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Earliest Members of the Century Association

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Daniel Seymour


Centurion, 1847–1850

Born c. 1809 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Died 8 June 1850 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Proposed by N/A: Founder

Elected 13 January 1847 at about age thirty-eight

Archivist’s Note: Secretary of the Century Association, 1847–1850. After his death, a memorial address was delivered by Robert Kelly, slightly modifying an address he had delivered to the Column Club, a predecessor club of the Century, earlier that month. The original version was subsequently published in book form as An Address on the Character and Talents of the Late Daniel Seymour, Delivered at the Anniversary of The Column, January 1851.

Century Memorials

Mr. Leupp then offered the following resolutions previously prepared by Mr. Van Winkle.

Resolved, That we sincerely deplore the decease of our late fellow member Daniel Seymour that we entertain a most lively sorrow and a tender & grateful recollection of his many virtues.

That to his active exertions in the formation of the Century & his untiring zeal in its behalf we are peculiarly indebted for its existence & success.

That while his amiable disposition, unvarying urbanity & pleasing manners deserved & won our warmest esteem—his distinguished intellect and extensive acquirements rendered us justly proud of his fellowship.

That we are deeply sympathetic with his afflicted relatives and that the Secretary be directed to communicate these resolutions to his family.

The resolutions were unanimously adopted.

Albert Mathews, Secretary pro tem.
Monthly Meeting Minutes, 2 November 1850

In the death of Daniel Seymour, The Century sustained a painful loss. His faithful services as an officer of the club entitled him to our regard. He was devoted to its interests, and evinced the utmost efficiency in the discharge of the duties of his position. It is to him that The Century is mainly indebted for the success which marked the commencement of its existence. He strove to connect its progress with some enduring evidences of usefulness connected with literature and the fine arts. Besides its social design in uniting in friendly intercourse men of liberal and cultivated tastes, he desired to make it subservient to higher purposes. He was eminently qualified, from the character and cultivation of his mind, to appreciate the influence it might exercise upon the liberal pursuits of art and letters. For this reason, he took an active interest in all that related to its concerns, and devoted much of his time in organizing it and bringing its aims and purposes into efficient and practical operation.

Of his character as a scholar and a man of extensive acquirements, we need not speak. The discourse pronounced before the members, on the occasion of his death, by his friend Robert Kelly, did ample justice to his virtues as a man, and to the extraordinary attainments which a life of studious industry had enabled him to acquire.

We may be permitted to add our brief tribute to the unspotted purity of his life and to those excellent qualities of heart and mind which endeared him to his friends, and rendered his loss a bereavement deeply felt by all who had the privilege of his intimate association.

John H. Gourlie
“The Origin and History of the Century,” 1856

[Robert] Kelly’s memorial address paying tribute to Seymour, given at The Column in January 1851, speaks of “the versatility of his genius, the extent of his acquirements, the excellencies of his character, the geniality of his temper, and all the inimitable charms of his society. . . . He was loved, not envied. . . . On all literary subjects, on matters relating to Art, on all topics of general interest, he was copious, critical, and elegant.”

Kelly contributed frequently to the Knickerbocker and the New York Mirror. He and Kelly were Columbia College classmates (1826). His shingle, in addition to Counsellor at Law, had the word Translator upon it. He spoke French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Danish, knew Latin and Greek and studied Hebrew. He was a trustee of the New York Society Library and of the Public School Society, and a manager of the House of Refuge.

William A. Frosch
“Our Original Amateurs, 2009”