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R. B. Snowden family papers




Photograph of Robert Bogardus Snowden, taken while commanding the interstate drill at Memphis, Tennessee, in 1895. The sword shown in the picture belonged to his grandfather, Gen. Robert Bogardus, and was worn by him in the Revolutionary War.

On February 26, 1835, John Bayard Snowden (1808-1863), a prominent Nashville businessman married Aspasia Seraphina Imogene Bogardus (1808-1885) in New York City. Aspasia, born August 8, 1808 in Utica, New York, was the youngest daughter of Revolutionary War General Robert Bogardus, while John was the son of the Rev. Samuel Finley Snowden. Their children were Robert Bogardus (1836-1909), Victoria Imogene (1838-1859), Octavia Augusta (18401885), John Bayard, Jr. (1842-1850), Eleanora Kirkman (1844-1880), Mary Jay (1846-1930) and Hughetta (1848-1926).

Robert Bogardus Snowden was born on May 24, 1836, in New York City. Shortly after his birth his parents returned to Nashville where John Snowden' s business was located. In 1855 upon his graduation from Western Military Institute in Kentucky, Robert moved to New Orleans to pursue a business career. At the age of twenty-one, he returned to Nashville and established R. B. Snowden & Co., a mercantile business, which prospered until the outbreak of the Civil War. Robert entered the Confederate Army as adjutant of the First Tennessee Regiment. He rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel and commanded the 25th Tennessee Regiment at Chickamauga and in Virginia. He surrendered his troops with General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox.

In 1863 John Bayard Snowden died, and Aspasia Snowden returned with her family to her native New York and remained there until her death in 1885. After release from military service, Robert joined his family in New York and resumed his mercantile career. On May 5, 1868, he married Annie Overton Brinkley (1845-1923), daughter of a prominent Memphis businessman. Annie’s father, Colonel Robert Campbell Brinkley, gave his daughter The Hotel Peabody as a wedding present. Robert and Annie lived in New York for a year before returning to Tennessee and establishing residence in Memphis. Robert Brinkley bought the Annesdale estate for the couple and it remained in the Snowden family for 160 years. Robert Snowden became one of the wealthiest and most influential men in Tennessee. He gained his wealth from the appropriation of key real estate in the commercial district of downtown Memphis. He was also an investor of consequence in Tennessee coal and iron and had considerable influence in state politics. On October 7, 1909, Robert Snowden died while vacationing in Atlantic City. Robert and Annie had five children: Robert Brinkley (1869-1942), Mary (1871-1938) who married Lawson Henderson Treadwell, Imogene (b. 1874), Annie Brinkley (1878-1924) who married John Thomas Fargason, II (1875-1939), and John Bayard (1881-1968).

Date Created



circa 1895


Snowden, Robert B., Photograph.