Winthrop circa 1910
|Assistant Secretary of the Navy|
|Assistant Secretary of the Treasury|
|Preceded by||Herbert Livingston Satterlee|
|Succeeded by||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|Governor of Puerto Rico|
July 4, 1904 – April 17, 1907
|Preceded by||William Henry Hunt|
|Succeeded by||Regis Henri Post|
|Born||September 18, 1874|
Orange, New Jersey
|Died||November 10, 1940 (aged 66)|
New York City, New York, U.S.
Melza Riggs Wood
(m. 1903; died 1928)
Beekman Winthrop (September 18, 1874 – November 10, 1940) was an American lawyer, government official and banker. He served as Governor of Puerto Rico from 1904 to 1907, as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in 1907-1909, and Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1909-1913.
The son of Robert Winthrop and Kate Wilson Taylor, Beekman "Beek" Winthrop came from a family of wealth and influence in New York. He was born in Orange, New Jersey and attended Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he received a Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) degree in 1897 and a LL.B degree from Harvard Law School in 1900, graduating second in his class.
A descendant of both John Winthrop, first Governor of Massachusetts, and John Winthrop, the Younger, first Governor of Connecticut, immediately after graduating he became a personal secretary to future president William Howard Taft while Taft was Governor-General of the Philippines. Winthrop was soon promoted to Assistant Executive Secretary of the Philippines (1901-1903) and was appointed as a Judge of the Court of First Instance, Philippine Islands (1903-1904). He was known to be a personal friend of Theodore Roosevelt and was appointed by him in 1904 as Governor and General Commander of Puerto Rico, at age 28. He was confirmed by the Congress. Melza Riggs Wood (1870-1928), four years his senior, whom he married in 1903, became the First Lady of Puerto Rico.
Winthrop took oath as governor of Puerto Rico on July 4, 1904, and served until April 17, 1907. On his inauguration, he promised improvements to the educational system of Puerto Rico. Winthrop was a proponent of bringing citizenship and locally elected officials to Puerto Rico system of governance. The press reported favorably on Winthrop's activities, and reporters were especially impressed with Mrs. Winthrop's fluency in Spanish, which made her popular among local population.
In 1907, Winthrop was appointed as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. In 1909, he was made Assistant Secretary of the Navy, a post he retained, functioning in time of need as Acting Secretary, until 1913, when he was succeeded by a young New Yorker, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Following his retirement from public service in 1913, he was a director of National City Bank. He resigned from the bank in 1916. He subsequently became a senior partner of Robert Winthrop & Co. in New York, from which capacity he stepped down in 1939. At the end of his life he lived in New York on East 69th Street, where he died on November 10, 1940. He is buried at Green-Wood Cemetery.
The Winthrops did not have children, however, Nathaniel Thayer Winthrop, a son of Frederic Bayard Winthrop, named his son, Beakman Winthrop (1941-2014) to honor his uncle.
- Frederick T. Birchall. A Colonial Governor At Twenty-Eight, Leslie's Monthly Magazine, December 1904. Vol.LIX, Iss. NO. 2, p. 172.
- Beekman Winthrop, The Independent, June 16, 1904. Vol.56, Iss. 2898, p. 1373.
- Winthrop Inaugurated, The Washington Post, July 5, 1904, p. 1.
- The Work of Congress, The Independent, April 28, 1904, Vol.56, Iss. 2891, p. 933.
- Senate Confirmations. Military, Naval and Civil. Los Angeles Times, April 28, 1904, p. 4.
- Society At Home And Abroad, The New York Times, October 11, 1903.
- Clark, Truman R. Puerto Rico and the United States, 1917-1933. Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1975, p. 18.
- Annual Report of the Governor of Puerto Rico, October 28, 1907.
- Wexler, Dorothy B. Reared in a Greenhouse: The Stories and Story, of Dorothy Winthrop Bradford. New York: Garland Pub, 1998, p. 95.
- Beekman Winthrop Named: Boy Governor to be Assistant Secretary of Treasury, The Washington Post, March 3, 1907, p. 1.
- State Wants Figurehead, The Washington Post, June 22, 1909, p. 4.
- Resignations from National City Bank, The Wall Street Journal, October 18, 1916, p. 8.
- Craig Karmin. Kermit and Big Bird Slept Here, The Wall Street Journal, February 8, 2011.
- The Neo-Georgian 1903 Tuckerman House -- No. 117 East 69th Street, Daytonian in Manhattan
- Beekman Winthrop obituary, The New York Times, November 10, 1940.
- Beekman Winthrop obituary, The Boston Globe, May 18, 2014.
- Letters of Beekman Winthrop to William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt, The Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University
- Clark, Truman R. Puerto Rico and the United States, 1917-1933. Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1975.
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William Henry Hunt
| Governor of Puerto Rico
Regis Henri Prost
Herbert L. Satterlee
| Assistant Secretary of the Navy
March 6, 1909 – March 16, 1913
Franklin D. Roosevelt