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Perry Belmont
Member of the United States House of Representatives
In office
March 4, 1881 – December 1, 1888
Preceded by James W. Covert
Succeeded by James W. Covert
Personal details
Born (1851-12-28)December 28, 1851
New York City, New York
Died May 25, 1947(1947-05-25) (aged 95)
Newport, Rhode Island
Political party Democratic
Military service
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Rank Major
Unit First Division, Second Army Corps, United States Volunteers
Battles/wars Spanish–American War

Perry Belmont (December 28, 1851 – May 25, 1947) was an American politician and diplomat.[1]

Early life and education

Belmont was born on December 28, 1851, in New York City, the son of Caroline Slidell (née Perry) and August Belmont.[2] His maternal grandfather was Commodore Matthew C. Perry. His brothers were Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont and August Belmont, Jr. He attended Everest Military Academy in Hamden, Connecticut; and graduated from Harvard College in 1872; attended the law school in the University of Berlin;[3] and graduated from the Columbia Law School in 1876. He was admitted to the bar that same year.


Belmont practiced law in New York City for five years. Partnered with him in the law firm, Vinton, Belmont & Frelinghuysen, were his cousin, the writer Arthur Dudley Vinton, and George Frelinghuysen, future president of the Ballantine Brewing Company. He and his brother, August Belmont, Jr., were also founding members of The Jockey Club.

Belmont's former residence in Washington, D.C.

Elected as a Democrat to the 47th Congress and reelected to the next three Congresses, Belmont served as U.S. Representative for the first district of New York from March 4, 1881 until his resignation on December 1, 1888.[4] During his first term, he was a member of the committee on foreign affairs; noted for his cross-examination of James G. Blaine, the former secretary of state. The cross-examination concerned Blaine's relations with a syndicate of American capitalists interested in the development of certain guano deposits in Peru. An attempt was made to show that Blaine's efforts toward mediation between Chile and Peru were from interested motives.[5] Belmont served from 1885 to 1887 as chairman of the committee on foreign affairs.

Perry Belmont circa 1913

In 1898, during the Spanish–American War, Belmont served for six weeks in the Army as an Inspector General of the First Division, Second Army Corps, United States Volunteers, with the rank of major. He was appointed United States Minister to Spain that same year.[6]

In 1899, after 17 years of marriage, Jessie Ann Robbins divorced Henry T. Sloane (son of William Sloane, the founder of W. & J. Sloane) to marry Perry Belmont. The marriage occurred only five hours after the divorce was decreed and, at the time, was considered scandalous.[citation needed]

When the Consolidated National Bank of New York was organized on July 1, 1902, the fourteen directors included individuals such as Belmont, John W. Griggs, Henry C. Brewster, George Crocker, and Mortimer H. Wagar.[7]

In 1906, Belmont became "permanent president" of the National Publicity Bill Organization, which fought for campaign finance disclosure.

During the First World War, despite being 65 years old, Belmont was commissioned as a captain in the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps on May 5, 1917. He was assigned to the Remount Division in Washington, D.C., and was discharged on May 21, 1920.[8]

Ancestry and memberships

Through his mother he was a descendant of Captain Christopher Raymond Perry who had served as a privateer during the American Revolution. By virtue of his descent from Captain Perry, Belmont was a member of the Rhode Island Society of the Sons of the Revolution. In 1929 he was elected an honorary member of the Rhode Island Society of the Cincinnati. He was also a member of the Veteran Corps of Artillery.


Belmont died in Newport, Rhode Island, on May 25, 1947 (age 95 years, 148 days).[1] He is interred along with his parents and his brother August Belmont, Jr. in the Belmont family plot in the Island Cemetery in Newport.[9] His former home in Washington, D.C., became the International Temple for the Order of the Eastern Star.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Perry Belmont, 96, Ex-diplomat, Dead. Envoy To Spain In 1888-9 Was In Congress 8 Years. Decried Isolationism In 1925 Perry Might, 96, Ex-diplomat, Dead". May 26, 1947. Retrieved 2015-04-30. "Perry Belmont, former representative and diplomat, who was a grandson of Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, died this morning in the Newport Hospital, where he had been a patient since August. He was in his ninety-seventh year. ..." 
  2. "Perry Belmont". Find A Grave. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  3. "Perry Belmont". Notable Names Data Base. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  4. "Perry Belmont". Govtrack US Congress. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  5. Wikisource-logo.svg Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1900) "Belmont, August" Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography New York: D. Appleton 
  6. "Perry Belmont". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  7. "Wall Street Topics". The New York Times. July 2, 1902. p. 12. Retrieved January 19, 2017. 
  8. Harvard's Military Record in the World War. Harvard Alumni Association. 1921. pg. 78.
  9. "Perry Belmont". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 

External links

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  • Perry Belmont at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • Wikisource-logo.svg Homans, James E., ed. (1918) "Belmont, Perry" The Cyclopædia of American Biography New York: The Press Association Compilers, Inc  (with portrait)

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
James W. Covert
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 1st congressional district

March 4, 1881 – December 1, 1888
Succeeded by
James W. Covert
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Jabez L. M. Curry
U.S. Minister to Spain
Succeeded by
Thomas W. Palmer

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