Henry Johnson Brent, 1811-1880


Henry Johnson Brent was the second child of Col. William Brent and Catherine Walker Johnson of Washington, D.C. His older brother was Thomas William Brent, my ancestor. One of his uncles was Robert Brent, the first mayor of Washington, D.C., and another uncle was Daniel Carroll Brent who served as the Chief Clerk at the State Department and as U.S. Consul in Paris.

Henry Johnson Brent was a writer and artist, an editor and co-founder, with Lewis Gaylord Clark, of the Knickerbocker Magazine. He published a novel, "Life Almost Alone," in 1859, and "Was It a Ghost?" in 1878 - an book about the murders of the Joyce children in Bussey Woods in Boston. He was a contributor to Porter's Spirit of the Times under the signature "Stirrup."

Henry was married first to Elizabeth Carroll, on 7 Jan 1834 in Washington, D.C. Elizabeth was the daughter of Daniel Carroll of Duddington and Anne Boyce. Elizabeth died in Paris in 1846 and is buried there in Père Lachaise Cemetery next to her husband's uncle Daniel Carroll Brent. The couple had four children, Catherine Douglas, Henry May, Henry Boyce and William Carroll. After Elizabeth's death, Henry married Wealthy (or Wealtha) Backus, daughter of Dr. Frederick Fanning Backus and his wife Rebecca Ann Fitzhugh. Henry and his second wife had one child, Claude, who died when he was just eighteen.

Wealtha died in December 1879 and Henry died several months later in August 1880 in New York City. It is not known where Henry and his wives are buried.

  • Descent report for Henry Johnson Brent and Elizabeth Carroll
  • Record of marriage of Henry J. Brent and Elizabeth Carroll
  • Burial of Elizabeth Carroll Brent in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris
  • Henry May Brent, son of Henry Johnson Brent and Elizabeth Carroll
  • Tombstones of Catherine Douglas Brent, daughter of Henry Johnson Brent, her husband, Daniel Fitzhugh, and her brother, Henry May Brent
  • William Brent, father of Henry Johnson Brent
  • Obituary of Henry Johnson Brent


  • Portrait of H.J. Brent is from the Digital Collection at the New York Public Library, Digital I.D. #1124480. According to the Reference Staff at the Library, the artist/engraver was John Rogers and the printer was Charles Loring Elliott. The portrait was included in a collection of engraved portraits known as the Knickerbocker Gallery which was printed also in the Knickerbocker Magazine in 1857.

    The landscape painting is a copy of a photograph of an original painting by Henry Johnson Brent. Used with permission of Garth's Auctions, Inc., in Delaware, Ohio: www.garths.com.



    Anne Healy's Genealogy, Created October 2002
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    8 Mar 2012
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