Macanese Chronicle


Manuel Teixeira*

The Praia Bay of Macau. from Penha Hill. 1853. WILLIAM HEINE. Coloured lithograph. [ Special Folio ]. New York. 1856. The Derwent Collection. In: HUNTER. William C., An American In Canton (1825-44), Hong Kong. Derwent Communications Ltd., [n. d.], ill. [p. n. n.].
Street scene in Macau, probably Rua São Lourenço. C. GRAHAM. Hand-coloured lithograph. GRAHAM. C., Sketches in China. London. 1840. The Derwent Collection. In: HUNTER. William C., An American In Canton (1825-44), Hong Kong. Derwent Communications Ltd., [n. d.]. ill. [p. n. n.].


His name was Warren Delano Junior. He was an ancestor of presidents Ulysses Simpson Grant (in office from 1868 - 1877) and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (in office from 1933-1944).

Warren Delano was a merchant. During his stay in Macao he lived in a spacious, luxuriously furnished garden house in Rua do Padre António (Father Anthony's Street) connecting the church of S. Lourenço (St. Lawrence) to the Barra (Ama Temple). On the 13th of April 1845 the house was engulfed by flames and, together with its entire contents, everything was destroyed in the diasaster.


The daily "Macaísta Imperial" printed in one of its news columns: "On the morning of the 13th of this month the group of houses known as "do Padre António" (lit.: "from Father Anthony"), residence of the American merchant Warren Delano Junior and his family, were devoured by a fire from which only some of the office's books and papers were able to be rescued. The blaze started in the chimney of one of the room's fire-places, rapidly licking the roof's lining so fiercely and spreading to all the house so that in less than three hours the vast mansion was reduced to ashes together with all its contents which, so we were told, were most luxurious and expensive."1


Warren [Delano Junior] was born in 1809, in Fairhaven-Massachussetts. His parents were Warren Delano (° 1779-† 1866) and Deborah Church.

Warren [Delano] Junior's first went to China on the clipper Commerce.

Enjoying life in the Orient, he joined an influential trading company, in this part of the world named Russel & Sturgis, soon becoming a partner in business.

Despite Warren's early days being spent on rough tasks at sea on board trading vessels, he had a heart of gold and was of a kind disposition. Later he was to become the Amercian Vice-Consul at Guangzhou.

In 1843 he returned to the United States were he married an eighteen year old young lady named Catherine Robbins Lyman, a descendant of the founders of the city of Hartford, Connecticut.

Almost immediately after the wedding ceremony the newly weds took a clipper to Macao, the sea voyage lasting one-hundred-and-four days. Their presence is recorded in Macao, in 1845.

Three years later, already rich from the tea trade, Warren Delano Junior returned with his family to his home country to settle for good, but, in 1859, was once again drawn by the spell of the Orient and its high business profits. He sailed back to Macao leaving in the United States his pregnant wife and their six children. After the birth of their seventh child his wife together with all their progeny embarked for Hong Kong aboard the clipper Surprise, were they spent four months and six days at sea.

The family was again reunited in Macao, taking up residence in a large mansion surrounded by a garden with palm trees and exotic plants.

The enterprising dynamism of Warren Delano Junior was such that president Abraham Lincoln (in office from 1861-1864), having decided to draw a commercial treaty between the Unites States and China, entrusted to him the task of structuring the project.

In 1866, three of his sons left for the United States via Egypt, across Europe and over the Atlantic Ocean. The family was reunited in Paris, were they visited the Great International Exhibition, going afterwards to the United States — except for his daughter Sarah and two of her brothers who went to study in Germany.

Sarah, known in the family as Sallie, was to become the mother of the future president Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In 1870, as a sixteen year-old adolescent, Sarah returned to America after spending more than four years in Macao (1862-1866) and roughly the same number of years in Europe (1866-1870). Sarah who was by now fluent in French and German, took drawing and singing classes. At eighteen Sarah was a tall, slim, charming and refined young lady, considered by high society to be a rare beauty.

Meanwhile, her oldest sister had married and settled in Macao.

Their father's bother Franklin Delano was a shipbuilder. He married Laura Astor, an extremely wealthy lady, aunt [sic] of Mrs. Rosy Roosevelt. The couple had no children.


The very first 'Delano' or 'de la Noya' were Normands and Flemish. The first traceable ancestor was Jehan de la Noya, a chevalier member of the Order of the Golden Fleece. Around 1600, he and his wife, Marie, left France for good and settled in Leyden, Holland. The city sheltered the English 'Puritans', many of whom left for the New World aboard the Mayflower, in 1620.

The oldest son of Jehan and Marie, Jacques de la Noya, was the fiancé of a young lady called Priscila Mulin, but finally he married a Dutch girl aboard the Mayflower during the transatlantic crossing.

Meanwhile, their youngest son, Philip de la Noya, was besoted by Priscila but, compelled to leave for America in the following vessel, was later to marry Hester Dewsburry.

During generations to come the original name 'de la Noya' was to suffer multiple alterations to 'Dellannoy', 'Dellanov', 'Delaneaux', 'De Lano' and 'Delano'.

Philip de la Noya had a son named Jonathan Delano [sic] (°1647-†1720) who married Mercy Warren, granddaughter of Richard Warren. Jonathan and Mercy had a son named Ephraim who married Elizabeth Cusham. Ephraim and Elizabeth had a son named Warren who married Deborah Church. Warren and Deborah were the parents of Warren Delano Junior [...]. Sarah Delano, daughter of Warren Junior and Deborah, married James Roosevelt on the 7th of October 1880. To James and Sarah (°1854) was born a son on the 30th of January 1882 named Franklin — the future thirty second president of the United States of America. [...]

Jonathan Delano was a 'Pilgrim Father', a colonizer, one of the pioneers of the future United States of America. Jonathan Delano II (°1680-†1752), the oldest son of Jonathan Delano I and Mercy Warren, married Aney Hatch. Jonathan Delano II and Aney had a daughter named Susan Delano who married Noah Grant. Susan and Noah had a son named Noah Grant (°1748-†1819) who married Rachel Kelly. Noah and Rachel had a son named Jesse Rot Grant (°1794-†1873) who married Hannah Simpson. To Jesse and Hannah was born a son on the 27th of April 1822 named Ulysses Simpson Grant — the future eighteenth President of the United States of America. Ulysses Simpson Grant died on the 23rd of July 1885 in Mount St. Gregor, near Saratoga, USA.


After his presidency tenure, Ulysses Grant travelled for two years in Europe and the Far East, visiting Macao in 1879. During his sojourn in the territory, he stayed in the house of the Lourenço Marques family.


1 [Notícia] O Procurador, "O Procurador dos Macaístas ", Macao, 2 (7) Quinta feira, 17 de Abril de 1845, p. [3].

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