|Name||Henry Skillman Breckinridge|
New York, New York , United States
|| May 25, 1886
|| May 02, 1960
|Last Modifed||Thomas Walker|
May 25, 2005 10:21pm
|Info||Henry Breckinridge (May 1886 - May 1960) |
Breckinridge, Henry, lawyer, .was born in Chicago, ILL., May 25, 1886, son of Joseph Cabell and Louise Ludlow (Dudley) Breckinridge. His first paternal American ancestor was Alexander Breckinridge, a native of Northern Ireland of Scotch ancestry, who came to this country in 1728 and settled in Pennsylvania, but later, in 1740, moved to Augusta County, VA. From him and his wife, Jane, the descent was through Robert and Letitia Preston, John and Mary Hopkins Cabell, and Robert Jefferson and Ann Sophonisba, who were the grandparents of Henry Breckinridge. His father was a U.S. Army officer. The son was graduated B.A. at Princeton University in 1907 and LL.B. at Harvard University in 1910. Admitted to the Kentucky bar in the latter year, he practiced his profession in Lexington for three years. In 1913 he was named the assistant secretary of war during the first term of Woodrow Wilson (q.v.), and while serving in that post he took $3,000,000 in gold abroad on the cruiser ?Tennessee? for the relief of United States citizens stranded in the warring countries. In 1916 both he and the secretary of war tendered their resignations. He then served as first vice-president of the Pacific Hardware & Steel Co., San Francisco, Calif., in 1916-1917. With the entry of the United States into the First World War, Breckinridge was commissioned major in the U.S. Army Infantry and during his service was advanced to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He went overseas with the AEF as a battalion commander and saw action in the Vosges, St. Mihiel, and Meuse-Argonne sectors. Honorably discharged in 1919, he practiced law in Washington, D.C., until 1922. He then moved to New York city, where he conducted a law practice until the close of his life. He was attorney for Charles A. Lindbergh and participated as an intermediary in the futile ransom negotiations for the return of the Lindbergh child, who had been kidnapped in 1932. Breckinridge took part in numerous civic and political activities. He was president of the Navy League of the United States from 1919 to 1921 and at that time organized the first Navy Day, which was celebrated in 1920. In 1933 he was counsel to the Joint Congressional Committee to Investigate Dirigible Disasters. He entered the Democratic preferential primaries under the auspices of the Association for the Defense of the Constitution in four states in 1936, to challenge the New Deal policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt (q.v.), and in the campaign that fall he gave support to the Republican candidate, Alfred M. Landon. He was the author of ?. . .shall not perish . . .? (1941), a book resulting from his vigorous support of the United States intervention in the Second World War on the side of Great Britain and France. Honorary LL.D. degrees were conferred on him by the University of Kentucky in 1915 and Tusculum College, Greeneville, Tenn., in 1935, an honorary Master of Physical Education degree by the International YMCA College in 1929, and an honorary D.C.L. degree by Bishops' University, Lennoxville, Quebec, Canada in 1940. He was a member of the American, New York State, and New York County bar associations, American Law Institute, Amateur Fencers League of America (pres. 1925-30), Sons of the American Revolution, Military Order of the World War, American Legion, Loyal Legion, the Metropolitan and the Army and Navy clubs of Washington, D.C., and the Princeton and Fencers clubs of New York city. His religious affiliation was with the Presbyterian church. Fencing was one of his early interests, and he was a member of the U.S. Olympic Fencing Team competing in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1920 and captain of the same team in Amsterdam, Holland, in 1928, and in 1921, 1923, and 1926 he was a member of the American International Fencing Team. Playing tennis was another of his recreations. Breckinridge was married three times: (1) in Geneva, Switzerland, July 7, 1910, to Ruth Bradley, daughter of Edgar Woodman of Concord, N.H., a lawyer, and by this marriage had two daughters: Elizabeth Foster, who married John Stephens Graham, and Louise Dudley; he was divorced from his first wife in 1925; (2) in Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 1927, to Aida de Acosta Root; he was divorced from his second wife in 1947; (3) in Carson City, Nev., Mar. 27, 1947, to Margaret Lucy, daughter of John Raymond Smith of Gloucestershire, England, a horticulturist, and by this marriage had a daughter, Madeline Houston. His death occurred in New York City, May 2, 1960.