Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Stained Glass Window Honoring Philip Pell of the Manor of Pelham in St. Paul's Chapel of Columbia University

Philip Pell is one of the most illustrious and distinguished citizens ever to have lived in Pelham.  Born July 7, 1753, he was the eldest son of Philip and Gloriana (Treadwell) Pell.  He served as Acting Judge Advocate General of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.  He rode with George Washington into Manhattan on Evacuation Day at the close of the War.  He served as a Delegate to the Continental Congress, a member of the New York State Assembly, a Regent of the University of the State of New York, and Surrogate of Westchester County.

Pell lived in a home that he built near today's Colonial Avenue (the old Boston Post Road) and today's Cliff Avenue.  The 1750 date stone from his home that no longer stands is embedded in the side of a monument to Pell standing next to the Pelham Memorial High School.  

Philip Pell has been memorialized by Columbia University as well.  In 1906, Columbia University completed and dedicated the St. Paul's Chapel of Columbia University.  The dome of the chapel includes sixteen stained glass windows that are the work Maitland Armstrong.  Each of the sixteen windows reflects a family coat of arms in honor of important Kings College and Columbia University graduates.  The windows appear in the order of the graduation dates of each of the graduates honored.  The Pell Family coat of arms graces the window in honor of Philip Pell which is the sixth window of the sixteen based on Pell's graduation date of 1770.  

Pell Family Coat of Arms Such as That
Depicted in the Stained Glass Window in the
Dome of St. Paul's Chapel of Columbia University
Honoring Philip Pell of the Manor of Pelham.

Immediately below is a brief article that appeared in the June 1, 1906 issue of The New York Times describing the installation of the sixteen stained glass windows in the chapel dome.

Sixteen Stained Glass Windows Being Erected in the Chapel Dome.

Sixteen stained glass memorial windows, designed and executed by Maitland Armstrong of this city, are being put in the dome of the new chapel of Columbia University, and will be unveiled at commencement.  They are in memory of graduates of Kings College and Columbia University.  Each window contains the family coat of arms of one of the graduates.  The are arranged in chronological order in relation to the date of graduation beginning with Van Cortlandt window, 1758.  Among those graduates commemorated are:

Philip Pell of Pelham Manor, Judge Advocate of the Continental Army and a member of the Society of the Cincinnati.  He rode with Washington to New York when it was evacuated by the British, and was one of the best Greek scholars of his time.

Gov. De Witt Clinton, a member of the de Peyster family.  He was known as 'the father of the Erie Canal,' and was the first student to enter Columbia after it gave up the name of Kings.  He was graduated at the head of his class.

Col. Nicholas Fish, an officer in the Revolution, one of the founders of the Society of the Cincinnati, and an intimate friend of Washington, Lafayette, and Hamilton.

Col. Thomas Barclay, a British Consul General at New York.

James W. Beekman, one of the chief promoters of Central Park.

Robert B. Minturn, a leading merchant of his time.

The following is a complete list of the windows:

1.  Van Cortlandt, class of 1758; given by Robert B. Van Cortlandt.

2.  Anthony Lispenard, class of 1761; given by Lispenard Stewart.

3.  Abraham de Peyster, class of 1763; Frederick J. de Peyster, class of 1862; given by Mrs. Frederic J. de Peyster.

4.  Egbert Benson, class of 1765; given by Julien T. Davies.

5.  Gerard Beekman, class of 1766; Gerard Beekman, class of 1792; James W. Beekman, class of 1834; Henry R. Beekman, class of 1865; given by Gerard Beekman.

6.  Philip Pell, class of 1870 [sic, should be 1770], given by Howland Pell.

7.  Thomas Barclay, class of 1772; given by George L. Rives.

8.  De Witt Clinton, class of 1786; given by Charles L. Clinton.

9.  William C. Rhinelander, class of 1808; given by William Rhinelander Stewart.

10.  Nathaniel Greene Pendleton, class of 1813; given by Francis K. Pendleton.

11.  Nicholas Fish, class of 1817; given by Stuyvesant Fish.

12.  Gouerneur Morris Ogden, class of 1838; given by David B. Ogden.

13.  George L. Kingsland, class of 1856; Ambrose C. Kingsland, class of 1856; given by Mrs. George L. Kingsland.

12. [sic, should be 14.]  Robert B. Minturn, class of 1856; given by Mrs. Robert B. Minturn.

15.  Mahlon Sands, class of 1861; Philip J. Sands, class of 1861; given by Mrs. A. B. Sands.

16.  Louis M. Cheesman, class of 1878; given by Dr. T. M. Cheesman."

Source:  MEMORIALS FOR COLUMBIA -- Sixteen Stained Glass Windows Being Erected in the Chapel Dome, N. Y. Times, Jun. 1, 1906, p. 9, col. 4 (paid subscription required to access link).

St. Paul's Chapel of Columbia University.
Source:  "2014 Columbia University St. Paul's Chapel"
by Beyond My Ken - Own work. Licensed under GFDL
via Wikimedia Commons.  NOTE:  Click Image to Enlarge. 

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I have written extensively about Colonel Philip Pell in the past.  For a few of the many examples of such postings, see:

Fri., Mar. 9, 2007:  Abstract of Will of Philip Pell, Sr. of the Manor of Pelham Prepared in 1751 and Proved in 1752.  [This is an abstract of the will of the father of Col. Philip Pell.] 

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