William Beach Lawrence

October 23, 1800
March 26, 1881
Home Town:
New York, NY
Later Residences:
New York, NY
Newport, RI
Esther Gracie Lawrence (1821)
Biographical Notes:
William Beach Lawrence was the son of Isaac Lawrence, President of the New York Branch of the Bank of the United States and a Presidential Elector. Lawrence's mother, Cornelia Beach Lawrence, was the daughter of the associate Rector of Trinity Church. William Beach Lawrence was born October 23, 1800 in New York City.

Lawrence graduated from Columbia College in 1818 with highest honors. He then studied law in Litchfield before leaving for Europe to study in law and political economy at the Sorbonne and Ecole de Droit. While there, he developed an interest in international law that continued throughout his career.

Lawrence was appointed as Secretary of Legation under Ambassador to Great Britain Albert Gallatin and, in 1827, he was made Charge d'Affaires in London. He returned ...
Additional Notes:
Fellow Law School student Thomas Lawrence Wells married William's sister Julia Beach Lawrence in 1831. This couple continued to occupy the Van Wickle homestead in New Brunswick, NJ which they called Elm Park. The house had descended through the family since 1703.

Years at LLS:
Other Education:
Attended the school of Rev. Edmund Drienan Barry, enterd Queen's College in 1812, and graduated from Columbia College in 1818 with high honors.

Profession / Service
Lawyer; Political Office
Admitted To Bar:
New York, NY in 1823
Training with Other Lawyers:
He studied in the office of William Slosson prior to attending the Litchfield Law School.
Political Party:
Federal Posts:
Secretary of Legation in London, England (England) 1826
State Posts:
Counselor of the Supreme Court (NY)
Lt. Governor (RI)
Governor (RI) 1851

Related Objects and Documents
In the Ledger:
help The Citation of Attendance provides primary source documentation of the student’s attendance at the Litchfield Female Academy and/or the Litchfield Law School. If a citation is absent, the student is thought to have attended but currently lacks primary source confirmation.

Records for the schools were sporadic, especially in the formative years of both institutions. If instructors kept comprehensive records for the Litchfield Female Academy or the Litchfield Law School, they do not survive. Researchers and staff have identified students through letters, diaries, family histories and genealogies, and town histories as well as catalogues of students printed in various years. Art and needlework have provided further identification of Female Academy Students, and Litchfield County Bar records document a number of Law School students. The history of both schools and the identification of the students who attended them owe credit to the early 20th century research and documentation efforts of Emily Noyes Vanderpoel and Samuel Fisher, and the late 20th century research and documentation efforts of Lynne Templeton Brickley and the Litchfield Historical Society staff.
Catalogue of the Litchfield Law School Hartford, CT: Press of Case, Tiffany and Company, 1849.
Secondary Sources:
Hart, Chas. H. A Discourse Commemorating the Life & Services of the late Wm. Beach Lawrence. 1881.

Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, February 27th, 1894. New York: T.A. Wright, 1895.

Lawrence, Thomas. Historical Genealogy of the Lawrence Family. New York: Edward O. Jenkins, 1858.

"An Eminent Jurist Dead." New York Times. 1881.

Scoville, Joseph A. Old Merchants of New York, Vol. II. NY: Carelton, 1885.

Hart, Charles. “William Beach Lawrence,” Pennsylvania Monthly. June 1881.

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