Frederick A. Conkling

Frederick A. Conkling
Frederick A. Conkling - Brady-Handy.jpg
Conkling between 1855 and 1865
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 6th district
In office
March 4, 1861 – March 3, 1863
Preceded byJohn Cochrane
Succeeded byElijah Ward
Member of the New York State
from the 7th District
In office
January 1, 1859 – December 31, 1860
Preceded byDavid J. Chatfield
Succeeded byDaniel Young
Member of the New York State
from the 13th District
In office
January 1, 1854 – December 31, 1854
Preceded byWilliam Taylor
Succeeded byRichard M. Blatchford
Personal details
Frederick Augustus Conkling

(1816-08-22)August 22, 1816
Canajoharie, New York, U.S.
DiedSeptember 18, 1891(1891-09-18) (aged 75)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican, Liberal Republican, Democrat
Eleanora Lorillard Ronalds
(her death 1879)
ParentsAlfred Conkling
Eliza Cockburn
RelativesRoscoe Conkling (brother)
EducationThe Albany Academy
ProfessionPolitician, banker, executive, and writer

Frederick Augustus Conkling (August 22, 1816 – September 18, 1891) was a United States Representative from New York during the American Civil War. He was also a postbellum banker, insurance company executive, and writer.[1]

Early life[edit]

Frederick Conkling was born in Canajoharie, Montgomery County, New York. He was one of five children born to U.S. Congressman Alfred Conkling (1789–1874) and Eliza Cockburn.[2] He was the elder brother of U.S. Representative and Senator Roscoe Conkling (1829–1888).[3][4][5][6]

He pursued classical studies and attended The Albany Academy.[1]


He engaged in mercantile pursuits in New York City and became a member of the dry goods house of Conkling & Churchill.[7] He was elected as a Republican to the New York State Assembly, serving in 1854, 1859, and 1860.[1]

Conkling was elected as a Republican over Democrat John Winthrop Chanler, in the same election cycle that elevated Abraham Lincoln as a Republican to the presidency, to the Thirty-seventh Congress, holding office from March 4, 1861, to March 3, 1863. While in office, he was Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.[7] He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1862 to the 38th United States Congress.[1]

U.S. Civil War[edit]

In June 1861 upon the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War, Conkling organized the 84th Regiment of New York Volunteers, becoming its Colonel, and went to the front at the first call for 100-day men.[8] He initially served throughout the Shenandoah Valley Campaign and in 1863, his regiment was on duty as provost guard at Baltimore, Maryland.[7][9]

Later career[edit]

After his defeat in Congress, he was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for mayor of New York City in 1868.[1] Following this loss, he changed parties, becoming first a Liberal Republican and then a Democrat, speaking highly of Horace Greeley and Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock.[7] He refused the Democratic nomination for Congress in his old district in 1874.[7]

He was one of the organizers of the West Side Savings Bank of New York City and served as its president for many years; subsequently he became president of the Aetna Fire Insurance Co., of Hartford, Connecticut and served until its dissolution in 1880. He authored numerous pamphlets on political, commercial, and scientific subjects.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Conkling was married to Eleanora Lorillard Ronalds (1825–1879), the daughter of Maria Dorothea Lorillard (1790–1848) and Thomas Alexander Ronalds (1788–1835), a New York merchant. Eleanora was the granddaughter of Pierre Lorillard II, the head of the Lorillard Tobacco Company, and a cousin of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe.[10] Frederick and Eleanora were the parents of three children:[7]

  • Alfred Ronald Conkling (1850–1917),[11][12] a New York City Alderman and author[13] who married Ethel Eastman Johnson (b. 1870), daughter of prominent painter Eastman Johnson.[14][12]
  • Howard Conkling (1855–1938), a noted lawyer.[15]
  • Helena Conkling.[7]

Conkling died at his residence in New York City, 27 East 10th Street, on September 18, 1891 after a protracted illness extending over two years.[7] He was buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.[1]


Through his son Alfred, he was the grandfather of Gwendolyn Lorillard Conkling, Vivien Eastman H. Conkling, and Muriel Lorillard Ronalds Conkling (1898–1971), who married Baron Louis van Reigersberg Versluys (1883–1957) of Holland in 1922.[16] Within one month of her wedding, her mother had married William H. Holden, and her 79-year-old grandmother had married 77 year old General Stillman F. Kneeland.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "CONKLING, Frederick Augustus - Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  2. ^ "CONKLING, Alfred - Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  3. ^ "CONKLING, Roscoe - Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  4. ^ Dictionary of American Biography; The Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law
  5. ^ Chidsey, Donald B. The Gentleman from New York: A Life of Roscoe Conkling. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1935
  6. ^ Jordan, David M. Roscoe Conkling: Voice in the Senate. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1971.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h "FREDERIC AUGUSTUS CONKLING". The New York Times. 19 September 1891. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  8. ^ Hubbell, John T. (1995). Biographical Dictionary of the Union: Northern Leaders of the Civil War. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 103–104. ISBN 9780313209208. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  9. ^ Thompson, Jerry D. (2006). Civil War to the Bloody End: The Life and Times of Major General Samuel P. Heintzelman. Texas A&M University Press. p. 216. ISBN 9781585445356. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  10. ^ Commemorative Biographical Record of Fairfield County, Connecticut: Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, and of Many of the Early Settled Families. Higginson Book Company. 1899. p. 811. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  11. ^ "FALL FROM WINDOW KILLS A.R. CONKLING; Ex-Assemblyman Grieved by Daughters' Charges That He Held Back Income. POLICE CALL IT SUICIDE Geologist Was to Have Appeared Before Referee Tomorrow to Account for Handling of $750,000". The New York Times. 19 September 1917. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  12. ^ a b "MADE WILL, DIED NEXT DAY. Alfred R. Conkling Left Residuary Estate to His Daughters". The New York Times. 26 September 1917. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Online Books by Alfred R. Conkling (Conkling, Alfred R. (Alfred Ronald), 1850-1917)". University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  14. ^ "A.R. CONKLING SUES WIFE.; Wants Her Consent to Place Mortgages on Real Estate". The New York Times. January 13, 1917. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  15. ^ "HOWARD CONKLING, RETIRED ATTORNEY; Member of Family Noted in New York Politics Dies at 82". The New York Times. 8 September 1938. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  16. ^ a b "THREE GENERATIONS WED WITHIN MONTH; Miss Muriel Conkling Becomes the Bride of Dutch Hussar Captain in London. MOTHER QUIETLY MARRIED Now is Mrs. W.H. Holden--Grandmother, 79, United to GeneralKneeland Last Saturday". The New York Times. 1 August 1922. Retrieved 23 January 2018.

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
William Taylor
New York State Assembly
New York County, 13th District

Succeeded by
Richard M. Blatchford
Preceded by
David J. Chatfield
New York State Assembly
New York County, 7th District

Succeeded by
Daniel Young
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Cochrane
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
Elijah Ward