John R. Brady
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John R. Brady
John R. Brady
John Riker Brady.jpg
From the August 11, 1891 edition of The Illustrated American magazine.
Justice of the New York Supreme Court

Judge of the New York City Court of Common Pleas

Personal details
Born(1822-03-09)March 9, 1822
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedMarch 16, 1891(1891-03-16) (aged 69)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Resting placeSt. Patrick's Old Cathedral, New York City
Political partyDemocratic
Judge Brady swears in President Arthur in his apartment

John Riker Brady (March 9, 1822 – March 16, 1891)[1] was an American judge, a Justice of the New York Supreme Court, and best known for administering the presidential oath of office to Chester A. Arthur. He served as president of The Lambs from 1888 to 1890, and was first nontheatrical person to serve as shepherd.[2]

Life and career

John Riker Brady was born in New York City in 1822, the son of Thomas S. Brady, an immigrant from Ireland who became an attorney and judge. John R. Brady studied law with his father and became an attorney. A Democrat, he served as a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas beginning in 1856, and was a New York Supreme Court Justice from 1873 until his death. A highly regarded jurist, he was frequently reelected with support from both Democrats and Republicans.[3]

Brady died in New York City on March 16, 1891. He was buried at St. Patrick's Old Cathedral.


In 1863, Brady was married to Katharine Lydig. They were the parents of two daughters, Mary Madeline (1866-1930) and Katharine Maude (1870-1950), and one son, James T. (died 1884).

Inauguration of Chester Alan Arthur

President James A. Garfield died over two months after he was shot by an assassin, Charles Guiteau. Arthur, then Vice President, became President.

Arthur was at home around midnight on the night of September 19, 1881 with Police Commissioner Stephen B. French, District Attorney Daniel G. Rollins, and attorney Elihu Root, when he learned in a telegram from members of Garfield's cabinet that Garfield had died. The cabinet members wired Arthur their advice that he should "take the oath of office as president of the United States without delay."

It was after midnight when Arthur and his guests dispatched messengers to locate a judge who could administer the presidential oath. The first jurist who could be located in the early morning hours of September 20 was Brady. At about 2 A.M. Brady administered the oath of office to Arthur in Arthur's private apartment at 123 Lexington Avenue in New York City. After traveling to Washington, D.C., Arthur was inaugurated again two days later by Chief Justice of the United States Morrison R. Waite in a public Capitol Hill ceremony.

A three-quarter length seated portrait of Brady was painted in 1889 by the Swiss-born American artist Adolfo Müller-Ury (1862-1947). The New York Tribune, March 13, 1889 commented on this picture that '...The oil painting is an admirable work of art and a striking likeness of the original.' The Rev. Dr. Thomas J. Ducey, of St. Leo's Roman Catholic Church, apparently presented the portrait to the American Bar Association.[]

See also


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ The Lambs Theatre Club. 2006.
  3. ^ 'Herringshaw's Encyclopedia of American Biography of the Nineteenth Century, Thomas William Herringshaw, American Publisher's Association: 1901, pg. 141

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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