John Anthon

John Anthon (born in Detroit, May 14, 1784; died in New York City, March 5, 1863) was an American jurist.[1]

John Anthon
Born(1784-05-14)May 14, 1784
DiedMarch 5, 1863(1863-03-05) (aged 78)
Alma materColumbia College (1801)
OccupationJurist, founder of New York Law Institute
Judith Hone
(m. 1810; his death 1863)
Parent(s)George Christian Anthon
Genevieve Jadot
RelativesCharles Anthon (brother)
Marion Graves Anthon (granddaughter)

Early life

Anthon was born in Detroit on May 14, 1784. He was the son of Geneviève Jadot (1763–1821),[2] a descendant of Louis Hebert, one of the earliest European settlers of New France (present day Quebec),[3] and George Christian Anthon (1734–1815), a German-American physician who served in the British Army during the American Revolution until the surrender of Detroit in 1796. He attained the rank of surgeon general, resigned, married the daughter of a French officer, and settled in New York City. His brother, Henry Anthon (1795-1861), was a noted clergyman.[4] Another brother, Charles Anthon (1797–1867),[5] was a noted educator and classical scholar.[6]

In 1786, the family moved to New York where Anthon received a classical education,[7] and then attended Columbia College from which he graduated in 1801 at the head of his class.[1]


He then studied law, and, upon attaining his majority, was admitted to the bar in 1805. He started a practice in New York City around 1807, initially in the Mayor's (or Municipal) Court.[8] He was a prominent defense attorney and,[9] in his practice, was described thusly:

Anthon had the reputation of being the best practitioner at the New York bar. Although somewhat brusque in manner and possessed of a displeasing voice, he showed great skill in marshaling facts and in legal exposition and analysis."[1]

During the War of 1812, he was in command of a company of militia, and served in the defence of New York City.[8] He was also frequently employed during this period as judge advocate.[10] The establishment of the Supreme Court of the City of New York is largely due to his efforts, he having successfully urged its necessity upon the state legislature.[1] He was one of the founders of the New York Law Institute,[11] becoming its president in 1852[7] and continuing until his death.[1]

Personal life

In 1810, he married Judith Hone (1792–1875).[7] Together, they had thirteen children, including:[2]

  • George Anthon (1811–1816), who died young.[2]
  • Joanna Anthon (1814–1893), who died unmarried.[2][12]
  • Caroline Anthon (1814–1871)[2]
  • Geneviève Anthon (1816–1865),[13] who married William Mott Callender in 1845.[2]
  • John Hone Anthon (1819–1821), who died young.[2]
  • Frederick Anthon (1820–1868)[2]
  • Charles Edward Anthon (1822–1883), a prominent numismatist.[2]
  • John Anthon[2]
  • Philip Hone Anthon (1825–1861)[2][14]
  • William Henry Anthon (1827–1875),[15] a lawyer and Staten Island assemblyman who married Sarah Attwood Meert (d. 1911), daughter of Joseph Michel Meert,[16] in 1850.[17][18]
  • Elizabeth Van Shaick Anthon (1828–1832), who died young.[2]
  • Edward Anthon (1831–1832), who died young.[2]
  • John Hone Anthon (1832–1874),[2] a lawyer who served as Assistant District Attorney under A. Oakey Hall.[19][20]

Anthon died on March 5, 1863 in Manhattan.[4]


Through his daughter Genevieve, he was the grandfather of William Stanhope Callender (d. 1900).[2][21]

Through his son William, he was the grandfather of Marie Theresa Anthon (d. 1933),[11] who married her cousin, William Stanhope Callender,[22][2] and of the prominent socialite of the Gilded Age Marion Graves Anthon (1853–1915),[23] who was married to Stuyvesant Fish (1851–1923), the director of the National Park Bank of New York City and president of the Illinois Central Railroad and was the son of Hamilton Fish (1808–1893), who served as a U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, Lt. Governor of New York, Gov. of New York, and U.S. Secretary of State.[24]


  • An Analytical Abridgment of Blackstone's Commentaries, with a prefatory essay "On the Study of Law" (2d ed., 1832)
  • Reports of Cases at Nisi Prius in the New York Supreme Court (1820)
  • Anthon's Law Student
  • Digested Index to the Reported Decisions of the United States Courts (5 vols., 1813)
  • American Precedents and Declarations (1810)


  1. Hannan, Caryn (1998). Michigan Biographical Dictionary. State History Publications. pp. 19–20. ISBN 9781878592958. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  2. Anthon, Marie Madeleine Geneviève (1901). The Ancestry of Geneviève Jadot Anthon. p. 41. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  3. Anthon, Marie Madeleine Genevieve. The Ancestry of Genevieve Jadot Anthon, 1901.
  4. Anthon, Charles Edward (1872). Narrative of the settlement of George Christian Anthon in America : and of the removal of the family from Detroit, and its establishment in New York City. New York: Bradstreet Press. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  5. "THE ANTHON CABINET.; SALE OF VERY RARE AND VALUABLE COINS --THE PRICES OBTAINED". The New York Times. 10 November 1882. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  6. Kime, Wayne (2006). Pierre M. Irving and Washington Irving: A Collaboration in Life and Letters. Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press. p. 8. ISBN 9780889207455. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  7. Knott, H. W. Howard (1927). "Anthon, John". Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
  8. Resch, John P. (2009). Suffering Soldiers: Revolutionary War Veterans, Moral Sentiment, and Political Culture in the Early Republic. University of Massachusetts Press. ISBN 978-1558497887. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  9. Lawson, John Davison (1914). American State Trials: A Collection of the Important and Interesting Criminal Trials which Have Taken Place in the United States from the Beginning of Our Government to the Present Day. Thomas Law Books. p. 787. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  10. "News in Brief". Columbia Medicine Magazine. 30 May 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  11. "MRS. W. S. CALLENDER, OCTOGENARIAN, DIES; Was the Sister of Late New York Society Leader, Mrs. Stayvesant Fish". The New York Times. 29 October 1933. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  12. "DIED. Anthon". The New York Times. 24 March 1893. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  13. "DIED. CALLENDER". The New York Times. 4 August 1865. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  14. "DIED. ANTHON". The New York Times. 24 October 1861. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  15. "OBITUARY.; GEN. WILLIAM HENRY ANTHON". The New York Times. 9 November 1875. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  16. "MRS. WM. H. ANTHON BURIED.; Mother of Mrs. Stuyvesant Fish and Mrs. William S Callender". The New York Times. 16 April 1911. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  17. College, Radcliffe (1971). Notable American Women, 1607–1950: A Biographical Dictionary. Harvard University Press. p. 620. ISBN 9780674627345. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  18. "PRICES OF RARE COINS.; THE SALE OF THE ANTHON COLLECTION BROUGHT TO A CLOSE". The New York Times. 19 November 1879. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  19. "OBITUARY. PAST GRAND MASTER JOHN H. ANTHON". The New York Times. 30 October 1874. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  20. "FUNERAL OF JOHN H. ANTHON". The New York Times. 2 November 1874. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  21. "DIED. Callender". The New York Times. 17 December 1900. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  22. "MARRIED. Callender--Anthon". The New York Times. 30 June 1896. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  23. Ainslee's Magazine. Howard, Ainslee & Company. 1902. p. 406. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  24. "MRS. FISH, LEADER OF SOCIETY, DEAD; Wife of Stuyvesant Fish Dies Suddenly of Cerebral Hemorrhage at Glenclyffe. WAS LAVISH ENTERTAINER Her Mother Goose and Flower Balls Were Features of Newport -- Gave Liberally to Charity". The New York Times. 27 May 1915. Retrieved 7 April 2017.