William B. Rochester

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William B. Rochester
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 20th district
In office
March 4, 1821 – April 21, 1823
Preceded byCaleb Baker
Jonathan Richmond
Succeeded byEla Collins
Egbert Ten Eyck
Personal details
William Beatty Rochester

January 29, 1789
Hagerstown, Maryland
DiedJune 14, 1838(1838-06-14) (aged 49)
Coast of North Carolina, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic-Republican
Harriet Irwin
(m. 1812; her death 1815)

Amanda Hopkins
(m. 1816; her death 1831)

Eliza Hatch Powers1832
(m. 1885, his death)
RelationsThomas Rochester (brother)
ParentsNathaniel Rochester
Sophia Beatty
EducationCharlotte Hall Military Academy

William Beatty Rochester (January 29, 1789 Hagerstown, Washington County, Maryland – June 14, 1838) was an American lawyer and politician from New York.[1]

Early life[edit]

Rochester was the first child of Col. Nathaniel Rochester (1752–1831), founder of the City of Rochester, New York, and Sophia (née Beatty) Rochester (1768–1845).[2] Mayor Thomas H. Rochester was his brother.[3]

He attended the public schools and graduated from Charlotte Hall Military Academy.[1]


During the War of 1812, Rochester was an aide-de-camp to Gen. George McClure. After the war, he studied law with his uncle Judge Adam Beatty and with Henry Clay, was admitted to the bar, and began practice in Bath, New York. Later, he removed to Angelica, New York.

Rochester was a member of the New York State Assembly (Allegany and Steuben Co.) in 1816-17 and 1818. Rochester was a presidential elector in 1820, voting for James Monroe and Daniel D. Tompkins.[1]

Rochester was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the 17th, and re-elected as a Crawford Democratic-Republican to the 18th United States Congress, holding office from December 3, 1821 until 1823. He was appointed as Judge of the Eight Circuit Court on April 21, 1823 and resigned from the House of Representatives.[4] He resigned from the bench to run on the Bucktails ticket for Governor of New York in 1826, but was narrowly defeated by DeWitt Clinton.[1]

He was Secretary to the Special Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Colombia in 1826, and Chargé d'affaires to Central America in 1827-28.[5] He was appointed Chargé d'Affaires of Guatemala on March 3, 1827 and was commissioned to the Republic of Central America. He reached Central America, but returned to the United States without presenting credentials.[5][6]

Later career[edit]

In 1828, he was appointed by Nicholas Biddle as President of the branch of the Second Bank of the United States at Buffalo, New York, remaining there until 1836.[1] He later served as President of the Bank of Pensacola, Florida and a director of the Alabama and Florida Railroad.[1]

Personal life[edit]

In 1812, he married his first wife Harriet Irwin (d. 1815), and their son was:[2]

  • Nathaniel Montgomery Rochester (1813–1823).[2]

On January 31, 1816, he married his second wife Amanda Hopkins (1799–1831), and their children were:[2]

  • James Hervey Rochester (1819–1860), who married Evelina Throop Martin (1822–1907), a niece of Gov. Enos T. Throop[2]
  • Harriet Louisa Rochester (1821–1854), who married Hugh L. Bull[2]
  • Sophia Elizabeth Rochester (1823–1824)[2]
Brig General William Beatty Rochester Jr Paymaster-General of the United States Army 1882-1890

On April 9, 1832, he married his third wife Eliza (née Hatch) Powers (1800–1885), a half-sister of Gov. Enos T. Throop and the widow of U.S. Rep. Gershom Powers. Together, William and Eliza were the parents of:[2]

  • Eliza Hatch Rochester (1833–1868), who married Augus B. Fitch[2]
  • George William Rochester (1835–1837).[2]

Rochester died in the wreck of the steamer Pulaski off the coast of North Carolina on June 14, 1838.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "ROCHESTER, William Beatty - Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Rochester, William Beatty | RBSCP". rbscp.lib.rochester.edu. University of Rochester Libraries. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  3. ^ "William Beatty Rochester Papers". homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  4. ^ Hough, Franklin (1858). The New York Civil List: Containing the names and origin of the civil divisions, and the names and dates of election or appointment of the principal state and county officers from the Revolution to the present time. Weed, Parsons and Co. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  5. ^ a b "William Beatty Rochester". history.state.gov. Department History - Office of the Historian. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  6. ^ Jackson, Andrew (1980). The Papers of Andrew Jackson: 1825-1828. University of Tennessee Press. p. 247. ISBN 9781572331747. Retrieved 5 September 2017.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Caleb Baker,
Jonathan Richmond
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 20th congressional district

1821 - 1823
with David Woodcock
Succeeded by
Ela Collins,
Egbert Ten Eyck
New district Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 28th congressional district

Succeeded by
William Woods