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Ralph Isaacs Ingersoll

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ralph Isaacs Ingersoll
16th U.S. Minister to the Russian Empire
In office
August 8, 1846 – July 1, 1848
Preceded byCharles Stewart Todd
Succeeded byArthur P. Bagby
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's At-large district
In office
March 4, 1825 – March 3, 1833
Preceded bySamuel A. Foot
Succeeded bySamuel A. Foot
4th Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives
In office
Preceded bySeth Preston Beers
Succeeded bySamuel A. Foot
Member of the Connecticut House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1789-02-08)February 8, 1789
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
DiedAugust 26, 1872(1872-08-26) (aged 83)
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
Resting placeGrove Street Cemetery
Political partyToleration (1820-1825)
Anti-Jacksonian (1825-1833)
Margaret Van den Heuvel
(m. 1814; his death 1872)
Children7, including Charles Roberts, Colin Macrae
ParentsJonathan Ingersoll
Grace Isaacs Ingersoll
RelativesCharles A. Ingersoll (brother)
Alma materYale College

Ralph Isaacs Ingersoll (February 8, 1789 – August 26, 1872) was a lawyer, politician, and diplomat who served as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives, where he was Speaker of the House, a United States Representative from Connecticut for four consecutive terms from 1825 to 1833, and was the U.S. Minister to the Russian Empire under President James K. Polk in the late 1840s.

Early life

Ingersoll was born in New Haven, Connecticut on February 8, 1789.[1] He was the son of Judge Jonathan Ingersoll (1747–1823) and Grace (née Isaacs) Ingersoll (1772–1850). His father was a judge of the Supreme Court and Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut up until his death in 1823.[2]

His maternal grandfather, and namesake, was Ralph Isaacs, Jr., a Yale educated merchant who was prominent in New Haven and Branford, and his paternal grandfather was Rev. Jonathan Ingersoll,[2] chaplain for the Connecticut Troops during the French and Indian War who was the brother of Jared Ingersoll Sr., a British colonial official.[3] His grand-uncle's son, Jared Ingersoll, served as Attorney General of Pennsylvania and was the father of fellow U.S. Representative, Charles Jared Ingersoll, and grandfather of his second cousin, author Edward Ingersoll.[4] His cousin, Ralph Isaacs III, was the father of Mary Esther Malbone Isaacs, who married Chancellor and U.S. Senator Nathan Sanford in 1813.[5]

He pursued classical studies, and was graduated from Yale College in 1808. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1810 and commenced practice in New Haven.[1]


Ingersoll was a member of the State house of representatives from 1820 until 1825 and served as speaker during the last two years. He was elected as an Adams candidate to the Nineteenth and Twentieth Congresses and reelected as an Anti-Jacksonian to the Twenty-first and Twenty-second Congresses, serving from March 4, 1825 until March 3, 1833. He was not a candidate for renomination in 1832.[1]

He resumed the practice of law and was later appointed State's attorney for New Haven County in 1833.[6] He declined the appointment as United States Senator tendered by Governor Henry W. Edwards upon the death of Senator Nathan Smith in 1835.[1]

On August 8, 1846, he was appointed by Democratic President James K. Polk (the former Speaker of the House of Representatives)[7] to serve as the sixteenth U.S. Minister to the Russian Empire.[8] He presented his credentials in Russia on May 30, 1847 and served until he resigned and left his post on July 1, 1848.[9] He again engaged in the practice of law and was Mayors of New Haven in 1851.[1]

Personal life

In 1814, Ingersoll married Margaret Catharine Eleanora Van den Heuvel (1790–1878).[10] Margaret was the daughter of Charlotte Augusta (née Apthorp) and Jan Cornelis Van den Heuvel, the former governor of the Dutch province of Demerara from 1765 to 1770 who later moved to New York.[2] Her maternal grandfather was prominent New York landowner Charles Ward Apthorp and her siblings included younger sisters, Maria Eliza van den Heuvel, who married John Church Hamilton (son of U.S. Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton), and Susan Augusta Van den Heuvel, the mother of Charlotte Augusta Gibbes, wife of John Jacob Astor III, from her marriage to Thomas Stanyarne Gibbes II.[2] Together, Ralph and Margaret were the parents of seven children:[11]

Ingersoll died in New Haven on August 26, 1872 and was buried in Grove Street Cemetery.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "INGERSOLL, Ralph Isaacs - Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e Selleck, A.M., Rev. Charles Melbourne (1896). Norwalk. p. 331. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  3. ^ Goodwin, Nathaniel (1982). Genealogical Notes Or Contributions to the Family History of Some of the First Settlers of Connecticut and Masschusetts. Genealogical Publishing Com. p. 124. ISBN 9780806301594. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  4. ^ Clay, Henry (2015). The Papers of Henry Clay: Secretary of State 1826. University Press of Kentucky. p. 196. ISBN 9780813162461. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  5. ^ Sandford, Ann (2017). Reluctant Reformer: Nathan Sanford in the Era of the Early Republic. SUNY Press. p. 168. ISBN 9781438466958. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  6. ^ "INGERSOLL, Ralph Isaacs". US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  7. ^ Hoopes, Roy (1985). Ralph Ingersoll: a biography. Atheneum. p. 13. ISBN 9780689115547. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  8. ^ Croft, Lee B.; Albrecht, Ashleigh; Cluff, Emily; Resmer, Erica (2010). The Ambassadors: U.S.-To-Russia/Russia-To-U.S. p. 26. ISBN 9780557264698. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Ralph Isaacs Ingersoll - People - Department History". Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs United States Department of State. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  10. ^ Brown, Henry Collins (1917). Valentine's Manual of the City of New York. Valentine Company. p. 163. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  11. ^ a b Cutter, William Richard (1913). New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial. 3. New York, NY: Lewis Historical Publishing Company.
  12. ^ a b Dexter, Franklin Bowditch (1913). Biographical Notices of Graduates of Yale College: Including Those Graduated in Classes Later Than 1815, who are Not Commemorated in the Annual Obituary Records. Yale College. p. 252. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  13. ^ The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography: Being the History of the United States as Illustrated in the Lives of the Founders, Builders, and Defenders of the Republic, and of the Men and Women who are Doing the Work and Moulding the Thought of the Present Time. University Microfilms. 1967. p. 197. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  14. ^ "Colin M. Ingersoll Dead: Pneumonia Carries Off a Man Prominent in Connecticut for Half a Century" (PDF). The New York Times. September 14, 1903.
  15. ^ "INGERSOLL, Colin Macrae - Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 7 September 2018.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Samuel A. Foot
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's at-large congressional district

Succeeded by
Samuel A. Foot
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Charles Stewart Todd
U.S. Minister to the Russian Empire
Succeeded by
Arthur P. Bagby
Political offices
Preceded by
David Daggett
Mayor of New Haven, Connecticut
1830–1831, 1851
Succeeded by
Dennis Kimberly
This page was last edited on 22 September 2020, at 02:12
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