Historical

Who is Dr. Charles A. Leale & Family

Dr. Charles A. Leale was the first doctor to enter the presidential box at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865, after John Wilkes Booth shot President Lincoln. For this, he goes down in history. But what happened to him afterwards?

At the time of the assassination he was single. On September 3, 1867, he married Rebecca Medwin Copcutt, the daughter of a wealthy merchant in Yonkers, New York. The wedding took place in the Copcutt home, which is now the Saint Casimir’s Rectory. This union would produce six children: Annie (June, 1871), Lilian (September 1873), Medwin (August, 1874), Marion (August, 1877), Loyal (March, 1879), and Helen (August, 1884).

From the records I have been able to find, only Medwin and Helen married. Medwin married Matilda Howard Marvin, daughter of the late Tasker Howard Marvin, on January 18, 1900, in St. Bartholomew’s Protestant Episcopal Church located at Madison Avenue and 44th Street in New York City. Medwin, like his father, was a physician and surgeon. He and Matilda had two children, Bianca and Roselind. Helen married James Harper on June 22, 1918, in her father’s home at 604 Madison Avenue, New York City. She and James also had two children, James, Jr. and Helen (II). James, Jr. passed away in 1991 and in his obituary it mentioned that his great-great grandfather, James Harper, was mayor of New York City in 1844 and 1845 and a founder of Harper and Brothers, publishers.

As of now, I do not believe that Helen (II) ever married. I had the pleasure of meeting her in 1995 in New York City, along with Dr. Lattimer. The Leale items in this catalogue came from her estate.