Name: Samuel Latham Mitchell BARLOW
Given Name: Samuel Latham Mitchell
Birth: 5 Jan 1826 in Granville, Massachusetts
Death: 10 Jul 1889 in Glen Cove, NY
America's Successful Men of Affairs: An Encyclopedia of Contemporaneous Biography Volume I
SAMUEL LATHAM MITCHELL BARLOW, lawyer, a native of Granville, Massachusetts born June 05, 1826, died in Glen Cove, L. I., July 10, 1889. He was a son of Samuel Bancroft Barlow, physician, a graduate of Yale and president of the Homeopathic College in New York.
The young man went from public school at the age of sixteen to the law office of Willett & Greig, where he received one dollar a week. Seven years later he was admitted to the bar, and made manager of the firm at a salary of $3,000 a year. Quick, intelligent, and thoroughly versed in the law, he soon gained sufficient confidence to open his own office. During an active practice of forty years, he was identified with many important cases, being noted for his success and acquiring a fortune in his profession. At the age of twenty-three, he had charge of the settlement of claims arising under the treaty with Mexico, from which he received extraordinary fees. His ability to earn large fees was phenomenal. In one instance he received $25,000 for half an hour's work, which was willingly paid, owing to the magnitude of the interests involved and his great tact in effecting an amicable adjustment.
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The firm of Bowdoin, Larocque & Barlow was formed in 1852. After the death of the two senior partners in 1868 and 1870, Joseph Larocque, brother of the original member, William W. MacFarland and Mr. Barlow formed a new firm to which was added in 1873 Judge William D. Shipman, Judge William G. Choate in 1881 taking Mr. MacFarland's place.
A Democrat in politics, Mr. Barlow was for several years a large stockholder in The New York World, and shaped its policy from 1864 to 1869. He was one of the founders of the Manhattan Club and a member of the Union Club. He had a fine collection of paintings and engravings, and his library of early American history was one of the most extensive in existence.
Mr Barlow's wife, Alice Cornell, daughter of Peter Townsend, survived him, as did an only son. His son, PETER TOWNSEND BARLOW, lawyer, was born in New York city, June 21, 1857. He graduated from Harvard University in 1879, fitted himself for the law at the Law School of Columbia College and in the office of Shipman, Barlow, Larocque & Choate. He was married in 1886 to Virginia Louise, daughter of Edward Matthews. Their children are Edward M., and Samuel L.M. Barlow. A gentleman of education and fine mind, he has been elected to membership in many of the best clubs in town, including the University, Harvard, Union, Metropolitan, Players', Tuxedo, Racquet, Down Town and New York Yacht clubs.
Cosmopolitan Magazine - October 1888
The Millionaires of New York, Part II, by Paul R. Cleveland (the photo shown above is from this article)
Samuel L. M. Barlow, one of the very rich lawyers of the city, was born at Granville, Mass., sixty one years ago, but was educated here, and has made this his home ever since. He is often spoken of as an Englishman, perhaps because he has many English friends and affects various English ways. He has a good mind, much diligence, great energy, and, early in his practice, was engaged in several very important railway cases, to which he has mainly confined himself. He married a Miss Townsend, who was rich; he himself has had enormouse fees, and has gained the name as did the late Samuel J. Tilden, of a railway wrecker -- the wrecker, according to popular opinion, taking most of the valuable assets of the corporation, and leaving the nominal assets to the stockholders.
Barlow is a lover of luxury. His home is the double brown-stone house, at Madison avenue and Forty-third street, and is filled with pictures, engravings, bric-a-brac, bronzes, books, and other fine things which men of culture, taste, and wealth enjoy. He has been a collector for years, and may be considered an epicure in various classes. He has a keen relish for delicate viands and choice wines, and his devotion to his table is shown in his ruddy complexion, and the size of his girth. He is very found of whist, and is regarded as an authority on the game. He blends business, pleasure and study gracefully, and is noted for his elegant dinner parties and other social recreations. The great wealth he has gained -- it is put at from six to eight million dollars -- he uses liberally and with refined discretion.
New York Times - July 11, 1889
Samuel Latham Mitchell Barlow, the widely known lawyer and member of the firm of Shipman, Barlow, Larocque, and Choate of 35 William street, died at 8 o'clock yesterday morning at his summer home in Glen Cove L.I., Mr. Barlow had not been in his usual health for several days, but both he and his friends attributed his slight indisposition to the weather. He was at his office on Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday afternoon, however, ex-Judge Shipman noticed that his associate was not appearing as well as he seemed the day before and advised him to go home and see a physician. Mr. Barlow followed his friend's counsel, and when he arrived in Glen Cove, Mrs. Barlow sent for Dr. Smith, the partner of Dr. Fordyce Barker. The physician at once determined that his patient was in danger, and was in constant attendance until he died. With him at the bedside of the dying man were Mrs. Barlow and his two granddaughters, children of Mrs. Stephen H. Olin. Peter T. Barlow, his only son, is now on his way to Europe. The cause of death was heart failure, induced by apoplexy.
Mr. Barlow possessed the reputation of being one of the most successful railway lawyers this country produced. He had a particularly large circle of friends among men holding official positions in this country, England, and France, and made the law firm of which he was a member the representative of a large number of valuable estates of which he had been chosen administrator. He was, until the death of his daughter, Mrs. Olin, several years ago, a prominent figure in the society of this city, and almost rivaled Sam Ward in his tastes as an epicure. His splendid house, at Twenty-third street and Madison-avenue, he stored with art treasures, and his library, richer than any other private collection in America, was gathered by him as a labor of love. He had a great fondness for dogs, too, and at successive shows at the Madison-Square Garden his dogs won prizes in several classes.
Mr. Barlow was born in Granville, Mass., June 5, 1826. He was named for his grandfather, who was an intimate friend of Brillat Bavarin when the famous Frenchman was giving lessons in this city. His father was a physician, Samuel Bancroft Barlow, who married a descendant of Capt. Joe Wadsworth of Charter Oak fame. There were several children by this marriage, S.L.M. Barlow being the eldest. It was intended that he too should be a physician, but the family was poor, and was unable to send him to college. His parents had removed to this city sometime before this, and at the age of fourteen years he entered the law office of Willett & Greigg at a salary of $1 a week. Mr. Barlow frequently told of his hardships at this time. He had served three months without receiving a cent, and he needed new boots. He ventured to ask Mr. Greig for his wages. "Wages, Sir," exclaimed the old Scotchman, "you don't receive wages here, Sir." "You are engaged at a salary of $52 per annum, payable semi-annually."
While office boy, he was sent with a message to Daniel Webster, who took a great fancy to the little chap and kept him with him all day telling him stories about himself. Mr. Barlow treasured this experience until his death. After an apprenticeship lasting seven years, Mr. Barlow was admitted to the bar, and upon the death of Mr. Greig began business for himself. Four years work brought him into considerable prominence, and in 1852 he founded the firm of Bowdoin, Laroque and Barlow in conjunction with Messrs. George R.J. Bowdoin, and Jeremiah Laroque. No sooner had this been done than he began to accumulate large sums of money. A trip to Europe in behalf of an Illinois railway in the year the firm was started brought him $50,000. Another in the interests of the Ohio and Mississippi brought him an equal sum. Nearly thirty years ago Vanderbilt and Aspinwall were fighting over the Nicaragua and Panama business. They would not speak to each other, so bitter was their rivalry. Mr. Barlow had no interest in the suit beyond being a holder of a few shares of Pacific Mail, but he considered the dispute of sufficient importance to warrant his interference. One day he invited the enemies in his house without either knowing of his rival's presence. After a few minutes of Mr. Barlow's exhortations the millionaires shook hands, signed an agreement, and each handed him a check for $5000. The next morning Panama and Pacific Mail stock went away up beyond ....(missing)
At the close of the Franco-Prussian war Mr. Barlow received $25,000 for half an hour's work. Commodore Garrison and some friends had a contract with Gambetta to supply arms to the French Government, involving $1,600,000. Before the contract was filled Gambetta had fallen and Thiera had gained power. The latter deemed the terms exorbitant and repdiated them. There was every prospect of great loss and successive lawsuits. The parties were about to have a receiver appointed and had the arms sold at auction, when Mr. Barlow appeared as representative of a gentleman who had $10,000 in the transaction. He heard all complaints, invited all the malcontents to dine at his house, and after dinner induced them to sign an agreement under which he sent an agent to Paris, where he remained for two months. On his return the goods were ordered shipped to Algiers, and the money was received in this city. Garrison was so delighted that he handed the shrewd lawyer $25,000 for his trouble.
The act for which he gained his widest fame was the lawsuit which expelled Jay Gould from the control of the Erie Railway after the death of James Fisk, Jr. The English and other ill-used stockholders of the railroad had long been lookinf for an opportunity to oust the manipulators into whose hands the property had fallen. Fisk had been a hard fighter and lavished the money he made in keeping the Erie in his power. He and Gould employed distinguished counsel and they kept the two imprgnably intrenched. An effort to end this was made when Fisk was shot. The Grand Opera House, which was used as headquarters for both railway and theater, was carried by storm. It was held against Gould as well as against the processes of the courts, for, when a writ of injunction was obtained by David Dudley Field from Judge Ingrahm and was served upon Mr. Barlow and his associates, they stamped upon it. This was contempt of court, but because of aroused public opinion, it was never punished. A suit was begun against Gould for $10,000,000. He retained able counsel to defend him, but after several weeks of consultation and negotiation he was advised to compormise, which he did, paying the big sum of $9,000,000 in full settlement. Mr. Barlow was elected one of the Directors of the road under the new management, and was retained as its private counsel at a salary of $25,000 a year. This was independent of the fees paid to his firm for its services as attorneys and counselors in court.
Mr. Barlow was a Democrat in politics, and was so during and before the war, when he was an apologist for slavery. He never held any political office. He was a large shareholder in the ill-fated Seawanhaka, on which he was in the habit of making daily trips to Glen Cove. He was aboard of her when she was destroyed by fire. When the Grand Jury considered the Seawanhaka case they brought in indictments against every one interested in her. Mr. Barlow among the rest. No further action, however, was taken.
Mr. Barlow was a member of the Manhattan and Union Clubs of long standing and was distinguised as honorary member of several political organizations, in none of which did he take an active part. He was also a stockholder in the Sun newspaper. Though Mr. Barlow's receipts from his profession were very large, he spent money in speculations very freely. The great diamond fraud of nearly a decade ago cost him, it is said, nearly half a million of dollars.
The firm of which he was a member when he made his first successes was changed in 1868 by the death of Jeremiah Larocque, who was succeeded by his son, Joseph. In 1870, Mr. Bowdoin died and in May, 1873, ex-Judge Shipman became a member , followed in June 1881, by ex-Judge William Choate, and later on by Solomon Hanford. It will be remembered that in September last James E. Bedell, the real estate clerk of the firm, swindled it and its clients out of more than a quarter of a million dollars by means of forged mortgages. The shock which this discovery gave Mr. Barlow he never recovered from. He was prostrated at the time and never thoroughly regained his health. Recent litigation concerning Bedell's operations have worried Mr. Barlow, and it is believed hastened his death.
Mr. Barlow leaves one son, Peter T. Barlow, who is married. His fortune is estimated at nearly $2,000,000.
Father: Samuel Bancroft BARLOW b: 19 Apr 1798 in Granville, Massachusetts
Mother: Alice Cornell TOWNSEND