Henry Ledyard
Mayor of Detroit
In office
Preceded byOliver Moulton Hyde
Succeeded byOliver Moulton Hyde
Personal details
Henry Brockholst Ledyard

March 5, 1812 (1812-03-05)
New York City, United States
DiedJune 7, 1880 (1880-06-08) (aged 68)
London, England
Political partyDemocratic
Matilda Frances Cass
(m. 1839; his death 1880)
Children5, including Lewis
ParentsBenjamin Ledyard
Susan French Livingston
RelativesHenry Livingston (grandfather)
Lewis Cass (father-in-law)
Alma materColumbia College

Henry Brockholst Ledyard, Sr. (March 5, 1812 – June 7, 1880) was the mayor of Detroit, Michigan and a state senator, briefly served as assistant secretary under Secretary of State Lewis Cass, and was the president of the Newport Hospital and the Redwood Library in Newport, Rhode Island.

Early life

Ledyard was born in New York City on March 5, 1812, the son of prominent New York lawyer Benjamin Ledyard (1779–1812) and Susan French Livingston (1789–1864). His mother was the daughter of Revolutionary War Colonel and US Supreme Court justice Henry Brockholst Livingston (1757–1823) and granddaughter of New Jersey governor William Livingston.[1]

Ledyard graduated from Columbia College in 1830, and began practicing law in New York. When Lewis Cass was appointed Minister to France, Ledyard accompanied him to Paris, eventually becoming chargé d’affaires of the embassy.[1]


Ledyard returned to the United States in 1844 and moved to Detroit, where he was active in the city and managed Cass's property holdings.[2] He was one of the founders of the State Savings Bank, one of the original promoters of the Elmwood Cemetery, and was a member of the Board of Education.[1]

He organized and promoted the first plank road company in Michigan, and was involved in a number of other ventures that promoted communication between Detroit and the interior of the state.[3] In 1849-1850 he was an alderman of the city, and served as mayor in 1855 and was one of the original commissioners on the Board of Water Commissioners.[1]

Ledyard was a Democrat, and was elected as a state senator in 1857.[1] However, when Lewis Cass was appointed Secretary of State under James Buchanan, Ledyard resigned his post in the legislature[3] and accompanied him to Washington, DC, and remained there until 1861,[1] briefly serving as assistant secretary of state.[2] Afterwards, he moved to Newport, Rhode Island, where he lived for the rest of his life. He raised funds for and was the first president of the Newport Hospital, and was the president of the Redwood Library in Newport.[1]

Personal life

In 1839, Ledyard married Cass's daughter Matilda Frances Cass (1808–1898).[1] The couple had five children:[4][3][5]

Henry Ledyard died June 7, 1880, in London, England, during a brief European visit.[1]


Through his eldest son Henry, he was the grandfather of Matilda Cass Ledyard (1871–1960), who married Baron Clemens von Ketteler (1853–1900), a German diplomat,[13][14] Henry B. Ledyard III (1875–1932), Augustus Canfield Ledyard (1877–1899), and Hugh Ledyard (1885–1951).


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Silas Farmer (1889), THE HISTORY OF DETROIT AND MICHIGAN, pp. 1041–1043
  2. ^ a b Stephen D. Bingham (1888), Early history of Michigan: with biographies of state officers, members of Congress, judges and legislators, Thorp & Godfrey, state printers, pp. 410–411
  3. ^ a b c Compendium of History and Biography of the City of Detroit and Wayne County, Michigan, Henry Taylor & Co, 1908, pp. 251–254
  4. ^ The Magazine of American history with notes and queries, 7, A. S. Barnes, 1881, p. 195
  5. ^ a b Ledyard, Henry. "Guide to the Henry Ledyard collection 1726-1899 and undated (bulk 1840-1859)" (PDF). library.brown.edu. Redwood Library and Athenaeum. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  6. ^ Island, National Society of the Colonial Dames of America Rhode (1897). First record book of the Society of Colonial Dames in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Ending August 31, 1896. Snow & Farnham, printers. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  7. ^ Clarence Monroe Burton; William Stocking; Gordon K. Miller (1922), The city of Detroit, Michigan, 1701-1922; Volume 4, The S. J. Clarke publishing company, pp. 5–6
  8. ^ "Ledyard Given Quiet Funeral," Detroit Free Press, May 28, 1921, pg. 11.
  9. ^ Tompkins, Hamilton Bullock (1877). Biographical Record of the Class of 1865, of Hamilton College. Hamilton College. p. 73. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  10. ^ "Mrs. Lewis Cass Ledyard, Sr. (1851-1905)". www.nyhistory.org. New-York Historical Society. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  11. ^ Psi Upsilon (1932), The diamond of Psi Upsilon, 18, Psi Upsilon Fraternity, pp. 170–171
  12. ^ Marquis, Albert Nelson (1911). Who's Who in America | A Biographical Directory of Notable Living Men and Women of The United States | Vol VI 1910-1911. London: A. N. Marquis & Co. p. 1134. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  13. ^ Michigan, University of (1960). The President's Report to the Board of Regents for the Academic Year ... Financial Statement for the Fiscal Year. UM Libraries. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  14. ^ Bragg, Amy Elliott (October 20, 2011). Hidden History of Detroit. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9781614233459. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
Political offices
Preceded by
Oliver Moulton Hyde
Mayor of Detroit
Succeeded by
Oliver Moulton Hyde