Biography of Daniel J. Steward
Orange County, NY Biographies





DANIEL JACKSON STEWARD was the great grandson of John Steward 1st who settled in Goshen in 1744, and the son of John Steward 3rd, who, born in Goshen, subsequently moved to New York, where he was for forty years engaged in the business of a wholesale drygoods merchant, acquiring a fortune and distinguished by a reputation for unswerving integrity and uprightness of character.

Daniel Jackson Steward, the subject of this sketch, was the second son of John Steward 3rd, of Goshen, and was born in 1816. He was descended, through his maternal ancestor, Isaac Townsend, of Oyster Bay, L. I., from Capt. John Underhill, the famous fighter of Indians. Though born in New York, Mr. Steward always felt himself to be by inheritance and affection a son of Orange County.

He was a graduate of Princeton and a man of great mental powers and wide learning, equally interested in science and art, a combination of tastes rarely found in the same individual. He was never engaged in active business, but devoted the greater part of his life to scholarly pursuits. A fellow of the National Academy of Design, he was himself an artist of merit, and delighted in his sketches and paintings, to depict the scenery characteristic of Orange County, in his estimation, of unsurpassed beauty. Its graceful elms, giant oaks and chestnuts were his special study and admiration, and the reckless destruction of the county's forests and groves, which during his lifetime he was obliged to witness, occasioned him the deepest regret for economic and climatic reasons, even more than from the standpoint of the artist.

Mr. Steward was one of the incorporators and a patron of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, also of the American Museum of Natural History, being first vice president of the latter for many years. To this museum he presented many fine fossils and Indian remains, some of which were found in Orange County, and also his collection of shells, he being a noted conchologist. This collection, though not the largest, was said to contain rarer and more beautiful specimens than any other private collection of shells in the world, and it can now be seen intact in the museum.

Mr. Steward was widely interested in philanthropic and charitable enterprises. It may be mentioned that he was instrumental in sending to Japan in 1858, and personally supported there for five years, the famous missionary, Dr. Verbeck, to whose influence with the emperor is largely attributed the awakening of Japan, hitherto closed to the world, and its opening to western civilization.

From:
The History of Orange County New York
Edited by: Russel Headley
Van Deusen and Elms, Publishers
Middletown, N. Y. 1908


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