Belmont, Perry



Autograph Slip Signed

"He was born on December 28, 1851 in New York City, the son of Caroline Slidell (nee Perry) and August Belmont. 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 and the Columbia Law School in 1876. Perry Belmont practiced law in New York 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 was a Democratic member of Congress from 1881 to 1889, serving in 1885-1887 as chairman of the committee on foreign affairs. During his first term, as a member of the committee on foreign affairs, he was noted for his cross-examination of James G. Blaine, then former secretary of state, concerning his 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. In 1889, Belmont was United States Ambassador to Spain.

In 1898 Belmont served briefly in the Army during the Spanish American War as an Inspector General with the rank of major. In 1906, he became "permanent president" of the National Publicity Bill Organization, which fought for campaign finance disclosure.

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 5 hours after the divorce was decreed and at the time was considered scandalous.

Through his mother Belmont was a descendant of Captain Christopher Raymond Perry who had served during the American Revolution. By virture of his descent from Captain Perry, Belmont was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati and the Rhode Island Society of the Sons of the Revolution.

Perry Belmont died at Newport, Rhode Island, in 1947. He was buried along with his father and mother in the Belmont family plot in the Island Cemetery in Newport. His former home in Washington, D.C., became the International Temple for the Order of the Eastern Star."