Cornelius Van Schaack Roosevelt
January 30, 1794
New York City, U.S.
|Died||July 17, 1871 (aged 77)|
(m. 1821; her death 1861)
|Parent(s)||James Jacobus Roosevelt|
Maria Van Schaack
|Relatives||See Roosevelt family|
Cornelius Van Schaack "C.V.S." Roosevelt (January 30, 1794 - July 17, 1871) was an American businessman from New York City. He was also a member of the prominent Roosevelt family and the paternal grandfather of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt.
Cornelius Van Schaack Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1794, in New York City, to James Jacobus Roosevelt and Maria Helen Van Schaack. He was the last full-blooded Dutch Roosevelt of his line. His great-grandfather was Johannes Roosevelt, the founder of the Oyster Bay branch of the Roosevelt family. Through his grandfather Cornelius Van Schaack Jr., he was a grandnephew of Peter van Schaack and great-great-grandson of Maria Schuyler from the Schuyler family. Through Maria, he was a great-great-great-grandnephew of Dutch-American settler Philip Pieterse Schuyler and a great-great-great-grandson of David Pieterse Schuyler.
Cornelius's younger brother, James John Roosevelt, served as a United States Congressman from New York from 1841 until 1843. He attended Columbia College but academic life did not suit him, and he did not graduate.
In 1818, after leaving college, he became his father's partner in importing hardware. "Economy is my doctrine at all times," he once said, "at all events till I become, if it is to be so, a man of fortune." At his insistence, the focus of the business changed from hardware to plate glass. After his father's death in 1840, he inherited a large fortune, and was one of the five richest men in New York City. He continued to work in the business until his retirement in 1865.
In 1844, when New York Chemical Manufacturing Company's original charter expired, the chemical company was liquidated and was reincorporated as a bank only, becoming the Chemical Bank of New York in 1844. Roosevelt was among the bank's first directors under its new charter along with John D. Wolfe, Isaac Platt and Bradish Johnson, as well as the bank's president John Q. Jones. The company sold all remaining inventories from the chemical division as well as real estate holdings by 1851 and later became the present day Chase Bank.
On October 9, 1821, he married Margaret Barnhill (1799-1861), a daughter of Robert Craig Barnhill (1754-1814) and Elizabeth Potts (1758-1807). Margaret was a descendant of English and Irish Quakers as well as a descendant of Thomas Pott, of Wales. Together, Cornelius and Margaret had six sons: Silas Weir Roosevelt, James Alfred Roosevelt, Cornelius Van Schaack Roosevelt, Jr., Robert Barnhill Roosevelt, Theodore "Thee" Roosevelt, Sr., and William Wallace Roosevelt. When each of his sons married, he gifted them houses in New York.
On July 17, 1871, Cornelius died at his home in Oyster Bay, New York. The New York Times memorialized him as a "merchant of the old school". His estate was valued at between $3 million and $7 million.
Roosevelt's grandchildren include John Ellis Roosevelt (1853-1939), president of the Elkhorn Valley Coal Land Company; William Emlen Roosevelt (1857-1930), a banker and president of Roosevelt & Son; Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), the future President of the United States from September 14, 1901 until March 4, 1909; and Granville Roland Fortescue (1875-1952), an author and soldier. One of his great-granddaughters was First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. One of his 2x great-grandson was Sir Humphrey Clarke, 5th Baronet (1906-1973).