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Earliest Members of the Century Association

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Herbert L. Satterlee


Centurion, 1912–1947

Full Name Herbert Livingston Satterlee

Born 31 October 1863 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Died 14 July 1947 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Buried Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum, Manhattan, New York

Proposed by Charles O. Brewster and Beverly Chew

Elected 4 May 1912 at age forty-eight

Archivist’s Note: Son of George B. Satterlee; son-in-law of J. Pierpont Morgan; brother-in-law of J. Pierpont Morgan Jr.; uncle of Henry Sturgis Morgan and Junius Spencer Morgan Jr.

Century Memorial

Herbert Livingston Satterlee. [Born] 1863. Lawyer.

Mrs. Reed Powell, reading the wonderful history of our first hundred years, looked up and said to her husband: “A temple of friendship, that’s what it is, isn’t it?” How right she is and how good the phrase, a temple of friendship!

I did not know Mr. Satterlee face to face but I knew him well through his letters written to me as your Secretary. For he was one who never failed to write a fine and adequate response to my questions about his particular friends in the membership. He gave life to what otherwise could only read like a Who’s Who biography. I am sorry that nobody has done as well for Mr. Satterlee; but I know of my own knowledge from his letters to me, that this place was, in undoubted truth, his temple of friendship. The tenderness of his words, the exactness of his phrasing, the warmth of his appreciation of many who had been here, show the kind of man he was and how much the Century meant to him in old and deep friendships through the thirty-five years of his membership.

As said, he was a lawyer; but he also was a scholar with the union card of a Doctor of Philosophy degree taken at Columbia University in 1885 when Ph.D.’s were scarce and hard to get, and nobody was, as you are nowadays, likely to be jostled in a crowd of them. His thesis was on the Political History of the Province of New York—the history his family had had a notable part in shaping. He also wrote a biography of Centurion J. Pierpont Morgan: An Intimate Portrait of his father-in-law.

He was navigator of the New York Naval Battalion at the age of twenty-eight, a four-stripe Captain at the age of thirty-four: he served with distinction at sea as an officer of the United States Navy in the War with Spain; he was Assistant Secretary of the Navy under Centurion President Theodore Roosevelt; he was founder of the Navy League; he was a donor of medals for life-saving at sea.

Lawyer, scholar, sailor, and above all as friend, his last appearance here was at our Centennial celebration.

Source: Henry Allen Moe Papers, Mss.B.M722. Reproduced by permission of American Philosophical Society Library & Museum, Philadelphia

Henry Allen Moe
Henry Allen Moe Papers, 1947 Memorials