Leonard Scott and Rebecca Briggs

By Levi Clancy for לוי on

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Leonard's early years

Leonard Scott (July 30th 1810 - February 2nd 1895) was born to first cousins Mark Scott and Mehitable Scott (Dolliver 1898, p 74).

Leonard's father had taken his bride and children to a farm in New Brunswick, Canada, where Leonard was born as the youngest of eleven children. Leonard's father built a school for the community and brought over from England a teacher for his family named Mr. Brown. Leonard was the youngest pupil and out-spelled everybody in the spelling bee. Recognizing Leonard's intelligence, his father sent him to visit relatives in New York to get better access to education. Later, Leonard traveled throughout America and Europe and finally settled in New York.

Washington Academy was established in 1823, and had for its first Principal, Solomon Adams. Among the natives of East Machias who received their academical training at this institution should be mentioned, Samuel Harris, D.D., of Yale College; Prof. Roswefl D. Hitchcock, Union Theological Seminary; William C. Talbot, San Francisco, capitalist; Andrew J. Pope, of the same city, who died in January, 1879, leaving an estate valued at $3,000,00O; Frederic Talbot, New York; Charles H. Talbot, Providence; P. Foster Folsom, Boston; Rev. M. J. Talbot, D.D.; Rev. Henry L. Talbot; Thomas H. Talbot, Brookline, Mass.; Hon. Geo. F. Talbot; Hon. John C. Talbot; Leonard Scott, of the L. Scott Publishing Company, New York; Hon. Stephen C. Foster, member of Congress from Maine, two terms; Stephen C. and Lowell Talbot, New York, and others, if space would allow.

Leonard finally settled in New York where he met Rebecca Briggs.

Rebecca's early years

Rebecca (1811 [NY] - 1896) was born to Edward Briggs.

rebecca briggs scott
Rebecca Scott

Rebecca Briggs' daughter Eva Scott Muse Fenyes traced her maternal heritage to the arrival of the Mayflower in 1620 (to Francis Cooke and Robert Warren) as well as to the Withrops of the 1630 Winthrop Fleet. Rebecca's father "had two large estates in the Bronx that were outside New York on the Bronx River."

Born1811 Nov 20Born to Edward and Hannah Briggs. Possibly ten siblings.
Married1840 May 20Married Leonard Scott.
Died1896 JunDied June 3 (or 13) of 1896.

Leonard and Rebecca

Rebecca and Leonard were instantly attracted to each other upon meeting, although Rebecca was already promised and engaged to a much older wealthy man. Rebecca's father forbade her from seeing Leonard. Rebecca thus kept to her sick bed while: Leonard Scott grew rich; Edward Briggs died; and her fiancee married another. Leonard proposed again, and after their May 20th 1840 wedding he and Rebecca were embarked in a worldwide sailing voyage for their honeymoon. They oft sailed together until Rebecca's death of heart failure on June 3/13 of 1896. She was buried in New York. Their only recorded tiff was when Leonard divulged Rebecca's age on her 80th birthday. She referred to him as her Lord and Master.

Birth of Eva (1849)

Their first child was weak and died soon after birth, but Eva thrived.

World travelers

Bahamas castaways

At age 20, Leonard fell ill and spent the rest of his life searching for a hospitable climate for what we now know was a punctured lung and bad kidneys.

Leonard loved to rhyme and prose, was fluent in French and wrote to famous Americans such as Oliver Wendell Holmes and received replies.

Leonard's interests were international, not only turning around a failed publishing company, but also publishing his own book on current affairs in France.

Rebecca and Leonard took a long sailing trip to the Bahamas and were shipwrecked there. Upon their return to New York (much later than anticipated), news of their adventure was published in the New York Sunday Times.

Real estate

Following his success in publishing, Leonard expanded his real estate portfolio with property around New York and other states, and some in Manhattan.

Leonard also invested in stock, bonds and railroads. His interests included poetry, health cures, animals, politics, religion, real estate, Napoleon, the penal system and history. His daughter Mrs. Fenyes adopted his interests particularly regarding real estate and Napoleon (and France in general). He refused to ride public transit and had his own street car instead. Leonard stressed two points to his daughter, "Always invest in real estate" and "Never put your money in one bank."

Leonard died alone as Eva and Leonora were in Switzerland. He was buried beside Rebecca in a New York cemetery. Leonard's death was noted in all the New York newspapers.

1810 Jul 30Born in New Brunswick, Canada.
1840 May 20Married Rebecca Briggs.
1878After their daughters first marriage, Rebecca and Leonard took a sailing trip to the Bahamas. They were shipwrecked in the Bahamas and resided in a mission, befriending the natives until rescue arrived. Leonard kept copious notes, and news of the wreck was printed in the New York Sunday Times upon their return to New York.
?Leonards rhymes about the 19th century stock market were published in the New York Herald, and received many positive responses.
1880Eva had paintings done of her parents by William Merritt Chase, 1880. Oil on canvas. Rebecca Scott (age 69) and Leonard Scott (age 70).
Leonard was heartbroken by Rebecca's death. She had been sewing lace on a flannel petticoat for her daughter when her heart stopped. Her needle was still in her hand.
1895 FebDied February 1895. He was alone, as his daughter was in Switzerland (for her weight and arthritis) with his granddaughter. He was buried besides Rebecca in a New York cemetery.

Leonard's heritage

Leonard Scott wrote a poem called Pedigree Song that mentioned his ancestor Sylvanus Marston jumping ship in Portsmouth, Maine.

The Scott family, according to my mother -- Eva Scott Muse Fenyes -- the ancestor was high-jacked in England to be a sailor against his will because at that time it was almost impossible to hire sailors for sailing ships in usual ways. After he had been working on ship for a while he jumped off the boat in East Machias Bay in Maine. He found a house on shore which gave him shelter and later he married the daughter who lived in the house. Later we find the descendants as farmers in the same area in Main and some of them moved to new Brunswick, Canada.Leonora Curtin

Samuel Scott (1723 - 1793 [Maine]) founded Machias, Maine (Dolliver 1898, p 74). He was a member of the Committee of Correspondence of Machias. He married Susan Perry in 1743 and they had at least one child, Mark Scott.

Mark Scott (born 1763 in Scarboro, ME - ? in Ohio) was born to In 1779. He was a private in Capt John Scott's company, Col Benjamin Foster's regiment. Mark married his first cousin Mehitable Scott in 1786. His parents were Samuel Scott and Susan Perry. They had eleven children, including Leonard Scott.

Mehitable Scott was born to Silvanus Scott and Sarah Andrews. Silvanus Scott (born 1736 - died 1784) gave both civil and military service. He married Sarah Andrews in 1757 and they had at least one child, Mehitable Scott. Mehitable married her first cousin Mark Scott in 1786 (Dolliver 1898, p 74). They had eleven children, including Leonard Scott.


  • Pasadena Museum of History

  • Dolliver, Louise Pearsons. 1898. Lineage Book: Daughters of the American Revolution, Volume XXIII.