Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright
United States Assistant Secretary of War
In office
March 14, 1921 – March 4, 1923
Appointed byWarren G. Harding
Preceded byWilliam Reid Williams
Succeeded byDwight Filley Davis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 25th district
In office
March 4, 1923 – March 3, 1931
Preceded byJames W. Husted
Succeeded byCharles D. Millard
Member of the New York Senate
from the 24th district
In office
January 1, 1909 – December 31, 1912
Preceded byJohn C. R. Taylor
Succeeded byJohn F. Healy
Member of the
New York State Assembly
In office
January 1, 1902 – December 31, 1908
Preceded byAlford W. Cooley
Succeeded byGeorge W. Mead
Constituency2nd Westchester (1902–06)
4th Westchester (1907–08)
Personal details
Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright

(1864-12-10)December 10, 1864
Manhattan, New York City
DiedJune 3, 1945(1945-06-03) (aged 80)
Rye, New York
Political partyRepublican Party
Laura Wallace Buchanan
(m. 1892)
Parent(s)John Howard Wainwright
Margaret Livingston Stuyvesant
EducationColumbia College
Columbia Law School

Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright (December 10, 1864 – June 3, 1945) was an American lawyer and politician from New York.[1] He was the United States Assistant Secretary of War from 1921 to 1923.[2]

Early life

Wainwright was born in Manhattan, New York City, to John Howard Wainwright and Margaret Livingston (née Stuyvesant) Wainwright.[3] His older brother was Stuyvesant Wainwright (father of Carroll Livingston Wainwright), and their paternal grandfather was the Rt. Rev. Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright, Bishop of New York.[2]

His maternal grandfather was Nicholas Stuyvesant, a son of Nicholas William Stuyvesant, grandson of the merchant Peter Stuyvesant, all direct descendants of Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch Director-General of New Amsterdam. U.S. Army General Jonathan M. Wainwright was his cousin.[2][4]

Wainwright graduated from Columbia College; from Columbia School of Political Science in 1884, and from Columbia Law School in 1886.[1] While at Columbia, he was a member of St. Anthony Hall.[3]


In 1886, he was admitted to the bar the same year and practiced in New York City and in Westchester County. He served in the Twelfth Infantry of the New York National Guard (1889–1903), and in the Spanish–American War as captain of the Twelfth Regiment of New York Volunteers.[2]

Wainwright was a member of the New York State Assembly in 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906 (all five Westchester Co., 2nd D.), 1907 and 1908 (both Westchester Co., 4th D.).[2][1]

He was a member of the New York State Senate (24th D.) from 1909 to 1912, sitting in the 132nd, 133rd, 134th and 135th New York State Legislatures.[2][1]

He was appointed as a member of the first New York State Workmen's Compensation Commission in 1914 and served until 1915. He served as lieutenant colonel, inspector general's department, New York National Guard, on the Mexican border in 1916. During the First World War, Wainwright served as a lieutenant colonel in the Twenty-seventh Division from 1917 to 1919.[2][1]

He was appointed by President Warren G. Harding to serve as Assistant Secretary of War from March 14, 1921, to March 4, 1923, when he resigned.[2][1]

Wainwright was elected as a Republican to the 68th, 69th, 70th and 71st United States Congresses, holding office from March 4, 1923, to March 3, 1931. He resumed the practice of law and served as a member of the Westchester County Park Commission from 1930 to 1937.[2]

Personal life

He married Laura Wallace Buchanan (1865–1946) on November 23, 1892 in New York.[2] Together, they were the parents of:[5][6]

He died on June 3, 1945, in Rye, New York.[2] His funeral was held at Christ's Church, Rye,[2] and he was buried at the Greenwood Union Cemetery.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "WAINWRIGHT, Jonathan Mayhew - Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "J. M. Wainwright Dies In Rye At 80. Former Assistant Secretary of War, Ex-Representative, Was a Cousin of General Advocate of Preparedness Exponent of Dry Law Began Political Career in 1902. Served on Mexican Border". New York Times. June 4, 1945.
  3. ^ a b Kestenbaum, Lawrence (March 10, 2021). "Delta Psi Politicians". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 2022-03-10.
  4. ^ "Deaths: J. Mayhew Wainwright". The Living Church. Milwaukee, WI: Morehouse-Gorham Co.: 22 June 17, 1945.
  5. ^ Patch, Alfred (31 March 2015). "Rye's Wainwright House Profiled in The New York Times". Rye, NY Patch. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  6. ^ Mardis, Walt (26 August 2011). "Wainwright House Faces a New Set of Challenges". Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  7. ^ Gorce, Tammy La (28 March 2015). "Wainwright House, a Haven for the Spirit on Long Island Sound". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  8. ^ Mare, J.; Wollaston, John. "Robert Gilbert Livingston". Frick Art Reference Library Photoarchive. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
New York State Assembly Preceded byAlford W. Cooley New York State Assembly Westchester County, 2nd District 1902–1906 Succeeded byHolland S. Duell Preceded bynew district New York State Assembly Westchester County, 4th District 1907–1908 Succeeded byGeorge W. Mead New York State Senate Preceded byJohn C. R. Taylor New York State Senate 24th District 1909–1912 Succeeded byJohn F. Healy U.S. House of Representatives Preceded byJames W. Husted Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 25th congressional district 1923–1931 Succeeded byCharles D. Millard