|Born||Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont
November 12, 1858
New York City, New York,
|Died||June 10, 1908
Hempstead, New York,
|Education||St. Paul's School, United States Naval Academy|
|Known for||Belcourt Castle|
Board member of
|Day and Night Bank|
|Spouse(s)||Sara Swan Whiting (m. 1882–82)
Alva Erskine Smith Vanderbilt
|Children||Natica Rives Belmont Burden (1882-1908)|
Caroline Slidell Perry
|Relatives||Perry Belmont, brother
August Belmont, Jr., brother
Belmont was born in New York City, New York. Oliver's father was August Belmont, a Hessian Jew who came to the United States in 1837 as an agent for the Rothschilds, and accumulated enormous personal wealth. (The oldest race in the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, is named for August Belmont). His mother, Caroline Slidell (née Perry), was the daughter of Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, who was renowned for commanding the naval expedition that opened Japan in 1853-54. His maternal great-uncle and namesake was Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the victor of the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813.
Belmont attended St. Paul's School, Concord, New Hampshire, and graduated from the United States Naval Academy on June 10, 1880. He was commissioned as a midshipman and served until June 1, 1881, when he resigned.
In 1882, Oliver married Sara Swan Whiting, who was pregnant with his child, in Newport, but they divorced the same year. His daughter, Natica, was adopted by her stepfather, George Lockhart Rives and took his last name. She became a prominent New York socialite who was close friends with Alva Belmont, Oliver's second wife. (In 1907, Sara married Williams Proudfoot Burden, brother of James Abercrombie Burden, Jr. She died accidentally from gas lamp asphyxiation in 1908.) Belmont gave Belcourt Castle to his second wife Alva as a wedding gift.
Belmont was a charter member of the Rhode Island Society of the Sons of the Revolution in 1896. He was eligible for membership in the Society by right of his descent from Captain Christopher Raymond Perry who has served as a privateer in the American Revolution.
Oliver received a huge inheritance when his father died in 1890. Oliver was a bachelor at the time of his father's death and decided to build a summer house in Newport. Richard Morris Hunt was the architect for Oliver's Newport mansion, Belcourt Castle. Belmont designed Belcourt as he pleased. Hunt was hesitant with the design of Belcourt, but he concentrated on his guiding principle that it was his client's money he was spending. The entire first floor was composed of a multitude of stables for Belmont's prized horses. The monumental Gothic rooms with their huge stained-glass windows were emblazoned with the Belmont coat of arms.
Belmont was at one time a member of the banking firm of August Belmont and Co., New York City. He became publisher of the Verdict, a weekly paper.
Belmont served as delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1900, and was elected as a Democrat from New York's 13th District to the Fifty-seventh Congress (March 4, 1901 – March 3, 1903). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1902.
Oliver Belmont died on June 10, 1908 at his Brookholt estate in East Meadow, New York. He was interred in the Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx. His mausoleum, designed by Richard Morris Hunt, is an exact replica of the Chapel of St. Hubert at Château d'Amboise in France.
- Vanderbilt, 248
- "NATICA RIVES BURDEN KILLED BY GAS LEAK; Accidentally Asphyxiated in Her Sleep by Outpouring from a Loose Fixture. HAD BEEN READING IN BED And Turned Off a Reading Lamp on Which the Tube Fitted Imperfectly -- Allied to Many Social Leaders". The New York Times. February 22, 1908.
- Vanderbilt, 250.
- "O.H.P. Belmont Dead After Brave Fight. He Succumbs to Septic Poisoning, Following an Operation for Appendicitis. To be Held at the Cathedral of the Incarnation, Garden City. Burial at Woodlawn". The New York Times. June 11, 1908. Retrieved 2011-05-27. "The death of Oliver H.P. Belmont occurred soon after 6:30 o'clock this morning at Brookholt, his Long Island country seat. ..."
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Oliver Belmont at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Fortune's Children: The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt Arthur T Vanderbilt. Morrow, 1989.
- Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont entry at The Political Graveyard
- Oliver Belmont at Find a Grave
- Belcourt Castle website
Jefferson Monroe Levy
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 13th congressional district
March 4, 1901 – March 3, 1903
Francis Burton Harrison