Charles Bradford Isham

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Charles Bradford Isham
Charles Isham (New York).jpg
44th President of the Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York
In office
Preceded byWalter Lispenard Suydam
Succeeded byVernon M. Davis
Personal details
Born(1853-07-20)July 20, 1853
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedJune 9, 1919(1919-06-09) (aged 65)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Mamie Lincoln
(m. 1891; his death 1919)
ChildrenLincoln Isham
ParentsWilliam Bradley Isham
Julia A. Burhans Isham
RelativesSamuel Isham (brother)
EducationPhillips Academy
Alma materHarvard University
University of Berlin
Collège de France

Charles Bradford Isham (July 20, 1853 – June 9, 1919) was an American historian.

Early life[edit]

Isham was born in New York City on July 20, 1853.[1] He was the son of William Bradley Isham (1827–1909) and Julia (née Burhans) Isham (1827–1907).[2] His father was a leather merchant who owned downtown factories and warehouses on Gold and Cliff Streets, and became vice-president of the Bank of the Metropolis and the president of the Bond and Mortgage Guarantee Company.[3] Among his siblings was:[1] sister Julia Isham (wife of Henry Osborn Taylor);[4] and brothers, Samuel Isham, an artist;[5] and William Burhans Isham.[6]

In 1862, his father rented the former house and estate of the late Dr. Floyd T. Ferris in uptown Manhattan as a summer residence. The two-story house, located on forty-acres in the neighborhood now known as Inwood, had been built in the 1850s and was part of the Dyckman tract.[4] Isham purchased the house and estate two years later in 1864. The Isham children later donated, and sold, parcels of the estate to the City of New York for the creation of Isham Park.[3]

His maternal grandfather was Col. Benjamin Burnhans of Warrensburg, New York and his paternal grandparents were Charles Isham and Flora (née Bradley) Isham, a daughter of Judge William Bradley of Hartford, Connecticut.[1]


Isham was educated at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts before attended Harvard University, where he graduated in 1876. He also studied at the University of Berlin and the Collège de France.[7]

After receiving a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1878, he was admitted to the bar in New York in 1881.[8] In April 1889, Isham was hired as private secretary at the United States Legation in London,[7] while Robert Todd Lincoln was the U.S. Minister to the United Kingdom from 1889 to 1893 (under Benjamin Harrison and Grover Cleveland). Reportedly, Isham obtained the position through his distant cousin, Edward Swift Isham, Lincoln's former law partner.[8] Lincoln, the son of the 16th President Abraham Lincoln, had previously been the United States Secretary of War (under James Garfield and Chester A. Arthur).[8]

Isham, who was fluent in German and French, was, foremost, a historian with a reputation "as a learned scholar and brilliant intellectual."[8] He served as Resident Graduate in History at Harvard and the Librarian of the New-York Historical Society,[7] of which his father had been a member.[3] In 1895, he gave a speech at the Society about the importance of the Louisburg Expedition of 1745.[9]

Personal life[edit]

On September 2, 1891, Isham was married to Mary Todd "Mamie" Lincoln (1869–1938)[10] at the Brompton Parish Church in London, England.[11] Mamie was the eldest daughter of Mary Eunice (née Harlan) Lincoln,[12] and Robert Todd Lincoln,[13] and the granddaughter of President Lincoln and, her namesake, Mary Todd Lincoln.[14][15] Isham and his wife bought a place in Manchester, Vermont, later known as the 1811 house, until they moved to New York City, residing at 19 East 72nd Street.[16] Together, Charles and Mamie were the parents of one child:[10]

  • Abraham Lincoln Isham (1892–1971),[17] who married Leahalma Correa (1892–1960), the daughter of Spaniard, Carlos Correa and Englishwoman, Mary Gooding, in August 1919.[18] They did not have any children together.[19]

After a short illness, Isham died at his residence, 122 East 38th Street in New York City, on June 9, 1919.[20][21] After a funeral held at Grace Church on Broadway, he was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. His widow died nineteen years later in November 1938.[10]


  1. ^ a b c American Ancestry: Embracing lineages from the whole of the United States. 1888[-1898. Ed. by Frank Munsell. J. Munsell's Sons. 1888. pp. 28–29. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  2. ^ "WILLIAM B. ISHAM". New-York Tribune. 24 Mar 1909. p. 7. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "History of Inwood's Ishham Park" My Inwood
  4. ^ a b "LATEST DEALINGS IN REALTY FIELD; William B. Isham's Residence on East Sixty-first Street Sold by Executors of Estate" (PDF). The New York Times. 3 March 1912. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  5. ^ "ARTIST DIES ON GOLF LINKS.; Samuel Isham Bursts an Artery at Maidstone Club -- His Career" (PDF). The New York Times. 13 June 1914. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  6. ^ "WILLIAM B. ISHAM, OLD NEW YORKER, DIES; Retired Leather Merchant Was Classmate of the Late President Wilson at Princeton" (PDF). The New York Times. 2 April 1929. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  7. ^ a b c Portraits of the Presidents of the Society, 1835-1914. New York: Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York. 1914. pp. 88–89. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d Emerson, Jason (2012). Giant in the Shadows: The Life of Robert T. Lincoln. Southern Illinois University Press. p. 329. ISBN 9780809330553. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  9. ^ "WOULD NOT HELP THE YANKEES; Charles Isham's Lecture to the Historical Society Showing New-York's Apathy in the Louisburg Expedition" (PDF). The New York Times. 5 June 1895. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  10. ^ a b c "MRS. ISHAM DIES; WAS LINCOLN'S KIN; Granddaughter of President a Daughter of Robert Todd Lincoln, Ex-War Secretary OWNED FAMOUS PORTRAIT Emancipator's Likeness Now to Hang in White House if a Position Suitable Is Found" (PDF). The New York Times. 22 November 1938. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Miss Lincoln's Wedding.; Married to Charles B. Isham in Brompton Parish Church" (PDF). The New York Times. 3 September 1891. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  12. ^ "MRS. LINCOLN, WIDOW OF PRESIDENT'S SON; Married Robert Todd Lincoln in Washington in 1868--Dies in the Capital at 90" (PDF). The New York Times. 1 April 1937. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  13. ^ Ulm, A. H. (1 August 1926). "MALE LINE OF LINCOLNS IS ENDED; Robert Todd Was the Only One of the Martyr President's Children Who Attained Mature Years MALE LINE OF LINCOLNS ENDS WITH DEATH OF ROBERT TODD" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Miss Lincoln's Marriage" (PDF). The New York Times. 29 August 1891. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  15. ^ Nowlan Ph.D, Robert A. (2016). The American Presidents From Polk to Hayes: What They Did, What They Said & What Was Said About Them. Outskirts Press. pp. 298–299. ISBN 9781478765721. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  16. ^ Pommer, Alfred; Pommer, Joyce (2013). Exploring Manhattan's Murray Hill. Arcadia Publishing. p. 52. ISBN 9781625845153. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  17. ^ "Lincoln Isham Dead at 79; Great‐Grandson of Lincoln" (PDF). The New York Times. 3 September 1971. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  18. ^ "LINCOLN ISHAM MARRIED; His Wedding to Miss Leaholma Carrea Last Saturday Just Told" (PDF). The New York Times. 3 September 1919. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  19. ^ Winkler, H. Donald (2004). Lincoln's Ladies: The Women in the Life of the Sixteenth President. Cumberland House Publishing. p. 215. ISBN 9781581824254. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  20. ^ "Charles Isham Dies at 66" (PDF). The New York Times. June 10, 1919. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  21. ^ "CHARLES ISHAM". New-York Tribune. June 10, 1919. p. 8. Retrieved 30 April 2019.

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