Historic Structures

Montgomery Place Mansion, Barrytown New York

Date added: February 19, 2010 Categories: New York House Mansion Neoclassical

Since its construction in 1802, Montgomery Place has never been sold. Each descendant has, in turn, received the family estate.

Janet Livingston Montgomery, the oldest of the eleven children of Margaret Beekman Livingston and Judge Robert R. Livingston, married General Richard Montgomery in 1773. Two years later, he was killed at the Battle of Quebec and his wife mourned his death throughout her life. In 1802 Mrs. Montgomery purchased 250 acres of land, part of which had been the old Schuyler Patent, from John Van Benthuysen. Mrs. Montgomery was nearly sixty years old when she moved from her estate, Grasmere, to the Montgomery Place. She probably moved because of Grasmere's association with her husband, and a wish to be nearer Clermont, the Livingston estate.

Mrs. Montgomery willed Montgomery Place to her youngest brother, Edward Livingston, in 1828. Politically active in New York and Louisiana, he first served as Mayor of New York. During his term a scandal followed an aide's error and Livingston gave his personal fortune to correct the mistake. He fought in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815 and later was elected Congressman from Louisiana for several terms. Livingston also wrote the model penal code for the state of Louisiana. In 1828, he was elected United States Senator. President Andrew Jackson appointed Livingston Secretary of State in 1831 and Minister to France in 1833. After the United State severed relations with France in 1834, he returned to spend his last years at Montgomery Place.

Livingston's wife, the beautiful Louise d'Avezac de Castera, and their daughter and only child Coralie, spent much of their lives at Montgomery Place. With Alexander Jackson Davis, the architect, they made Montgomery Place the showplace of the Hudson.

Coralie Livingston married Thomas Pennant Barton of Philadelphia in 1833. In 1860 Mrs. Barton inherited Montgomery Place.

Major John White Delafield, the present occupant (in 1970's), is a descendant on his grandfather's side of Gertrude Livingston Lewis, sister of Mrs. Janet Montgomery, and on his grandmother's side, of Chancellor Robert A. Livingston, a brother of Mrs. Montgomery.