Bayard Clarke

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Bayard Clarke
Member of the House of Representatives from New York's 9th District
In office
March 4, 1855 – March 3, 1857
Preceded byJared V. Peck
Succeeded byJohn B. Haskin
Personal details
Born(1815-03-17)March 17, 1815
New York City, New York
DiedJune 20, 1884(1884-06-20) (aged 69)
Schroon Lake, New York
Political partyOpposition
Spouse(s)Alletta Remsen Lawrence
Alma materGeneva College
Military service
Allegiance United States
Years of service1841–1843
RankArmy-USA-OF-01b.svg Second lieutenant
US-O6 insignia shaded.svg Colonel
Battles/warsSeminole Wars
Streamer CW.PNG American Civil War

Bayard Clarke (March 17, 1815 – June 20, 1884) was a United States Representative from New York.


Born in New York City on March 17, 1815,[1][2] Clarke was a member of one of the city's oldest and most prominent families.[3] He graduated from Geneva College in 1835, studied law, and was admitted to the bar.[4]

From 1836 to 1840 he was attaché to Lewis Cass, United States Minister to France.[5] While in France he was a student in the Royal Cavalry School.[6]

Upon returning to the United States, Clarke joined the United States Army, receiving a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the 8th Infantry in March, 1841. He transferred to the 2nd Dragoons in September, 1841. During his service Clarke took part in the Seminole Wars in Florida.[7][8]

Clarke resigned from the Army in December, 1843 and practiced law in New York City and Westchester County.[9] Also in December, 1843 he married Alletta Remsen Lawrence, a member of another prominent New York family.[10]

He was an unsuccessful Whig candidate for election in 1852 to the Thirty-third Congress.[11] In 1854 he was elected as an Opposition Party candidate to the Thirty-fourth Congress, holding office from March 4, 1855 to March 3, 1857.[12] He declined renomination as a Republican in 1856 and resumed practicing law.[13]

At the start of the American Civil War, Clarke went to Washington, D.C. to offer his services. He was commissioned as a Colonel, and was an organizer of the 1st New York Cavalry Regiment (Lincoln Cavalry), which was commanded by Carl Schurz, Clarke, and then Andrew T. McReynolds.[14][15][16]

In mid-1861 there were news accounts indicating that Clarke would be commissioned a Brigadier General and assigned to command a school for cavalry in Westchester County. This plan does not seem to have been carried out, since there are no further references to Clarke's promotion or the operation of a cavalry school in Westchester County.[17][18][19][20][21]

In retirement Clarke lived in England for several years.[22] He later resided in Florida during the winter and an island on Schroon Lake, New York during the summer.[23] He died on June 20, 1884 at his summer home, Isola Bella, in Schroon Lake.[24][25] He was interred in a vault at First Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Newtown, New York.[26]

His name sometimes appears as "Clark" in contemporary news accounts and other records.[27][28][29][30]


  1. ^ Thomas William Herringshaw, Herringshaw's National Library of American Biography, 1909, page 635
  2. ^ U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925, application for Bayard Clarke, retrieved via, October 5, 2013
  3. ^ New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Volumes 28-29, 1897, page 61
  4. ^ Rossiter Johnson, John Howard Brown, editors, The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, 1904
  5. ^ Chez A. Guyot et Scribe, Almanach National: Annuaire Officiel de la République Française, 1840, page 3
  6. ^ John Howard Brown, editor, Lamb's Biographical Dictionary of the United States, 1900, page 36
  7. ^ Benjamin Homans, editor, Army and Navy Chronicle, Volumes 12-13, 1841, page 312
  8. ^ Francis Colburn Adams, The Story of a Trooper, 1865, page 7
  9. ^ U.S. Army Adjutant General, Official Army Register for 1843, 1844, page 52
  10. ^ New York Society Library, NYC Marriage & Death Notices 1843-1856, retrieved October 5, 2013
  11. ^ New York Times, The Election: The General Result, November 4, 1852
  12. ^ New York Times, The State Election: Latest Returns, November 10, 1854
  13. ^ New York Times, Letter from Hon. Bayard Clarke Declining a Renomination, October 21, 1856
  14. ^ New York Daily Tribune, Volunteer Incidents, April 26, 1861
  15. ^ New York Times, The Cavalry Regiment: A Note From Major Bayard Clarke, July 3, 1861
  16. ^ John Watts De Peyster, Personal and Military History of Philip Kearny, 1870, page 480
  17. ^ New York Times, The Great Rebellion: Important News from Washington, August 4, 1861
  18. ^ Galveston Weekly Civilian and Gazette, News by Telegraph, August 13, 1861
  19. ^ Shreveport Daily News, News by Telegraph, August 9, 1861
  20. ^ New York State Military Museum, Transcript, Civil War Newspapers, Westchester County, New York, retrieved October 5, 2013
  21. ^ The Daily Saratogian, Telegraphs, August 5, 1861
  22. ^ 1871 England Census, entry for Bayard Clarke, retrieved via, October 5, 2013
  23. ^ Reading Eagle, The Schroon Lake Meteorite, October 5, 1880
  24. ^ New York Times, Col. Bayard Clarke Dead, June 22, 1884
  25. ^ New York Times, Funeral of Col. Bayard Clarke, June 28, 1884
  26. ^ Newtown Register, Funeral notice, Alletta Remsen Lawrence Clarke, May 30, 1878
  27. ^ Stephen Z. Starr, The Union Cavalry in the Civil War: From Fort Sumter to Gettysburg, 1861-1863, 1985, page 69
  28. ^ Burdick & Allen, War Papers Read Before the Commandery of the State of Wisconsin, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, Volume 3, 1903, page 65
  29. ^ Thomas Kearny, General Philip Kearny: Battle Soldier of Five Wars, Including the Conquest of the West, 1937, page 170
  30. ^ New York Times, Local Military Movements, July 2, 1861

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jared V. Peck
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 9th congressional district

Succeeded by
John B. Haskin