John William Chase Leveridge

John William Chase Leveridge, 1792-1886, was a prominent lawyer. It was difficult to find anything about him (or even his full name, since the other gravestones nearby are so worn down), but I did find this paragraph on his listing:

“At the time of his death he was the oldest lawyer in New York City, and possibly the oldest resident in NYC according to his NY Times obituary. His home was at 141 East 41th Street. He served as a Pvt. in the War of 1812 and was later appointed Corporate Council under Mayor Harper in 1840. In his early days he was one of the most influential lawyers in this city. He was said to remember distinctly the funeral of George Washington as he stood at the corner of Broadway and Vessey Streets in front of St. Paul’s Church. He was one of the founding members of the St. Nicholas Club. He attributed his longevity (he lived to 94) to a strong constitution, temeperance, and activity.”

The St. Nicholas Society, founded by Washington Irving, Mr. Leveridge, and other prominent rich-folk types in 1835, is still around today. Their mission is to preserve the Dutch history and heritage of New York City. It’s a very exclusive crowd; according to their web site, “Membership is by invitation only and limited to those men who can demonstrate descent from a resident of New York State before 1785.”

I just like the little demon head on the monument.