Francis B. Cutting

Francis Brockholst Cutting
Francis B. Cutting.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 8th district
In office
March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1855
Preceded byGilbert Dean
Succeeded byAbram Wakeman
Member of the New York State Assembly
In office
January 1, 1836 – December 31, 1837
Personal details
Born(1804-08-06)August 6, 1804
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedJune 26, 1870(1870-06-26) (aged 65)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Resting placeGreen-Wood Cemetery,
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Anne Markoe Heyward
ParentsWilliam Cutting
Gertrude Livingston
RelativesHenry Livingston (uncle)
Walter Livingston (grandfather)
Alma materColumbia College
Litchfield Law School

Francis Brockholst Cutting (August 6, 1804 – June 26, 1870) was a U.S. Representative from New York.[1]

Early life[edit]

Cutting was born in New York City to William Cutting (1773–1820) and Gertrude (née Livingston) Cutting (1778–1864).[2] He was the brother of William Leonard Cutting, Henry Livingston Cutting, Charles Grenville Cutting, Julia Gertrude Cutting, Robert Livingston Cutting, Anne Frances Cutting (who married Baron Alfred Ruebell), Robert Fulton Cutting (who married Elise Justine Bayard), and Walter Livingston Cutting.[3][4]

He was a nephew of U.S. Representative Henry Walter Livingston, and the grandson of Walter Livingston (the first Speaker of the New York State Assembly) and Cornelia (née Schuyler) Livingston.[2] His maternal great-grandfather was Robert Livingston, the third and last Lord of Livingston Manor.[5]

Cutting attended Bensel School and was also tutored privately. He attended Columbia College[6] before studying law at the Litchfield Law School in Connecticut in 1823.[1][7]


He was admitted to the bar in 1827 and commenced practice in New York City.[1] As a lawyer, he argued on behalf of Horace Day against Daniel Webster, for Charles Goodyear, in The Great India Rubber Case in 1852.[8] He later attended Webster's memorial.[9]

He was a member of the New York State Assembly (New York Co.) in 1836 and 1837.[1][10] He served as member of the board of aldermen in 1843.[1][11]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Cutting was elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-third Congress (March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1855).[12][13] He sat on the House Committee on the Judiciary.[14][15]

In 1853, President Pierce gave copies of his inaugural address to Cutting, rather than the Postmaster, fearing the latter and trusting the former.[16] In March 1854, during debate over the Kansas–Nebraska Act, John C. Breckinridge, also a U.S. Representative,[14] made a statement that incensed Cutting, Cutting demanded that he explain or retract it. Breckinridge interpreted Cutting's demand as a challenge to duel. Under code duello, the individual being challenged retained the right to name the weapons used and the distance between the combatants; Breckinridge chose rifles at 60 paces.[17] He also specified that the duel should be held at Silver Spring, the home of his friend Francis Preston Blair.[18] Cutting, who had not intended his initial remark as a challenge, believed that Breckinridge's naming of terms constituted a challenge; he chose to use pistols at a distance of 10 paces. While the two men attempted to clarify who had issued the challenge and who reserved the right to choose the terms, mutual friends resolved the issue, preventing the duel.[17] However, the event was said to inspire a new generation of gentlemen to engage in honor duels.[19] Breckinridge later was selected as the nominee for Vice President of the United States,[20] and the duel was the only memorable thing he had done up that point.[21] He served in that role under President James Buchanan from March 4, 1857 to March 4, 1861.[18]

Later career[edit]

Afterwards he resumed the practice of law.[1][22] Upon the nomination of Abraham Lincoln, Cutting aided in his election campaign, and was active in supporting the Union.[7]

On May 28, 1861, Cutting wrote to then President Lincoln advising him that "impressions beneficial to our country will be produced by continuing to communicate with Europe, thro' the medium of the Mssrs. Rothschild."[23] Cutting revealed to Lincoln that in order to assist the North in winning the Civil War, they needed the help, and money, from Europe and couldn't ignore the British and French, who were reliant on Southern Cotton. Through social connections, Cutting knew that the elder Baron James Mayer de Rothschild supported the Union over the financial objections of his younger son, Salomon James de Rothschild, who favored the South and disliked Lincoln.[23]

Cutting invested in Railways, shipping, and real estate, amassing a fortune.[24][25][26][27]

Personal life[edit]

Cutting was married to Anne Markoe Heyward (1807–1885) of South Carolina. She was the daughter of William Heyward (1779–1846) and Sarah Cruger (1787–1868).[28] They were the parents of:[2][29]

He died at his residence in New York City June 26, 1870.[6] Upon hearing the news, court was adjourned for the day[38] and he was honored by the New York Bar Association.[39] After a funeral at Grace Church in New York,[40] he was buried at the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.[1] His estate was worth over $4,000,000 upon his death, with personal property totaling $1,230,767.96,[26] and around $1,300,000 in bonds for Wabash Railroad.[27] According to his will, his estate was split up amongst his sons, Gen. William Cutting, Hayward Cutting, his two surviving sons, and Mrs. Cutting, the widow of his son Francis who predeceased him.[26] After allegations of misdeeds,[41][42][43] his son was excused as executor,[44] and his estate was finally settled.[27]


Through his son Francis Brockholst Cutting Jr., who prematurely predeceased him, he was the grandfather of William Cutting Jr. and F. Brockholst Cutting (1861–1896),[45] one of the best-known clubmen and one of the most popular bachelors in society.[46] His grandson, who died at the age of thirty-five without having married,[47] was heavily mourned upon his death.[36]

Through his youngest son, he was the grandfather of Anna Cutting who married Baron Raoul de Vriere (1865–1929),[48][49] and Henry Mason Cutting (1865–1892),[50] who married Angela Mills (1869–1956)[51]


A room was named for him at the Sea Breeze Hospital in New York City.[52] Funds were also given to honor him at the hospital in Newport, Rhode Island.[53]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "CUTTING, Francis Brockholst - Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Bergen, Tunis Garret (1915). Genealogies of the State of New York: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  3. ^ Dunn, Elwood D.; Beyan, Amos J.; Burrowes, Carl Patrick (December 20, 2000). Historical Dictionary of Liberia. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9781461659310. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Mrs. William Cutting (ca. 1776-1864)". New-York Historical Society. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  5. ^ Family Magazine: Or Monthly Abstract of General Knowledge. Redfield and Lindsay. 1839. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  6. ^ a b "OBITUARY.; Francis Brockholst Cutting". The New York Times. 28 June 1870. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Litchfield Ledger - Student | Francis Brockholst Cutting". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  8. ^ Moser, Harold D. (March 30, 2005). Daniel Webster: A Bibliography: A Bibliography. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9780313068676. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  9. ^ "NEW-YORK". The New York Times. 27 October 1852. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  10. ^ United States Congressional Serial Set. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1913. p. 587. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  11. ^ Congress, United States (2005). Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-2005: The Continental Congress, September 5, 1774, to October 21, 1788, and the Congress of the United States, from the First Through the One Hundred Eighth Congresses, March 4, 1789, to January 3, 2005, Inclusive. Government Printing Office. ISBN 9780160731761. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  12. ^ "DEMOCRATIC JUBILEE.; DEMONSTRATION AT METROPOLITAN HALL FIVE THOUSAND IN COUNCIL. ADDRESS TO THE DEMOCRACY. SPEECH OE COMMODORE STOCKTON. Addresses of Hon. Francis B. Cutting, Chas, W. Carrigan, and others. LETTERS FROM DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMEN. Letter from Edwis Croswell, Esq. Letter from Hon. John H. Weller, of California. Letter from Greene C. Bronson. Letter from Col. Hunt, of Charleston, S. C. Letter from John D. Fay. Letter from Beverly Tucker, Esq. DEMOCRATIC JUBILEE". The New York Times. 24 November 1853. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  13. ^ "NEW-YORK CITY.; THE TRADES. Meeting of the Boiler-Makers. The Shipwrights, Caulkers and Sparmakers. POLITICAL. Young Men's National Democratic Club--Speech of Judge Morton". The New York Times. 1 April 1854. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  14. ^ a b House, United States Congress (1854). Journal: 1st-13th Congress . Repr. 14th Congress, 1st Session - 50th Congress, 2nd Session. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  15. ^ ""Hards" and "softs" reply of Mr. Cutting, of New York, in the House of representatives, Jan. 17, 1854, to a question put to him by Mr. Smith, of Alabama, in Committee of the whole". Villanova University. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  16. ^ "Article 6 -- No Title". The New York Times. 8 March 1853. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  17. ^ a b Harrison 1973, p. 126.
  18. ^ a b "John Cabell Breckinridge, 14th Vice President (1857-1861)". United States Senate.
  19. ^ Gallagher, Gary W.; Shelden, Rachel A. (June 5, 2012). A Political Nation: New Directions in Mid-Nineteenth-Century American Political History. University of Virginia Press. ISBN 9780813932835. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  20. ^ "The Candidate for the Vice-Presidency". The New York Times. 7 June 1856. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  21. ^ Brownlow, William Gannaway (1856). Americanism Contrasted with Foreignism, Romanism and Bogus Democracy in the Light of Reason, History and Scripture; In which Certain Demagogues in Tennessee, and Elsewhere are Shown Up in Their True Colors. Library of Alexandria. ISBN 9781465552570. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  22. ^ "NEW-YORK CITY.; Colored School Fair. UNITED STATES CIRCIT COURT. The Case of the Northern Light. Backed Down. COURT CALENDAR Effects of the Gate. SURROGATE'S OFFICE- The Parish Will Case. COURT OF GENERAL SESSIONS". The New York Times. 10 May 1856. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  23. ^ a b Sarna, Jonathan D.; Shapell, Benjamin (March 17, 2015). Lincoln and the Jews: A History. Macmillan. ISBN 9781250059536. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  24. ^ "NEW-YORK CITY.; Marine Disaster. Another Case of Smuggling Court of General Sessions". The New York Times. 8 September 1854. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  25. ^ "LONG ISLAND". The New York Times. 12 October 1854. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  26. ^ a b c d "GEN. CUTTING TO MAKE AN ACCOUNTING". The New York Times. 15 September 1885. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  27. ^ a b c "THE CUTTING HEIRS AGREEING.; A PLAN BY WHICH THE PRESENT LITIGATION IS ENDED". The New York Times. 15 January 1886. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  28. ^ Prioleau, Horry Frost; Manigault, Edward Lining (March 24, 2010). Register of Carolina Huguenots, Vol. 3, Marion - Villepontoux. ISBN 9780557242689. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  29. ^ American Millionaires: The Tribune's List of Persons Reputed to Worth a Million Or More. Lines of Business in which the Fortunes Were Made. Tribune Association. 1892. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  30. ^ "Litchfield Ledger - Elizabeth Cutting". Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  31. ^ "DIED | CUTTING". The New York Times. 28 March 1897. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  32. ^ Thayer, William Roscoe; Howe, Mark Antony De Wolfe; Voto, Bernard Augustine De; Morrison, Theodore. The Harvard Graduates' Magazine. Harvard Graduates' Magazine Association. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  33. ^ "Gen. William Cutting's Funeral". The New York Times. 30 March 1897. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  34. ^ Hampton, Sally Baxter (1994). A Divided Heart: Letters of Sally Baxter Hampton, 1853-1862. Univ of South Carolina Press. ISBN 9780964057609. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  35. ^ Social Register, Summer. Social Register Association. 1895. p. 67. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  36. ^ a b "FUNERAL OF F.B. CUTTING. Many Notable Persons Sent Flowers and Followed the Coffin" (PDF). The New York Times. September 16, 1896. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  37. ^ Sometimes spelled "Haywood"
  38. ^ "The Death of Hon. F. B. Cutting". The New York Times. 29 June 1870. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  39. ^ "THE DEATH OF MR. CUTTING.; Meeting of the Bar--Addresses of Wm. M. Evarts. Charles O'Conor--James W. Gerard and Others--Resolutions". The New York Times. 1 July 1870. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  40. ^ "Funeral of Hon. Francis B. Cutting". The New York Times. 30 June 1870. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  41. ^ "THE CUTTING ESTATES.; LITIGATION IN SEVEN DIFFERENT FORMS BEFORE SURROGATE ROLLINS". The New York Times. 17 October 1885. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  43. ^ "GEN. CUTTING EXPLAINS HOW THE PROCEEDS OF HIS FATHER'S ESTATE WERE DIVIDED". The New York Times. 2 June 1887. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  44. ^ "GEN. CUTTING DISCHARGED". The New York Times. 19 July 1888. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  45. ^ "F. Brockholst Cutting Dying" (PDF). The New York Times. September 11, 1896. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  46. ^ "F. Brockholst Cutting Ill in Newport" (PDF). The New York Times. September 9, 1896. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  47. ^ "FUNERAL OF F.B. CUTTING. A Large Crowd Attends the Services in Newport" (PDF). The New York Times. September 15, 1896. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  48. ^ Social Register, New York. Social Register Association. 1901. p. 507. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  49. ^ Annual Year Book | American Princesses. 1899. p. 203. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  50. ^ "H. CUTTING TO WED MISS ROBERSON; Couple Will Go to China With Natural History Museum's Expedition. BOTH SERVED IN FRANCE Miss Janet Taylor-Lord Engaged to Edwin Lyon Dale--Other Engagements". The New York Times. 26 December 1920. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  51. ^ Deen, Jr., Claude Sisco. "Henry Mason Cutting". Flagler County Families. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  52. ^ Poor, New York Association for Improving the Condition of the (1912). Annual Report of the New York Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor for the Fiscal Year ... The Association. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  53. ^ "Article 4 -- No Title". The New York Times. 7 April 1897. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Gilbert Dean
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 8th congressional district

Succeeded by
Abram Wakeman