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Lewis Stuyvesant Chanler (September 24, 1869 Newport, Rhode Island - February 28, 1942 ) was a New York lawyer and politician.



He was the son of John Winthrop Chanler and Margaret Astor Ward.[1] He attended Columbia University where he received his LL.B. in 1891. Then he attended Cambridge University, matriculating in 1894. He became a lawyer, and practiced in New York.

He was elected Lieutenant Governor of New York in 1906 on the combined ticket of the Democratic Party and the Independence League, defeating the incumbent M. Linn Bruce, although his running mate William Randolph Hearst was defeated in his quest for the governorship by Republican Charles Evans Hughes. As the sitting lieutenant governor, he ran as the Democratic candidate for Governor against the incumbent Hughes in 1908 and was defeated. This candidacy was opposed by Hearst, who lampooned him in a series of cartoons.

While a resident of Barrytown, Dutchess County, New York, he was a member of the New York State Assembly from Dutchess County's 2nd District from 1910 to 1912. Franklin D. Roosevelt had at first thought of running for this seat in the assembly, but Chanler refused to give it up. Thus, Roosevelt ran for the senate instead.

About 1920, Chanler and his first wife divorced and the next year he married Julia Benkard, also a recent divorcee with two daughters of her own. The family bought a new home at 132 East 65th Street, in New York City. This house was later christened Caravan House.

Julia was first introduced to the Bahá'í Faith in 1925, and joined after a short time. Becoming on intimate terms with Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, the three of them formed the New History Society. Several works were published by the Society both before, during and after the events which led to their expulsion from the Bahá'í community by Shoghi Effendi in 1939. Sohrab taught classes on the Bahá'í Faith and when the local New York administration stated that these classes must be under their authority, the group challenged and then were expelled from the movement. During this time they created the Caravan of East and West which was an educational organization designed to prepare members for membership in the Bahá'í Faith. They continued and greatly expanded their work in New York City. After the deaths of Sohrab and Julie, the Society appears to have vanished, but the Caravan lived on and still exists as a non-profit, at the same address.

He died in 1942 at his home in New York City. His obituary appeared in the New York Times on Mar 4. His funeral was conducted at St Mark's-in-the-Bouwerie by Rev. C.A.W. Brocklebank. After the scriptural reading, Mirza Ahmad Sohrab read from "the service for the departed" of the Bahá'í religion. Chanler was buried at St Paul's Churchyard in Glen Cove, Long Island.

Marriages and Children

Lewis Stuyvesant Chanler (1869-1942) m.1st 1890 (div) Alice Chamberlain (1868-1955), m.2nd 1921 Julie (Olin) Benkard (1882-1961) (she had previously married a Benkard).

  1. Lewis Stuyvesant Chanler Jr. (1891-1963), m.1st around 1920 Leslie Murray, m.2nd after 1940 Mary Kroehle
    1. Susan Chanler (1921-1996), m. Clifford E. Herrick, Jr. (1916-1978)
    2. Bronson Winthrop Chanler (1922-2009), m. Evelyn Williams Rogers (1931)
    3. Clare Chanler (1927-1992), m.Bayard Forster (1924-2001)
    4. Rosanna Chanler (1930), m. Montgomery Harris
  2. Alida Chanler (1894-1983), m. William Christian Bohn
  3. William Chamberlain Chanler (1895-1981), m. Frances Randall Williams

See also

External links


Political offices
Preceded by
John Raines
Lieutenant Governor of New York
1907 - 1908
Succeeded by
Horace White
Party political offices
Preceded by
William Randolph Hearst
Democratic Nominee for Governor of New York

Succeeded by
John Alden Dix
New York Assembly
Preceded by
New York State Assembly, Dutchess County 2nd District
1910 - 1912
Succeeded by


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