George Folsom

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George Folsom
George Folsom.jpg
U.S. Chargé d'affaires to the Netherlands
In office
Preceded byAuguste Davezac
Succeeded byAugust Belmont
Member of the New York State Senate
First District (Class 2)
In office
Preceded byJohn B. Scott
Succeeded byDistrict abolished
Personal details
Born(1802-05-23)May 23, 1802
Kennebunk, Maine, U.S.
DiedMarch 27, 1869(1869-03-27) (aged 66)
Rome, Kingdom of Italy
Margaret Cornelia Winthrop
(m. 1839; her death 1863)
EducationPhillips Exeter Academy
Alma materHarvard College

George Folsom (May 23, 1802 – March 27, 1869) was an American lawyer, historian, librarian, diplomat and politician from New York.

Early life[edit]

Folsom was born on May 23, 1802, in Kennebunk, York County, District of Maine. He was the son of Thomas Folsom (1769–1844), a jeweler and tavern-keeper, and Edna (née Ela) Folsom (1775–1851). The family moved to Portland, Maine in 1809.[1]

George was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire and graduated from Harvard College in 1822. Then he studied law with U.S. Attorney Ether Shepley in Saco, Maine, was admitted to the bar, and practiced in Worcester, Massachusetts.[1]


While studying law he prepared the History of Saco and Biddeford (on-line copy; 331 pages) which was published in 1830. In 1831 he was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society,[2] and was a member of its publishing committee from 1834 to 1837.[3]

About 1837, he removed to New York City, and practiced law there. He married Margaret Cornelia Winthrop (1801–1863), and their children were Margaret Winthrop Folsom (1842–1925), Helen Stuyvesant Folsom (b. 1843) and George Winthrop Folsom (1846–1915). He also became a member of the New York Historical Society, and was chosen the society's librarian, and one of the secretaries. In 1843, he translated and published The Despatches of Hernando Cortes (on-line copy; 431 pages).

He was an American Republican member of the New York State Senate (1st D.) from 1845 to 1847, sitting in the 68th, 69th and 70th New York State Legislatures. At the 1846 New York state election, he ran on the American ticket for Lieutenant Governor of New York. He was U.S. Chargé d'affaires to the Netherlands from 1850 to 1853.[4]

In 1860, he received the honorary degree of Doctor of law from the University of Vermont.[1]

Personal life[edit]

In 1839, Folsom was married to Margaret Cornelia Winthrop (1801–1863), a daughter of Benjamin Winthrop and Judith (née Stuyvesant) Winthrop of New York City.[1] Margaret was a descendant of Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch Director-General of New Netherland, and John Winthrop, the 3rd Governor the Massachusetts Bay Colony.[1] Together, they were the parents of three children:[1]

  • Margaret Winthrop Folsom (1842–1925), who was committed to an insane asylum when she was twenty-seven.[5][6]
  • Helen Stuyvestant Folsom (1843–1882), who became Sister Helen Margaret, CSJB.[1]
  • George Winthrop Folsom (1846–1915), who married Frances Elizabeth Fuller.[7]

Folsom died on March 27, 1869, in Rome, Italy.[8] He was buried at St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Guide to the George Folsom Papers1821-1866 MS 222". New-York Historical Society. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  2. ^ American Antiquarian Society Members Directory
  3. ^ [1] Proceedings of the American antiquarian society, 1812-1849 Worcester, MA. 1912
  4. ^ Hough, Franklin Benjamin (1858). The New York civil list: containing the names and origin of the civil divisions, and the names and dates of election or appointment of the principal state and county officers from the Revolution to the present time. Weed, Parsons and Co. pp. 134f, 140. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  5. ^ MISS FOLSOM DYING in NYT on July 18, 1909
  6. ^ "INSANE 56 YEARS; LEAVES $2,000,000; Margaret Winthrop Folsom, Once New York Society Girl, Dies in Asylum Near Boston" (PDF). The New York Times. September 17, 1925. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  7. ^ G. WINTHROP FOLSOM DIES in NYT on March 30, 1915.
  8. ^ Society, New England Historic Genealogical (1994). The New England Historical and Genealogical Register,: Volume 23 1869. Heritage Books. ISBN 9780788400704. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  9. ^ The Death of Hon. George Folsom in NYT on April 11, 1869.

External links[edit]

New York State Senate
Preceded by
John B. Scott
New York State Senate
First District (Class 2)

Succeeded by
district abolished
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Auguste Davezac
U.S. Chargé d'affaires to the Netherlands
Succeeded by
August Belmont