Whig Party ticket with Henry Clay.

During his time in the U.S. Senate he led the opposition to the Indian Removal Act of 1830. He gave a six hour speech over a period of three days against the Removal Act, and warned of the dire consequences of the policy. He was unsuccessful and the Removal Act was passed.

During his entire life he was active in a number of conservative religious organizations. Among others he was president of the American Bible Society from 1846 to 1862, vice president of the American Sunday School Union from 1826 to 1861, president of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions from 1841 to 1857, and president of the American Tract Society from 1842 to 1846. He believed in temperance and was against slavery.

Theodore Frelinghuysen passed away in New Brunswick, New Jersey on April 12, 1862. He had reached the ripe old age of 75, an age much older than his father who died at age 51, and his paternal grandfather who died at age 27. He was interred in the First Reformed Church Cemetery, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

 

REFERENCES

Congressional Biographies

Wikipedia


E-BOOKS AVAILABLE FROM AMAZON; GOOGLE: Kindle Store Pegels

 

PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICANS, CURRENT AND HISTORIC

EIGHT PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICAN FAMILIES: THE ROOSEVELTS, VANDERBILTS AND OTHERS, 2015

FIFTEEN PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICAN FAMILIES: THE VAN BURENS, KOCH BROTHERS, VOORHEES AND OTHERS, 2015

PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICANS IN U.S. GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP POSITIONS, 2015

 

DUTCH PEGELS INVOLVED IN WARS

ALLIED EUROPE CAMPAIGN—1944/1945: TACTICAL MISTAKES, 2017

THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN THE NETHERLANDS: MEMOIRS, 2017

FRENCH REVOLUTION, NAPOLEON AND RUSSIAN WAR OF 1812, 2015

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