Rufus King

King in 1820, portrait by Gilbert Stuart [Public domain or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Date of Birth: March 24, 1755

Place of Birth: Scarborough, Massachusetts (now Maine)

Date of Death: April 29, 1827

Place of Death: Jamaica, Queens, New York City, New York, U.S.

Ethnicity: English

Rufus King was an American politician, lawyer, and diplomat. A member of the Federalist Party, he served as a U.S. Senator from New York, from July 25, 1789 to May 23, 1796, and again, from March 4, 1813 to March 4, 1825, and a U.S. Minister to Great Britain, from July 26, 1796 to May 16, 1803, and again, from November 11, 1825 to May 10, 1826.

He was the Federalist Party’s nominee for Vice President of the United States, in 1804 and 1808, and was the Federalist Party’s de facto nominee for President of the United States, in 1812 and 1816. He was the Federalist Party’s last presidential candidate.

Rufus was the son of Isabella/Sebella (Bragdon) and Richard King. After his mother’s death, he was raised by his father and stepmother, Mary (Black). His son, John A. King, was a politician, who was a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York, from March 4, 1849 to March 3, 1851, and Governor of New York, from January 1, 1857 to December 31, 1858. His great-great-great-granddaughter was actress Jane Wyatt. His great-great-great-great-grandson was guitarist, singer, and songwriter David Crosby.

Rufus was married to Mary Alsop King, with whom he had seven children.

Through his mother, he was a first cousin, twice removed, of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Rufus’ maternal grandparents, Samuel Bragdon and Tabitha Banks, were also Henry’s paternal great-great-grandparents.

Rufus’s paternal grandfather was John King (the son of John King and Mary Milk). Rufus’s grandfather John likely was born in Kent, England. Rufus’s great-grandfather John was the son of Daniel King and Tabitha Walker. Mary was the daughter of John Milk, who was born in Norfolk, and of Sarah Weston.

Rufus’s paternal grandmother was Mary Stowell (the daughter of David Stowell and Mary Stedman). Rufus’s grandmother Mary was born in Massachusetts. David was born in Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Stowell, who was born in Bath, Somerset, England, and of Mary Farrow. Rufus’s great-grandmother Mary was also born in Massachusetts, and was the daughter of Nathaniel Stedman, who was born in Biddenden, Kent, England, and of Temperance.

Rufus’s maternal grandfather was Samuel Bragdon (the son of Samuel Bragdon and Isabella Austin). Rufus’s grandfather Samuel was born in York, York Co., Maine. Rufus’s great-grandfather Samuel was the son of Samuel Bragdon, whose father likely was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England, and of Mary Moulton, whose father was also English. Isabella was the daughter of Matthew Austin and Mary Davis.

Rufus’s maternal grandmother was Tabitha Banks (the daughter of Joseph Banks and Elizabeth Harmon). Tabitha was born in York, York Co., Maine. Joseph was the son of Richard Banks, who was born in Alkham, Kent, England, and of Elizabeth Alcock. Rufus’s great-grandmother Elizabeth was the daughter of John Harmon and Elizabeth Cummings.

Sources: Genealogies of Rufus King –

2 Responses

  1. andrewcoe says:

    Through his mother, Isabella Bragdon, he was 1st cousin 2x removed to poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

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