century association biographical archive

Earliest Members of the Century Association

View all members

Charles P. Daly

Judge

Centurion, 1851–1899

Full Name Charles Patrick Daly

Born 13 October 1816 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Died 19 September 1899 in North Haven, New York

Buried Woodlawn Cemetery and Conservancy, Bronx, New York

Proposed by Henry L. Pierson

Elected 4 January 1851 at age thirty-four

Century Memorial

Universal respect and regard attended Charles P. Daly during his life, who, for forty-two years, was a judge of the Court of Common Pleas in this city, and for twenty-seven years its Chief-Justice. He was a sound, well-read lawyer; a learned, impartial judge; and in time of scandal and corruption maintained the standard of his high office, preserved the spotlessness of his judicial ermine, and made valuable contributions to the literature of his profession in his careful, well-considered opinions and his published works on legal subjects. He was a most versatile man, an ardent lover of books (of which he had a choice library of twelve thousand volumes), a Shakespearian scholar, a lover of poetry and the fine arts, and a patron of the drama in its highest form. He was a brilliant conversationalist, a quality which, with his kindly nature adorned by his fine humor, characteristic of his race, made him a delightful companion.

He was president of the Geographical Society of New York for thirty-six years, an honorary member of the Royal Geographical Society of London, the Berlin Geographical Society and the Imperial Geographical Society of Russia, and a friend of Humboldt. He contributed, perhaps, more than any man in this country to the interest in geographical research, and was a recognized authority in that branch of science, as well as in many others. He well illustrated Cowper’s distinction between knowledge and wisdom, both of which he possessed:

“Knowledge is proud that he has learn’d so much;

Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.”

He was a familiar figure here, and all who knew him, and there were few who did not, will miss his cheery, genial, scholarly companionship.

Henry E. Howland
1900 Century Association Yearbook