OGDEN, David - A Stan Klos Website
OGDEN, David, jurist, born in Newark, New Jersey,
about 1707, died in Whitestone, New York, in June, 1800. He was graduated at
Yale in 1728, and then studied law in Newark, becoming perhaps the first
thoroughly educated lawyer in the province. His ability and social position soon
gained for him a lucrative practice, and he stood confessedly at the head of the
bar in New Jersey, also frequently conducting important cases in New York.
In April, 1751, he was made a member of the Royal
Council for the province, and, after serving as a judge of the Superior Court,
he was appointed in 1772 a judge of the Supreme Court, and held that office
until the beginning of the War of the Revolution.
His sympathy with the mother country obliged him in
January, 1777, to go to England, where he became in 1779 an efficient member of
the board of refugees, composed of delegates from the several colonies, and drew
up an outline of a plan for their government in the event of their submission to
Great Britain. He went, again to England in 1783 as agent for the New Jersey
loyalists in prosecuting their claims for compensation, and secured an allowance
for his own estates, which were valued at $100,000.
In 1789 he returned to the United States and settled in
Whitestone, New York, where he spent the remainder of his days. At his death he
had been for three years the oldest living graduate of Yale. Judge Ogden had the
reputation of being "one of the giants of the law in New Jersey."
--His brother, Jacob Ogden, physician, born in
Newark, New Jersey, in 1721; died in Jamaica, N.Y., 3 September, 1780, was
educated at Yale, but not graduated. He studied medicine, and followed his
profession with success in Jamaica, for nearly forty years. Dr. Ogden was an
able supporter of the practice of inoculation for small-pox. The first
introduction of the mercurial treatment for inflammatory disorders in the United
States is credited to him by Dr. John W. Francis. He published letters to Hugh
Gaine on the "Malignant Sore-Throat Distemper," 28 October, 1769, and 14
--David's son, Abraham Ogden, lawyer, born in
Morristown, New Jersey, 30 December, 1743; died in Newark, New Jersey, in 1798,
studied law, became a member of the New Jersey bar, and as a jury lawyer is said
to have been unrivalled. In his office at Morristown, New Jersey, some of the
most celebrated lawyers, of that state acquired their early legal training,
among whom were Richard Stockton, Gabriel Ford, and Josiah Ogden Hoffman.
He was deemed of doubtful politics, and as such was
denounced to General Washington, who, in order to avert from him any suspicion,
made his home the headquarters of the army while in Morristown. In a
fencing-bout with Thomas Ludlow Ogden, one of the sons of his host, the button
of the latter's foil dropped off, and Washington was scratched in the wrist,
thus receiving what is believed to have been his only wound.
Mr. Ogden was a member of the legislature in 1790, and
from the adoption of the present state constitution until his death was district
attorney for New Jersey. Washington appointed him a commissioner to obtain the
extinguishment of a title that the Iroquois nation of Indians had to a portion
of the northern part of New York. This brought to him a local knowledge of St.
Lawrence County, and resulted in the purchase of a large tract by himself and
others, and in the founding of the present City of Ogdensburg.
-Abraham's son. Thomas Ludlow Ogden, lawyer, born
in Morristown, New Jersey, 12 December, 1773; died in New York city, 17
December, 1844, was graduated at Columbia in 1791, and then studied under his
father, completing his legal education in the office of Richard Harison. In 1796
he was admitted to the New York bar, and later he was associated with Alexander
Hamilton, having charge of the latter's law business during his occupations
elsewhere. Subsequently Mr. Ogden was legal adviser of many important
corporations, notably the Holland land company when it held 3,000,000 acres of
land in the western part of New York; also one of the trustees of the Indian
reservation lands and sole trustee of Sackett's Harbor.
He was law
officer of the corporation of Trinity Church, for thirty-five years clerk and
member of its vestry, and at the time of his death senior warden. Mr. Ogden was
an early patron of the General Theological Seminary and one of the original
trustees under the act of incorporation, also one of the founders of the
Protestant Episcopal Society for Promoting Religion and Learning in the State of
New York, of which at the time of his death he was vice-president. From 1817
till his death he was trustee of Columbia College.
Edited Appletons Encyclopedia by John Looby, Copyright © 2001