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Anthony Charles Cazenove: an Influential Citizen, Swiss Consul, and Accompanier of Marque De Lafayette to George Washington’s Grave

Anthony Charles Cazenove (April 6, 1775 – October 16, 1852) was an illustrious figure with a distinguished life, leaving behind a legacy that earned him immense respect both in his homeland and abroad. His final resting place is Alexandria’s Presbyterian Cemetery.

Throughout his lifetime, Cazenove played significant roles in various arenas, earning a reputation as an accomplished individual. His influence extended beyond his native land, with other nations also holding him in high regard. Notably, the Swiss Federal Diet recognized his capabilities and selected him to represent the middle and southern states, a testament to his diplomatic skills and international standing.

One of Cazenove’s most extraordinary accomplishments was his involvement in an important historical event. In 1824, he had the privilege of accompanying the esteemed Marquis de Lafayette during the latter’s visit to the United States. As part of this visit, Cazenove was by Lafayette’s side when they paid their respects to George Washington’s burial site at Mount Vernon. This association with such prominent figures demonstrates the level of trust and respect Cazenove commanded within influential circles.

Overall, Anthony Charles Cazenove’s life was marked by impressive achievements, diplomatic prowess, and a lasting impact on those he encountered. His burial in Alexandria’s Presbyterian Cemetery is a testament to the profound admiration and reverence he garnered during his lifetime and beyond.

French Huguenot

The Cazenove family hailed from Nimes, France, and held a prominent position as wealthy noble French Huguenots. However, due to religious mistreatment, they made the difficult decision to relocate to Geneva, Switzerland, in the late 17th century, seeking refuge from persecution.

During the tumultuous era of the French Revolution, the male members of the Cazenove family encountered further hardships. They were arrested and imprisoned, enduring the harsh consequences faced by many Huguenots during this period. Fortunately, they were eventually released from captivity, although the ordeal left a lasting impact on the family.

Huguenots were a significant group of French Protestants who adhered to the religious teachings of John Calvin, a prominent French religious reformer. Calvinism, the religious system developed by Calvin, had a profound influence on the Huguenot community and eventually played a crucial role in the formation of denominations such as Congregationalism and Presbyterianism.

Despite the challenges they encountered, the Cazenove family’s history is a testament to the resilience and determination of the Huguenot community as they sought to uphold their faith in the face of adversity. Their journey from Nimes to Geneva and the subsequent trials during the French Revolution are a testament to the enduring legacy of the Huguenots and their contributions to religious history.

Immigration to the United States

After being released from prison, Anthony Cazenove and his elder sibling were sent by their parents to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where they had relatives. They decided to venture into the glass industry and took charge of factory operations in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. However, Anthony’s path diverged as he made his way to Alexandria in 1799, where he would go on to play a pivotal role within the community. His older brother, on the other hand, returned to Geneva.

In the following year, 1800, Anthony secured a job with the renowned E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company. His role involved actively distributing gunpowder throughout the Southern region of the United States. This position allowed him to establish valuable connections and gain experience in the field of commerce.

With time, Anthony Cazenove decided to embark on his entrepreneurial journey and founded his own company, aptly named A.C. Cazenove & Company. Simultaneously, he took on a directorial role for the Bank of Alexandria, further cementing his influence in the business and financial landscape of the region.

To support his growing business, Anthony strategically located his warehouses at 101 and 103 King Street in Alexandria. These warehouses served as crucial assets for his expanding commercial ventures. In a strategic move to expand his business operations, he acquired another warehouse located at 900 King Street from the estate of John Richter for the sum of $3050.00 in November 1813.

Through his various business ventures and leadership roles, Anthony Cazenove became an influential figure in Alexandria, leaving a lasting impact on the community’s economic development and trade. His journey from incarceration to becoming a prominent businessman and community leader showcases his determination and entrepreneurial spirit.

He got sick during a widespread yellow fever outbreak in Alexandria in 1803, but luckily, he got better. The outbreak caused the deaths of over 200 people in Alexandria, which resulted in the town having to close temporarily. The Alexandria Gazette published an advertisement listing the stores that would reopen once the outbreak of 1803 was over in Alexandria.

The announcement in the Alexandria Gazette on October 26, 1803, that stores were reopened after the Yellow Fever epidemic. 

Wine Merchant and Swiss Consul

In 1822, Anthony Cazenove embarked on a successful venture, establishing a thriving wine business. His expertise in the trade and dedication to quality products quickly gained him recognition and success in the market.

In July of the same year, Cazenove’s reputation as a capable and respected individual led to a remarkable opportunity. The Swiss Federal Diet selected him to serve as a consul, representing the middle and southern states. This prestigious appointment showcased the trust and confidence placed in him by his homeland and further solidified his international standing.

Anthony Cazenove dutifully served as a consul for the middle and southern states from 1822 until 1852, dedicating three decades of his life to diplomatic and consular duties. His role involved promoting trade and fostering positive relations between Switzerland and the United States, a responsibility he fulfilled with integrity and skill.

Beyond his diplomatic endeavors, Cazenove made significant contributions to the local community in Alexandria. He played a crucial role in the establishment of the Alexandria Water Company, ensuring a stable and reliable water supply for the city’s residents.

Additionally, his entrepreneurial spirit and vision for economic growth led to the founding of the Mount Vernon Manufacturing Company. This initiative aimed to boost local industries and provide employment opportunities in the region.

Throughout his life, Anthony Cazenove demonstrated a remarkable ability to excel in various fields, from commerce to diplomacy and community development. His legacy as a successful wine merchant, esteemed consul, and a key figure in establishing important local enterprises continue to be remembered and celebrated in the annals of history.

A. C. Cazenove ads in the Alexandria Gazette Alexandria, Virginia
Wed, Jun 28, 1837 · Page 3

Marque de Lafayette’s 1824 Escort

In 1824, Anthony Cazenove had the privilege of being the host to the esteemed Marquis de Lafayette during his visit to Alexandria. Lafayette, a celebrated figure in the American Revolutionary War, was in the United States as part of a grand tour of the nation. During his trip, Lafayette made a stop at Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, to pay his respects at the tomb of the first U.S. President.

Lafayette’s stay in Alexandria was at the Lawrason House, located at 301 St. Asaph Street, owned by Elizabeth Carson Lawrason. The visit of such a prominent historical figure drew a significant crowd, with people from Alexandria gathering outside the Lawrason House, eager to catch a glimpse of Lafayette.

Anthony Cazenove, as Lafayette’s host, played a key role in the event. He was asked to introduce Lafayette to the excited crowd. Lafayette, using the house’s porch located across the street from the Lawrason House, stood on the stage to address the assembled Alexandrians. This momentous occasion provided the locals with a unique opportunity to hear from the renowned French general and express their admiration for him.

Dr. James Carson, Elizabeth’s brother, had the responsibility of organizing the Civic Escort for Lafayette. As part of this group, a young Robert E. Lee participated, gaining an early connection to a figure who would later become a significant figure in American history.

Lafayette’s time in Alexandria left a lasting impression on him, as he later described it as “the most enjoyable hours of his life.” This statement attests to the warm welcome and hospitality he received from the community, with Anthony Cazenove and the Lawrason House playing significant roles in ensuring a memorable visit.

The Lawrason House, through its association with Marquis de Lafayette’s visit, holds historical importance and serves as a reminder of the enduring connections between the United States and the figures who played essential roles in its history.

To know more about the Lawrason House and its importance, you can visit Dr. James Carson’s profile by clicking on this link: [Dr. James Carson, a War of 1812 Veteran recently honored for his service!]

Inaccurate picture of Lafayette at Washington’s Tomb during his October 1824 visit. The painting by Nathaniel Currie, which dates to 1845, is of the new tomb where the remains of Washington and 19 other family members were moved in 1831.

Marriage and Children

Anthony Cazenove married Ann Hogan on June 29, 1797, after meeting her in Geneva. They had a long and happy marriage that lasted for 46 years. Anthony believed that Ann would have a better life in the United States, and they settled there together.

The couple had ten children, all of whom went on to achieve success in their own right, following in their father’s footsteps. Their children’s names were Eliza Frances Cazenove Gardner, Paul Charles Cazenove, Charles John Cazenove, Anne Marie Cazenove, Paulina Cazenove, Louis Albert Cazenove, William Gardner Cazenove, Charlotte Busten Cazenove, Octavious Anthony Cazenove, and Harriett Cazenove.

Anthony Cazenove was known for his traditional style of dress, often seen wearing a waistcoat, breeches, and a cock hat. He served as a Ruling Elder in Alexandria’s Presbyterian Meeting House for an impressive 36 years, showcasing his commitment to the church and the community.

Throughout their lives, the Cazenove family resided in various locations in Alexandria, including 1007 King Street, 113 North Fayette Street, and 915 King Street. However, the main house closely associated with Anthony Cazenove was located at 414 N. Washington Street. This house, constructed in 1840 and representing the Greek-Revival style, was considered one of Alexandria’s finest architectural craftsmanship. Tragically, the house fell into disuse during the Civil War and was eventually demolished in 1960. It served as the Grosvenor House Military Hospital during the war.

Notably, the house across the street, owned by the widow of Louis Cazenove (Anthony’s son), also played a significant role during the Civil War. It was used as an additional branch of the Grosvenor Hospital towards the war’s end and is now known as The Lee-Fendall House Museum and Gardens.

Like other affluent families in Alexandria, the Cazenove family owned a property just outside the town called “Summerhill,” which was constructed around 1804. Sadly, the house was demolished in the 1950s, and Carydale East Apartments now stand on the land where it once stood, marking the passing of another historic landmark.

The passing of an Esteemed Alexandrian

On Saturday, the 16th day of October 1852, Anthony Charles Cazenove passed away at 78. His life, marked by significant achievements, diplomatic service, and contributions to his community, came to a close. His legacy as a successful businessman, esteemed consul, and devoted family man would be remembered by those who knew him and the generations that followed. The impact of his life’s work would continue to be felt for years.

Monday, October 18, 1852, the Alexandria Gazette announcement of Cazenove’s death.

After the funeral of Anthony Charles Cazenove, his daughter Eliza Frances Cazenove Gardner took on the responsibility of arranging the proceedings. She ensured that her father’s final resting place would be at the Presbyterian Cemetery, specifically in Section 43, plot 107.

Eliza Frances Cazenove Gardner, following in her father’s footsteps, played an active role in the community and continued the family’s legacy of service. Tragically, she passed away in 1857. As per her wishes, she was buried alongside her father in the same cemetery, joining him in Section 43.

Their burial site at the Presbyterian Cemetery became a place of remembrance for their family, a testament to their bond, and a continuation of their influence and significance in Alexandria’s history.

Anthony Cazenove’s obelisk in the Presbyterian Cemetery – image by D. Heiby.
In memory of
ANTY. CHAS.
CAZENOVE
a native of Geneva
Switzerland
but for nearly 60 years
an esteemed citizen
of Alexandria
where he departed
the life
on Saturday the
16th day of Oct. 1852
in the 78th year
of his age
univsersally
respected and beloved
born in Geneva
Switzerland
April 5th, 1775
lived for nearly 60
years in Alex. Va.
The spirit shall return
unto God who gave it.

43:107

Sources of Information

Blanton, W. B., M.D. (1931). Medicine in Virginia in the Nineteenth Century. Garrett & Massie, Inc. Richmond, Virginia.

Moore, G. M. (1949). Seaport in Virginia George Washington’s Alexandria. Garrett and Massie, Incorporated. Richmond, Virginia.

The Alexandria Association. (1956). Our Town 1749-1865 at Gadsby’s Tavern Alexandria, Virginia. The Dietz Printing Company. April 12- May 12, 1956.

Cox, E. (1976). Historic Alexandria, Virginia Street by Street; A Survey of Existing Early Buildings. EPM Publications. McLean, Virginia..

Pippenger, W. E. (1992). Tombstone Inscriptions of Alexandria, Virginia: Volume 1. Family Line Publications; Heritage Books, Inc.

Powell, M. G. (2000). The History of Old Alexandria, VA, from July 13, 1749 – May 24, 1861. Index by W. E. Pippenger. Willow Bend Books. Westminster, Maryland.

Dahmann, D. C. (2022). The Roster of Historic Congregational Members of the Old Presbyterian Meeting House.

Roberts, W. H. (2017). Lost Alexandria: An Illustrated History of Sixteen Destroyed Historic Homes in and Around Alexandria, Virginia. Illustrated by Youngbluth. Voyage Publishing. Alexandria, Virginia.

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By David

Hello. My journey has taken me through various paths, from owning businesses to delving deep into the annals of history. For many years, I dedicated myself to researching and leading tours of Civil War Battlefields, bringing the past to life for those eager to learn.

In 2015, I assumed the role of Superintendent of the Presbyterian Cemetery and Columbarium within the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex in Alexandria, Virginia. This cemetery holds a profoundly special place in my heart. It's owned by the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, where I was baptized and raised, and my parents are laid to rest. It's also the place where I will one day be buried. This responsibility allowed me to assist families during pivotal moments and opened a unique avenue for me. Most Saturdays, I lead tours within the complex, combining my passion for teaching history with the stories of the 35,000 souls resting there. To further share these narratives, I established this blog focusing on the lives and tales of those buried in Alexandria.

In addition to my work at the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex, I am honored to serve as a dedicated Board member of the Alexandria Historical Society and the Lee-Fendall House Museum. I am a Northern Virginia Cemetery Consortium member dedicated to preserving endangered cemeteries throughout the region, representing the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex.

If you're intrigued by history or curious about the stories that shaped Alexandria, I invite you to join me on my tours, read my writings, or connect with me on Facebook or Instagram.

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