Tallmadge Was Second President Of
Frederick Tallmadge, the second president of the Sons of the Revolution
and a generous benefactor of the organization, was the great-grandson
of a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a grandson of
Washington's famous spymaster Benjamin Tallmadge.
President Tallmadge, the son of a Congressman, was born in New
York City, Jan. 24, 1824, graduated from Columbia in 1845 and rose
to prominence in the legal profession. Tallmadge identified himself
with the Society of the Sons of the Revolution at its very inception,
and served as president for 20 years after the one-term incumbency
of founder John Austin Stevens.
He worked to honor the legacy of the Revolutionary patriots, and
took pride in his descent from Colonel Tallmadge and Colonel William
Floyd of Long Island, one of the signers of the Declaration.
Mr. Tallmadge was very interested in purchasing Fraunces Tavern,
but difficulties in procuring a clear title made other plans necessary.
In 1901 the Board of Managers purchased property on 55th Street.
The site was not historic, but it gave promise of a home for the
Society and was a most excellent investment. Later there seemed
a possibility of purchasing the Morris-Jumel mansion, which had
some associations with Washington. The price, however, was too high
for the society.
In March 1904, Mr. Tallmadge made a final appeal for Fraunces Tavern.
An offer was made and accepted and Mr. Tallmadge, on his deathbed,
was able to affix his name to the contract for the purchase of Fraunces
Tavern, his last official act.
The action of the Board in making this purchase was most enthusiastically
approved at a special meeting of the Society in June 1904. The title
to the property was taken on the 29th day of July 1904. Money being
borrowed on both the Fraunces Tavern and the 55th Street property
to accomplish it.
Mr. Tallmadge's affection for the Society was further shown in
the very generous provision made for it in his will. Besides his
valuable library, he bequeathed many relics. Tallmadge had earlier
written a will giving the society a lot in Gramercy Park, but specified
that it must be used for a headquarters building.
He was unable to update his will before he died, but his sister
made arrangements to give the lot to the Society without the restrictions.
The Sons of the Revolution sold the lot to raise money for the Fraunces
Tavern purchase and dedicated the building as a memorial to Tallmadge.
His funeral, attended by a goodly number of the Sons of the Revolution
took place at "St. Marks in the Bowerie," on June 23rd,
1904. In 1906, the Tallmadge Memorial Window was unveiled in an
impressive celebration in St. Marks Church.
In commemoration of the long and faithful service rendered by Mr.
Tallmadge, the Board of Managers has set apart January 24th, Mr.
Tallmadge's birthday, for special honor to his memory, to be known
as "Tallmadge Day."
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