Robert H. Pruyn

Robert H. Pruyn

Robert Hewson Pruyn (February 14, 1815–February 26, 1882) was an American lawyer, General, diplomat, and politician from Albany, New York.

Political, military, and diplomatic service

The Pruyn family of Albany, New York was one of the oldest and most esteemed Dutch families in New York, and at the time of Robert's birth there, had resided in Albany for over two centuries. [" [ A Guide to the Pruyn Family Papers, 1679-1978] ". "Albany Institute of History & Art". Retrieved March 14, 2007.] Pruyn earned an A.B. in 1833 and A.M. in 1836 from Rutgers Academy and began the practice of law in Albany." [ Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs: Pruyn] ". "Schenectady County [ Public Library] ". Retrieved March 14, 2008.] Active in the state militia, he was named Judge Advocate General in 1841, serving until 1846, and again in 1851. [ [ Seward, p. 535] ]

A political ally and close friend to William Henry Seward, he was a Whig member from Albany County of the New York State Assembly from 1848 to 1852, and then again 1854. [ Treat, p. 193] ] On January 30, 1850, after Speaker Noble S. Elderkin left the Assembly to stay at home with his wife who was terminally ill, Pruyn was elected Speaker. He was again Speaker in 1854. [Findling, p. 427] Governor Myron Clark appointed him Adjutant General of the New York National Guard, replacing John Watts de Peyster in 1855, who was allowed to hand pick his successor.Allaben, p. 205] [Allaben, p. 304] [" [ The New York Almanac and Yearly Record] ". Mason Brothers: New York, 1857.] He achieved the rank of Brigadier General of the militia. [ [,M1 Hutchins, p. 400] ]

At the personal request of Seward, who was then Secretary of State, President Abraham Lincoln appointed him Minister to Japan in 1861, and he served in that capacity until 1865, when he returned to New York. [,M1 Treat, p. 194] ] [" [ ARRIVAL OF HON. ROBERT H. PRUYN] ". "New York Times". December 14, 1865.] His crowning achievement were the negotiations following the Shimonoseki bombardment. [ [ Shavit, p. 406] ] He was considered highly successful in his dealings with the Shogun. [Stern, p. 159] [ [ Johnson & Howard, p. 424] ]

He was awarded an LL. D. from Williams College in 1865 and served on the board of trustees at Rutgers. He went on to become President of the National Commercial Bank and Trust of Albany, and was one of the founders of Albany Law School. [" [ The History of Albany Law School] ". "Albany Law School". Retrieved March 14, 2008.]

In 1866, he was the Conservative Union candidate for Lieutenant Governor of New York. [ [ The Conservative Union state convention opens] in NYT on September 11, 1866]

His son, Robert C. Pruyn, was prominent banker and one of the most influential leaders of the American toy industry. [" [ The embossing company] ". " [] ". Retrieved March 14, 2008.]

He died suddenly in 1882 in Albany." [ THE HON. ROBERT H. PRUYN DEAD] ". "New York Times". February 27, 1882.]

Electoral history


*Allaben, Frank. " [,M1 John Watts de Peyster] ". Frank Allaben Genealogical Company: New York, 1908. ISBN 1402144547
*Findling, John. " [ Dictionary of American Diplomatic History] ". Greenwood Press: Westport, 1989. ISBN 0313260249
*Hutchins, S.C. " [ Civil List and Forms of Government of the Colony State of New York] ". Weed, Parsons & Co.: Albany, 1870.
*Johnson, Rossiter and Brown, John Howard. " [ The twentieth cnetury biographical dictionary of notable Americans] ". The Biographical Society: Boston. 1904.
*Shavit, David. " [ The United States in Asia: A Historical Dictionary] ". Greenwood Press: Westport. 1990. ISBN 031326788X
*Seward, Frederick W. " [ Autobiography of William H. Seward, from 1801 to 1834] ". D. Appleton: New York. 1877.
*Stern, Philip Van Doren. " [ When the Guns Roared: World Aspects of the American Civil War] ". Doubleday: New York, 1965.
*Treat, Payson Jackson. " [ The Early Diplomatic Relations Between the United States and Japan, 1853-1865] ". The John Hopkins Press: Baltimore, 1917. ISBN 0548594767

Further reading

:*American Council of Learned Societies. " [ Dictionary of American Biography] ". Charles Scribner's Sons: New York. 1959.:*Lee, Edwin B. "Robert H. Pruyn in Japan, 1862-1685". "New York History" 66 (1985) pp. 123-39.:* [ Robert H. Pruyn Papers] , Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, N.Y.


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