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Oliver Belmont

Oliver Belmont
Born November 12, 1858
New York City, New York,
United States
Died June 10, 1908
Hempstead, New York,
United States
Resting place Woodlawn Cemetery
Residence Belcourt Castle
Education St. Paul's School, United States Naval Academy
Occupation Businessman, Politician
Known for Belcourt Castle
Political party Democrat
Board member of Day and Night Bank
Spouse(s) 1) Sara Swan Whiting
2) Alva Erskine Smith Vanderbilt
Children Natica (1882-1908)
Parents August Belmont & Caroline Slidell Perry
Relatives Brothers: Perry, August II

Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont (November 12, 1858 – June 10, 1908) was a wealthy American socialite and United States Representative from New York.



Born in New York City to August and Caroline Belmont. Oliver's father was August Belmont, a Hessian Jew who came to the United States in 1837 as an agent for the Rothschilds, and accumulated enormous personal wealth. (The oldest race in the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, is named for August Belmont). His mother was the daughter of Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, who was renown for commanding the naval expedition that opened Japan in 1853-54. His maternal great uncle and namesake was Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the victor of the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813.

Belmont attended St. Paul's School, Concord, New Hampshire, and graduated from the United States Naval Academy on June 10, 1880. He was commissioned as a midshipman and served until June 1, 1881, when he resigned. In 1882, Oliver married Sara Swan Whiting, who was pregnant with his child, in Newport, but they divorced the same year. Natica was adopted by her stepfather and became a prominent New York socialite who was close friends with Alva Belmont. She died accidentally from gas lamp asphyxiation in 1908. [1]

Belcourt castle

Belcourt, Belmont's summer estate in Newport, RI.

Oliver received a huge inheritance when his father died in 1890. Oliver was a bachelor at the time of his father's death and decided to build a summer house in Newport. Richard Morris Hunt was the architect for Oliver's Newport mansion, Belcourt Castle. Belmont designed Belcourt as he pleased. Hunt was hesitant with the design of Belcourt, but he concentrated on his guiding principle that it was his client's money he was spending. The entire first floor was composed of a multitude of stables for Belmont's prized horses. The monumental Gothic rooms with their huge stained-glass windows were emblazoned with the Belmont coat of arms.

On January 11, 1896 Belmont married Alva Vanderbilt, the ex-wife of William Kissam Vanderbilt.

Belmont was at one time a member of the banking firm of August Belmont and Co., New York City. He became publisher of the Verdict, a weekly paper.

Belmont served as delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1900, and was elected as a Democrat from New York's 13th District to the Fifty-seventh Congress (March 4, 1901-March 3, 1903). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1902.

Oliver Belmont died on June 10, 1908 in Hempstead, New York. and was interred in the Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx. His mausoleum, designed by Richard Morris Hunt, is an exact replica of the Chapel of St. Hubert at Château d'Amboise in France.


External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York

? – ?
Succeeded by

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.



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