Jumel, Stephen

views updated

Jumel, Stephen

JUMEL, STEPHEN. (1754–1832). Wine merchant. France. From a family of Bordeaux merchants, Stephen Jumel appeared in New York City in 1795, having been driven from his coffee plantation in Haiti by the slave insurrection of 1790. He amassed a fortune in the wine business and married his longtime mistress Betsey ("Eliza") Bowen in 1804. In 1810 he bought her the Roger Morris house, which had briefly been General George Washington's headquarters during the action at Harlem Heights during the Revolutionary War. The house, now known as the Morris-Jumel Mansion, is a museum today. Unable to engineer Betsey's acceptance into New York society, Jumel and his wife went to Paris in 1815. Betsey returned to New York in 1826 with a power of attorney that she used to take over her husband's fortune. He returned in 1828 and died in 1832 after falling from a wagon. On 1 July 1833 his widow married Aaron Burr.

SEE ALSO Burr, Aaron.


Falkner, Leonard. Painted Lady, Eliza Jumel: Her Life and Times. New York: Dutton, 1962.

Macleod, Dianne Sachko. "Eliza Bowen Jumel: Collecting and Cultural Politics in Early America." Journal of the History of Collections 13 (2001): 57-75.

Ostromecki, Walter A. Jr. "The Elizabeth Monroe-Eliza Jumel Connection: The First Lady Makes a Request." Manuscipts 44 (1992): 293-300.

Shelton, William Hay. The Jumel Mansion: Being a Full History of the House on Harlem Heights Built by Roger Morris before the Revolution. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin Company, 1916.

                       revised by Robert Rhodes Crout