Elias W. Leavenworth

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Elias W. Leavenworth
Elias W. Leavenworth - Brady-Handy.jpg
Elias W. Leavenworth
Born (1803-12-20)December 20, 1803
Canaan, New York, United States
Died November 25, 1887(1887-11-25) (aged 83)
Syracuse, New York, United States
Occupation Mayor, Politician, Lawyer

Elias Warner Leavenworth (December 20, 1803 Canaan, Columbia County, New York – November 25, 1887 Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York) was an American lawyer and politician.


He moved with his parents to Great Barrington, Massachusetts in 1806.


He attended the Hudson Academy and graduated from Yale College in 1824. He studied law in Great Barrington and at the Litchfield Law School from 1825 to 1827.

Law practice[edit]

He was admitted to the bar in 1827 and practiced law in Syracuse, New York for 20 years until 1850, when he abandoned the practice because of ill health.[1]


He passed through the various grades and was appointed brigadier general of militia in 1836.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Leavenworth was married to the daughter of Judge Joshua Forman, the founder of Syracuse.[1]

His principal home, a mansion at 607 James Street in Syracuse, New York, was a significant Greek Revival style structure where he received visitors of national and international stature. The home was built on the first lot sold on James Street and completed in 1842. It was designed by renowned Syracuse architect, Deacon Elijah Hayden who was assisted by William B. Cogswell, a draftsman. Unfortunately, the Leavenworth Mansion was demolished in 1950 to make way for an office building.[1]

Political life[edit]

In 1839, he was named supervisor of the old town of Salina, the first election at which the Democrats had been beaten for 15 years.[2]

He was president of Syracuse village from 1839 to 1841 and in 1846 and 1847, and was mayor of the town in 1849, 1850, 1859, and 1860.[2]

General Elias W. Leavenworth - Twice mayor of Syracuse, New York, Syracuse Herald, May 31, 1925

Leavenworth was a Whig member of the New York State Assembly (Onondaga Co., 3rd D.) in 1850 and 1857; and was Secretary of State of New York from 1854 to 1855. He was Chairman of the Republican State convention of 1860.[1]

In 1861 President Abraham Lincoln appointed Leavenworth commissioner for the United States under the convention with Granadine Confederation in Washington, D.C. in 1861 and 1862.[1]

Leavenworth Park in Syracuse, New York. Postcard, 1910

He was appointed president of the board of commissioners to locate the State asylum for the blind and a trustee of the State asylum for the insane in 1865, and was a member of the New York and New Jersey Boundary Line Commission in 1875.[1]

Leavenworth was elected as a Republican to the Forty-fourth United States Congress, holding office from March 4, 1875 to March 3, 1877. He declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1876 and resumed business activities in Syracuse.[1]

Syracuse parks[edit]

A resolution he introduced in 1888 procured Vanderbilt Square for the city of Syracuse. Additionally he persuaded the railroad to plant rows of trees on each side of the railroad from Beech Street to the heart of the city and install the first public sewer.[2]

He was considered father of the park system of the city. Fayette Park was obtained through his efforts. About 1860, Leavenworth Park was named after him.[2]

Later life[edit]

He died on November 25, 1887 in Syracuse, New York and was buried at the Oakwood Cemetery.[1]

Death notice in 1887 newspaper: look at column 6 on the page to the left of the word "Pants" --

Death Notice


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "General Leavenworth Mansion". Syracuse Then and Now, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  2. ^ a b c d "Homage Paid Pioneers Who Cleared Forest". Syracuse Herald. Syracuse, New York. May 31, 1925.

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Joseph Slocum
New York State Assembly
Onondaga County, 3rd District

Succeeded by
George Stevens
Preceded by
Burr Burton
New York State Assembly
Onondaga County, 3rd District

Succeeded by
Levi S. Holbrook
Political offices
Preceded by
Henry S. Randall
New York Secretary of State
Succeeded by
Joel T. Headley
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Clinton D. MacDougall
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 25th congressional district

March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1877
Succeeded by
Frank Hiscock