A member of the Dart family sailed from England in or about the year 1652, bringing with him to America the original patent from the crown for the township of New London, Connecticut. The family have their coat-of-arms.
Richard Dart, immigrant ancestor, came from Dartmouth, England, to New London, Conn., and bouight the William Welman house and lot Sept. 12, 1664, residing there until his death Sept. 24, 1724, aged eighty-nine years. His sister Anna married in 1659 Benjamin Brewster, and lived on Brewster Neck.
Richard Dart married Bethia _____.
Children, born at New London:
Daniel May 3, 1666, mentioned below.
Richard, May 7, 1667.
Roger, Nov. 27, 1670.
Ebenezer, Feb. 18, 1672-73.
Bethia, married Joseph Chapel.
(II) Daniel, son of Richard Dart, was born at New London, May 3, 1666. In 1716 he removed to Bolton in Hartford county, Conn. He married, Aug. 4, 1686, Elizabeth Douglass, believed to be daughter of William and Ann Douglass.
Thomas, born July 8, 1687.
Elizabeth, Oct. 14, 1689.
Daniel, Aug. 31, 1691.
John, Dec. 2, 1693.
Mercy, Nov. 13, 1695.
Ebenezer, May 16, 1698.
Abiah, Dec. 2, 1701.
Lydia, Nov. 4, 1703.
Samuel, Dec. 12, 1705.
Jabez, March 12, 1709, mentioned below.
Rachel (or Ruth), Aug. 26, 1711.
(III) Jabez, son of Daniel Dart, was born at New London, March 12, 1709. He lived at Bolton. He married, June 16, 1740, Bathsheba Griswold, who died Feb. 1, 1745-46.
Children, born at Bolton:
Jabez, mentioned below.
Simeon, April 5, 1744.
(IV) Jabez (2) son of Jabez(1) Dart, was born at Bolton, Conn., May 21, 1742. He settled in Vermont and when on his way to locate at Potsdam, New York, died. He married Rachel Mann, who died at Potsdam at the age of one hundred years and six months. Among their children was Simeon, mentioned below.
(V) Simeon, son of Jabez (2) Dart, was born May 14, 1770, at Hartford, Conn., died at West Potsdam, New York, Nov. 11, 1859 (or 1860). He married, Nov. 1797, Phebe Allen, born at Salem, N.Y., Aug. 31, 1778; died at West Potsdam, March 21, 1873. He went to Williston, Vermont with is father, and to Potsdam in 1808. He lived many years on his farm at West Potsdam and died, aged ninety-one years.
Alfred, Sally, Jerusha, Laura, Henry and William Allen, mentioned below.
(VI) Hon. William Allen, son of Simeon Dart, born at West Potsdam, Oct. 25, 1814, died at Potsdam March 8, 1890. During his boyhood he worked on his father's farm. He attended the winter terms of the district school until he was seventeen years old, and then went to St. Lawrence Academy at Potsdam. In winter he taught school to obtain money to pursue his studies.
In 1834 he became a clerk in the law office of Hon. John L. Russell, of Canton. In the spring of 1835 he entered the law office of the late Hon. Horace Allen at Potsdam, who was the first judge of the court of common pleas and surrogate of St. Lawrence county, and he remained until he was admitted to the bar in May, 1840, when he opened his office and began to practice in Potsdam.
In September, 1841, he married Judge Allen's only daughter and soon afterward Mr. Dart succeeded to his practice. In the spring of 1845 Mr. Dart was appointed postmaster of Potsdam and district attorney of the county. At that time the district attorney was appointed by the judges of the court of common pleas, but the constitution of 1846 made the office elective and Mr. Dart declined to be a candidate.
In the fall of 1849 he was elected state senator from the fifteenth district, consisting of the counties of St. Lawrence and Franklin, to succeed Hon. John Fine, of Ogdensburg. He served during the sessions of 1850-51. He took a prominent part and was one of the celebrated twelve Democratic senators who resigned in order to prevent a quorum, thus for a time defeating a bill to enlarge the Erie Canal on credit, believing the bill unconstitutional, as it was afterward declared by the court of appeals. He was, moreover, sustained by his constituents, and re-elected by double his original majority. He declined to be a candidate in 1851, and returned to his practice, which demanded all his time.
In February, 1853, he entered partnership with Edward M. Dewey and Charles O. Tappan under the firm name of Dart, Dewey & Tappan. Mr. Dewey withdrew from the firm in August, 1856, and established himself in practice in Chicago. The firm of Dart & Tappan continued until 1860.
Although he was a Democrat, he was an earnest and active anti-slavery man, and was among the first of his party to join the "Barn-burners," the chief principle of whose platform was "no more slave states." He was on the state committee of that party several years, and was associated with such prominent young Democrats as Samuel J. Tilden, Andrew H. Green, John Bigelow, William Cassady, Peter Cagger and Sanford E. Church. When the anti-slavery wings of both parties were ready to unite, Mr. Dart was one of the four who framed the articles of agreement and the name of Republican party was adopted. After that as long as he lived, Dr. Dart was an earnest and loyal Republican.
In April, 1861, he was appointed by President Lincoln district attorney for northern New York, which then included the whole state outside of New York county, Long Island counties and the Hudson River counties south of Albany and Rensselaer county. The business of the office was increased manifold by the civil war. He was reappointed at the close of his tern in April, 1865. Early in 1866 the difficult duty of suppressing the Fenian invasion of Canada fell to his lot and he succeeded so well that he received the warm thanks of the government. Yet a few months later he was removed from office by President Johnson, partly because Mr. Dart was opposed to Johnson's ideas and party to conciliate the Irish vote.
In April, 1869, General Grant appointed Mr. Dart consul-general to the British Provinces of North America, with headquarters at Montreal, and he held this office until 1878, when he resumed the practice of law in partnership with his son-in-law, Hon. George Z. Erwin.
A few weeks before Mr. Dart died, Edward A. Everett succeeded Mr. Erwin in the partnership. Mr. Dart practiced law for fifty-one years, except for the interruptions cause by his absence on official duties. He was a vestryman of the Trinity Protestant Episcopal Church in 1844, and from 1879 until he died. The rector, warden and vestrymen of the church, the bar and other organizations took official not of his death and passed proper resolutions.
Mr. Dart was pre-eminently social and companionable. He liked the encounter of keen wits and was skillful at repartee. He told a good story and liked to hear other story-tellers. His sterling character, good judgment and versatile abilities made him one of the most distinguished men of the state in his day. His integrity was unquestioned, his career untarnished. He was an able, faithful, zealous public servant, a talented lawyer and an eloquent speaker.
He married, in September, 1841, Harriet S. Allen, born Nov. 23, 1822, daughter of Horace Allen. Her father was born in Williston, Vermont, April 24, 1789, died in Potsdam, May 24, 1866; married Samantha Hamilton who died July 3, 1870. Horace Allen was the son of Nathan Allen, born at Stanstead, Conn., March 13, 1760, died at Williston, Vermont, Jan. 13, 1834; married in 1788 Lovina Winslow, who died at Williston, Sept. 1832, sister of Governor Winslow; their children: Horace, Levi, Lucy, Minerva, Marcus, Nathan D., Villeroy and Hannah Allen.
Children of Mr. Dart:
1. Caroline C., born June 18, 1842; married June 23, 1868, George Z. Erwin (see Erwin IV); she lives in the same house in which she was born and in which her mother was born.
2. Harriet Frances, also lives in the homestead at Potsdam.