James I. Roosevelt

For other persons with similar names, see James Roosevelt (disambiguation)
James I. Roosevelt

c. 1855
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 3rd district
In office
March 4, 1841  March 4, 1843
Preceded by Moses H. Grinnell
Edward Curtis
James Monroe
Ogden Hoffman
Succeeded by Jonas P. Phoenix
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the New York district
In office
January 1, 1840  December 31, 1840
In office
January 1, 1835  December 31, 1835
Personal details
Born James John Roosevelt
December 14, 1795 (1795-12-14)
New York City, New York
Died April 5, 1875 (1875-04-06) (aged 79)
New York City, New York
Citizenship  United States
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Cornelia Van Ness
Children 11
Parents James Jacobus Roosevelt
Maria Van Schaak
Alma mater Columbia College

James John Roosevelt, known as James I. (December 14, 1795 – April 5, 1875) was an American politician, jurist, businessman, and member of the Roosevelt family.[1]

Early life

James I, the Roman numeral was used to distinguish him from others of the same name, was born on December 14, 1795 in New York City to James Jacobus Roosevelt (1759–1840) and Maria Van Schaak (1773–1845) and baptized at the Dutch Reformed Church.[2] He was a great-grandson of Johannes Roosevelt, the founder of the Oyster Bay branch of the Roosevelt family. His brother Cornelius Roosevelt was the father of James A. Roosevelt, Robert Roosevelt, and Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. as well as paternal grandfather of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Roosevelt graduated from Columbia College in 1815 and was admitted to the bar in 1818, becoming a partner of Peter Jay (son of John Jay), with a practice in New York City.[2]


An active Democrat, he campaigned for Andrew Jackson for president in 1828. He was elected alderman in 1828 and 1830, was a member of the New York State Assembly in 1835 and 1840, and served in the United States Congress from 1841 to 1843, but declined to seek reelection.[2]

Roosevelt became a justice of the New York Supreme Court in 1851, and during one term was ex officio judge of the State Court of Appeals. From 1860 to 1861, he was the 15th U.S. District Attorney for Southern New York. He studied foreign law in the courts of England, the Netherlands, and France.[1]

In business, Roosevelt followed in the tradition of his father as a hardware merchant. He engaged in farming after retiring. He was the first president of Roosevelt Hospital, which was founded by his cousin James H. Roosevelt.[1]

Personal life

On May 30, 1831 Roosevelt married Cornelia Van Ness (1810–1876) in Paris, the daughter of Cornelius P. Van Ness (1782–1852) and Rhoda Savage (d. 1834), and the niece of William P. Van Ness and John Peter Van Ness.[3] The American Revolution war hero, the Marquis de Lafayette (1757–1834), was among their guests.

James and Cornelia Roosevelt had eleven children, all but three of whom died in childhood or early adulthood. Their children included:[4]

Roosevelt died on April 5, 1875 at his home, 836-838 Broadway in New York City, following complications sustained after he broke his thigh bone in a fall.[2] He was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.[1][5] Cornelia Roosevelt died in Paris on February 14, 1876.[3]

Roosevelt's estate was worth in excess of US$2,000,000 (equivalent to $43,169,697 in 2015) at the time of his death, and left funds for his family and the family of his wife.[6]


His granddaughter, Cornelia Roosevelt, through his son Charles Yates Roosevelt, married Baron Clemens von Zedlitz of Austria in 1889,[7] son of Baron Joseph von Zedlitz, who drowned in a collision with the German emperor's yacht in 1901.[4] His daughter-in-law's nephew, David Bruce-Brown (1887–1912), was in the inauguaral running of the Indianapolis 500 in 1911.[8]


  1. 1 2 3 4 "ROOSEVELT, James I. - Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "THE DEATH OF JUDGE ROOSEVELT. | ACTION OF THE CITY AND STATE COURTS TRIBUTES OF RESPECT TO HIS MEMORY.". The New York Times. April 7, 1875. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  3. 1 2 "OBITUARY. | MRS. CORNELIA ROOSEVELT.". The New York Times. February 20, 1876. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  4. 1 2 3 Whittelsey, Charles Barney (1902). The Roosevelt Genealogy, 1649-1902. Hartford, Connecticut: Press of J.B. Burr & Company. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  5. "FUNERAL OF MRS. ROOSEVELT.". The New York Times. April 24, 1876. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  6. "JUDGE ROOSEVELT'S WILL.". The New York Times. April 17, 1875. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  7. "MARRIED BY BISHOP POTTER | MISS CORNELIA ROOSEVELT BECOMES THE BARONESS VON ZEDLITZ.". The New York Times. February 3, 1889. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  8. Winship, Kihm (27 September 2009). "The Loney Family - Skaneateles". kihm6.wordpress.com. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Moses H. Grinnell
Edward Curtis
James Monroe
Ogden Hoffman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 3rd congressional district

with Charles G. Ferris, Fernando Wood, and John McKeon
Succeeded by
Jonas P. Phoenix
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