William Irving (New York)

William Irving
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 2nd district
In office
January 22, 1814 – March 3, 1819
Preceded byEgbert Benson
Jotham Post, Jr.
Succeeded byHenry Meigs
Peter H. Wendover
Personal details
Born(1766-08-15)August 15, 1766
New York City, Province of New York, British America
DiedNovember 9, 1821(1821-11-09) (aged 55)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic-Republican
Julia Paulding
(m. 1793; his death 1821)
RelationsWashington Irving (brother)
Peter Irving (brother)
ParentsWilliam Irving Sr.
Sarah Sanders Irving

William Irving (August 15, 1766 – November 9, 1821) was a United States Representative from New York.

Early life[edit]

Irving was born in New York City on August 15, 1766. William was the eldest surviving son of eleven children born to William Irving Sr. (1731–1807), originally of Quholm, Shapinsay, Orkney, Scotland, and Sarah (née Sanders) Irving (1738–1817). Among his surviving siblings were four brothers and three sisters, including: author and a member of the New York State Assembly Peter Irving, Ebenezer Irving, John Treat Irving, diplomat and author Washington Irving,[1] Ann Irving (wife of Maj. Gen. Richard Dodge),[2] Catherine Irving, and Sarah Irving.[3]


After completing preparatory studies, Irving engaged in mercantile pursuits. From 1787 to 1791, he was a fur trader with the Indians along the Mohawk River,[4] residing at Johnstown and Caughnawaga.[5]

In 1793, he returned to New York City, married, and in 1814 was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the Thirteenth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Egbert Benson.[6] He was reelected to the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Congresses and served from January 22, 1814, to March 3, 1819. Irving, a close friend of James Kirke Paulding, the U.S. Secretary of the Navy under Martin Van Buren, supported the War of 1812.[7]

Irving contributed several essays and poems to Salmagundi, written primarily by Washington Irving and James Kirke Paulding.[8]

Personal life[edit]

In 1793, Irving was married to Julia Paulding (1768–1823), the daughter of William Paulding Sr. (one of the first members of the Provincial Congress), and sister of his friend James Kirke Paulding and William Paulding Jr. (a U.S. Representative, Mayor of New York City, and Adjutant General of New York). Together, they were the parents of:[9]

  • Lewis Graham Irving (1795–1879), who married Maria Carleton Hale (1797–1869)[10] in 1823.[11]
  • Oscar Irving (1800–1865), who married Catharine E. C. Dayton (1800–1842) in 1827.[11] After her death, he married his first cousin Eliza Dodge (1801–1887) in 1844.[2]
  • Pierre Munro Irving (1802–1876), who married Margaret Ann Berdan (d. 1832) in 1829.[12] After her death, he married his first cousin Helen Dodge (1802–1885), sister of Eliza Dodge, in 1836.[2]
  • Julia Irving (1803–1872), who married fellow U.S. Representative Moses Hicks Grinnell (1803–1877).[13]
  • Henry Ogden Irving (1807–1869),[14] an 1833 Columbia graduate.[15]

Irving died in New York City on November 9, 1821.[5]


Through his daughter Julia, he was the grandfather of Julia Grinnell Bowdoin (1838–1915), the mother of prominent banker Temple Bowdoin, and Fannie Leslie Grinnell (1842–1887), who married society man Thomas Forbes Cushing, son of John Perkins Cushing.[16]


  1. ^ "WASHINGTON IRVING. | SECOND ARTICLE" (PDF). The New York Times. January 14, 1864. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Dodge, Richard Irving (2002). The Sherman Tour Journals of Colonel Richard Irving Dodge. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 12. ISBN 9780806134253. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  3. ^ Docent Tour (October 28, 2017). "Home of the Legend: Washington Irving's Sunnyside". Historic Hudon Valley.
  4. ^ Stedman, Edmund Clarence; Hutchinson, Mrs Ellen Mackay (1890). A Library of American Literature: Literature of the republic, pt. 4, 1861-1888 (continued) Additional selections, 1834-1889. Short biographies of all authors represented in this work, by Arthur Stedman. General index. C.L. Webster. p. 534. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  5. ^ a b "IRVING, William - Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  6. ^ Jones, p. 120.
  7. ^ Skeen, C. Edward (2015). Citizen Soldiers in the War of 1812. University Press of Kentucky. p. 35. ISBN 9780813149554. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  8. ^ Jones, p. 57.
  9. ^ Kime, Wayne R. (2006). Colonel Richard Irving Dodge: The Life and Times of a Career Army Officer. University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 5, 31, 519. ISBN 9780806137094. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  10. ^ Irving, Washington; Kleinfield, Herbert L. (1983). The Complete Works: 14. The Alhambra. - 1983. - LV, 325 S. Twayne. pp. 37, 40, 519. ISBN 9780299053208. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  11. ^ a b Kime, Wayne R. (2006). Pierre M. Irving and Washington Irving: A Collaboration in Life and Letters. Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press. p. 22. ISBN 9780889207455. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Berdan family papers 1819-1857". quod.lib.umich.edu. William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  14. ^ Da, Nan (2018). Intransitive Encounter: Sino-U.S. Literatures and the Limits of Exchange. Columbia University Press. p. 181. ISBN 9780231547628. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  15. ^ Officers and Graduates of Columbia University. Columbia University. 1916. p. 321. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  16. ^ Emery, William Morrell (1919). The Howland heirs; being the story of a family and a fortune and the inheritance of a trust established for Mrs. Hetty H. R. Green. New Bedford, Mass., E. Anthony and Sons, inc. Retrieved 26 October 2017.


  • Jones, Brian Jay. Washington Irving: An American Original. New York: Arcade Publishing, 2008.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Egbert Benson
Jotham Post, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 2nd congressional district

with Jotham Post, Jr. 1814-15, and Peter H. Wendover 1815–19
Succeeded by
Henry Meigs,
Peter H. Wendover