William Cutting (1832 – March 26, 1897) was an American lawyer and soldier who "was one of the best known society leaders and a recognized authority on all matters of etiquette and affairs of honor."[1]

William Cutting

New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedMarch 26, 1897(1897-03-26) (aged 64–65)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Alma materColumbia University
Harvard Law School
Parent(s)Francis B. Cutting
Anne Markoe Heyward Cutting
RelativesWilliam Bayard Cutting (cousin)
Robert Fulton Cutting (cousin)

Early lifeEdit

Willy Cutting was born in 1832 in New York City.[2] He was the eldest son of New York State Assemblyman and U.S. Representative Francis Brockholst Cutting (1804–1870) and Anne Markoe (née Heyward) Cutting (1807–1885) of South Carolina.[3] Among his siblings was Francis Brockholst Cutting (who married Marion Ramsay and was the father of F. Brockholst Cutting)[4] and Heyward Cutting.[5][6]

Cutting was the grandson of William Cutting and Gertrude (née Livingston) Cutting.[7] Through his paternal grandmother, he was a direct descendant of Walter Livingston (the first Speaker of the New York State Assembly) and Robert Livingston (the third and last Lord of Livingston Manor).[8] His maternal grandparents were William Heyward and Sarah (née Cruger) Heyward.[9] Through his uncle Fulton Cutting and aunt Elise Bayard Cutting, he was a first cousin of attorney and merchant William Bayard Cutting and financier Robert Fulton Cutting.

He graduated from Columbia University in New York City followed by Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[10][11]


After graduation, he practiced law for a short time in New York City with his father.[11]

When the U.S. Civil War started, he volunteered his service for the Union Army and was commissioned as a Captain of Volunteers and Assistant Quartermaster. He was later tapped to serve on the staff of Major General Ambrose E. Burnside as Assistant Commissary of Subsistence before promotion to Major on July 22, 1862 and mustered in as aide-de-Camp to General Burnside. For the remainder of the war, he served with General Burnside's command, the IX Corps, and on March 13, 1863 was brevetted Brigadier General, U.S. Volunteers for "gallant and meritorious services at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Va." During the War, he was charged with carrying a challenge for a duel from Capt. Charles Gordon Hutton to Capt. J. M. Cutts.[12]

In 1870, Cutting was among the founders of the Knickerbocker Club, including August Belmont, John Jacob Astor III, Philip Schuyler and William Watts Sherman.[13]

Personal lifeEdit

Cutting died on March 26, 1897 at the home of his cousin, Walter L. Cutting at 30 West 20th Street in New York City.[11][14] After a funeral at Grace Church in Manhattan conducted by the Rev. Dr. William Reed Huntington (the pallbearers were J. Bower Lee, Alfred Grimes, Peter Marie, Clement C. Hand, Oliver A. C. Morrison, and J. W. Clendenning),[15] he was buried at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.[15]

Cutting estateEdit

Upon his father's death in 1870, his estate was worth over $4,000,000, with personal property totaling $1,230,767.96,[16] and around $1,300,000 in bonds for Wabash Railroad,[17] and was the owner of the Indianapolis, Peru and Chicago Railroad.[1] According to his father's will, the estate was split up between William, his brother Hayward and his late brother Francis' widow, Marion Ramsay Cutting.[16] After allegations of misdeeds by Marion,[18][19][20] the estate was finally settled,[17] and William was excused as executor in 1888.[21]


  1. ^ a b "GEN. CUTTING IS DEAD, And His Death Revives a Remarkable Story--Of the Suit Brought by His Relatives, And the Attempt to Expel Him From the Union Club". Nashville Banner. 27 March 1897. p. 12. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  2. ^ Simpson, Brooks D.; Sears, Stephen W.; Aaron, Sheehan-Dean (2011). The Civil War: The First Year Told by Those Who Lived It (LOA #212). Library of America. p. 1000. ISBN 978-1-59853-138-1. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  3. ^ "OBITUARY.; Francis Brockholst Cutting". The New York Times. 28 June 1870. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  4. ^ Hampton, Sally Baxter (1994). A Divided Heart: Letters of Sally Baxter Hampton, 1853-1862. Univ of South Carolina Press. ISBN 9780964057609. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  5. ^ Bergen, Tunis Garret (1915). Genealogies of the State of New York: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  6. ^ "The Chronotype". The College. 1873: 91. Retrieved 24 January 2020. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ Hall, Henry (1895). America's Successful Men of Affairs: The city of New York. New York Tribune. p. 165. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  8. ^ Family Magazine: Or Monthly Abstract of General Knowledge. Redfield and Lindsay. 1839. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  9. ^ Prioleau, Horry Frost; Manigault, Edward Lining (March 24, 2010). Register of Carolina Huguenots, Vol. 3, Marion - Villepontoux. p. 1288. ISBN 9780557242689. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  10. ^ Thayer, William Roscoe; Howe, Mark Antony De Wolfe; Voto, Bernard Augustine De; Morrison, Theodore. The Harvard Graduates' Magazine. Harvard Graduates' Magazine Association. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  11. ^ a b c "Death List of a Day. Gen. William Cutting" (PDF). The New York Times. 27 March 1897. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  12. ^ United States Congressional Serial Set. 1892. p. 38. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  13. ^ The University Magazine, Volume 5. Princeton University. 1891. p. 1224. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  14. ^ "Died" (PDF). The New York Times. March 28, 1897. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  15. ^ a b "Gen. William Cutting's Funeral" (PDF). The New York Times. 30 March 1897. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  16. ^ a b "GEN. CUTTING TO MAKE AN ACCOUNTING". The New York Times. 15 September 1885. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  17. ^ a b "THE CUTTING HEIRS AGREEING.; A PLAN BY WHICH THE PRESENT LITIGATION IS ENDED". The New York Times. 15 January 1886. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  18. ^ "THE CUTTING ESTATES.; LITIGATION IN SEVEN DIFFERENT FORMS BEFORE SURROGATE ROLLINS". The New York Times. 17 October 1885. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  20. ^ "GEN. CUTTING EXPLAINS HOW THE PROCEEDS OF HIS FATHER'S ESTATE WERE DIVIDED". The New York Times. 2 June 1887. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  21. ^ "GEN. CUTTING DISCHARGED". The New York Times. 19 July 1888. Retrieved 30 April 2017.

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