The other day I decided to take a walk in a cemetery that is about a block or two from my house. It was an indescribably rewarding experience. Many of the people buried in this cemetery were historic figures or at least notable in one way or another. By the inscriptions on their memorials some were very highly thought of. I decided to do a web search on some of the names. One such result is behind the tag. More will follow.
August Belmont, Sr. (December 8, 1816 – November 24, 1890), was born in Alzey, Prussia to a Jewish family. He immigrated to New York City in 1837 after becoming the American representative of the Rothschild family's banking house in Frankfurt. On receiving his American citizenship, he married Caroline Slidell Perry, daughter of Commodore Matthew Perry.
In 1844, Belmont was named the consul-general of Austria at New York. He resigned in 1850 in response to what he viewed as Austria's cruel treatment of Hungary. In the years following, he served as chargé d'affaires for the United States at the Hague, as well as the American minister at the same place.
As a delegate to the Democratic Convention of 1860, he supported Stephen A. Douglas. He was named the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee the same year in Baltimore. He energetically supported the Union cause during the Civil War, and exerted a strong influence in favour of the North upon the merchants and financiers of England and France.
An avid sportsman, the famed Belmont Stakes thoroughbred horse race is named in his honor. Also named in his honor is the town of Belmont, New Hampshire - an honor Mr. Belmont never acknowledged.
His sons Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont and August Belmont, Jr. both rose to prominence in their own right.
He died in New York in 1890, aged 73 and a volume entitled Letters, Speeches and Addresses of August Belmont (the elder) was published at New York in 1890.