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B^OR isra. 

Bt WILIilAM H. Mcelroy and ALEX. McBKroE. 




EDtered, according to act of Congress, in the year eighteen hundred and 


In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 






Introduction, - ... . . 5 

State Officers, with steel portrait of Governor Dix, . - 7 

Senators, . ----..... 49 

Members of Assembly, --------- 127 

Autobiography of "John Smart," ... 344 
List of Senators, with their Districts, - - - 349 
Alphabetical list of Senators, with County, Post-office and Politics, 351 
Alphabetical list of Assemblymen, with District, County, Post- 
office and Politics, - - - - - -.- - _ 352 

The Old Capitol and the New, with steel engraving, - - 35" 


A CERTAIN Englishman, who was either over sensitive, or over surly, 
or both, once expressed himself to the effect that when he pondered 
on the fact that, after giving up the ghost, he would be called upon to 
figure in certain Life Sketches of the period known as "The Lives of 
the Chancellors," death seemed clothed with exceptional terror. The 
present biographers sincerely hope that no member of the current 
State Government or Legislature of New York will find the burden 
of public life heavier than 

" It might have been," 

but for his allotment in the pages that follow. Let us, rather, 
fortified by a modest boldness, be confident that the general verdict 
shall pronounce our little work as valuable for reference, and a 
pleasant remembrancer of those who figured in public life at the 
Capital of the Empire State in the year of our Lord 1873. 

The publication of Life Sketches has been suspended since 1870, and 
the present resumption is owing to the encoui-agement the editors 
have received from those whom the project concerns. The sketches 
have been prepared in the intervals of engrossing reportorial labors, 
and have all been written since the commencement of the preseut 
session of the Legislature. Great care has been taken, however, to 
avoid en'ors either of fact or date, and also to render the information 
given as complete as possible within the limits prescribed by taste, 
propriety and the scope of the work. 

It will be seen that the sketches of the Members of the Legislature 
are alphabetically arranged, thus removing the necessity for an index. 

The editors, as a last word, desire to express their thanks to aU those 
who have in any way co-operated for the success of their venture. 




"Nothing," says De Quincy, "makes such dreary and 
monotonous reading as the old hackneyed roll-call, chronolo- 
gically arranged, of inevitable facts in a man's life. One is 
so certain of the man's haA'ing been born, and, also, of his 
having died, that it is dismal to lie under the necessity of 
reading it." There would be more force in this utterance of 
the great opium-eater, were it not for the fact that Nature 
never repeats herself. No two of her children exactly cor- 
respond. Characters are not duplicated any more than faces. 
In an hundred biographies we are sure of perfect agreement 
in but two particulars — all the hundred were born, and they 
all died ; but what a wide divergence as to the " inevitable 
facts " that go to make up the record lying between the sta- 
tions Life and Death ! 

In the present biographical sketch and those which succeed 
it, the editors profess to have given such and such only of 
the inevitable facts in the history of those treated of, as the 
public have a right to know. No fitter rule can be laid down 
for the guidance of the biographer, who would write of living 
subjects without offense to them or the canons of taste, than 
that enunciated by Mrs. Stowe in her volume " The Men of 
Our Times." " Every public man," she says, " has two lives, 
his public and his private. The one becomes fairly the 
property of the public in virtue of his having been connected 
with events in which every one has a share of interest ; but 
the other belongs to himself, his family and his intimate 
friends, and the public have no more right to discuss or pry 

8 Life Sketches. . 

into its details than they have into those of any other private 

In considering the long and illustrious career of Hows A. 
Dix, we are forcibly reminded of a remark that Irving makes 
in regard to the first President. Washington, he tells us, 
had very little private life. The words can be most appro- 
priately transferred to General Dix, for probably no public 
man living has occupied so many important positions of trust, 
has had so long an experience in political life as he. The 
salient facts of his history are as follows: John Adams 
Dix, twenty-fourth Governor of New York, was born at 
Boscawen, New Hampshire, July 24, 1798, and was the 
son of Lieutenant-Colonel Timothy Dix of that place. 
After spending some time in a French college at Montreal, 
young Dix was appointed a cadet at the United States Mili- 
tary Academy in 1812, but gave up the appointment to bear 
his part in the war of 1812-15, having in 1813 received an 
appointment, as ensign in the fourteenth United States 
infantry. A year subsequently he was made third lieutenant 
in the twenty-first regiment of infantry, in March, 1814, 
became second lieutenant, and in the fall of that year was 
transferred to the artillery arm. 1815 found him adjutant, 
and 1818 first lieutenant. In 1819 he received the appoint- 
ment of aide-de-camp to General Jacob Bkown, a dis- 
tinguished officer, then commander-in-chief of the army, 
and spent much time at Washington, where he enjoyed the 
acquaintance of Calhoun, Clay, Van Buren and other 
prominent party leaders of the time. In the spring of 
1821 he was transferred to the third artillery, and in the 
summer of 1825, became Captain Dix. Serving as cap- 
tain until December 31, 1828, he then resigned his com- 
mission, having spent sixteen years in the military service. 
Going abroad not long after, he enjoyed the delights and 
benefits of extensive travel, and then returned to this coun- 
try and entered the legal profession at Cooperstown, this 
State, where he soon became prominent in political circles 

John A. Dix. 9 

as a zealous partisan of Andrew Jackson and democratic 
principles. In 1831 he was appointed adjutant-general by 
Governor Theoop, and two years later was elected secretary 
of state. A recent writer in the New York Commercial calls 
attention to the fact that with General Dix's adjutant-gen- 
eralship began one of the most memorable chapters of his 
political life. "We quote : 

" Gen. Dix's connection with the political ' ring,' known 
as the Albany Eegency, dates from his acceptance of the 
position of adjutant-general. That 'ring' was made up of 
such material as Van BuEEiir, Marcy, Butler, Croswell, 
Wright, Ben Knower, Flagg, James Porter, Beards- 
let, Bronson, Dickinson, Young and Dix — men irre- 
proachable in private life — men famous for their upright- 
ness and intellectual political vigor. They were the brains 
of the party, and when the places that knew them so well 
knew them no more, the old democratic party went out with 
the tide. They played an important part in the stirring 
events that make history from 1815 to the present time, A. 
C. Flagg and Gen. Dix, as we observed, being the last of 
the race. Mr. Weed, in his autobiography, could hardly 
be expected to do more than incidentally refer to this 
political galaxy of statesmen, diplomats, senators, judges, 
financiers, lawyers and controversialists, who ' went to the 
front' and participated in the fierce excitement and masterly 
exhibition of talent at a time in the history of our State and 
national politics most intensely interesting." 

While General Dix was secretary of state — and by virtue 
of his office he was also superintendent of common schools, 
a member of the canal board and one of the commissioners 
of the canal fund — new canals were being constructed, the 
enlargement of the Erie canal was commenced, and the net- 
work of railways that now covers the State was just begin- 
ning to be spread. The secretary's position, it will thus be 
seen, was one of unusual responsibility, and that he filled it 
with great honor to himself and to the entire satisfaction of 

10 Life Sketches. 

the people there is abundant evidence. His admiuistration 
was especially distinguished for what it accomplished in 
behalf of the schools of the State. Hon. Samuel S. Ran- 
dall, in his " History of the Common School System of 
the State of New York," reviews General Dix's career as 
superintendent, and thus concludes : 

" In passing from the administration of General Dix to 
that of his successor, it is scarcely necessary to observe that 
the exertions of the former, during the six years in which the 
interests of the common schools were committed to his 
charge, in the elevation and expansion of the system of 
popular education, were unsurpassed by any of his predeces- 
sors. The impress of his clear, discriminating and cultivated 
mind was stamped upon every feature of that system ; and 
the order, arrangement and harmony which prevailed in all 
its parts, were due not less to the ceaseless vigilance of his 
supervision than to the symmetry and beauty of the system 
itself. In 1837, under the authority of the Legislature, he 
collected together and published a volume of the decisions of 
his predecessor and himself, embracing a full exposition of 
nearly every provision of the school act — establishing upon 
a permanent basis the principle of future interpretation, and 
exerting a highly beneficial influence upon the councils and 
proceedings of the officers and inhabitants of the" sevei'al dis- 
tricts, in repressing litigation, and in defining the powers, 
privileges and responsibilities of those called to the perform- 
ance of any duty in relation to the common schools. The 
system of district school libraries was also organized and put 
into successful operation under his immediate supervision ; 
and to his clear ajid convincing exposition of the principles 
upon which that useful and beneficent institution was based, 
the ends it was designed to subserve, and the objects it was 
capable of accomplishing, a large share of the success which 
has attended the establishment is unquestionably due." 

At the expiration of his term as a State officer, General Dix 

John A. Dix. 11 

resumed the practice of law, and devoted himself to the duties 
of his profession imtil 1842, when he was sent to the Assembly 
from Albany county. In 1845, Silas Wright was callfed 
from the United States Senate to be Governor of New York, 
and John A. Dix was elected to fill the place which he 
left. He appeared in the Senate at a time when questions 
of vast moment were agitating the country — the annexation 
of Texas, the war with Mexico, the joint occupation and 
disputed boundary of Oregon, the power of Congress over 
slaves in the territories, and others that will readily occur to 
the reader. He took an active and distinguished part in the 
discussions, and showed a broad and statesmanlike compre- 
hension of, and thorough aptitude for affairs. He was chair- 
man of the committee on commerce, and was an efficient 
member of the committee on military affairs. He fathered 
a bill for reciprocal freedom of trade with the British prov- 
inces, and one for defining the duties and reducing the 
salaries of officers of the customs in the large ports. 

William H. Sevtaed succeeded him in the Senate. In 
1848 he ran on the " free-soil " ticket for Governor, but was 
defeated by Hamilton Fish. He took an active part in 
1852 in the presidential campaign, doing much effective work 
in Feank Pierce's canvass ; but, after his candidate was 
elected, declined the portfolio of State, offered him by Pierce, 
in favor of Governor Marct. In 1853 he was appointed 
assistant treasurer in New York city, a position which he 
filled only for a short time, resigning, and devoting himself 
exclusively to his profession until 1860, when he was ap- 
pointed postmaster of New York city. And so we come to the 
grey dawn of the great rebellion — a rebellion on whose world- 
regarded stage General Dix played a prominent part, adding 
new lusti'e to an already famous name, and rendering ines- 
timable services to his country. Near the end of Buchanan's 
term, the secessionists, taking advantage of the approaching 
interregnum, had appointed a convention to meet at Mont- 

12 Life Sketches. 

gomery, Alabama, and take measures for raising an army. 
They proposed, as part of their treasonable programme, to 
seize Washington, and prevent the inauguration of Lincoln. 
Early in December, 1860, Howell Cobb resigned the con- 
trol of the treasury, giving as a reason its bankrupt and 
hopeless condition, and was succeeded by Philip F. 
Thomas, who had been commissioner of patents. Thomas 
resigned after a few weeks, being displeased with the attempt 
to reinforce Sumter. It was at this serious juncture that 
Attorney-General Stanton induced a number of leading 
capitalists of New York to demand from Buchanan the 
appointment of John A. Dix as Secretary of the Treasury — 
a demand that was complied with. "For once," says Dr. 
Drapee, speaking of the incalculable benefit that resulted 
to the cause of the Union from the presence of Dix in 
Buchanan's cabinet, " for once the financial embarrassment 
of the nation proved its salvation. The condition of the 
treasury was deplorable. The government could do nothing 
without the aid of capitalists of New York. Through 
the influence of the Attorney-General, who was instructed by 
his own patriotism, and by the clear information of the 
existing imminent danger, a deputation of capitalists hast- 
ened to Washington and gave the President distinctly to 
understand that the treasury department must be placed in 
charge of one in whom they had confidence, and that they 
should not be satisfied unless John A. Dix, of their State, 
was selected." A French writer, Laugel, says that Stan- 
ton, Holt and Dix saved Washington to the Union ; and, 
in the opinion of Dr. Deapee, "the obligations of the 
republic to those three ministers can never be repaid." 

General Dix was called to the cabinet on the 11th of 
January, 1861,and remained in it but little over a month, 
resigning at the close of Buchanan's term. And, al- 
though his tenure of the treasury was so short, yet, within 
the limits of the narrow span of his life as a cabinet oflBcer. 

JosN A. Dix. 13 

General Dix furnished a most striking exemplification of the 
poefs lines — 

We live in deeds, not years. 

He most lives 

Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acta tM beat. 

It was while he held this office, that he wrote his famous 
dispatch, whose fac simile we present on another page, 
which has well been characterized as " the most concentrated 
and burning war-cry of the Union." The circumstances 
under which it was written were these. General Dix had 
sent W. H. Jones as special agent of the treasury depart- 
ment, to secure three revenue cutters. Jones found one of 
them, the " McClelland," in the possession of the authorities 
of Alabama, and hastening to New Orleans, addressed a note 
to Captain Bkeshwood, of that cutter, inclosing one from 
the Secretary of the Treasury, directing him to proceed 
immediately with his vessel to New York. Bkeshwood at 
once replied, "Your letter, with one of the 19th of Janu- 
ary, (1861) from the Honorable Secretary of the Treasury, 
I have duly received, and in reply, refuse to obey the order." 
Jones immediately communicated the fact of this refusal to 
the Secretary of the Treasury by telegraph, and further 
informed him that Collector Hatch of New Orleans, sus- 
tained the action of the rebel captain. It was under these 
circumstances, that General Dix promptly replied to Jones 
with a telegram, ending with that sentence touched with a 
live coal from the altar of patriotism, "If ant one 


HIM ON THE SPOT ! " This Order speedily became a proverb 
on every true American's lips, and Greeley, in his American 
Conflict, most justly records that it " sent an electric thrill 
through the loyal heart of the country." Probably one of 
the highest, and certainly the most unique of the many 
compliments paid to Dix's battle-cry, emanated from a Sun- 
day school scholar, at Akron, Ohio. Mookb, in his EebeUion 

14 Life Sketches. 

Record, tells of him. He was a lad of eleven, and on being 
requested with other members of his class, to repeat from 
the Bible a verse of his own selection, promptly gave the fol- 
lowing : " If any one attempts to haul down the American 
flag, shoot him on the spot ! " 

In 1861 General Dix presided at the great meeting held in 
Union Square, New York, and made a great and effective 
speech, in the course of which he said : " I regard the pend- 
ing contest with the secessionists as a death-struggle for 
constitutional liberty and law — a contest which, if successful 
on their part, could only end in the establishment of a 
despotic government, and blot out, wherever they were 
ascendant, every vestige of national freedom. We stand before 
the statue of the Father of his country ; [the stand from 
which the General spoke was near the equestrian statue of 
Washington] ; the flag of the Union which floats over it hung 
above him when he presided over the convention by which 
the constitution was framed. The great work of his life has 
been rejected, and the banner by which his labors were con- 
secrated has been trampled in the dust. If the inanimate 
bronze, in which the sculptor has shaped his image, could be 
changed for the living form which led the armies of the 
Revolution to victory, he would command us, in the name 
of the hosts of patriots and political martyrs who have gone 
before, to strike for the defense of the Union and the Con- 
stitution." A few weeks after making this speech, General 
Dix was appointed Major-General in the army of the United 
States, and in August of the same year, 1861, he relieved 
General Banks of the command of the department of Mary- 
land, with his head-quarters at Baltimore. It was while he 
was in command at Baltimore that he manifested his military 
genius by a strategic movement which relieved the eastern 
shore of Maryland and Virginia from the rebel grasp. 

General Dix was subsequently placed in command of 
Fortress Monroe, and in 1863 performed one of the best 
manoeuvres of the campaign. In June he sent a portion of 

John A. D IX. 15 

his command to the White House, at the junction of the 
Pamuukey with the York river. In this position he threat- 
ened both Eichmond and tlie communications of General 
Lee, who was advancing along the peninsula. This move- 
ment defeated all General Lee's plans, and so frightened 
Jeff. Davis that he wrote an appealing letter to General Lee, 
saying that it had "rendered him more anxious for the city 
than at any former time." In July the department of North 
Carolina was added to that of Virginia, and both placed 
under command of General Dix, until he was transferred to 
the command of the department of the east. 

General Dix's general order to all provost marshals, with 
regard to rebel and other refugees in Canada, crossing the 
lines to vote at the presidential election in 1864, ordering 
their arrest, excited a great amount of attention at the time, 
and had the effect of checking such fraudulent voting, the 
election being one of the most peaceable ever witnessed. He 
also ordered that after the election, should any suspicious 
persons cross into Canada, they were to be detained until 
proper investigations could be made. He also organized the 
courts for the trial of JoHJf Y. Beall and R. C. Kennedy, 
as spies, conspirators and incendiaries, during February and 
March, which resulted in their execution. 

At the close of the war General Dix resigned his position 
in the army, and, renewing his interest in politics, joined his 
fortunes with the National Union party, of whose conven- 
tion, at Philadelphia in the summer of 1866, he was chair- 
man. In the same year he was appointed minister to 
France, after having declined the mission to the Hague, and 
was presented to the Emperor in January, 1867. As our 
national representative, he added to his own and his 
country's honor by discharging all his duties with the same 
distinguished ability that had marked his previous career of 
soldier and statesman. The prominent part he played in 
the famous coup d'etat of last winter, by which the Erie 
railroad was rescued from the ring who were running it for 

16 Life Skbtcses. 

their own aggrandizement, is too recent to need more than 
a passing mention here. 

General Dix received his degree of Master of Arts from 
Brown University in 1830, and that of Doctor of Laws from 
Geneva College in 1845. He has found time in the pauses 
of his busy life to turn aside into his library long enough to 
turn out some literaiy work of a high order of nierit, notably 
a book of travel, " A Winter in Madeira and A Summer in 
Spain and Florence." His speeches and occasional addresses 
and lectures have been compiled in two handsome volumes. 
The late General Halpine, better known by his nom de 
plume of " Miles O'Reilly," the brilliant young Irishman who 
was for some time on General Dix's staff, in his racy remin- 
iscences of the war, to which he gave the title of " Baked 
Meats," bears witness to the fine attainments of the General 
in classics and belle-lettres. He writes : 

" General Dix, as should be known to every one, is an 
extremely elegant classical scholar, who has carried forward 
with him, through all the varied and valuable labors of his 
public life, an unfading love and continual study of those 
great masters of antiquity by whose precepts, and upon whose 
model, his own pure and noble mind was originally formed. 
Let any one who seeks to know the value of such an educa- 
tion contrast the dignity, urbanity and stainless integrity 
which have marked the life of this gentleman with the far 
different qualities for which many of our public men are 
alone to be distinguished, and we think a full answer will be 
given to the too common, though vulgar and senseless 
inquiry: ' Of what practical use are classical attainments ?' " 

After these prefatory words, Miles submits to his readers 
the following extremely literal and yet extremely elegant 
translation, by General Dix, of Horace's famous ode (Liber 
III, Carmen xxx) : 

JoBN A. Dix, 17 

I've reared a monument to fame 
More durable than solid brass, 
Which will, in loftiness of aim. 
The regal pyramids surpass. 

Ko wasting shower, no rending storm 
Shall mar the work my genius rears ; 

No lapse of time shall change its form. 
No countless series of years. 

I shall not wholly die : my name 
Shall triumph o'er oblivion's power. 

And fresh, with still increasing fame. 
In glory posthumous shall tower. 

While to the Capitolium 

The Priest and Silent Virgin come. 

Where Aufidus impetuous roars. 
And Daunus, over arid shores 

And rural population reigns — 
Shall I, once weak — now potent — live 
As first of all the bards to give 

^olian verse to Latin strains. 

Give me, Melpomene divine 1 

The glory due to deathless lays ; 
Propitious to my vows incline 

And crown me with Apollo's bays I 

His translations of Dies Irae and Stabat Mater rank with 
the most successful renderings of those two great mediaeval 
hymns into English. 

The nomination which resulted in calling General Dix to 
the gubernatorial chair was not only unsought by him, but 
distinctly declined. But finding that the Republican con- 
vention at Utica deemed it of so much importance that his 
name should head the ticket as to place it there in opposition 
to his wishes, he waived his personal preferences and con- 
sented to become the standard-bearer. His triumph was 
Buch as any man might justly be proud of. In the entire 
State his vote led that of General Grant, and in those local- 

18 Life Sketches. 

ities in which he was best known he proved strongest, as in 
Kings county, where he led the ticket by 5,000. 

General Dix has already passed the allotted term of human 
life as laid down by the psalmist, and yet so erect, alert and 
vigorous is he, despite his three score and ten years, his eye 
not dim nor his natural force abated, that he stands to-day 
" the un wasted contemporary of his own prime." 

THE governor's STAFF. 

Governor Dix's military family is composed of the fol- 
lowing members : 

Maj.-Gen. John F. Eathbone, of Albany, Adjutant-Gene- 

Brevet Maj.-Gen. William H. Morris, of Cold Spring, 
Inspector- General. 

Brig-Gen. Kilburn Knox, of N"ew York, Chief of Ord- 

Brig.-Gen. N. Gano Dunn, of New York, Engineer-in- 

Brig.-Gen. J.Hampden Wood, of Albany, Judge- Advocate- 

Brig.-Gen. William M. Smith, of Angelica, Allegany 
county, Surgeon-General. 

Brig.-Gen. John N. Knapp, of Auburn, Quartermaster- 

Brig.-Gen. Eufus H. King, of Albany, Paymaster- 

Brig.-Gen. Theodore E. Smith, of Rochester, Commis- 
sary-General of Subsistence. 

Col. George G. Haven, of Few York; Col. Chester 
Griswold, of Troy ; Col. Robert C. Prittn, of Albany ; 
Col. Hamilton Fish, Jr., of New York ; Col. Wm. A. W. 
Stewart, of New York; Col. Hiram P. Hopkins, of Buf- 
falo, Aides-de-Camp. Military Secretary, Col. Sidney 
De Kat. 

John A. Dix. 19 

General Eathbone has long shown a deep interest in 
the National Guard, and his distinction as the commanding 
officer for years of the Ninth Brigade, his high executive and 
organizing ability, combined to eminently fit him for the im- 
portant position of Adjutant-General. He has long been the 
ardent friend of our State military organization. During the 
war, as the commandant of the Albany Depot of Volunteers 
and all the branch depots subsidiary to it, and liaving some- 
times from twenty to forty thousand men under his imme- 
diate charge, he evinced great capacity for organization, and 
few men rendered such signal service in the preparation of 
New York's quota for the war of the Union. 

General William H. Morkis, the Inspector-General, has 
served upon the staff as Commissary-General of Ordnance, 
and also in the army of the Union. He is a good soldier 
and a cultured gentleman. Gen. Knox was for some time 
Captain of the 13th Eegular Infantry, and subsequently served 
on the staflFof General McPherson. He is every way qualified 
for the honorable place assigned him. Gen. N. Gang Dunn, 
the Engineer-in-Chief, has been prominently identified with 
the military in New York, where he has acquired the reputa- 
tion of a thorough and accomplished officer. General Wood, 
the Judge- Advocate-General, is a young lawyer of honorable 
standing in his profession, and the highest personal worth. 
He is a son of Hon. Bkadford E. Wood, late American 
Minister to Denmark. 

Gen. John N. Knapp, Quartermaster-General, is the able 
and efficient secretary of the Eepublican State Committee, 
and a gentleman of high business and social position. The 
Paymaster-General, Gen. Eufus H. King, bears a name and 
is identified with a family honorably associated with the staff' 
in the past, and is himself a genial, cultivated gentleman. 

A word or two about the aides. Col. George G. Haven is 
a gentleman of high standing in the financial and social cir- 

20 Life Sketcbes. 

cles of the metropolis. Ool. Chester Griswold is the 
eldest son of the late Hon. John" A. Griswold, and his 
appointment is a graceful testimony, both of the regard of 
Gov. Dix for the memory of his lamented father, and of his 
appreciation of the worth of the accomplished son. Col. 
fiOBEET C. Prittn is the son of Hon. Robert H. Prutn, 
and is equally fitted for the position of Aide, by his military 
tastes and his gentlemanly bearing. Col. Hamilton Fish, 
Jr., inherits not only the name but the culture of the dis- 
tinguished Secretary of State. Col. William A. W. Stew 
ART is the son of John A. Stewart, the well-known 
President of the Trust Company. Col. Hiram P. Hopkins 
js the son of Comptroller Hopkins, and worthily represents 
the city which is honored in his selection. 

Col. De Kat got his practical military education by long 
and arduous service in our own war, and afterward in Greece, 
whither he went as a volunteer and nearly lost his life through 
a severe wound. Both from his legal and military acquire- 
ments he is peculiarly fitted to discharge the duties of the 
place to which the Governor has called him. 

John C. Robinson. 21 



Men often in a single sentence as perfectly reveal their 
ruling passion and peculiar traits of character, as in long 
years of public service. Gbant's saying, " We will fight it out 
on this line if it takes all summer," affords as clear an illus- 
tration of his sturdy persistency, as if he had written a score 
of volumes to prove that perseverance is the cardinal virtue. 

General Dix's mental activity and proverbial promptitude 
found expression in his famous saying, " If any one hauls 
down the American flag, shoot him on the spot ! " The sen- 
tence is an embodiment of uncompromising patriotism, and it 
aflFords a perfect illustration of the energetic character of the 
man. Scarcely less striking, and more epigramatic was the 
expression made use of by the distinguished soldier, the pres- 
ent Lieutenant-Governor of New York, whose name stands at 
the head of this sketch. When General Eobinson was lead- 
ing his division, amid a shower of bullets, against Spottsyl- 
vania, he encouraged his followers with the battle-cry, "This 
PLACE MUST BE OURS." The words indicate that peculiar deter- 
mination and courage which constitute the leading features 
in the General's character — features that are prominently 
brought out in a survey of his life. 

John Cleveland Robinson was born in Binghamton, 
Broome county, April 10, 1817. He entered the Military 
Academy in 1835, and remained there until 1838, when he 
began the study of law, but received in 1839 a commission as 
second lieutenant in the Fifth infantry. He was ordered to 
the Rio Grande in 1845, and was promoted to be first lieu- 
tenant during the Mexican war, in which he was distin- 
guished at the battle of Monterey. At the close of that war 
he served with his regiment in Arkansas, in the Cherokee 
nation, and Texas ; was made captain in 1850, and was after- 

22 Life Sketcsms. 

ward sent against tlie Indians in Florida. In 1857 he accom- 
panied the army in Utah, and was' placed in command of 
Fort Bridger. At the beginning of the civil war he com- 
manded at Fort McHenry, Baltimore. When relieved from 
this duty he was sent to the West, as mustering oflBcer, and 
remained as such until appointed colonel of the First Regiment 
of Michigan volunteers. He was promoted to be major of 
the Second infantry in February, 1862 ; was made brigadier- 
general of volunteers in the following April, and took com- 
mand of a brigade at Newport News in May, but was soon 
ordered to the army of the Potomac, and placed in command 
of the First Brigade of Keabket's division, the corps of 
General Heiktzelmak. He was distinguished during the 
seven days battles before Richmond, particularly those fought 
on June 30 and July 1, 1862, when he was slightly wounded. 
He participated in the Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Center- 
ville, Culpepper, Mine Run and Rapidan campaigns. When 
the army of the Potomac started on the overland campaign of 
1864, General Robinson was in command of a division in the 
Fifth corps, and at the opening of the battle of Spottsylvania 
he was ordered to the advance on Todd's Tavern, with Gen- 
eral Sheridan's cavalry. On reaching the Cross Roads, the 
enemy made a determined stand behind breastworks. An 
attempt was made to carry this position, which failed, when 
General Robinson, riding coolly up to the head of his men, 
said, " This place must be ours ! " and asked his command to 
follow him. 

The call was responded to with enthusiasm, and a charge 
was made. A terrible fire of musketry was encountered, and 
General Robinson received a bullet in his left knee, the 
wound rendering amputation of the thigh necessary. After 
his convalescence. General Robinson was unable to endure 
the fatigues of active duty, and was employed in various 
capacities until 1869, when he retired from active service with 
the full rank of Major-General. Since that date he has been 

John C. Robinson. 23 

an active and efficient member of the Republican party, but 
has taken no very prominent part in public affairs. 

During the extended military service of General Robiitson, 
he passed through many thrilling incidents and perils. 
How he saved Fort McHenry at Baltimore from capture is 
well worth relating here. It was the first of the series of 
strategy which our goTernment and our military command- 
ers were so often obliged to resort to. He had with him 
only one hundred men ; and, after the attack on the sixth 
Massachusetts in the streets of Baltimore, the rebels contem- 
plated seizing on the fort, succeeding in which, they would 
have gained an advantage of the greatest importance. A 
steamer opportunely came in to coal, and General EoBiifsoiir 
seized upon the event to create the impression that she had 
brought in reinforcements. He put up tents and made a 
display, seemingly of a large force of troops newly arrived 
and hastily accommodated. The ruse succeeded. The 
rebels thought their attack had been anticipated and pre- 
pared for ; so Fort McHenry remained in our possession ever 
after, to declare to the rebels that, even though they cap- 
tured Washington, it would be of no permanent advantage 
to them. 

General Robinsoit, with all the austerity of a military 
nature, yet has a very kindly heart. He is a thorough 
republican; loves the people, and has an abiding faith in 
their capacity to govern themselves. He is inclined to socia- 
bility, when once his " outworks of reserve " are penetrated, 
and he then becomes as communicative as any one could 

In the convention which nominated General Robinson 
for Lieutenant-Governor, several admirable names were sug- 
gested. Senator Thayer, of Troy, the chief competitor, 
had hosts of warm friends, and would have peculiarly graced 
the position. But the soldierly qualities of General Robin- 
soiiT gained him the day. His supporters adopted his motto, 
and gained success to the cry " this place (on the ticket) shall 

24 Life Sketches. 

be ours." The career of General Eobinsoi?' is well known 
to the people. One of the most gallant and distinguished 
soldiers of [the Empire State, his record in the war is of the 
brightest lustre. His comrades in arms presented him with 
a unanimity and a zeal which showed their high apprecia- 
tion of his great soldierly worth ; and the people of the 
State elected him by a most flattering vote. 

We close our sketch by appending the terse and appropriate 
remarks made by the General on the day when he entered 
upon the discharge of his duties as President of the Senate. 
He addressed the Senate, as follows : 

" Senators : In taking this chair, and entering upon the 
duties of the office with which I have been honored by the 
people of this State, I have an adequate sense of the respon- 
sibilities of the position. 

" Without any of the experience in legislative proceedings, 
possessed by most of my predecessors, and which I believe 
to be requisite to a prompt and correct decision of perplex- 
ing questions, I may not at all times meet your expectations. 
But, with a firm determination to discharge the duties of my 
oflBce honestly, faithfully and impartially, I shall expect and 
hope to receive your indulgence, until experience shall make 
me familiar with the proceedings of a body which has been 
distinguished for its order, dignity and learning. 

" I congratulate you on the favorable circumstances under 
which we meet. TChe State and National Administrations 
are once more in full accord. The country is in the enjoy- 
ment of peace at home and abroad. The people of the State 
are prosperous and contented, and in the enjoyment of all 
the rights and privileges guaranteed to them by the Consti- 
tution and laws of the land. 

" During this session, important measures will be brought 
before you for your consideration, and much good is expected 
from your deliberations, in the enactment of good and 
wholesome laws. 

" I am sure you will unite with me in wishing that the 
action of the Senate may be such as to meet the just expecta- • 
tions of the public, and conduce to the welfare, prosperity 
and happiness of the people of the State." 

6. Hilton Scsisnjsr. 25 



G. Hilton Scribnek, Secretai-y of State, was born at 
Ogden, Monroe county, N. Y., on the 23d of June, 1831. 
His ancestors, on both the paternal and maternal side, were 
English, and both came to Massachusetts in the first half of 
the seventeenth century. His father, Sewell B. Scbibner, 
who is still living, with unimpaired faculties, at the age of 
eighty, was one of the pioneers of western New York, hav- 
ing removed from his native place, Andover, New Hamp- 
shire, and settled in Monroe county in 1816 — Rochester 
being at that time but a mere hamlet. His mother, Clar- 
issa HiLTOif, a woman of great intellectual power, rare cul- 
tivation and refined tastes, was born in Allegany county, her 
family coming hither at an early day from Newburyport, 

Young ScBiBNEB received good common school instruc- 
tion at his native place, which at that time possessed excellent 
educational advantages. Leaving home, he became a student 
at the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary at Lima, N. Y., and after 
remaining there for two years, he entered college at Oberlin, 
where he at once took a marked rank, receiving the highest 
honors for his thoroughness and originality. He had early 
chosen the law as his profession, and, upon the close of ^is 
collegiate course, in 1853, he started for New York, with no 
friends or acquaintances in the great city, with scanty means 
and little to encourage him except his own cherished pur- 
poses, and a firm heart. 

He read law in the office of Hon. Dakiel B. Taylob, 
who, at that time, enjoyed a large practice and possessed one 
of the largest and best selected law libraries in the city. 
Laborious and indefatigable as a student, he soon made him- 
self complete master of the theory of law, and iii 1855 was 

26 Life Sketcbes. 

admitted to the bar. Soon after he was also admitted to 
practice in tlie United States courts as proctor, solicitor and 
advocate. In October, 1856, having married the eldest 
daughter of Hon. J. 0. Petting ill, of Eochester, N. Y., he 
chose Yonkers, Westchester county, as his home, where he 
has since resided, holding many important town and village 
oflBces and trusts. Eising rapidly in his profession, his pru- 
dence as a counselor and ability as an advocate soon gave him 
a large and lucrative practice. His peculiar executive power 
and reliable judgment in business transactions, making them- 
selves apparent, he was retained as the counsel for many 
moneyed corporations and large estates, and in the year 1862 
he was one of the organizers of the North America Life 
Insurance Company of New York, of which he became a 
director and counsel. About this time, after collating and 
analyzing facts and statistics in respect to travel and acci- 
dents throughout the United States for a series of years, he 
framed a bill for presentation to the Legislature to allow this 
company to insure against accidents to travelers; the bill 
was passed, and thus the first authority was granted in this 
country for " accident insurance." 

Though so thoroughly a business man and so perfectly 
devoted to his profession, yet amid all the calls upon his 
time he never permitted his taste for literature or art to 
become dulled or enfeebled; often organizing and always 
connected with one or more literary circles, he could not 
suffer his love of learning, the theoretical and the beautiful, 
to be stifled by the cares or responsibilities of his profession 
or the routine of daily labor. He has gathered at his home 
a gallery of rare pictures and works of art, a library replete 
with the printed thoughts of the best and great, and is 
recognized among artists and men of letters as an appre- 
ciative critic — a man of cultivated judgment. 

Born of Whig parentage, Mr. Sceibnee early attached him- 
self to that party, and remained a member of it until it had 
outlived its usefulness. He attended the national conven- 

0. Hilton Scribner. 27 

tion which nominated Fremont, at Philadelphia in 1856, 
and has acted with the Republican party ever since. He was 
frequently sent to State conventions as a delegate, and in 
1863 was made chairman of the Republican county com- 
mittee for Westchester county. About this time, there were 
published at Yonkers, two papers "The Examiner" and 
" The Clarion," both professing allegiance to the Republican 
party, but crippling its prospects in Westchester county by 
local strifes and personal animosities. Mr. Sckibnbr per- 
ceiving this, and persuading a few of his friends to join him, 
they purchased the two papers, consolidated them, and thus 
was born " The Statesman," the paper now having the largest 
circulation and greatest influence in the 11th congressional 

In 1866, Mr. Sceibner, with others, organized the Conti- 
nental Life Insurance Company of N. Y., becoming its vice- 
president and counsel, and the unexampled success of this 
corporation is due in a measure to his skill and energy. Dur- 
ing these years, directing an extensive law practice, president 
of the Palisade Bank at Yonkers, and acting director of several 
large corporations, the tax upon his energies became onerous, 
and having accumulated a moderate fortune, in 1868 he 
retii-ed from business, leaving a bright and successful pro- 
fessional record of thirteen years. He traveled in Europe, 
and on his return home, while on a visit to his father in 
western New York, he was nominated in 1869 for the State 
Senate. Owing to prior engagements he declined this nom- 
ination, and in the same year was elected President of the 
Empire Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York. 

It had been the habit of the Legislature for several years 
previous to this time, at each sitting, to pass bills providing 
for the construction of boulevards (so called) in the lower 
districts of Westchester county, and, by reason of these leg- 
islative permissions, taxes had been increased enormously 
in these lower towns. Mr. Scribner was, from the begin- 
ning, most resolutely opposed to these oppressive and unjust 

38 Life Sketches. 

measures, and upon this issue, accepting the nomination for 
the Assembly in 1870,. he was elected by a majority of about 
six hundred, from a district which usually gare a Demo- 
cratic majority of nearly 1,700, being the first member, other 
than a JJemocrat, elected from the district in thirty-two 
years. He soon made his influence felt in the House, and 
gained a favorable standing with his constituency and the 
Kepublican party of the State. 

In March, 1871, he. engaged with some of his friends, 
members of the Legislature, in the organization of the Young 
Men's State Republican Association, and was elected first 
president of the same. During this session there had been 
a marked want of unity of purpose and action among the 
Republican members in both branches. Sufficient in num- 
bers to have checked improper legislation, and in many 
instances to have assumed control, the party was so dis- 
tracted by strife and estrangement among its so-called 
leaders, that its course was purposeless and feeble in the 
extreme. To unite these discordant elements for the coming 
campaign was the chief object of this organization. The 
movement was an important one, and its leader was well 
fitted for the position. A meeting of this association was held 
in May, 1871, in New York city, thirty-eight assembly districts 
being represented. Arrangements were there made for a con- 
vention, to be held in the following June, at Binghamton. 
At this convention, at which Mr. ScJKiBifEE presided, no less 
than eighty assembly districts were represented. This organ- 
ization gained to a fair extent, and as fully as the most san- 
guine of its promoters could have anticipated, the confidence 
of both wings of the party in the State, and Mr. Scribner 
having shown himself a true and faithful leader, was nomi- 
nated by acclamation, in 1871, at the Republican State con- 
vention at Syracuse, for Secretary of State, and this nomi- 
nation was duly confirmed by the people in the November 
following, the ticket being elected by a majority of about 

0. Hilton Scribnes. 29 

Soon after the close of the Legislature of 1871 the repre- 
sentatives of the insurance, and other corporations of the 
State, united in a complimentary tribute to Mr. Scribker 
for his intelligent, able and successful opposition to unjust 
legislation while Member of Assembly. The compliment 
was as creditable to those who paid it as it was deserved by 
the recipient, both Democrats and Kepublicans uniting in 
this bribute as a just and proper recognition of the services 
of a faithful public oflBcer. The presentation ceremonies, 
which took place at the chambers of the Board of Under- 
writers, in New York, called together a large number of the 
leading men of the State, and the record of what was said 
and done was one of which any man might well be proud. 
In offering for Mr. Scribker's acceptance a magnificent 
service of plate. Judge Savage, president of the Board of 
Underwriters, presented to him the following address, beauti- 
fully engrossed upon parchment, with the autograph signa- 
tures of the parties whose names are appended thereto : 

testimonial to the HON. G. HILTON SCRIBNER. 

"Eegarding the conscientious discharge of the duties of an 
elect representative of the people as of far greater conse- 
quence than the triumph of party, or the most brilliant suc- 
cess of ambition, and, sincerely and deeply lamenting, as the 
prevailing degeneracy demands, the decline of legislative 
purity, honor and integrity, we are impelled, by these consid- 
erations, to pay a tribute due to you for the faithful and 
exemplary fulfillment of the trust reposed in you by your 
election to the Legislature of the State of New York. 

"The course you have pursued as a member of the Legisla- 
ture for 1871 has attracted the attentive regard and received 
the emphatic commendation of all classes, of every interest, 
opinion and party. Your unwavering and able maintenance 
of just and intelligent views, and pure measures of public 
good, in defiance of an active and powerful opposition, and 
great and numerous temptations, is, in times like the pres- 
ent, a worthy subject of congratulation to your own imme- 
diate constituency, and to the electors and people of the 
Empire State. 

30 Life Sketches. 

" The subscribers have special reasons to acknowledge the 
merit of your public services. The aggressive and danger- 
ous character of recent legislation on insurance, in various 
States of the Union, threatens the prosperity and very exist- 
ence in this country of this beneficent institution ; and the 
particular purpose of this testimonial is to express, in behalf 
of the life and fire insurance compauies, and other corporate 
interests of this metropolis, their grateful appreciation 
of the potent influence and strenuous eflforts you have con- 
stantly exerted to secure them the privileges and protection 
to which they are, by their importance and usefulness, so 
fully and fairly entitled. 

" Above all do we feel cordial pleasure in acknowledging the 
value of your championship in repelling the assaults made 
upon the vested rights of these corporations, which, if suc- 
cessful, would have destroyed public confidence in their 
securities, ruined their business, and dealt a fatal blow at 
the commercial and financial supremacy of this Common- 

" With this brief and general testimony to the eflScient zeal 
and aljiiity displayed by you throughout your public career, 
which deserves a more detailed description than might be 
acceptable to your modest sense of your own merits, accept 
the assurances of our profound esteem, and our hearty thanks 
for the protection you have so essentially helped to extend to 
persons and property, and for your powerful and successful 
advocacy of the cause of the widow and orphan, and the true 
principles and practice of good and wise government. 

"New York, May 1, 1871. 


" George W. Miller, Superintendent Insurance Department. 
F. S. Winston, President Mutual Life. William C. Alex- 
ander, President Equitable Life. H. B. Hyde, Vice-President 
Equitable Life. Morris Franklin, President New York Life. 
W. H. Beers, Vice-President New York Life. John E. 
De Witt, President United States Life. Henry Stokes, Presi- 
dent Manhattan Life. C. Y. Wemple, Vice-President Man- 
hattan Life. Erastus Lyman, President Knickerbocker Life. 
W. H. Peckham, President Guardian Mutual Life. Cyrus 
Curtis, President Washington Life. William A. Brewer, Jr., 
Vice-President Washington Life. Hugo Wesendonck, Presi- 
dent Germania Life. Kobert L. Case, President Security 

0. Hilton Scbibnee. 31 

Life. Theodore E. Wetmore, Vice-President Security Life. 
N. D. Morgan, President North America Life. Pliny Free- 
man, President Globe Mutixal Life. Charles H. Raymond, 
President "Widows' and Orphans' Benefit Life. Edward A. 
Jones, President National Life. Chj-istian W. Bouck, Presi- 
dent Brooklyn Life. William Walker, President Universal 
Life. Justus Lawrence, President Continental Life. James 
H. Frothingham, President World Mutual Life. C. N. Mor- 
gan, President Excelsior Life. George Opdyke, Standard 
Life. John E. Hegeman, Vice-President Metropolitan Life. 
Henry A. Oakley, President New York Board of Fire 
Underwriters. George W. Savage, Vice-President New 
York Board of Fire Underwriters. Charles J. Mar- 
tin, President Home Life Insurance Company. George 
T. Hope, President Continental Insurance Company. 
Carlisle Norwood, President Lorillard Insurance Company. 
Stephen Crowell, President Phoenix Insurance Company. 

A. F. Hastings, President Security Insurance Company. 

B. S. Walcott, President Hanover Fire Insurance Company. 
Alexander Stoddart, General Agent Underwriters' Agency. 
John K. Myers, President Pacific Mutual Jnsurance Com- 
pany. James P.Wallace, President New York Guarantee and 
Indemnity Company. John A. Stewart, President United 
States Trust Company. J. E. Southworth, President Atlan- 
tic National Bank. William Orton, President Western 
Union Telegraph Company. John E. Williams, President 
Metropolitan National Bank. William L. Wallace, Presi- 
dent West Side Elevated Eailroad Company. H. P. 
Morgan, President Government Security Life. George B. 
Satterlee, President Eclectic Life. Andrew W. Morgan, 
President Mutual Protection Life. D. D. T. Marshall, 
President Homoeopathic Mutual Life. Edward A. Lam- 
bert, President Craftsmen's Life. E. Dwight Kendall, 
President Amicable Mutual Life. William Edsall, Vice- 
President Hope Mutual Life. James B. Pearson, President 
Commonwealth Life. E. W. Crowell, Eesident Manager 
Imperial Fire. Ezra White, North British and Mercantile 
Insurance Company. Alfred Pell, Liverpool, London and 
Globe. John Adriance, President Central Park and North 
Eiver Eailroad Company." 

After reading the address, Judge Savage said : " On behalf 
of these great interests, and these numerous friends here 
assembled, allow me to present you with this written state 

32 Life Sketches. 

ment of our opinion and our respect, and also, on behalf of 
the same interests, allow me to present to you this testi- 
monial of our rospect and esteem toward you (referring to 
the silver service). I am happy to say that you fully deserve 
it, and I have no doubt you are, as you ought to be, proud 
to-day to receive the expression of the grateful feelings of 
these monetary interests of New York, acknowledged as due 
to yoa." 

Mr. ScEiBNER made an eloquent and appropriate response, 
after which congratulatory addresses were delivered by 
Hon. William Oeton, Hon. Chaukcet M. Depew and 
Hon. William Baekes. 

Mr. ScEiRUEE, since entering upon his present oflBce, has 
resided in Albany during the sessions of the Legislature, 
and, as a member of the Canal Board, a Commissioner of 
the Land OflBce, a Eegent of the University, and member of 
the State Board of Charities, has been most eflBcient and 
constant in his attendance, and so administered the State 
Department as to avoid all complaint and criticism, and 
meet with the general approval of all. 

Besides acting in his official capacity, as Secretary of State, 
Mr. ScRiBNEE holds also some important business positions 
and trusts, among which may be mentioned a directorship in 
the Atlantic National Bank, New York city; the Loaners' 
Bank, New York city ; the Abingdon Square Savings Bank, 
New York city ; the Continental Life Insurance Co., New 
York city ; the German American Fire Insurance Co., New 
York city ; and is a trustee of the American Bible Union, 
New York, the Kochester Theological Seminary, and the St. 
John Riverside Hospital. 

Thought and its translation into action constitute life. 
He, then, may most fitly be called representative whose life 
is the most perfect complement of his noble and successful 
ideas. The division of men into thinkers and practical men, 
however unfortunate, is generally well grounded. But, in 
the subject of this sketch, we have an exception. Mr. Scrib- 

G. Hilton Scribner. 33 

NER turns to practical account broad and vigorous thought, 
and thus makes to himself power. A man of deep and 
accurate thinking, he is at the same time a man of fearless 
and decided action, illustrating in his business, professional 
and political experience the possibilities under the genius 
of our American institutions, where energy and integrity 
are united, and demonstrating with equal clearness that per- 
sonal and political popularity are quite compatible with 
strict fidelity to public trust. 

34 Life Sketches. 



The family of Hon. Nelson K. Hopkim'S, Comptroller of 
the State, was of New England origin. His father, General 
Timothy S. Hopkins, emigrated in the year 1800 from 
Great Barrington, Mass., to Williamsville, a small town in 
the vicinity of Buffalo, in the then county of Niagara. By 
occupation a farmer, he was a man of sterling sense and 
worth, and held various public offices of trust and honor, 
both in the civil and military service. He was commissioned 
as a Captain by Gov. George Clinton, as Major by Gov. Mor- 
gan Lewis, and as Lieutenant-Colonel and Brigadier-Gen- 
eral by Gov. Daniel D. Tompkins. Nelson, the second of 
the five sons now living, was born on the 2d of March, 
1819. He remained on the farm until he was about sixteen 
years of age, when he attended school for a time at Fredonia 
in the county of Chautauqua. From 1838 to 1840, he was a 
student in the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary at Lima, where 
he completed his collegiate preparations, and in the spring 
of the latter year entered the sophomore class of Union Col- 
lege, graduating in 1842 with high standing. Among his 
class-mates wo(«» several who have since attained distinction, 
including Hon. Clarkson N. Potter, member of Congress, 
and Hon. James Wood, of the State Senate. In connection 
with the latter an interesting circumstance is related of 
young Hopkins. The two students, as was not unfrequent 
among their associates, visited Albany on one occasion, and 
neither being blessed with a surplus of money, they found 
themselves at the close of their stay without the means of 
returning. In this exigency, nothing daunted, the spirited 
young men started on foot and faithfully trudged all the 
way from Albany to Schenectady. 
Even before entering college, the subject of this sketch had 

Nelson K. Hopkins. 35 

evinced strong force of character and energy of purpose. At 
the age of nineteen he had been elected captain of a company 
in the State militia, and at the time of the " Patriot War," 
■which centered about the Niagara river, though still a student 
at Lima, he was called home to enter the service with his 
company, and for a month had command of Black Rock in 
the vicinity of Buffalo. Returning from college, Mr. Hop- 
kins began the study of law in the office of Hon. Elbkidqe 
6. Spattlding at Buffalo, and in 1846 was admitted as an 
attorney. From the very first he has enjoyed an honorable 
and lucrative practice. He has especially had confided to 
him the most delicate duties in the settlement of estates, the 
establishment of titles and all that branch of professional 
service, and in these positions of fiduciary trust has secured 
the highest respect for his honor, fidelity and capacity. In 
1848, he married the only daughter of Hon. Oelando 
Allen", but she died in 1853. In 1855, he married his 
present wife, who is the eldest daughter of the late Hon. 
HiKAM Pbatt, and a most estimable lady. His family con- 
sists of five children. 

Although Mr. Hopkins has always been actively engaged 
in professional labors, he has at various times been called to 
serve his fellow-citizens. Frequently elected supervisor and 
alderman, he was also one year president of the common 
council. In 1866 he was appointed Collector of Internal 
Revenue, and filled that position with credit and satisfaction. 
He has also been for many years a director and attorney of 
White's Bank at Buffalo ; attorney for the Western Savings 
Bank; life member of the Young Men's Association ; trustee . 
of the Free Grosvenor Library ; and has held many positions 
of public and professional trust, attesting the high esteem 
with which he is regarded by the community where he lives. 
Such was the great respect entertained for him by those 
among whom he has always resided, and such their elevated 
opinion especially of the conscientiousness and ability for 
financial administration which he has displayed throughout 

36 Life Sketches. 

his career, that, without his own solicitation or knowledge, 
he was unanimously presented by the Erie delegation at the 
Republican State Convention of 1871, as a candidate for 
Comptroller, and promptly nominated. He and his associates 
were recognized as embodying the reform sentiment then so 
pronounced among the people, and the ticket was elected by 
a handsome majority. 

In this responsible ofi&ce, Mr. Hopkiks has signally vindi- 
cated the judgment with which he was selected, and proved 
himself a worthy successor of such men as Marct, Wright, 
Flaqg, Fillmore, Hillhouse and Allek. None of his 
predecessors have received more general and cordial com- 
mendation than he has for the faithful vigilance with which 
he has guarded the interests of the State and the marked 
ability with which he has administered its finances. Whether 
a comptroller be lax or rigid in the discharge of his duties 
may entail a loss or effect a saving of thousands upon thou- 
sands to the treasury. At the outset, Mr. Hopkins adopted 
the rule of giving the most careful scrutiny to every matter 
coming before him, and this rule he has scrupulously 
observed, transacting the business of the State with the same 
care and watchfulness and frugality which he would carry 
into the conduct of private business. He reduced the number 
of assistants in his office, subjected every claim to rigorous in- 
spection, and made the auditing of accounts something more 
than a mere ministerial duty. So great is the confidence felt in 
his integrity and discretion that the Legislature has vested him 
with larger powers over the expenditure of appropriations in 
connection with public institutions than were ever before con- 
fided to the Comptroller, and it is not an undue estimate to say 
that by his prudence and firmness he has saved the State at 
least half a million dollars. Not only in his practical adminis- 
tration of the department, but in his oflScial discussions and 
recommendations, he has shown conspicuous talent for the 
position. His annual report presented to the Legislature in 
January, 1873, attracted unusual attention, and commanded 

NELSoif E. Hopkins. 37 

the hearty and unreserved approbation of .men and journals 
of all parties, for its incomparably clear exposition of State 
finances, and its valuable suggestions. It was signally suc- 
cessful in stripping the various intricate funds of the 
obscurities with which the ti'aditional method of statement 
surrounds them ; in exhibiting at a glance the condition of 
the treasury; in pointing out the true checks upon extrava- 
gant expenditure, and in treating the subject of taxation. 
The general judgment is that it fairly ranks among the best 
of our State papers. 

Always among his own neighbors, and now throughout 
the State, Comptroller Hopkins is respected for his unswerv- 
ing probity, his sound judgment, and his large ability. Per- 
sonally he is a man of strong friendships, warmly attaching 
to himself those with whom he is brought into contact. 
Frank, direct and outspoken, he is at the same time cordial 
and unaffected, and his fine clear-cut features express at once 
firm decision of character and winning amiability of dispo- 

38 Life Sketches. 



Thomas Raines, the present Treasurer of the State of 
New York, is one of the youngest men ever chosen by the 
people for a position of so much importance. He is now in 
his thirty-first year and was called to preside over the Treas- 
ury when but twenty-nine. The American people, however, 
have regard rather to ability than years, agreeing with the 
Earl of Chatham, that youth is not that sort of an " atrocious 
crime " which stands in need of any palliation or denial. 

Mr. Raines was bom at Canaudaigua, Ontario county, 
N. Y., on the 13th of Angust, 1843. He is of English 
descent on his father's side, and Scotch on his mother's. 
His grandfather, John Raines, a sturdy Englishman, was 
born in 1784. At the early age of twenty-eight he had 
acquired a large fortune in mercantile pursuits, and, not- 
withstanding the cares of business, had found time while 
amassing it to fulfill the duties of the sacred oflBce. He was 
the regularly installed minister of a Methodist congregation, 
and had intimate relations with the celebrated divine, 
Robert Hall, and other illustrious contemporaries. 

We believe the historians are not at one, as yet, as to the 
cause that induced the return of Napoleon from his island 
retreat at Elba, but very many men in England, France and 
elsewhere, knev,r too well the effect of the reappearance of the 
Little Corporal. John Raines was one of these, and his 
financial losses were so heavy as to induce him to gather up 
the remnants of his broken fortune and try to better his con- 
dition in America. In the year 1821, the merchant-minister 
arrived at Philadelphia, and soon after commenced the busi- 
ness of manufacturing at that point. The usual ups and 
downs marked his life in the city of Brotherly Love, and 
after being twice burned out, and declining an offer of part- 

Thomas Raines. 39 

nership from the now celebrated Thomas Tasker, he aban- 
doned the Keystone for the Empire State, and took up his 
residence at Canandaigna. 

The father of the Treasurer, another Johk Raines, was 
born at Hull, in the East Eiding of Yorkshire, England, in 
the year 1818. While yet an infant he was brought to this 
country by his parents, and hei:e he has resided ever since. 
After leaving school, and until his twenty-seventh year, 
he followed farming for a living. He then abandoned sec- 
ular pursuits and entered the ministry. For many years 
he was widely known in Western New York, being rec- 
ognized as standing among the foremost of his Methodist 
brethren. Mrs. Raines, the mother of the subject of our 
sketch, was a Miss Mary Remington. Her ancestors came 
from New England, but she herself was born near Canan- 

The leading facts in the life of the Treasurer are about as 
follows : 

After receiving the usual common school education, and 
supplementing it with a good deal of self-taught instruction, 
he closed his text-books at the early age of fourteen. Those 
who think they can see the coming oak in every acorn, will 
be interested in knowing that the future financial head of 
the State left behind him, at the common school from which 
he graduated, a reputation for unusual proficiency in mathe- 
matics. Commencing his business life on the bottom round 
of the long ladder, he accepted a clerkship in a store at 
Lyons, Wayne county, in this State, at an annual salary of 
one hundred dollars. His industry, talents and determina- 
tion soon led to his promotion, and at the age of sixteen he 
had charge of the books of a large mercantile establishment. 
A little later we find him book-keeper in the Bank of Canan- 
daigna, in which institution his education in fiscal matters 
fairly commenced. Keeping the books of the bank for a 
year, he developed so much capacity as a banker that he was 
promoted to be acting cashier. 

40 Life Sketches. 

At the age of twenty, Mr. Raines had attained a broad 
and accurate knowledge of the important and intricate 
branch of business to which he had resolved to devote his 
future, and, in connection with a number of capitalists of 
western New York, he then proceeded to start a National 
Bank, one of the first, it may be remarked, ever organized 
in the country. This bank was located at Geneva, Ontario 
county, and under the management of Mr. Raines, enjoyed 
a high degree of prosperity. 

In 1867, he removed to Rochester and, at the age of twenty- 
four, became financial officer of the Farmers and Mechanics' 
National Bank of Rochester. In this position, as in his 
preceding ones, he has been eminently successful, and has 
built up a large business. 

On the 29th of December, 1864, Mr. Raines was married 
to ChaiTie, daughter of Hon. Joseph Halstead, of Columbia 
county. She died on the 5th of March, 1870, to the poignant 
grief of a large circle of friends. A lady of high intellectual 
endowment, and the possessor of varied accomplishments, 
she was in very deed and truth a helpmeet for her husband. 
Whatever of prosperity may have attended the later years 
of his life, he attributes, for the major part> to her wise 
counsels, and her unfailing sympathy in all his undertakings. 

At the Republican State Convention, which met at 
Rochester, in September, 187] , Mr. Raines was nominated 
by acclamation for the position which he now holds. In the 
canvass that followed, he made a most gallant fight, and 
gained the day by an overwhelming majority. The estima- 
tion in which he is held by his fellow-citizens is shown in 
the fact of his running nearly a thousand ahead of the State 
ticket in Rochester. When a prophet (or a banker) comes 
no nearer than that from being " without honor in his own 
country," the conclusion is irresistible that his neighbors 
have entire confidence in the prophet (or banker). Mr. 
Raines' entire majority in the State was 31,784 ; he polled 
the highest vote on the ticket. 

Tmomas Raines. 41 

Mr. Raines has been for many yeaxs, and still continues 
to be, an active Eepublican. Sympathizing with the Liberal 
movement he attended the Cincinnati Convention in May 
last, and was made one of its Vice-Presidents. Since his induc- 
tion into the office which he now holds, he has justified the 
high expectations of his friends, demonstrating both his 
capacity and disposition to guard the treasury against all 
thieves, and wisely administer its finances. One of the 
most active members of the Canal Board, he has gained the 
commendation of all who favor economy and frugality by his 
efforts for the cancellation of repair contracts, and a sweeping 
and thorough canal investigation. 

By virtue of his office Mr. Raines is a Commissioner of the 
Land Office and of the Canal Fund, a member of the Board 
of State Canvassers, and, as we have already indicated, of the 
Canal Board. 


42 Life Sketches. 



A slight, almost delicate form, yet as closely knit as that 
of a deer; a pair of strange, grey eyes; a well developed, 
classical head, a firm, expressive mouth, giving the features, 
in repose, an air of sadness ; and you have an outline of 
General Barlow's physique. 

Prakcis C. Barlow was born in Brooklyn, New York, 
on the 19th of October, 1834, of New England parentage. 
When he was two years of age, his parents removed to Mas- 
sachusetts, in the vicinity of Boston, where, with the excep- 
tion of two years spent in New Hampshire, he resided until 
he entered Harvard. He prepared for college at one of the 
institutions in Cambridge, and was matriculated at Harvard 
in 1851. During his collegiate course he was distinguished 
for his fine scholarship, graduating with the honors of 
his class, in July, 1855. In the month of September 
following, he went to the city of New York, where hf 
was very successfully engaged in teaching private classes, 
for the purpose of preparing young men for college. In the 
autumn of 1856, he entered the law oflBce of William 
Curtis Notes, Esq., where he remained until the spring of 
1857. He was then employed as a clerk by Messrs. Whea- 
TON & Livingston, attorneys and counselors at law, also 
reporting law cases for the Tribune, and was admitted to 
the bar in 1858. In the month of January, 1859, he formed 
a partnership with George Bliss, Jr., now United States 
District Attorney for the Southern District of New York, but 
his professional duties were interrupted by the rebellion of 
1861. Ihe very day that heralded the assault on Sumter 
found him ready, at almost a moment's warning, to leave his 
business and his home, in order to defend the principles 
which had found such deep root in his heart. He hated 

FsANCis C. Barlow. 43 

servitude in all its forms ; and he loved, both by nature and 
education, all the foundation precepts of liberty in their 
highest and broadest sense ; and he was prepared to go 
beyond the simple entertainment of these views; he was 
willing to make any sacrifice, however great, in order to 
maintain the eternal justice of the nation's cause. 

Although his friends knew how deeply he cherished his 
opinions, yet they were unprepared for the announcement 
that he would enter the ranks as a private soldier. He had 
bright prospects ahead in his profession ; but, though his 
attention was directed to them, he saw, above all, the dihger 
of the country. 

" Wait," said some of his friends, " and we will get a com- 
mission for you." 

" A commission for me ? " was his inquiry, " I never handled 
a gun in my life ! " 

Without further ceremony, he joined the 12th State Militia, 
on the 20th of April, 1861, which went out for three months. 
There was no flourish about this act ;- in an unostentatious 
manner, Mr. Barlow was enrolled as a private, and in the 
same quiet way he commenced his proud record. The next 
day after he enlisted, his regiment departed for Washington 
in defense of the capital. While in camp, he applied him- 
self, in an assiduous manner, to the study of military treatises. 
Every leisure moment found him, book in hand, mastering 
the tactics. At the end* of three or four weeks, he accepted 
the position of First Lieutenant, offered him by Colonel 
BuTTEKFiELD, who fully appreciated his merits. 

At the expiration of the period for which he had enlisted, 
he returned to New York. But not feeling that his whole 
duty to his country had been discharged, after the organiza- 
tion of the 61st regiment, New York volunteers, he was 
selected and appointed as its Lieutenant-Colonel, and thus 
opened another chapter in his military course. He had com- 
menced at the bottom of the ladder, hut he saw what many 
so often fail to perceive, that all one has to do is to put one foot 

44 Life Sketches. 

aboTe the other, and the ascent must be sure. Moreover, he was 
not satisfied with being competent for performing the duties 
of a lieutenant-colonelcy. The same spirit that had, before, 
commenced to learn the simple evolutions of a company, 
looked ahead, far beyond the elementary principles of the 
science of war, to the grand sweep of brigades, divisions and 

His regiment was assigned to General McClellan'b 
army ; and during the autumn and winter months of 1861, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Barlow was studying the tactics, as he 
had 'leisure, with a resolute will. When the grand army 
moved down in front of Yorktown, he was promoted to the 
rank of colonel. In a few days transpired the fierce battle 
of Fair Oaks in which the valor of our soldiers was put to 
a severe trial. During this engagement Colonel Barlow's 
regiment lost its color-bearer and four of the color-guard, 
and General Howard, having lost an arm, gave the com- 
mand of his brigade to Colonel Barlow. He fearlessly led 
the troops into the midst of the slaughter, now encouraging 
by his words, now holding them firmly in their positions by 
his authority and presence, never permitting them to swerve 
from points already gained. His bravery won for him a 
single star upon his shoulder. He distinguished himself in 
the same gallant manner during the bloody " Seven Days' 
Fight." The next conflict in which he took a prominent 
part was at Antietam. On this occasion, he was wounded in 
the breast and groin, and his life despaired of by the sur- 
geons. But his noble, faithful wife nursed him with a 
womanly tenderness that saved his life. Two days after the 
battle, and on September 19, 1862, he was promoted to be a 
Brigadier-General " for distinguished gallantry at the battle 
of Fair Oaks." As soon as he recovered he led a brigade into 
the bloody battle of Chancellorsville. Shortly afterward he 
was given the command of a division. When the waves of 
the rebellion dashed upon the southern slope of Pennsyl- 
vania, General Barlow led his division into the horrible 

Francis C. Barlow. 45 

engagement. Without a twinge of physical fear, in the 
midst of shell and cannon, he rode in front of the line, 
inspiriting troops and exhorting them to remain unyielding. 
Wheeling squadrons, carrying slaughter in their courses, 
swept on like mighty engines of destruction, and still the 
slight form of General Barlow was seen dashing from 
one point of attack to another. At last, the fearless rider 
fell from his horse, wounded by four musket halls. The 
great agony of the fight went on, and the brave general 
lay on the field, exposed to the fire of friend and foe. While 
in this condition he was again twice wounded. When 
night terminated the battle, he was found by the rebel Gen- 
eral Eaely, who, while passing over the field, discovered his 
rank by the star upon his shoulder. Supposing him to be 
dead. General Early paused with his staff officers, to learn 
his name, remarking that nothing could be done for the dead 
general. Feebly raising his head, General Barlow gave 
Early that terse, gritty reply, which was afterward, at 
the battle of Spottsylvania Court House, so fully verified : 
" I will live to fight you yet. General!" 

The assiduous attentions of Mrs. Barlow, who had accom- 
panied the army, succoring the wounded in hospital and 
field, again brought her husband from the valley of death. 
We would further add that this noble wife — a most accom- 
plished and beautiful woman — in her work of heroic self- 
sacrifices, contracted the hospital fever, and died as truly 
and nobly a martyr to country as the bravest soldier who 
ever fell on a battle-field. 

Eetuining to the field in March, 1864, he was given the 
command of the first division of the 2d (Hancock's Corps), 
and in command of it he participated in the battle of the 
Wilderness. In one of the engagements he captured a 
whole division of General Early's corps, under the com- 
mand of General Johnson, and forty pieces of artillery. 
In front of Petersburg he was promoted to a major-general- 
ship. Taking a prominent part in the closing conflict 

46 Life Sketches. 

before Richmond, he had the satisfaction of seeing the great 
army of the Confederacy vanquished by the determined 
legions of the North. 

In the autumn of 1865, General Baklow was nominated 
by the union party of New York, as candidate for the office 
of Secretary of State, against General Slocum, who had 
been nominated by the democrats, and was elected, after an 
exciting and warmly contested campaign, by a majority of 
27,491. His administration was in every way creditable to 
himself and satisfactory to the people. Resuming the prac- 
tice of law, on the expiration of his term, he added to a 
reputation already brilliant, by his able and trenchant protest 
against the degradation of the legal profession under the 
malign influence of Erie corruption. 

General Baelow was elected to his present honorable and 
responsible position by a majority not far from twenty thous- 
and. Prompt and decisive in peace as in war, he administers 
the duties of his office as successfully as he led his men on 
the battle field. 

William B. Taylor. 47 



The subject of the present sketch was born on the 37th of 
February, 1824, in Manchester, Oneida county. New York. 
His father, Job Tatlok, was, for some time, foreman of a 
cotton mill at Manchester, and from 1830 to 1837, was "mine 
host " of an inn in Utica in high favor with the traveling 
public. His son, with whom we have to do, received his 
schooling at the Utica academy, and was only prevented 
from pursuing a collegiate course at Geneva by the reverses 
of fortune. . At the age of eighteen, he closed his text-books, 
to take up that lesson of self-reliance, which henceforth was 
to be taught him, and which he was to learn so well in that 
great school, the world. In 1837, his brother, Lokenzo, was 
elected city surveyor-of Utica, and appointed William as his 
assistant. Since that time he has been unremitting in the 
practice of his profession. In 1849, he accepted a position as 
leveler in the engineer's department of the enlargement of 
the Erie canal, and for many succeeding years remained in 
the employ of the State as first, and second, resident and 
division engineer. In 1861 he was elected State Engineer 
and Surveyor, the position which he now holds, by the mag- 
nificent majority of over 100,000. He was twice city sur- 
veyor of Utica, and from 1857 to 1860, inclusive, was a 
member of the common council of that city. He was form- 
erly a Whig, and has been a member of the Republican party 
since its organization. When elected State Engineer and 
Surveyor, in 1861, he was only thirty-seven years of age — 
the youngest man who had ever filled that important and 
responsible position. 

Since 1861 Mr. Tatlok served his first term as State 
Engineer and Surveyor, and in the fall of 1863 was again 
nominated and elected for a second term, being with one 

48 Life Sketches. 

exception (that of Hon. Van E. Eichmond) the only in- 
cumbent who has occupied that position during two succes- 
sive terms. 

On January 1, 1866, he vacated the oflBce and devoted him- 
self to the purchase and sale of real estate in the city of Utica. 
Mr. Taylor was succeeded for one term by the Hon. J. 
Platt Goodsell, who was followed by the Hon. Van E. 
EiCHMOND again for two terms. 

In the fall of 1871 Mr. Tatlok, by nomination and elec- 
tion, was again recalled to the position of State Engineer and 
Surveyor. During the four years he discharged the duties 
of this oflSce as well as in the various public positions to 
which he has been chosen by the citizens of Utica, where he 
has resided since 1829, he has invariably possessed the 
entire confidence of every one, regardless of party. Mr. 
Taylor is now 48 years of age, has always enjoyed robust 
health, and is honored and respected by all who have been 
associated with him in private or public-business. 

As an engineer Mr. Taylor has attained a high rank and 
is, probably, inferior to none in the State. He possesses 
characteristics of mind particularly adapted to his profession. 
A man of keen perceptions, he is quick to detect weak points 
and determine strong ones. With a mind of great activity 
he has the faculty of arriving at the conclusion of a proposi- 
tion before it is half stated to him. His social qualities are 
of a rare order ; few men have the faculty possessed by Mr. 
Taylor of making and retaining friends. It may be truly 
said of him that he has a " genius for friendship." Eeliable 
in his pledges, true to those who confide in him, he possesses, 
withal, that independence of character which is one of the 
chief ornaments of manhood. 



The thirteenth district, consisting of the connty of Alhany, 
is represented by Ohaeles H. Adams, of Cohoes. Few, if 
any, of his colleagues can boast a more honorable ancestry, or 
one more closely identified with the living interests of the 
republic. His maternal grandfather, Anthokt Egberts, 
served as an oflBcer in the war of the Revolution, and his 
father, Henbt Adams, was a surgeon in the war of 1812, 
being engaged in his official duties at the battle of Sackett's 
Harbor. His paternal grandfather, Petek 0. Adams, repre- 
sented the middle district in the State Senate from 1806 to 
1808, the compeer of Clintoit, Yates and Livis-GSTOiir. All 
these ancestors were upright men, and left to the present 
Senator the heritage of an unsullied name. 

The subject of our sketch was born at Coxsackie, Greene 
county, in this State, April 10, 1825. He received his edu- 
cation,, and was fitted for the active duties of life at the 
Albany Academy, where he graduated with credit to himself 
and his Alma Mater. Soon after, he began to apply himself 
to the study of law, and was, in due time, admitted to practice, 
and entered upon his professional life in the city of Ifew York. 
Since 1852, however, he has devoted himself chiefly to 
the manufacture of knit goods at Cohoes, which city is largely 
indebted to his public spirit and munificence for its present 
prosperity. Before the incorporation of Cohoes as a city, he 
served as trustee of the village, and president of the Water 

50 Life Sketches. 

Board. In 1858 he was elected member of Assembly, aud at 
the expiration of his term,- a large and enthusiastic meeting 
of his fellow-townsmen testified by various complimentary 
resolutions, their entire satisfaction with his course. 

In such esteem is he held by all citizens, irrespective of 
party, that although an ardent Republican, he was elected the 
first mayor of his adopted home, under the new charter, the 
city being at the time largely Democratic. He is, and has been 
for some years, president of The Bank of Cohoes. In 1851 
he was aide on Governor Hunt's stafij and in 1868 a candi- 
date for Presidential elector. Two years ago, he was elected to 
his present position by a majority of 656, leading the Repub- 
lican State ticket by 1,911 votes, thus demonstrating his 
popularity in the most unmistakable manner. H( jfigi- 
nally belonged to the old Whig party, and afterward to the 
American, but is now in full accord with the Republican 

This is Mr. Adams' first term in the Senate ; yet thus 
early he has shown that he possesses, in a rare degree, that 
gravity, lofty sense of honor, and keen perception of the 
people's wants, which are the distinctive traits of the true 
legislator. His wealth is amply suflBcient to enable him to 
give his undivided attention to the duties and requirements 
of his oflBce. Strenuously opposed to all rings, and all jobs 
under whatever guise they may appear, his vote and influence 
have thus far been employed only to subserve the best inter- 
ests of his constituency and the State at large. In the Sena- 
torial body, Mr. Adams is emphatically a practical working 
member. His strong common sense and thorough familiarity 
with matters of finance, manufactures and internal improve- 
ments, peculiarly adapt him for committee work; and his 
presence on six important committees, of two of which he is 
chairman, testifies the appreciation, by his colleagues, of his 
large and varied abilities. His strength does not lie in 
finesse or political diplomacy of doubtful repute, nor does he 
ever engross valuable time in wearisome, unnecessary debate. 

NosMAN M. Allen. 51 

He seldom indulges in speech-making, but accomplishes quite 
as much of the public business by his advice and counsel, 
as some who are favored with greater powers of declamation. 
Last fall the Senator ran for Congress in the strongly Demo- 
cratic 14th District. Although he was beaten, yet a com- 
parison of votes shows that he received the largest vote ever 
cast in that district for a Republican Congressman. 


The thirty-second senatorial district, composed of the 
counties of Cattaraugus and Chautauqua, is represented by 
NoKMAif M. Allen, who was born at Dayton, Cattaraugus 
county, on the 34th of December, 1828. His father, Luther 
Allen, and his mother, Huldah Benedict Allen, were 
both born at Fabius, Onondaga county, and are now deceased. 

The subject of this sketch was left an orphan at the age of 
sixteen, and is a "self-made" man, one who has fought his 
way to success in the world by force of his own talents and 
industry, and without adventitious aids. Cast upon his un- 
aided individual resources, while yet a mere boy, he learned, per 
force, that lesson which the wise man commended — to bear 
the yoke in youth. Noeman's education, that is to say, the 
first rudiments of it, was acquired in the common school of 
his native place, and such advantages as offered were im- 
proved by the lad to the best of his ability. The years 
immediately succeeding the death of his parents he devoted 
to agricultural pursuits, but, finding that the farm was not 
altogether to his liking, he turned his attention to the law 
with all diligence. It was not long before he was admitted 
to practice, and in the law, which has been the profession 
of his life, he has been rewarded by a large measure of 

In 1848, Mr. Allen was married to Huldah Mebrill. 
He has four children, two of whom are married. 

53 Life Sketcses. 

During the late war, he was appointed paymaster by Pres- 
ident LiNCOLK, and was in service in that capacity for a 
short time in 1863. He resigned his position to accept the 
appointment of Assistant Provost Marshal for the thirty-first 
district of New York. 

The main facts in the Senator's political history are as fol- 
lows : Prom the time of his first becoming a voter until the 
year 1854, he was a zealous member of the Democratic party, 
but since the date last mentioned he has been an uncom- 
promising and unwavering Eepublican. For thirteen suc- 
cessive years, he was Supervisor at Dayton, and for ten years 
of that time was chairman of the board — facts which speak 
volumes for the confidence reposed in him by his neighbors 
and the citizens of Cattaraugus county. He has also filled 
the oflBce of school commissioner; has served a term of 
four years as State assessor, and was a member of the Conven- 
tion, containing so many distinguished men, which met in 
1867, to revise the Constitution of the State. 

The present is not the Senator's first experience in legisla- 
tive life. He was a member of the preceding Senate in 
1864-5, and a member of the Committees on Literature, 
Indian Affairs, and Towns and Counties in that body. He 
was elected to the present Senate by the handsome majority 
of 4,376. He is a legislator of the practical school, never 
asking for the attention of his fellow-members unless he has 
something to say, never thinking to be heard for his " much 
speaking." The thirty-second district never was represented 
by a more faithful or conscientious Senator, or one more 
devoted to its interests than Noeman M. Allek. 

In the late presidential election Senator Allek cast his 
vote for HoEACE Geeelet. The choice, in his judgment, 
was simply between two Republicans, and therefore he felt 
free to follow his individual dictates. Had the issue been 
made up between General Grant and an opponent not a 
Eepublican, he, as in political duty bound, would have given 
Geant his vote and influence. 

Samuel Ames. 63 


The sixteenth senatorial district consists of the counties 
of Clinton, Essex and Warren. The Senator is Samuel 
Ames, who was born at Champlain, Clinton county, June 
29th, 1824. His father, Chaeles Ames, was a n'ative of 
Bridgewater, Massachusetts, where he was bom near the 
close of the last century. The senator is a remote descend- 
ant of John Ames, who came to this country from Briton, 
Somersetshire, England, and settled in Braintree, Massa- 
chusetts, as far back as 1640. 

The subject of this sketch was educated at the Champlain 
and Keeseville academies, which he attended until he was 
twenty years of age, when he left school, and began the 
study of law. Entering the ofiBce of Geoege A. Simmons 
as a student, he subsequently formed a copartnership in law 
with that gentleman, which continued until the death of 
Mr. Simmons. Mr. Ames has had a successful professional 
career ; his talents and industry being rewarded by a large 
and remuneratire practice. At the present time, having 
withdrawn from the legal field, he is engaged in the business 
of banking. 

The record of Mr. Ames' political life is, in one respect, 
that of many other of our public men with whom he 
sympathises politically. That is to say, he was a Whig 
until the formation of the Eepublican party, and ever since 
has been an active member of that organization. He has 
served several terms as supervisor of his town ; in 1865 was 
appointed commissioner of patents, aud, subsequently, having 
resigned the commissionership, was made register of bank- 
ruptcy, an oflBce which he now holds. 

In the election, in the fall of 1871, which resulted in hie 
elevation to the Senate, his popularity in the sixteenth dis- 

54 Life Sketches. 

trict was demonstrated in the most unmistakable manner. 
He ran 550 votes ahead of his ticket, receiving a majority of 
3,232. In 1869, the adverse majority was 2,066. Soon after 
the commencement of his senatorial term, Mr. Ames was 
stricken down with a painful and dangerous illness, which 
has since prevented him, save at intervals, from actively 
engaging in the discharge of his ofiBcial duties. Early last 
session, he was compelled to give up on account of impaired 
health, and this year, no sooner had he reached the Senate 
than a return of his old complaint necessitated his imme- 
diate retui'u to his home. 

In 1849, Mr. Ames was married to Miss Thompson, a 
daughter of the late Andeew Thompsoit, a banker, who 
was for many years well known in northern New York. Of 
large ability, and the highest purity, personally strong and 
popular. Senator Ames is a man whose absence from the 
Senate is the cause of the unfeigned regret of his fellow- 
senators. An earnest wish for his speedy restoration to 
health goes up from many hearts. 


Kemembering that the word "senator" is derived from the 
Latin senex, which is, by interpretation, an old man, it seems 
an anomaly to designate the gentleman who represents the 
fifth senatorial district as senator, seeing that as yet he is in 
the very bloom of his youth. 

Mr. Bakek was born August 15, 1843, at Comstock's 
Landing, Washington county, N. Y., a place founded by 
his maternal grandfather, Peter Comstock, well known 
throughout northern New York as an energetic, go-ahead 
business man, who took the first raft through the Cham- 
plain canal, and was largely engaged in the forwarding and 

Isaac V. Baker, Jr. 55 

transportation business for many years, in connection with 
the father of the subject of this sketch. 

Isaac V. Baker, Sr., long and favorably known as a 
leading railroad man, and now president of the New York 
and Canada railroad, formerly owned and ran a line of 
packets on the Champlain canal, also the uanal boats com- 
prising the northern transportation line, together with the 
old Redbird line of stages running from Montreal to New 

Mr. Bakek, the subject of the present sketch, inherits the 
energy, enterprise and business qualifications of his father 
and grandfather in a great degree, and has, at his early age, 
acquired a reputation for himself enjoyed by few men of 
more mature years. His first school days were passed in 
the North Granville Academy and in the Brooklyn Poly- 
technic and Collegiate Institute. He there obtained a fair 
classical education. He started in business, at the age of 
seventeen, as a merchant, in his native town, and retains 
his interest in the business at the present date. He early 
interested himself in agriculture, and especially in breeding 
Merino sheep, in which branch of trade Baker & Harri- 
GAJf have acquired a national reputation, selling choice 
specimens of their flock into nearly every State in the 
Union, and also Australia. Mr. Baker has been secretary 
of the Washington County Sheep Breeders and Wool Grow- 
ers' Association since its organization, some five years, and 
served a term as president of the Washington County Agricul- 
tural Society. At present he is actively engaged in railroading, 
occupying the position of general financier for the consoli- 
dated railroads which are operated by the Delaware and 
Hudson canal company. The lines reach from Bingham- 
ton to Eutland, and embrace many branches in addition to 
the main line. He was nominated for member of Assembly 
in 1868, when but twenty-five years of age, and elected by 
the largest majority ever given in that district, running over 
three hundred ahead of the State ticket. He served, in the 

56 Life Sketches. 

Assembly of 1869, on the Eailroad committee, also on the 
special gas investigating committee, taking good rank in the 
House. Many bills important to his district were passed 
through his exertions. So well pleased were his constituents 
with his course that they awarded him a second and a third 
term in the Assembly, renominating him in 1869 and 1870 
by acclamation. In the Assembly of 1870 he was a member 
of the committee on Canals and Civil Divisions, and in 1871 
a leading member on that of Eailroads. 

Having thus served in the lower house for three years, 
and added to the qualities which originally commended him 
to the public, faithful service and valuable experience, his con- 
stituents would seem to have said to him, in the language of 
the scriptures, " friend, go up higher." He was nominated to 
the position which he now holds, in the same hearty style 
with which he had been named for the Assembly — by accla- 
mation. In the election which followed, a compliment was 
paid him of the rarest and most flattering character. He 
actually received every vote but one in his own election dis- 
trict (which is about evenly divided politically), and that 
one was cast by an individual who had been arrested on the 
complaint of Mr. Bakek, or one of his family, some 
time previous. The Senator ran 2,250 ahead of his ticket, 
carrying every town in Washington county. His majority 
was 4,458. 

Senator Bakek never troubles the Senate with long set 
speeches, full of sound, but signifying nothing. When he 
does take the floor, he goes directly to the point which 
induced him to rise. H« is a hard worker in the committees, 
and in every contest of the people with corruption, is found 
on the right side. Few young men have so fair a future 
before them as that which, seemingly, awaits Senator Bakee. 



The fifth senatorial district is represented by Eeabtus 
Cornelius Benedict. He was born at Branford, Connect- 
icut, March 19th, 1800. In early life he had some experi- 
ence in school teaching, commencing in a common school in 
1816, and ending as a tutor in Williams College in 1824. He 
entered the sophomore class in September, 1816, and grad- 
uated in 1821, when he took charge of the academy in Johns- 
town ; he subsequently taught in the academy in Newburgh. 
As tutor in college, he instructed the class of 1825, during 
their junior year, and the class of 1826, during their sopho- 
more year. His professional studies completed, at the end of 
the year 1824, he entered upon the practice of the law, in 
the city of New York, where he has ever since been, and is 
now, a successful practitioner. When the common school 
system was extended to the city of New York, he was chosen 
among the first trustees of common schools, and, subse- 
quently, in 1850, was elected a member of the board of edu- 
cation for the city, of which board he was president for 
several years. He resigned his oflBce, as member of the 
board of education, in 1863, not, however, until he was gen- 
erally recognized as among the first who were instrumental 
in consolidating and maturing the entire school system of 
New York. The great value of the services he rendered — 
co-operating with like-minded men — in rearing the Free 
Academy, now the College of New York, are widely recog- 
nized and appreciated. He was among the select number 
who confessedly laid the foundations of the Areopagus, and 
royal line of college advantages for the masses in the city of 
New York. In 1855, he was elected by the Legislature a 
regent of the University, which office hie still holds. In 1840, 
he was elected a member of the Common Council of the city 

58 Life Sketches. 

of New York. In 1848, he was a member of the lower house 
of the State Legislature, as, also, in 1864. 

In the Assembly of 1848, he was a member of the com- 
mittee on colleges, academies and common schools, and 
incorporation of cities and villages ; he was also chairman of 
the select committee which reported the general railroad law 
passed during that session, and wrote the report ; was actire 
in securing the passage of the law giving married women the 
control of their property, and also the act to simplify, etc., 
the practice of the acts known as " The Code." In 1864, he 
was a member of the committees on colleges and federal 
relations ; reported, and actively promoted the passage of the 
act to revise and consolidate the general acts relating to pub- 
lic instruction, and also the act relative to common schools 
in the city of New York. He is an elder in the Eeformed 
Church, and was a member of the general synod of 1868. 
Mr. Benedict is the author of the "American Admiralty; " 
" A Kun Through Europe," a book of travels of which a third 
edition was published in 1868 ; the Hymn of Hildehert, and 
other mediaeval hymns, with translations ; of various pam- 
phlets, reviews, speeches and addresses on literary, religious, 
and political subjects, published at various times during the 
past thirty years, including the " Beginning of America," the 
anniversary discourse before the New York Historical Society, 
in 1863. In 1840, he delivered the anniversary address before 
the society of alumni, of Williams college, in which institu- 
tion he has established several prizes. The degree of LL. D., 
was conferred upon him by Butgers college, in 1865. He 
has, for the past twenty-eight years, teen a member of the 
executive committee of the New York Historical Society; 
has been a trustee of Williams college, since 1855 ; a man- 
ager of the New York association to improve the condition 
of the poor, since its organization in 1848 ; and a manager 
of the American Art Union while it existed. He has also 
been one of the governors of the State Woman's Hospital, 
since that institution was incorporated. 

George Bowen. 59 

Mr. BEif EDICT was elected to the Senate by a majority of 
4,842 over Michael Norton', who had been chosen to the 
preceding Senate by a majority of over 500. He is Chair- 
man of the Committee on Literature, and is a member of the 
Committees on Cities, Militia, Engrossed Bills, and Joint 
Library. He is a ready and fluent debater, ever vigilant for 
the public weal, and especially devoted to the great metropo- 
lis which he has loved so long and so well. 


Mr. BowEN represents the twenty-ninth Senatorial dis- 
trict, which is composed of the counties of Niagara, Orleans 
and Genesee. He is in the prime of life; just that age 
when the maturity of thought and the vigor of youth blend 
most efifectively. He was born at Shelby, Orleans county, 
N. Y., September 28th, 1831. His mother's maiden name 
was Anna Cone ; and his father was Dr. Abiel Bowek, 
who, in his earlier years, was a practising physician, but for 
the last twenty years of his life a farmer. 

Until Mr. Bowen was fourteen years of age, he enjoyed 
only the educational advantages of the common school. 
After that time, he attended the Millville academy, in 
Orleans county, and the Cary Collegiate Institute in Genesee 
county. He also taught school a couple of winters. But 
his chief aim was to adopt the practice of the law for his 
profession ; and with this end in view, he studied with Hon. 
John H. Maktindale, Hon. Seth Wakeman, and Wil- 
liam G. Bbtan, at Batavia. He was admitted to the bar in 
December, 1852, at Rochester, and, it is curious to note, 
among his examiners on that occasion was Hon. James 
Wood, then district-attorney of Livingston county, and now 
a member of the same Senate in which Mr. Bowen sits. 

60 Life Sketcees. 

Four years after his admission to the bar, his legal abilities 
receiTed recognition from the Republican party by an election 
to the oflBce of district-attorney for Genesee county. In 
1862 he was appointed postmaster at Batavia, by President 
Lincoln, and remained in that capacity for four years. 

In BataTia, Mr. Bowen is recognized as a first-class busi- 
ness man. He is a Director of the First National Bank of 
Batavia, and President of the Holland Purchase Insurance 
Company. He is also a Trustee of the State Institution for 
the Blind, at Batavia — having been appointed to this posi- 
tion of trust by Governor Hoffman — .and is Chairman of its 
Executive committee. The tenure of these places of responsi- 
bility and prominence by Mr. Bowen, bespeaks the full con- 
fidence reposed in him by such of his fellow-citizens as knew 
him best. 

In 1869 he was elected to the Senate, when, by reason of 
the party to which he belongs being in the minority, there 
was not that opportunity for him to do justice to himself, 
which has been afforded him in the present Senate. Never- 
theless, he exhibited such a wide-awake attention to the 
wants of his constituents, and to the general welfare of the 
State, that he was renominated with enthusiasm and elected 
by a larger vote than he received at first. Charges, impeach- 
ing his integrity, were made by certain parties, during the 
canvass, with a view to defeat him, and a mass meeting was 
called at Albion to nominate a Republican candidate against 
him. But the Senator, in " A card to the electors of the 
Twenty- Ninth Senatorial District," so answered and disposed 
of the charges aimed at him, and placed their author in such a 
bad light by laying bare the animus that inspired the attacks, 
that the opposition convention proved weak and harmless, and 
without appreciable adverse effect on Senator Bowen's candi- 
dacy. He was elected in 1869 by a vote of 2,096, and was re- 
elected by 2,692. In the last Senate, Senator Bowen was a 
member of the committees on Claims, Villages and Printing, 
and Sub-committee of the Whole. In the present Senate, 


he is chairman of three important committees — Claims^ 
Printing and the Sub-committee of the Whole, better known 
as the " grinding committee," and is a member of the Judici- 
ary, Literature and Villages committees. No constituency, 
we venture to say, ever had a more faithful representative. 
Mr. BowEN has an eminently legal mind, and speaks with so 
much clearness, force and fluency as always to command 


Thomas J. Chatfield, who represents the twenty-fourth 
Senatorial district, was born in Great Barrington, Berkshire 
county, Massachusetts, September 16th, 1818. His father, 
John Chatfield, came from Oxford, Connecticut, where he 
was bom in 1792. He held the rank of Major in the old 
Massachusetts militia, and died in Owego, Tioga Co., N. Y., 
the residence of the Senator in the summer of 1865. 

The subject of our sketch received a good substantial 
education in the common schools of Great Barrington, and 
still holds pleasant remembrances of the old central school 
house, of which he was an inmate for a number of terms. 
While he was yet a boy, the military spirit which he inherited 
from his father, induced him to organize and command a 
military company composed entirely of young lads. At the 
age of twenty-one years he laid aside his school books, and 
at once embarked in active business. The virtue of per- 
severance has been strikingly illustrated in the Senator's long 
and successful career as a merchant. Beginning his business 
life as a grocer, a grocer he has remained ever since, finding in 
the steady and industrious pursuit of that branch of trade a 
large measure of prosperity. He has carried on business in 
the town of Owego in which he now resides, for the past 
thirty-four years. 

68 Life Skbtcbes. 

Mr. Chatfield has often been honored by his fellow citi- 
zens with that distinguished mark of confidence — election 
to office. He has filled a number of responsible positions, 
and has always acquitted himself to the entire satisfaction of 
those whom he has represented, and to his own great credit. 
He has been Supervisor of his town, and Trustee and Presi- 
dent of the village. In 1852 he was selected to represent 
the county of Tioga in the Assembly. In the year 1868 he 
was a delegate to the memorable Republican National Con- 
vention at Chicago, which called together such an array of 
distinguished men, and which nominated General Geant for 
the presidency. Mr. Chatfield is, and has been since the 
formation of the Republican party, an ardent and uncompro- 
mising Republican. In the politics of the long past he was 
a Whig. He was nominated to the position which he now 
holds, under circumstances peculiarly gratifying. In a 
district where three such sterling men as Messrs. Chatfield, 
Selkkeg and Chapman were pressed for nomination, as 
was the case in the twenty-fourth senatorial district, when 
last its nominating convention met to name a Senator, it was 
impossible to go amiss, and very easy for each one of the 
three to be defeated because of the excellencies of his com- 
petitors. In choosing Mr. Chatfield, the convention 
stamped him as one of the most honored and successful 
Republicans in the southern tier of counties. Two years 
previous to his election to the Senate, such was his popularity 
throughout the State that the position of Treasurer was 
given to him on the State ticket. ■ ' 

He was elected Senator by a majority of 4,169. He brings 
to the duties of his office sound judgment, large capacity for 
public affairs and incorruptible integrity. He is Chairman 
of two committees, Roads and Bridges, and Grievances; 
and is a member of the committees on Canals and Public 

TowNSEND D. Cock. 63 


The subject of this sketch, who represents the first Sena- 
torial District of the State, comprising the counties of Suf- 
folk, Queens and Kichmond, was born December 3, 1838, 
at Locust Valley, Queens county, upon the farm where he 
now resides, which has been in the possession of his ances- 
tors from the first settlement of the country. His ancestors 
were Quakers, and he was educated in their religious faith. 
The writer of the " Townsend Memorial" aflSrms that he is 
descended in ten diflerent ways from the three Townsexd 
brothers who emigrated from England and settled upon 
Long Island. 

He received a common school education, and intended to 
avail himself of the advantages of a collegiate course, with 
a -view of adopting the legal profession, but his health fail- 
ing him, he was reluctantly compelled to abandon the inten- 
tion he had thus formed. 

Soon after attainiiig- his majority he was urged by numer- 
ous friends to permit his name to be used iu connection with 
the position of representative from his Assembly district, in 
the Legislature, which he declined. In 1863 and 1864 he 
was elected Vice-President of the Queens County Agricul tural 
Society, one of the most prosperous and successful organiza- 
tions devoted to the advancement of the interests of Agricul- 
ture in this State. In 1867 he was chosen Supervisor of his 
town, serving in that capacity for five years, being elected 
the last year without opposition, and honored with the Chair- 
manship of the Board in 1870. 

In the summer of 1871 his name was brought forwafd by 
his friends as a candidate for the position he now holds. After 
a severe and prolonged contest in the Senatorial Convention 
he received the nomination and immediately entered earnestly 

64 Life Sketches. 

upon the canyass. A strong and powerful influence was 
brought to bear against him, through the instrumentality of 
money, which, coupled with the fact that his opponent was 
an active and industrious worker, rendered the canvass an 
exciting one, but Mr. Cock was successful and secured his 
election by eight hundred and sixty-eight majority. A large 
number of representative Republicans throughout the Dis- 
trict gave him their warm and earnest support 

In the fall of 1864 he was invited to deliver the annual 
address before the Eockland County Agricultural Society at 
their exhibition, which invitation was accepted. We subjoin 
the following extract from the same as an illustration of his 
style : " So also would I urge upon you as farmers to beautify 
and to adorn your homes as the best means of instilling in the 
minds of your children a love of, and admiration for, the 
useful, the noble, the beautiful and the good. In proportion 
as you make your habitations inviting and pleasing, you 
bind the. boy just budding into usefulness and about to draw 
around him the drapery of manhood with indissoluble ties 
to the genial moral atmosphere of country life. That home 
which is devoid of the presence of flowers, whose possessor 
manifests no taste nor inclination to beautify it, and to 
impart to it an interest, by planting a shrub here, or a tree 
there, becomes but a sphere of drudgery and toil, upon which 
the young candidate for the honors of the farm looks with 
supreme disgust, rather than as a spot upon which he caa 
center his affections and lavish his unoccupied time, in em- 
bellishing it with whatever his tastes might suggest. That 
habitation becomes in his eyes a field where the golden hours 
of his youth must be spent in the oftentimes vain endeavors 
to gain a competency ; as a sphere of operation where he must 
engage in the stern struggle of life, with but little prospect 
of a decisive victory ; and, in the absence of those pleasant 
objects upon which he might bestow his attentions, when 
released from the severer exactions of the farm, he becomes 
disheartened and dispirited, and the duties of his pursuit 

Wells 6'. Dickinson. 65 

become irksome and disagreeable. Without any elaborate 
argument upon this point, which time will not permit, allow 
me to urge upon you as a part of your duties, the necessity 
for the more general embellishment of your homes. Make 
them reflect in their surroundings that purity which is 
inseparable from country life ; make them spots that you and 
your children will love ; make them, by the exercise of judi- 
cious taste and right management, the abodes of unques- 
tioned happiness and genuine enjoyment. Plant there the 
purest flowers, fitting types, appropriate representatives of 
that spirit which should lead you upward to the habitations 
of the good ; dedicate that home to truth, to love, to justice, 
and to right." 

Mr. Cock is a member of the following important stand- 
ing committees : Railroads, Eoads and Bridges, and Internal 
Affairs of Towns and Counties. Not often addressing the 
Senate, and never needlessly, he is ever vigilant for the inter- 
ests committed to his hands, and can retire at the end of his 
term with the consciousness that he has left nothing undone, 
within his ability, that would promote the welfare of the first 
Senatorial District. 


The seventeenth Senatorial district, comprising the coun- 
ties of Franklin and St. Lawrence, is represented by Wells 
S. Dickinson, of Franklin. He comes from a section of the 
Empire State which has always been in the van of liberal 
and progressive ideas, a section proud of its Pkeston King, 
its Silas Wright, and which has produced many sons who 
have been potent in shaping the policy of State and nation. 

The subject of this sketch was born at Bangor, Franklin 
county, where he still resides, in the year 1827, and is of gen- 
uine American descent. After receiving the rudiments of 

66 Life Sketcbes. 

his education at a common school, he entered the Franklin 
academy in his native county, where he remained two years. 
He then, in the year 1846, laid aside his books, and engaged in 
mercantile pursuits with his father, whom he joined as partner 
in 1850. In 1851 he took to himself a wife, marrying Miss 
Thusa Pish. In 1853 he bought out his father's interest in 
the business and associated Mi-. A. C. Pattebson with him- 
self. The copartnership thus formed continued until the 
year 1865, when he also admitted Mr. Charles Whitney 
into the firm, and carried on business under the name of 
Patterson, Whitney & Co. In 1857 Mr. Whitney webt 
out of the concern and Mr. Dickinson's brother took his 
place. During all this time, howeyer, Mr. Dickinson had 
devoted himself chiefly to his private and individual business, 
the manufacture of potato starch and speculation in starch, 
hops, etc. In addition to the pursuits, thus indicated, Mr. 
Dickinson ran for some years extensive grist and saw mills, 
of which he was the owner, and had business interests at Red 
Wing, Minnesota, as member of the firm of Smith, Meigs 

Thus much for the Senator's business history, and now a 
glance at his public and political life. In politics he was 
formerly a Whig, but now is and has been for years an active 
and ardent Republican. His personal popularity at home is 
shown in the fact that for three successive years, 1857-8-9, 
he was elected Supervisor of his native town. In 1859 the 
Legislature of New York appointed him one of the Commis- 
sioners to whom was intrusted the settlement of the claim 
and damages arising on the contract between the State and 
J. D. KiNGSLAND relative to convict labor. 

Senator Dickinson began his legislative career some years 
ago. In 1860 he represented the county of Franklin in the 
Assembly in a manner at once creditable to himself and sat 
isfactory to his constituents. He was a member of one of 
the most important committees in the House, that on Rail- 
roads. In 1864 he was a delegate to the memorable Republi- 

William Foster. 67 

can national convention which met at Baltimore and renom 
inated Abraham Lincoln for the Presidency. 

Senator Dickinson was nominated by acclamation for the 
position which he now holds. He was the nnanimous choice 
of Franklin county and acceptable to the entire district. 
I'wo years previous, when his name had been presented by 
his county, the convention paid him the marked compliment 
of passing a resolution recognizing him as " an upright and 
patriotic citizen, a reliable and active Republican, and one 
whom the people of the seventeenth district hold in high 
respect." He entered actively into the campaign and was 
elected by the handsome majority of 6,925. He is chairman 
of the Committee on Villages and Indian affairs, and a mem- 
ber of the Committees on Claims, Roads and Bridges and State 

As a politician Mr. Dickinson has an honorable reputa- 
tion, and his course since he has been Senator has been such 
as to justly entitle him to the confidence and respect of his 


William Foster of Cleveland, Oswego county; represents 
the twenty-first Senatorial district, composed of the counties 
of Oswego and Madison. For many years this district was 
one of the Gibraltars of the Democracy — " old Oswego " 
being one of their most reliable strongholds. But this state 
of things has been changed, and now the twenty-first district 
under ordinary circumstances is conceded to the Republicans. 

The subject of the present sketch was born in Lenham, 
Kent county, England, on the 27th day of December, 1813. 
Both his parents were of Scotch extraction. He received a 
good substantial education, attending the academy at Maid- 
stone in his native county, and also one at Hurstmonaux 

68 Life Sketches. 

in Sussex, which bounds Kent on the south. At the age of 
seventeen he emigrated from "merrie old England," and 
sailed for this country. The year 1830 found him settled on 
the Oneida Lake, getting his living by clerking it. As a 
clerk he remained for five years, and at the end of that time 
left the Empire State and traveled in the Old Dominion. A 
little later, the mood for travel still on him, he visited 
Louisiana and Texas. In 1837 leaving the south he took up 
his quarters in the great north-west and spent the next two 
succeeding years in farming. In 1839 he returned to New 
York State and took up his residence at Cleveland, Oswego 
county, where he has since resided. 

Mr. Foster has been actively engaged for many years as a 
manufacturer of window glass. He also carries on the busi- 
ness of tanning. In 1867 he became identified with the 
construction of the Midland Railroad, as director and active 
agent, positions which he still holds. 

The Senator has always taken a deep interest in politics. 
He was formerly a Whig, and gave his first vote, in 1840, for 
William Heket Harrison, for President. Subsequently 
he sympathized strongly with the anti-slavery movement, 
and became what was known as an Abolitionist. Since the 
formation of :he Republican party he has been prominently 
identified with that organization. 

He was elect€d to the Senate by a majority of 4,130 over 
his Democratic opponent. He holds the Chairmanship of 
two Committees — Erection and Division of Towns and 
Counties and Poor Laws. He is also a member of the Com- 
mittee on Railroads. 

Senator Foster very seldom addresses the Senate, but he 
appreciates the wants and wishes of his constituents, and by 
deed, if not by word, is potent for the interest of the twenty- 
first district. 

James H. Graham. 69 


The twenty-third Senatorial district, consisting of the 
counties of Chenango, Delaware and Schoharie, is repre- 
sented by the subject of the present sketch, James H. Gka- 


Senator Graham was born in Bovina, Delaware county, 
New York, on the 18th of September, 1813, and, conse- 
quently, is now in his sixty-first year. He is of Scotch 
descent, both on his father's and mother's side. After receiv- 
ing a good, substantial education in the common schools of 
Franklin, he began his fight for a place in the world without 
availing himself of a collegiate training. He has been, in 
the course of his active life, a farmer, merchant and banker, 
but some years since retired from business. 

The Senator has long been prominently identified with the 
town of Delhi, in which he has resided for many years. A 
service of twelve years' duration as Justice of the Peace dem- 
onstrates how acceptably he has decided between man and 
man, while a decade of years spent as Supervisor speaks 
volumes for his knowledge of affairs, his business capacity, 
and the confidence reposed in him by those among whom his 
life has been spent. During the last five years of his term 
as Supervisor he was made Chairman of the Board. 

Senator Graham has always been an active participant in 
political matters, and is strong in his attachment to the party 
of his choice. Since the formation of the Republican party 
he has been a staunch Eepublican, even as in earlier days, 
and before the Missouri compromise was repudiated, he was 
an ardent Whig. 

In 1856 he was a member of the Republican National 
Convention, and in 1868 was placed, on the Eepublican 
electoral ticket. 

70 Life Sketches. 

In 1858, at the Convention called to nominate a Congress- 
man, to be supported by the Eepublicans of the nineteenth 
Congressional district (composed of the counties of Dela- 
ware and Otsego), the Delaware delegation presented the 
name of James H. Graham as their candidate for a seat in 
the thirty-sixth Congress. The nomination met the unani- 
mous approval of the Convention, and, after it had been 
foi-mally made, the following resolution was adopted as the 
sense of the Convention : 

" Resolved, That we present with pleasure the name of 
James H. Gjiaham, of Delhi, to our fellow-citizens of this 
Congressional district, and can heartily commend him as 
honest, capable and faithful, and one to whose hands our 
cherished principles can with safety be committed." 

As a member of the Thirty-sixth Congress, Mr. Gkaham 
participated in the famous battle which finally resulted in 
the choice of Governor Pennikgton, of New Jersey, for 
Speaker, after two months of ineffectual balloting for Shee- 
MAX and BococK. He was a member in Congress of the 
Committee on Accounts. 

In 1871 he was sent to the Assembly from the second dis- 
trict of Delaware county, and served on the Committee on 
Federal Kelations. He was elected to the Senate by a majority 
of 4,804, a handsome figure, considering the fact that Senator 
Graham's immediate predecessor was returned to the Senate 
over an able and popular Republican, by a majority of 1,352. 

He is Chairman of two Committees — on Retrenchment 
and on Internal Affairs of Towns and Counties, and is a 
member of the Committee on Agriculture. 

Senator Graham makes a prudent and sagacious, though 
an unobtrusive, legislator. Strong in the confidence reposed 
in him by the people, he watches the interests of his con- 
stituents and those of the State with equal vigilance. 

Gabriel T. Harrower. 71 


The Senator from the Twenty-seventh is one of those men 
who, though quiet and unobtrusive in their demeanor, are, 
nevertheless, alert, reflective and sagacious. Their voices 
may not be heard in the forum ; they may not enter into the 
inner circles of the political arena ; they may not gain a hear- 
ing through flowing periods in the press ; but they read closely, 
think deeply, and, consequently, form opinions from which 
they are not easily shaken. Such men, in the main, are our 
farmers who represent the agricultural interests of our State, 
and of their number is Senator Gabriel T. Harrowek. 
He was born in Chenango county in the year 1816. After 
receiving a common school education, he spent some time in 
attendance upon the lyceum at Geneva, Ontario county. 
Since reaching manhood he has devoted himself to farming and 
the lumber business. He stands well with the people of Steu- 
ben county, in which he now resides, and in 1853 they elected 
him Sheriff of the county. He has also held the oflBce of 
Supervisor at Lindley, the town in which he resides. The 
Senator participated in the grand work which, through blood 
and tears, came to a successful consummation — the redemp- 
tion of the Republic as accomplished in the late war. He 
went to the front in command of the 161st regiment, served 
in the Department of the Gulf under General Banks, and 
was a participant in the famous seige of Port Hudson. His 
record throughout was honorable and free from any stain. 

The Senator has, through all his life, taken a deep interest 
in politics. In 1848 he was a "Free Soiler," so-called, and 
cast his ballot for Van Btjren and Adams. In 1856 John C. 
Pbemont was his man. He voted twice for Lincoln and 
once for Grant, and in the Presidential election last fall for 
Horace Greeley. 

73 Life Sketches. 

The Senator was elected to his present office after a closely 
contested canvass, and had to rest content with a majority 
of 107 and the reflection that, for all practical purposes, that 
number sufficed as well as if it had been ten thousand. He 
serves on the Militia, State Prisons and Agriculture Com- 
mittees ; is punctual and regular in his attendance upon the 
sessions of the Senate, and an attentive and appreciative 
observer of all that comes up for deliberation. Saying very 
little, he, nevertheless, evidently " keeps up a deal of think- 


Senator Johnsojt is the acknowledged wit of the Senate. 
He has a keen sense of the ludicrous, and frequently chooses 
to place an adversary Iwrs du combat by a racy repartee, 
rather than force his surrender by the slow processes of logi- 
cal reasoning. He rarely allows a subject to be disposed of 
without putting his mark upon it, and 

" is BO full of pleasing anecdote. 

So rich, so gay, so poignant in his wit. 
Time vanishes before him as he speaks." 

Urbane and pleasant in his address, and carrying around 
with him " the atmosphere of gay, good cheer," he is a very 
popular gentleman. A natural talker, fluent and facile on a 
great variety of subjects, he is one of the marked men of the 

Senator Johnsok represents the Twenty-sixth district, 
including within its territory the counties of Ontario, Seneca 
and Yates. He is a native of the good old Bay State, and 
is now not far from 50 years of age. He is of unmixed 
English descent, the son of David and Olive Stodard 
Johnson. His father died in 1825, at Herkimer, Herkimer 
county, this State. The subject of our sketch came to New 

William Johnsons. 73 

York while he was yet an infant, with his pai'ents, who took 
up their residence in Herkimer county. He received a com- 
mon school education, and subsequently was engaged some 
five years in mercantile pursuits. From 1849 until 1856 he 
followed the business of jobbing, as a contractor on the 
canals, and afterward was engaged in the manufacture of 
woolen goods at Seneca Falls, where he now resides. Of late 
years he has become prominently known as a railroad con- 

In 1862, having the year previous represented the county 
of Seneca in the Assembly, he felt moved to do his share in 
putting down the rebellion, arguing, doubtless, that it was 
useless to concern oneself about making laws for a country 
until it had first been conclusively settled in the minds of all 
men that there was, and was to be, a country capable of 
enforcing obedience to its laws and maintaining its own exist- 
ence. He raised the 148th regiment New York State volun- 
teers and commanded it until near the close of the year 1863, 
when he resigned and returned to civil life. 

In the Assembly of 1861 ho was assigned a place on two 
important committees — Canals and Commerce and Naviga- 
tion, and made an intelligent and useful legislator. He was 
adjudged to have possessed a large degree of representative 
ability, and to have faithfully and efficiently discharged his 
official duties. 

Mr. JoHNSON^ was elected to the Senate from a district 
usually carried by his political opponents, and his success 
under the circumstances was a signal proof of great popu- 
larity. Notwithstanding the other side had a record of 332 
majority for 1869 to take heart with, he succeeded in wiping 
those figures out and gaining the Senatorship by a majority 
of 964. He is on the Standing Committees on Canals, 
Manufactures and Grievances, and was Chairman of the 
Special Committee appointed to investigate certain charges 
against Ex-Senator Tweed. 

74 Life Sketches. 

The Senator was married in the summer of 1855 to 
Akgeline Chamberlain, daughter of the Hon. Jacob P. 


The Senator from the Thirty-first district, which consists 
of the county of Erie, is Hon. Loran L. Lewis, who was 
born in 1835, near the city of Auburn, Cayuga county. Of 
five children, Loran L. was the third; Dr. J^io Lewis, of 
Boston, well known as an author, journalist and lecturer on 
physiology, and the laws of life and health, is an elder 
brother, and Dr. George "W. Lewis, of Bufi'alo, a younger. 
His two sisters reside at the west, one of them being the 
wife of Dr. Tisdale, of Indianapolis. 

The subject of this sketch shared in serious pecuniary 
misfortunes which befel the family, and was early brought 
into painful contact with the rough side of life. When 
about eighteen years of age, he warmly enlisted in the 
Washington temperande movement, and was recognized as 
one of the most effective speakers of that organization in the 
county where he resided. This fact is mentioned, not 
because of its importance per se, but to give the key-note to 
his whole life. In all situations he has been an earnest, 
practical, working American citizen. 

Mr. Lewis was educated at Auburn, receiving the advanta- 
ges of an academical course. He then studied law with Judge 
HuLBERT, and finished his legal course in the oflBce of 
Seward & Blatohford of that city. After his admission 
to the bar, in 1848, he removed to Buffalo, and devoted him- 
self with untiring zeal to the practice of his profession. 
Achieving but moderate success for a few years, he toiled on, 
occupying an obscure oflBce, accepting no adventitious aids, 
unwavering in the faith that integrity and fidelity would 

Lor AN L. Lewis. 75 

eventually command success. The result has fully justified 
his confidence. For several years past he has had a large 
and lucrative practice, and has devoted his entire attention 
and time to the trial of causes, civil and criminal, in the 
courts of Erie and adjoining counties. A large proportion 
of his cases have been those in which he has acted as counsel 
for other lawyers. 

Although he has always taken a deep interest in political 
affairs, yet Mr. Lewis has not, until within a very recent 
period, been known as a politician. Absorbed in the profession 
of his choice, nominations have sought him and not he nom- 
inations, and he persistently declined to stand for oflSce until 
1869, when without any wire-pulling on his .part, he was 
named by acclamation, by the Eepublican electors of Erie, 
for the position which he now holds. He succeeded Hon. 
A. P. Nichols, a Democrat, who had been elected two years 
previous by 1,400 majorit)'. Mr. Lewis' election by a major- 
ity of 259, furnished signal proof of the estimation in which 
he is held by those who must be presumed to know him best. 
He served on the Committees on Canals, Internal Affairs and 
Commerce and Navigation, and established such a reputation 
for forensic ability and legislative capacity, that his gratified 
constituents re-elected him by the handsome majority of 

The Senator was originally a free soil Democrat, but has 
been a member of the Republican party since its organization. 
In the present Senate he is Chairman of the important Com- 
mittee on Canals, and a member of the Committees on Com- 
merce and Navigation, and Privileges and Elections. 

76 Life Sketches. 


Mr. Lord, the Senator from the Twenty-eighth district, 
was born at Ballston, Saratoga county, February 10, 1816. 
He is in the prime of life, and as vigorous as he was at 
twenty-five ; of good physical proportions, an excellent con- 
stitution, and a temperament adapted to severe endurance, 
both of body and mind ; he has been favored with good 
health, and seldom tires by active labor. 

Mr. Lord was the son of poor parents, and had no other 
educational advantages than those afforded by the common 
schools in the days of his boyhood. He availed himself of 
these, however, so far as to acquire a tolerable knowledge of 
those branches which were to be most essential to his future 
success in business life. He early adopted the avocation of 
farming, and though, during most of his subsequent life, he 
has had large interests in other pursuits, he has made the 
farm his home, and has taken a pride in the culture of the 
soil. He has resided, for thirty years or more, at Pitts- 
ford, seven miles from Kochester, and has there one of 
the best cultivated and most productive farms in Monroe 
county. He takes delight in the cultivation of fruit, and 
the raising of stock, devoting himself particularly to horses, 
of which he is a great admirer. 

Mr. Lord has always been a Democrat of the Jackson 
and Wright school. Devoted to the Union, he warmly 
espoused the Federal cause at the beginning of the rebellion, 
and gave freely to promote the national interests, and, it is 
said, did more than any other man in his town to keep the 
calls for men filled, and to help the soldiers in the field and 
at home. He has enjoyed a personal popularity in his own 
town, equaled by few men, and when nominated for office, 
his neighbors have supported him with enthusiasm. He was 

Jarvis Lord. »76 

made the recipient of a testimonial, in the spring of 1871, 
which spoke volumes as to his success in ofiSce, and his 
assured place in the confidence of those who had intrusted 
vital interests to his keeping. Serving two terms in the 
lower House, and one term in the upper one, he had devel- 
oped signal legislative capacity, and an unfaltering devotion 
to the best interests of his constituents. On his return 
home in 1871, at the end of his first Senatorial term, his 
constituents gave expression to their appreciation of their 
gratitude for his services in their regard by affording for his 
acceptance a testimonial in the shape of an elaborate service 
of plate. The presentation ceremonies took place at the 
Senator's residence at Pittsford, and a special train was run 
from Rochester for the accommodation of the large number 
who desired to be present on the interesting occasion. The 
trees upon the grounds connected with the house were hung 
with many colored lanterns, producing, with the brilliantly 
lighted house, a fine effect. After the company had paid 
their respects to the Senator and his beautiful and charming 
wife, the testimonial was produced, and William N. Sage, 
on behalf of the admirers of the Senator, spoke as follows : 


Senatob : Some of your neighbors and friends, without 
regard to their political aflBnities and associations, have met 
together in your own quiet home to bear testimony to the 
zeal, the tact, the ability, and the faithfulness you have 
manifested for the past two years in every interest connected 
with this Senatorial district. On the great and fundamental 
political questions of the day we may honestly difier, and yet 
at the same time award due praise and honor to the man 
who, in practical legislation, proves himself a faithful public 
servant, and who represents his district in all its just claims, 
as you have nobly done, and who, when the conflict and 
strife are over, can return to those you have so faithfully 
served, and receive from all the welcome plaudit, " well 

76* Life Sketches. 

done ; " in which welcome the orphan, the sick, the home- 
less, the child of poverty, and even the wayward boy, will 
unite with a hearty " God bless you." Far distant may that 
day be when the great State of New York shall cease her 
interest in the various charities and educational institutions 
which have so honored her history, and which must and 
shall be sustained. Bather let her in all that elevates and 
refines humanity be true to her own noble motto, " Excel- 
sior," " higher, still higher." But I am not here to deliver a 
speech, but come with other friends to bear testimony of 
personal regard for your faithfulness, and to leave in your 
own home the evidence of that regard. Accept then. 
Senator, from these friends this service of silver in the spirit 
intended, and we shall carry away with us pleasant memories 
of this evening's interview. 

The remarks of Mr. Sage, finely delivered as they were, 
appeared to express the sentiments of the gentlemen present. 
The address was received with applause. Senator Lord 
replied as follows : 


Gentlemen^: -^ I have no language adequate to the 
expression of my sense of gratitude and the fullness of my 
heart for this manifestation of confidence and respect on the 
part of my friends. This present is beautiful and valuable, as 
regards gold and silver, but the sentiments which accompany 
it, and the language so beautifully expressing them, make it 
more valuable to me than all the treasures on earth — and 
this value is greatly enhanced by the fact that the "present" 
comes from my friends, without distinction of party. It is 
only about eighteen months since I attended a convention 
for the nomination of a candidate to represent this district 
in the Senate of the State of New York. As an humble 
member of that Convention, I was ardently in favor of the 
nomination of a gentleman whom I thought better qualified 
to represent the district than any other person whose name 

Jar VIS Lord. "76 

had been mentioned, but by his tact and eloquence, and by 
the decision of the convention, I was honored with that 
nomination. I left the convention with a sad and heavy 
heart. The thoughts which revolved in my mind were, that 
in case of my election I would be expected to represent the 
district as ably as the distinguished gentlemen who had pre- 
ceded me — men learned in the law, and men who enjoyed 
the confidence and respect of all who knew them. But 
election day came and I had every reason to feel proud of the 
result. That result was accomplished by Kepublican votes, 
and upon assuming the duties of the office I felt obligated, 
and it was my determination to represent the whole people 
of the district without distinction of party, to the best of 
my ability ; how well I have succeeded is for the people to 
judge. I may have made mistakes, but I assure you, gentle- 
men, they were of the head, not of the heart. 

I have been a resident of this county for nearly forty 
years. I came here when a mere boy, without money, and, 
as it were, without friends. During all this long residence I 
have received uniformly nothing but kindness and friend- 
ship from all classes of my fellow citizens. I hope to remain 
among you the remainder of my life, and if I can succeed in 
retaining your esteem and good will, my ambition will be 
satisfied. For whatever success has attended my labors as 
Senator, I owe much to the gentlemen with whom I was 
associated. I have been treated by them all, without dis- 
tinction of party, with the utmost kindness, but what sus- 
tained me most was the reflection that I had the strong arms 
and warm hearts of a united constituency at home to indorse 
my actions. While I have been obliged to make many sac- 
rifices respecting my own comfort socially and my interests 
pecuniarily by neglect of private affairs, and while the duties 
of the office have been responsible and laborious, your pres- 
ence here to-night and the kind words you have spoken have 
repaid me a thousand fold. 

Gentlemen, I can only thank you for this beautiful and 

76" Life Sketches. 

valuable testimonial, and the flattering expressions with which 
yon have accompanied it. I can assure you that I shall 
treasure your gift and your words in grateful memory while 
life lasts, and whatever may be my lot in the future, I can 
never fail to feel under the deepest obligations to the people 
of Monroe county. 

In conclusion, gentlemen, I can only say that my fervent 
prayers shall ever be for the prosperity and happiness of you 
and yours, and that through the remaining journey of life 
your pathway may be strewn with flowers. 

The remarks of Senator Loed were received with ap- 

Charles B. Hill now stepped forward and read the fol- 
lowing letters : 

Buffalo, May 26, 1871. 
Dear Sie — I have to thank you for your kind favor of 
the 26th instant, and exceedingly regret that very important 
business engagements compel my attendance in New York 
at that time. 

Please accept my compliments for yourself and friends, 
and assure them that I envy the good time they are to have 
with our wide-hearted, generous gentleman, the honorable 

With great respect, your friend, 

Col. James Bkackett. 

Fifth Avenue Hotel, ) 
New Yoek, May 27, 1871. j 
Col. James Brackett : 

My Dear Sie — I have just received an invitation to be 
present at the presentation of a testimonial to the Hon. 
Jaevis Lord, on Monday evening, the 29th inst. Not 
haATng been favored with the privilege of contribitting, I 
feel more sensibly the honor of the invitation, I sincerely 

Jabvis.Lord. «7fi 

regret that my attendance upon the national insurance 
convention now assembled in this city, will prevent the 
possibility of my acceptance. 

The participation of citizens, " irrespective of party," in 
this testimonial is a compliment which does well-merited 
honor to the honorable Senator, and is worthy the high 
character and independence of his constituents. It is an 
auspicious omen that public services so eminent, so disin- 
terested, so valuable to the whole community, receive such 
recognition. I cannot allow this occasion to pass, without 
joining with my old fellow citizens in contributing some 
little memento of my cordial sympathy with their generous 
movement, and of my own high personal regard for those 
nobler qualities of heart and head, which so justly entitle the 
honorable Senator to the love and respect which he so uni- 
versally enjoys. Please add the trifling token herewith sent 
to the testimonial, and convey to my honorable friend, the 
Senator, the best wishes and congratulations of his and your 
friend and humble servant, 


The formality of presentation over, the presents were 
inspected and admired. The testimonial consisted of the 
following articles : Silver server, coffee urn, two tea pots, sugar 
bowl, cream pitcher, slop bowl, card dish, fruit stand and 
soup tureen. The articles are all solid sterling silver, hand- 
somely engraved and gold lined. The silver is marked : 

" Hon. Jakvis Lord, from the citizens of the twenty-eighth 
Senatorial district of New York, as an acknowledgment of 
faithful services." 

All the other articles are marked with the monogram, 
" J. L." in handsome old English letter. The cost of the 
testimonial was $2,500. 

The company present now scattered through the tastefully 
furnished rooms. Some chatted and smoked upon the ver- 
andahs, and others resorted to the " bath-room." Congratu- 

76' Life Sketches. 

lations were exchanged with Senator Lokd, and all were in 
the best of spirits over the occasion. The following is a 
partial list of those who were present : W. H. Bowman, 
W. H. Crennell, John Lutes, Martin Briggs, B. M. Baker, 
E. E. Sill, S. B. Roby, Wm. ]!f. Sage, Wm. L. Sage, C. B. Hill, 
R. E. Sherlock, A. J. Warner, Henry Churchill, James N. 
Phelan, Ezra Jones, Wm. C. Rowley, Theodore E. Smith, 
George G. Clarkson, W. H. Gorsline, Frederick Cook, George 
J. Whitney, Charles H. Chapin, Wm. R. Seward, Lewis Selye, 
W. H. Benjamin, Simon Stettheimer, E. B. Jennings, George 
E. Jennings, C. A. Kellogg, C. H. Mason, Wm. H. Cum- 
mings, C. H. Stillwell, A. G. Wheeler, Bernard Hughes, 
Oliver Ladue, S. M. Spencer, T. W. Tone, J. H. Pool, A. V. 
Smith, Thomas Leighton, D. Richmond, Henry C. Frost, 
James R. Chamberlain, E. S. Ettenheimer, C. E. Upton, 
Levi S. Pulton, F. Dewitt Clarke, Dr. B. L. Hovey, Dwight 
Knapp, E. C. Purcell, Wm. Mudgett, M. F. Reynolds, James 
Bellows, E. F. Hyde, H. P. Langworthy, L. A. Pratt, J. W. 
Mcllhenny, John H. Howe, Edgar Holmes, Chas. P. Smith, 
Harvey W. Brown, W. A. Reynolds, Seth Green, Jas. 0. How- 
ard, Byron HoUey, W. B. Duffy, W. W. Reid, Frank A. Baker, 
A. Carver, Mr. Miller, Levi A. Ward. The above are all of 
Rochester. The following from other localities were also in 
attendance : C. C. B. Walker, Corning ; Hon. Benjamin P. 
Angel, Geneseo ; William C. Dryer, Victor ; D. A. Ogden, 
Penn Yan; James M. Wilsie, Pittsford; I. H. Sutherland, 
Pittsford. The press were represented by the following: 
William Purcell and George G. Cooper, Rochester Union; 
Francis S. Rew, Rochester Express; Charles S. Collins, Sun- 
day Newsletter; S. C. Cleveland, Penn Yan Chronicle; R. L. 
Adams, Geneva Courier ; J. A. Hoekstra, Rochester Demu 
crat and Clironicle. 

Choice Music by a brass band, and an elegant supper, 
brought the memorable occasion to a close. 

And now a few details of that legislative career, of which 
we have spoken, and the Senatoi-'s business history. He was 

Jarvis Lord. 77 

elected to the Assembly in 1858 on the Democratic ticket, 
when the district went Eepublican by several hundreds. He 
was elected again in 1866, by a majority of fifteen over a 
strong opponent, when the district gave Governor Fenton 
six hundred majority. At the opening of the Legislature, 
in 1867, his party presented him as the Democratic candi- 
date for Speaker, and sustained him by an unbroken vote ; 
but the Republican majority in the House accomplished the 
election of Mr. Pirrs. He has once or more served as Super- 

Mr. Lord has been engaged for many years in building 
canals in this State, and he enjoys a wide reputation as a 
contractor. He is President of the Bank of Monroe, of 
Eochester, a sound and reliable institution, and as a business 
man is well and favorably known all over central and west- 
ern New York. 

Mr. Lord was member of the last Senate, 1870-71, and 
was made Chairman of the Finance Committee. Although a 
new man in that body, at that time, he took a leading posi- 
tion from the start and gave evidence of an extensive knowledge 
of the wants and necessities of the State. His report on the 
payment of a portion of the State debt in coin, made dur- 
ing the first year of his term, was regarded as a paper of great 
clearness and force. The Senator was re-nominated under 
circumstances which must have been peculiarly gratifying to 
him, indicating, as they did, that his course as a legislator 
met with the hearty approval of his constituents. Before 
the re-nomination was made, a letter was read to the conven- 
tion from him, declining another senatorial term, and giving 
his reasons therefor. The convention not seeing eye to eye 
with Mr. Lord on that point, and having nominated him by 
acclamation, sent a committee to inform the nominee of their 
action, whereof the Senator appeared in the convention and 
said if his letter of declination would not suffice, he would 
yield to the wishes of his constituents and take the field. 

78 Life Sketches. 

He was elected by a majority of 1,838, an increase of 1,138 on 
his majority of 1869. 

Mr. Lord does not claim to be an orator ; his attention 
has never been bestowed on • the embellishments of rhetoric 
and elocution. Whenever he has an opinion to utter he 
delivers it point blank and with force, if not with grace. 
His shrewdness, plain sense and knowledge of the world are 
his leading characteristics, and they serve him well in the 
accomplishment of his ends as a Senator. 


Samuel S. Lowert of Utica, who represents the nine- 
teenth Senatorial district, consisting of the county of Oneida, 
was born in county Down, Ireland, on the fifth day of Feb- 
ruary, 1831. It would, therefore, be an Hibemicism to say 
that he is a Scotchman, but his ancestry, not less than his 
characteristics, stamp him as one who is more a Gael than a 

Senator Lowert's parents emigrated to this country when 
Samuel was about fourteen years old, and settled in Oneida 
county. He received a good common school education in 
Ireland, and, by reason of strong taste for books, he has 
acquired during his latter years in this country an extensive 
fund of knowledge. 

The Senator is, by occupation, a manufacturer of woolen 
goods. In this business he has been quite successful, and 
conducts, at the present time, an extensive establishment, 
in which he employs a large number of hands. He settled 
in Whitestown, Oneida county, on his arrival in this country, 
and there remained until the year 1848. From thence, he 
went to Manchester, New Hampshire, where he was con- 
nected with a woolen mill until 1855, when he left and came 

Samuel S. Lowery. 79 

to Utica, and engaged in the dry goods business. Success 
crowned his efforts, and, in 1861, he abandoned dry goods to 
become a wool dealer, and, two years later, started the mill 
which he has since run. 

In politics Senator Lowert, although a strict believer in 
the principles of the Republican organization, is never bit- 
terly partisan. Until his election to the Assembly of 1870, he 
neither held nor sought oflBce. He was chosen to that body 
by a majority of 448, over a worthy and popular competitor, in 
a district where the Republican majority in the previous year 
was less than fifty. Serving upon the Committees on Public 
Education, State Charitable Institutions, and Roads and 
Bridges, he proved faithful to the interests of his constitu- 
ents, and exhibited a comprehensive knowledge of the duties 
of a legislator. As a member of the Committee on Education, 
he was especially distinguished for his sturdy and unflinch- 
ing opposition to the policy of sectarian appropriations. 

Mr. Lowert was elected to the Senate by a majority of 
1,591 over his opponent who had been a member of the pre- 
ceding Senate, and was elected by a majority of 52, in a can- 
vass, in which the Republican candidate for Secretary of State 
received a majority of 1,023, in the nineteenth Senatorial dis- 
trict. Senator Lowert is very properly placed at the head 
of the Committee on Manufactures; he is also Chairman 
of the State Prison Committee, and a member of several 
other important Committees. He had the honor of renomi- 
nating RoscoE CoNKLiNG for United States Senator, and 
his speech, in joint caucus of the Republican members of the 
Senate and Assembly, in presenting that gentleman, was an 
able and eloquent effort. 

His name having lately been mentioned in connection with 
the mayoralty of Utica, the Senator informed his friends that, 
while representing the nineteenth Senatorial district, he felt 
in obligation bound to decline any other oflBce, the holding 
of which might interfere with his Senatorial duties. Com- 

80 Life Sketches. 

meriting on this decision, the Utica " Herald " makes some 
remarks which fully serve as a close for this sketch : 

" In accepting the office of Senator, Mr. Lowert pledged 
the people of Oneida county undivided official duty. This 
pledge he has fully redeemed, carefully watching the inter- 
ests of his constituents, and those of the State. That Mr. 
LowEEY is grateful for this expression of the esteem of 
his fellow townsmen, none that know him need be assured. 
He has wisely chosen not to accept an office which might 
divide his attention, caring first to redeem, to the satisfac- 
tion of the most strict constructionist, the obligations 
assumed with the office of Senator. We congratulate the 
people of Oneida county, on the possession of a Senator who 
has so high a sense of his official obligations." 

Mr. LowEET will be remembered in connection with the 
present Senate, for the prominent part he played in the dis- 
cussion of the charter for the city of New York. He stoutly 
insisted from the first, that the appointing power should be 
vested in the mayor, and defended his position with much 
ability and eloquence. 


The Twentieth Senatorial district, composed of the coun- 
ties of Otsego and Herkimer, is represented by Archibald 
C. McGowAN, the subject of the present sketch. Residing in 
Herkimer, and receiving only a nominal support from Otsego, 
he was elected to the Senate by a large majority through 
force of his personal popularity at home. Not a foolish 
talker nor blunderer, but a straight-forward, quiet, common- 
sense man, he knows his business and does it — does it hon- 
estly, and treats every legislative measure with the same fair- 
ness and attention that he bestows upon his personal mat- 

Archibald C. McGowan. 81 

Mr. McGowAN was boru in Pownal, Bennington county, 
Vermont, August 26, 1825. His grandfather, James Mo- 
GowAK, was bom in Scotland in 1750, and emigrated to the 
colonies before the Revolution. He served in the Conti- 
nental army, and subsequently settled at Hoosick, Bensselaer 
county, where Clark McGowan, father of the Senator, was 

Both of Mr. McGowan's parents died when he was an 
infant, leaving him dependent for support and instruction 
npon his relatives. He received a good common school edu- 
cation, and afterward spent some time in attendance at the 
Jonesville. Saratoga county, academy, passing from thence 
to farming, at which he worked until his seventeenth year. 
The next seven years of his life he clerked it, and after that, 
was, by turns, a merchant, boat-builder, farmer, and dealer 
in lumber and coal. At the present time he is President of 
the Frankfort and Ilion Railroad Company. He was mar- 
ried at the age of twenty-five, to Mary Louisa Rogers, and 
has had three children, two of whom are dead. His sur- 
viving child, Archibald W. McGowak, is now in his tenth 

Glancing at the political chapter of the Senator's life, we 
find that, until 1856, he was a Democrat ; in tiiat year he 
voted for Millard Fillmore, the candidate of the American 
National Convention, for the Presidency. A couple of years 
later he espoused the interests of the Republican party, and 
ever since has been actively identified with it. His legisla- 
tive career commenced in 1863, when he was sent to repre- 
sent the county of Herkimer in the Assembly. He served a 
second terra in that body in 1866 ; in the former year he was 
a member of the Canal Committee, and in the latter was 
Chairman of the Committee on Joint Library, and a mem- 
ber of the Census and Apportionment and Engrossed Billa 
Committees. During the years 1867-8-9 he represented the 
town of Frankfort in the Board of Supervisors. 

Mr. McGowAif was elected to the position which he now 

82 Life Sketches. 

holds by a majority of 643, receiving 1,323 majority in Her- 
kimer county, and running ahead of the State and county 
ticket nearly 300. Frankfort showed her appreciation of one 
who is " not without honor " where he is best known, by giv- 
ing him 258 majority. He made a most gallant fight, and waa 
rewarded by the largest majority given in the county of 
Herkimer for any candidate, local or State, for many years. 

Mr. McGowAK serves in the Senate on three Committees 
— Canals, Salt, and Agriculture. Of this last named he is 
Chairman, and as such, is, as one may say, the Senatorial 
guardian of the interests of tlie great branch of industry and 
wealth. Through him all the agricultural societies of tbe 
State present their affairs to the Senate. Of popular manner, 
and extensive acquaintance with the various industries of the 
State, Senator McGowAN makes a faithful and efficient 
servant of the people. 


There are some men who, remembering the implied injunc- 
tion of Holy Writ contained in the exclamation, ." I would 
thou wert either cold or hot," do whatsoever their hands find 
to do with unqualified fervency. They recognize no such 
things in the world as half-truths; to them whatever is not 
radically right is radically wrong, and vice versa. Their 
trumpets never give forth an uncertain sound or one wanting 
in volume, and if all the Jericho walls at which their efforts 
are directed do not tumble, they — gazing upon some stub- 
born piece of masonry on wliich their trumpeting makes no 
impression — have the consolation that goes with the con- 
sciousness of always making a red-hot and never a luke- 
warm fight. 

Senator Madden belongs to this school of men. He has 

Edward M. Madden. 83 

decided convictions, and is very decided in expressing them. 
Once his mind is made up, he is extremely hard to move 
from his position, and whoever questions the faith that is in 
him is sure to hear the reasons on which that faith rests 
couched in unequivocal language. His aye and nay are like 
ii woman's : 

" When he wills, he wills, you may depend on't, 
Add if he wont, he wont, so there's an end on't." 

Gkokge W. Bustgay, the poet, in a volume of " Pen and Ink 
Portraits," issued in 1857, has an appreciative sketch of the 
subject of this biography, from which we take the following : 

" Senator Maddei^ represents ll»e county of Orange, where 
he was born, has always lived, and where he will probably 
die, unless political events so shape themselves that his 
unquenchable love of liberty, and intense hatred of slavery, 
should induce him to leave his Lares and Penates, and 
migrate to Kansas.* Like many other men of mark, he is 
wholly the artificer of his own fortune. He had no advan- 
tages of early education. From the age of nine to fourteen 
he commenced fitting himself for the great battle of life as an 
operative in a cotton factory ; thence he pursued his studies 
as an apprentice in a tin shopj graduated in a hardware 
store, and took his final degree, as a retail merchant, at Mid- 
dletown, where he now has a very extensive saw factory. 
Nature has done much for him. Gifted with a fine consti- 
tution, his iron will, unbending energy, ipdomitable perse- 
verance, and unflagging industry have combined to make 
him a hard student and a well-read man. His mind is well 
stored with practical knowledge, and few men are so thor- 
oughly posted in the political history of our State or country. 
There is no man in the Senate of greater pluck or nerve. 
Governed in all his actions by fixed principles, nothing ever 
turns him from his purpose, when his course is once marked 
out. The State never had a more watchful guardian over 

• He probably has given up the idea of going to Kansas. — [Ed. 

84 Life Sketcbes. 

its interests. He is extremely sensitire and jealous about all 
inroads upon the treasury — more so than if it were his own 
private purse. His active business habits make him invalu- 
able on committees, and woe-betide the unlucky wight who 
comes before him with a doubtful claim. He participates 
freely in all debates, dissecting the subtleties and sophistries 
of lawyers with the sharp scalpel of common sense. He is a 
nei-vous, rapid speaker, and no man in the Senate is more 
earnest, energetic, forcible or convincing. He goes in a 
straight geometrical line right to the point, without any 
flowers of rhetoric, but with a directness that there is no 
mistaking. He uses no pearls of poetry, or flights of fancy, 
but deals altogether in the purest and strongest Anglo Saxon. 
He always votes in accordance with his convictions. No 
motives of policy, expediency or interest; no regard for 
individuals or localities ; no personal friendships can make 
him swerve one hair's breadth from his line of duty. He 
engages in no 'log rolling,' never aiding any project of 
doubtful propriety to secure assistance in measures of real 

Senator Madden was formerly a Democrat, and was 
elected to the Senate in 1856-7 as an anti-Nebraska man. He 
was Chairman of the Insurance Committee in that body, 
and a member of the Finance, Claims, and Commerce and 
Navigation Committees. He made a good record, proving 
himself to be a strong, popular, earnest man. He was 
elected to the present Senate by a majority of 2,085 over his 
opponent, George M. Beebe, a member of the present 

In appointing the Committees this year, the President of 
the Senate placed Mr. Maddek at the head of Bailroads, a 
place of great honor and responsibility. 

Henry C. Muspsy. 86 


Mr. MuEPHT enjoys the distinction of being, in a legisla- 
tive sense, the father of the Senate, the present being his 
twelfth consecutive year of service in that body. He is, not 
only by right of experience, but also by right of talents and 
accomplishments, the ranking Democrat of the Legislature, 
and the leader of his party in the upper house. 

Henby Ckuse Mubphy was born in Brooklyn in 1810, and 
has ever since been a resident of that city. After receiving a 
preparatory education, he entered Columbia College, from 
which he graduated in 1830. He then commenced the study 
of the law with the late Petee W. Eadcliffe, of New York, 
and was admitted to the bar in 1833. In the year following 
he married Miss Amelia Geeenwood, daughter of Eichaed 
Gbeekwood, of Haverstraw, Eockland county. New York. 
Though applying himself assiduously to the duties of his 
profession, Mr. Muephy found time to bestow on literary 
and political subjects, and wag a frequent contributor to sev- 
eral periodicals of the day. He thus early became known in 
political circles, in which he has since occupied a foremost 

At the time Mr. Muephy entered public life, the State of 
New York had been long pursuing, in regard to its moneyed 
interests, a policy which had placed the banks, in every sec- 
tion of the State, under the control of petty monopolists, 
created by political favoritism. A convention of the young 
men of the day assembled at Herkimer, in 1834, to which 
Mr. Muephy was elected a delegate. On its organization he 
was appointed Chairman on Eesolntions, and then, for the 
first time, exhibited that foresight and energy of character 
for which he has since been distinguished. He took occasion 
at once to introduce in the Committee, and subsequently in 

86 Life Sketches. 

the Convention, a resolution denouncing the above policy, 
although the patronage which it created had been distributed 
for the benefit of his own party. Violent opposition was 
made to the adoption of this resolution, but it finally passed 
with some modification. It was, however, never permitted 
to see the light, having been suppressed in the official report 
of the proceedings of the Corivention. Still it had its effect. 
The fact that the resolution had been smothered soon became 
known. The New York Evening Post, then edited by Wm. 
Leggett, and many other journals, exposed the unfair pro- 
ceeding, took up the doctrine and gave it a strength and 
popularity which resulted, in a few years, in the utter pros- 
tration of the system of monopolized banking in the State 
of New York. 

Mr. Murphy was soon after appointed Attorney and Coun- 
sel to the corporation of his native city, and, consequently, 
became familiar with the nature and operation of municipal 
corporations generally. In 1842 he was elected Mayor of 
Brooklyn. During his administration he introduced a sys- 
tem of retrenchment, which, mirabile dictu, actually kept 
the expenditures of that city within its income ! He com- 
menced this retrenchment by the reduction of his own salary. 
Before the expiration of his term of office as Mayor, he was 
elected Member of the Twenty-eighth Congress, and took 
his seat, accordingly, in the House of Representatives in 
1843. Although one of its youngest members, he at once 
secured a high position in that body; and on the tariff 
question advocated a system of duties for revenue purposes 
only, and thus, incidentally, indorsed the docStrine of free 
trade. On the question of the annexation of Texas he took 
the aflSrmative, but advised its postponement, in order that 
Mexico might be afforded an opportunity to give her assent, 
and that more unanimity might be secured thereby, in favor 
of it in the United States. In view of the events which 
have since transpired, the wisdom of this recommendation 
must be admitted. On other questions of public policy he 

Henry C. Mvrphy. 87 

took an equally prominent position ; and with ability opposed 
the alteration of the naturalization laws, and demonstrated 
the inconsistency of such a measure with the genius of our 
government, and its bad effects on the settlement of the pub- 
lic domain. For the splendid dry dock which has been con- 
structed at Wallabout Bay, the port of New York is indebted 
to Mr. Murphy's zeal and perseverance. 

The most notable position in State politics which this gen- 
tleman has occupied, was that of member of the Convention 
which assembled in 1846, to frame a new Constitution of this 
State. Here he brought forward several important provis- 
ions, some of which were eventually incorporated into that 
instrument. His course on this, as on most occasions, met 
the approbation of his constituents, and on his return from 
the Convention, he was again elected to Congress by the 
largest vote ever polled in his district. 

On the accession of Mr. Buchanan to the Presidency, 
Mr. MuBPHT received the appointment of Minister to the 
Hague. Identified as he had long been with the efforts to 
rescue from oblivion the early history of our State, particu- 
larly that portion of it which relates to its first colonization 
by Holland, the selection elicited general approval. When 
the rebellion broke out Mr. Muepht was still Minister of 
the United States to the Netherlands, and it was exceedingly 
important at the time, that the governments of Europe 
should be correctly informed of the precise facts of the case, 
and of the real relations of the States to the Federal Gov- 
ernment, in order that foreign powers might readily see and 
adhere to their well-established line of duty. Accordingly, 
Minister Muephy addressed to the government of the Neth- 
erlands an elaborate exposition of that relationship, and 
clearly pointed out the absolute supremacy of the general 
government in all matters committed to it by the Constitu- 
tion, and the equally absolute rights of the State over all 
matters not delegated to the United .States by that instru- 
ment. He seized the opportunity to show, at the same time, 

88 Life Sketches. 

that the rebellion owed its origin chiefly to sectional hate 
and the ambition of the leaders. This paper was printed at 
length in the diplomatic correspondence of 1861 and 1862, 
and was highly praised by men of both parties. Upon his 
return to the United States, he announced his determination 
to uphold the national flag against secession, and was imme- 
diately elected to the Senate of the State, as a Union man. 
At the State Convention of the Democratic party in 1862, he 
was chosen temporary Chairman, and insisted that all citi- 
zens, without distinction of party, should support the admin- 
istration in putting down the rebellion. In the annual 
oration before the Tammany Society on the 4th of July, 
1863, he took no less patrotic grounds in behalf of the 
Union. Indeed, he was no less zealous in acts than in words ; 
for mainly by his exertions the Third Senatorial Eegiment, 
the 159th New York State Volunteers, Colonel Molisteux, 
was raised, and the bounties paid to the men without calling 
upon either the State, city or county ai^thorities for that 
purpose. Such, in brief, is the history of his action in 
regard to the rebellion. 

Mr. MuKPHT has taken a conspicuous part in all import- 
ant debates and discussions during his long term of service, 
and particularly distinguished himself in his efforts to repeal 
the bill in regard to ecclesiastical tenures, and to establish 
the quarantine in the lower bay of New York — measures 
which he successfully carried through. He, also, was in 
favor of sustaining the different internal improvements 
throughout the State, without regard to the section where 
they were proposed, provided they contributed to the general 
prosperity. Having always been a strict constructionist, Mr. 
Murphy voted against ratifying the amendment to the Con- 
stitution of the United States abolishing slavery. He holds 
that, as the Federal Government is one of delegated powers 
exclusively, and as the subject of slavery was not embraced 
in the Constitution, and was to be disposed of only by the 
States where it existed, the power of amendment is neees- 


sarily limited to the subjects embraced in the Constitution, 
and does not legitimately apply to that of abolishing 

Senator Murpht in 1867, and again in 1869, received the 
nomination for United States Senator from the Democratic 
members of the Legislature. He was a leading member of 
the Constitutional Convention held in 1863, and took a 
prominent part in all its proceedings. 

In debate, Mr. Muepht generally speaks extemporaneously ; 
in argument he is close and logical ; in manner, earnest and 
apparently severe ; and when he warms to his subject, his- 
tory, precedent and analogy, all seem to rise unbidden to 
fortify the position he assumes. In private character he 
possesses, in an eminent degree, all the essential elements of 
a high-toned gentlemen, and no public man, we think, has 
passed thus far through the trying ordeal of an extended 
legislative career more free from the taint of corruption. 
Though eminently a practical man, taking a deep and active 
part in public aflFairs — a man of the people — he is a scholar, 
" and a ripe good one." To the gratification of his scholastic 
tastes Mr. Mubphy has given much of his time and means. 
During his travels at home and abroad, he has accumulated 
one of the finest private libraries in America, and possesses 
the full power to appreciate and enjoy it; and however 
much he may win honor and fame as a public spirited citizen, 
or a successful political leader, his claim as one of the lit- 
erati can never be lost sight of. Mr. Murphy's contribu- 
tions to literature are of a very valuable character, and 
include a number of translations from the Dutch language, 
of which he is a perfect master. 

He was elected to the present Senate by a majority of 
6,565, and serves on the Judiciary, Literature, Commerce and 
Navigation, and Eules Committees. 


90 Life Sketches. 


Senator James O'Brien, who represents the Seventh 
Senatorial district, consisting of the eighteenth, twentieth 
and twenty-first wards of the city of New York, is a good 
illustration of a topic often commented upon — the success 
which pluck and perseverance will wrest from — 

" Those twin gaolers of the daring heart. 
Low birth and iron fortune." 

Seldom in any country, beside our own, can humble parentage 
and tiie hindrances of poverty be overcome, and wealth and 
influence be attained. It is little wonder, then, that they 
who in the old motherland see before them only a future of 
dreary toil and merely nominal wages, seek our hospitable 
shores, knowing that under the freedom of Republican 
government, the future promises all things to him who puts 
forth earnest endeavor. 

James O'BRiEif was born in Moate, Westmeath county, 
Ireland, and is now about thirty-three years of age. Both 
his parents, Lawrence O'Briek and Akk McDonell 
O'Brien, were born in Dublin, the Emerald island's famous 
metropolis. They are still living to enjoy the prosperity 
which has attended the Senator in the new World. After 
receiving a common school education, he immediately 
plunged into business. He was for many years a machinist, 
and is now engaged in the manufacture of blacksmith's tools. 

At the outbreak of the great rebellion, he went to work 
recruiting with a will, and succeeded in raising a brigade, 
composed for the most part, it is said, of his personal frienda. 

For years the Senator has been one of the most active 
politicians of the metropolis, and it is as a politician that he 
is best known. He is perfectly familiar with all the crooks 
and convolutions which have mai'ked the course of New 

James O'Brien. 91 

York politics during the past ten years. He was a member 
of the Board of Aldermen in 1865-'67, and Sheriff in 

The Senator claims a lion's share of the honor of break- 
ing the Tammany ring, and maintains that for a time he 
fought that ring single handed and alone, not turned aside 
by the offers of immense bribes, nor intimidated by the infi- 
delity of many who professed to be friends. 

In his first canvass for Alderman, when he ran on the 
" People's Ticket," his majority was so enormous as to exceed 
the entire vote cast for his opponent. A more gignal proof 
of popularity was never bestowed upon a candidate. At the 
present time the Senator calls himself a "Conservative 

He was elected to the ijosition which he now holds by 
the rousing majority of 13,336, over Johk J. Bradley, a 
brother-in-law of Peter B. Sweeney, who had been chosen 
to the preceding Senate by a majority of 6,654. The canvass 
was a most exciting one, and notwithstanding an herculean 
effort was put forth to defeat O'Brien, he achieved the 
great triumph set forth in the figures of hia majority. 

The Senator was married in 1863 to Miss McGovern. 
Personally, the Senator is a most genial gentleman — one 
whose frank, generous nature, and large heartedness, make 
him a favorite in many social circles. Few men can boast 
of a larger number of warmly attached personal friends than 
James O'Brien. 

92 Life Sketches. 


The Senator from the Eleventh District was born on the 
25th of January, 1835, in the town of Amenia, Dutchess 
county, on the old homestead, which has for many years been 
in the possession of the Palmer family, and on which Mr. 
Palmer now resides. Both of his parents died when he was 
still in his early childhood. He pursued his studies at 
Amenia Seminary, and afterward at the Oneida Conference 
Seminarj' in Cazenovia, with a view to a complete collegiate 
course. At nineteen he entered the Sophomore class of 
Union College; but in 1856 he was compelled by ill health 
to relinquish his studies, and seek remedies at the Clifton 
Springs' Water Cure, in which institution he remained for 
■ several months. Having been convinced that he needed a 
different kind of treatment, he made airangements for a pro- 
tracted visit to Europe. Accordingly, in 1857, he went 
abroad, visiting Great Britain and the Continent, and avail- 
ing himself of opportunities for acquiring a knowledge of 
modern languages. 

In 1859, Mr. Palmer returned and resumed the manage- 
ment of his estate, in Amenia, paying particular attention 
to mining for iron ore, a large bed of that metal being on 
his lands. In the fall of that year, he was nominated for 
Member of the Assembly by the Republican party, and 
elected by a large majority, though the district had, hitherto, 
been closely contested by both parties. It will be perceived 
that Mr. Palmer entered upon his political career when he 
was but little over twenty-four years old. Up to that period 
his time had been spent as a student or in foreign 
travel, but still he had formed decided opinions relative 
to public affairs, and been among the foremost to indorse 
the enduring principles of universal freedom, which were 
confirmed in his mind, by the contrasts which were 

Abiab W. Palmer. 93 

presented to his observation, while in Europe. Though 
among the youngest Members of the Assembly, he held 
an honorable and prominent place in that body, and 
commanded respect because he had the integrity to resist 
the overtures of corrupt schemers. The foUovping year 
he was unanimously re-nominated for the Assembly, but, 
in consequence of ill-health, he was compelled to decline. 
He thereupon withdrew from politics and gave his attention 
to his private business and the restoration of his health. In 
1865 he again accepted the nomination for the Assembly, 
and was elected by the largest majority ever given by his 
district. His talents received just recognition from the 
Speaker, who appointed him a member of the committees of 
Ways and Means, and Eevision and Kules. While serving 
on the former committee his attention was called to the 
necessity of making provision for the better accommodation 
of the insane. He succeeded in eflFecting the enactment of 
a law authorizing the Governor to appoint Commissioners 
to select a site for a new asylum for them. The follow- 
ing summer he was appointed by Governor Fextok as 
Chairman of that Board. He devoted nearly the whole of 
his attention during the ensuing season to the selection of a 
proper site, and strenuously urged upon the inhabitants, at 
different points along the Hudson river, to make proposals 
for having the institution located in their localities. The 
city of Poughkeepsje offered the most liberal and desira- 
ble inducements for the purpose in question; and conse- 
quently the Commissioners decided to establish the asylum 
at that place. Thereupon a splendid farm of two hundred 
acres, affording one of the most beautiful sites on the Hud- 
son, was purchased, costing the city of Poughkeepsie and the 
remainder of Dutchess county $85,000. 

During that year Mr. Palmer was again renominated, 
but his delicate health compelled him to resign the candi- 
dacy. During the session of the Legislature of 1866, he 
presented the report of the Commissioners relative to their 

94 Life Sketches. 

action, and procured the passage of an act, accepting the 
site, on the part of the State, and also an act for the establish- 
ment and organization of the Hudson River State Hospital 
for the Insane, and secured the appropriation of $100,000 
with which to commence work upon the building. Under 
this act he was appointed one of the managers, an behalf of 
the State, for the consummation of the plans ; and was, sub- 
sequently, elected President of the Board of Managers. This 
honor was justly deserved, for Mr. Palmer had initiated, 
and done much toward perfecting one of the most benevo- 
lent and humane charities dispensed by the State of New 
York. In fact, the accomplishment of this beneficent pur- 
pose was the master-good which he desired to have conferred 
upon suflfering humanity ; and he entered into the work 
actuated by sympathy for the unfortunate, and by motives 
of an exalted charity. The time will come when many, 
having emerged from the terrors of disordered minds, will 
have cause to be grateful for the impulses which prompted 
Mr. Palmer in his devotion to this project. 

In 1867 Mr. Palmer was unanimously nominated as the 
Eepublican candidate for State Senator for the eleventh dis- 
trict, composed of Dutchess and Columbia counties. The 
result showed his great popularity ; for although his district 
gave the Democratic State ticket nearly two hundred 
majority, yet Mr. Palmer was elected by nearly seven hun- 
dred majority. In the Senate he was Chairman of the com- 
mittee on Banks and Charitable and Eeligious Societies, and 
was a member of the committees on Municipal Affairs and 

There was virtually no opposition to the Senator's election 
to the present Senate. His majority of 8,573 was a deserved 
compliment to his conspicuous popularity, and indicated 
that he received a large number of votes from his political 
opponents. He is a gentleman of the purest character and 
blameless record ; no man ever came out of the legislative 
halls with a more spotless reputation. He commands the 

AerAS W. Palmes. 96 

entire respect of political adversaries as well as political 
friends, and his genial personal qualities have combined with 
his untai-nished reputation to secure for him a popularity 
and appreciation not bounded by party lines. 

Senator Palmer supported Mr. Greeley for President, in 
the late campaign, and on the occasion of a nomination by 
the Senate of a candidate for United States Senator, he took 
occasion to define and explain his political position in the 
following remarks : Asking to be excused from voting, he 

Mr. President : As my Kepublican associates in the Sen- 
ate have denied me the courtesy of an invitation to the cau- 
cuses of my party, and I have been assigned positions on 
committees as if I were a Democrat, it is perhaps due to myself 
and to my constituents that I should briefly explain my 
course at this time. In the late campaign I should have 
voted for Horace Greeley for President had not sickness 
detained me in a distant State on the day of election. It is 
unnecessary on this occasion for me to speak of my personal 
relations with Mr. Greeley, or refer to the warmth of the 
friendship which had so long existed between us. I will 
only say that I deemed him a better exponent of Kepublican 
principles than Gen. Grant. 

The fact that Democrats supported Mr. Greeley upon a 
Republican platform did not frighten me ; nor did I become 
the less a Eepublican by my course. The great body of my 
party decided that its regular nominee should be intrusted 
with the government of the country for another term. I 
sincerely trust that its confidence will prove well deserved. 
The Republican State ticket I took pleasure in supporting 
not only on account of the personnel of the nominees, but 
because I had no ground for difierence with my party upon 
State questions. Now, Mr. President, I recognize the fact 
that the same voice which, in this State, pronounced in favor 
of Grant and Dix was equally emphatic for Roscoe Conk- 
ling, for United States Senator, and I have no personal rea- 
sons for preferi'ing any other Republican for that oflBce. 

I have not always considered Senator Conkling's course 
as conciliatory as I could have desired, but for many years our 
relations have been extremely cordial. I esteem him as a 
friend, and admire him for his ability and undoubted integ- 

96 Life Sketches. 

rity. Yet I am told that some of the Senator's friends have 
sought to read me out of the party, as if any power but 
myself could decide to what party I belong ; and an indignity 
has been oflfered to my Republican constituents in denying 
them Eepublican representation. 

A not unnatural pride would suggest that I should seek 
welcome elsewhere; but the truest self-respect enjoins 
adherence to my principles. By conviction and education 
I am a Eepublican, and such I must remain. As a member 
of this body I shall do nothing to defeat the purposes of 
those who elected me ; and in casting this important vote, 
I feel bound to recognize the wishes of the party which has 
so often honored me with its support. 

The two candidates nominated by caucuses in which I did 
not participate, are Charles W. Wheaton, of Dutchess 
county, one of the most able and pure-minded men in this 
State, but a life-long Democrat; and RoscoE Conkling, 
the finished scholar, ripe statesman, and patriotic Republican. 

Bowing to no dictation but the convictions of my own 
conscience, I withdraw my request to be excused from voting, 
and cast my vote for Roscoe Conkling. 


The second Senatorial district is represented by Johk 
Ctrtts Peeet, of Brooklyn. He was born in Forrestburg, 
Sullivan county, April 31, 1832, and was educated at the 
academy in Monticello, in that county; when seventeen 
years of age he entered the law oflBce of Hon. Alpheus 
DiMMiCK, then Judge and Surrogate of the county, and one 
of the most eminent lawyers of that section, with whom he 
studied law two years, and then entered the law school at 
Ballston, Saratoga county, N. Y., where he remained two 
years, when he was admitted as attorney and counselor of the 
supreme court at Albany, being then twenty-one years of 
age. Immediately thereafter he opened an office, and com- 
menced the practice of law in Kingston, Ulster county. On 

JoBN 0. Perrt. 97 

the 1st of January, 1854, he was appointed Assistant District 
Attorney for that county by JoHif Lyon, District Attorney, 
and oflBciated in that capacity for three years. In the fall 
of 1855 he was nominated for County Judge by the Whig 
county convention, but declined the nomination to disem- 
barrass the Republican cause which had been inaugurated 
that fall for the first time in his county. In the fall of 
1856 he was nominated by the Eepublican party for Dis- 
trict Attorney of Ulster, but was defeated in the election 
by the nominee of the Know-nothing party. Eemoving to 
Brooklyn in the fall of 1857, he commenced the practice of 
law in the city of New York; in 1861 he was nominated, in 
Brooklyn, for Assembly on the straight Eepublican ticket, 
but was defeated by Charles L. Benedict, the present 
United States District Judge for the Eastern district, who ran 
on a union ticket, which was nominated and supported by 
the Democratic and a portion of the Eepublican party. He 
was again nominated for Assembly in 1863 by the Eepublican 
party, and elected ; and renominated and elected to the same 
position by the same party in the fall of 1864. He was a 
member of the committee on Cities in the Assembly in 1864 
and 1865, and Chairman of that committee during the 
latter year, and one of the notable legislative acts with 
which that committee is identified is the act which inaugu- 
rated the present paid Fire Department in the city of New 
York. The bill, after a most exciting and bitter contest, was 
reported favorably by a majority of the committee, and during 
the session (1865), it was passed and became a law. In the 
spring of 1865, on returning from Albany he received the 
appointment from the Hon. B. D. Silliman, District Attor- 
ney for the Eastern district of the United States, as Assistant 
District Attorney for that district ; and held that position 
until May 1, 1866, when he resigned and resumed the prac- 
tice of law in the city of New York, refraining absolutely 
after that date from any participation in politics until the 
fall of 1871, when he was tendered by the Eepublican Con- 

98 Life Sketches. 

vention the unanimous nomination for Senator for the 
Second district, and having accepted it, was elected by a 
majority of 1,968 over James P. Pierce, his Democratic 
opponent, who had been elected to the preceding Senate by 
a majority of 1,351. Mr. Peekt ran ahead of the Eepubli- 
can State ticket about 1,000 votes. 

The Senator was brought prominently before the public 
last year as Chairman of the Select Committee appointed to 
investigate the charges brought against the late Clerk of the 
Senate. He is at the head of the important committee on 
Insurance, and, also, of Privileges and Elections, and a mem- 
ber of the committee on Cities. No Senator around the 
circle commands in a higher degree the respect of his asso- 
ciates than Senator Peret. A ready and finished debater, 
always cool and collected, he delivers what he has to say in a 
simple, direct manner, and rarely fails to carry his point. 
Added to his capacity and ability as a legislator are fine social 
gifts, which render him popular among all with whom he 
comes in contact. 


The ninth Senatorial district, consisting of the counties 
of Putnam, Eockland and Westchester, is represented by 
William H. Robertson, of Katonah, Westchester county, 
one of the most able and dignified members of the present 
Senate. He was born at Bedford, in the county in which he 
now resides, October 10, 1823. His father, Henry Robert- 
son, who was born in 1791, at Bedford, is still living. After 
pursuing his preliminary studies at Union Academy, Bed- 
ford, he read law, and in 1847, was admitted to the bar. 

The Senator has had a long and honorable career as a 
public man. The confidence so often reposed in him by the 
people has never been violated ; the interests committed to 

William H. Robertson. 99 

his hands never neglected. Beginning as Town Superin- 
tendent of the Bedford Common Schools, he subsequently 
served for four years as Supervisor, and on two occasions was 
Chairman of the Board — the only Republican who ever held 
that position. Rising rapidly in his profession, he was 
early elected County Judge of Westchester, and served in 
that capacity for three terms, twelve years. 

His experience as a legislator has been long and varied. 
He represented Westchester county in the Assembly, in 
1849 and 1850; and the ninth Senatorial district in the 
Senate of 1854-55. Later he was a Representative in the 
fortieth Congress. In politics Mr. Robertson is a Repre- 
sentative Republican, and has long been prominently iden- 
tified with the organization of his choice. Until the year 
1855 he was a Whig, and since that date has given his vote 
and influence to the party to which he now belongs. For 
three years he was a member of the Republican State Com- 
mittee, and in 1864 attended the Republican National Con- 
vention as a Delegate. He has also on many occasions 
attended the Whig and Republican State Conventions as 

The Senator did eflScient service during the late war. He 
was Chairman of the Military Committee appointed by 
Governor Morgan, in 1862, to raise and organize State 
troops in the Eighth Senatorial district. Later on, he filled the 
important position of Commissioner to superintend the draft 
in Westchester county, under an appointment of the 
Governor. For six years he was Brigade Inspector of the 
Seventh Brigade, New York State National Guard. 

He was elected to the Senate by a most flattering vote. 
Running in a strong Democratic district, his defeat would 
have been a matter of course had he not been conspicuous for 
his great ability, and as popular as he was worthy. As it 
was, he received a handsome majority in every town of West- 
chester, and succeeded in carrying Rockland and Putnam 
counties as well — his total majority being 5,851 over WiL- 

100 LiFJS Sketcbes. 

LiAjtf Gauldwell, who had been chosen to the preceding 
Senate by a majority of 2,274. 

Last fall the Senator's name was among the foremost of 
those presented at the Utica Convention for Governor. As 
soon as it was found that General Dix would accept the 
nomination, it was withdrawn in the interest of harmony — 
the friends of the Senator thinking, probably that being yet a 
young man their candidate could afford to wait. 

In presenting his name to the convention, Mr. Charles 
E. Smith, editor of the Albany Evening Journal — cogent 
alike with tongue and pen — spoke as follows : 

Mr. Presidekt: I rise to discharge a duty which has 
been intrusted tome, and to present for the oflBce of Governoi 
a gentleman whose name, I am sure, will commend itself 
wherever tried and true men are honored. In common with 
many others, I came here desirous of supporting for this 
office the distinguished citizen and soldier, Gen. Johk A. 
Dix. But it has been stated that in deference to his 
expressed wish, his name is not to be offered. Under such 
circumstances the delegation from Albany have determined 
to cast their vote for another eminent citizen, whose name I 
am instructed to submit to the convention. 

I present the name of one who has, from the first, been con- 
ceded to be peculiarly fitted for the chief magistracy of the 
State, and to wh«m the eyes of many are now turning as our 
proper standard-bearer. I present one whose record is his 
sufficient argument, whose career is his best advocate, and 
whose strength and popularity, whose worth and worthiness 
will be best attested when I name the name of Hon. Wil- 
liam H. Robertson, of Westchester. [Great cheering.] 

Sir, that response, thrilling through this convention, speaks 
its sentiment of respect better than any words could do. 
It shows that these representatives of the great and noble 
Republican party of New York, from Montauk Point to Lake 
Erie, know and appreciate the exalted character, the signal 
ability, and the eminent merits of Judge Robertson. Many 
years Supervisor of his town ; two years Chairman of the board, 
through his personal popularity, the board being politically 
opposed to him ; twelve years Judge of his countv, always 
overcoming an adverse political majority of thousands ; twice 

William T. Scoresby. 101 

a member of the Assembly ; twice a member of Congi'ess ; 
twice a State Senator, elected the last time in a strong Demo- 
cratic district by a majority of nearly six thousand, and 
running over four thousand ahead of his ticket even in the 
whirlwind by which we swept the State last year — what 
more need be said to show that he would be a worthy and 
popular standard-bearer to lead us on to victory. [Applause.] 
His personal fitness is as conspicuous as his popularity. A 
judge without a stigma; a legislator without a stain; a safe, 
wise and judicious leader ; an earnest and zealous friend of 
reform; a Republican whose heart beats with the truest 
Eepublican principles and impulses; a Chevalier Bayard, 
without fear or reproach — he would be as trusty a Governor 
as he would be strong a candidate. [Applause.] I may be 
allowed, sir, to speak especially for the young men. There is 
a wise old inaxim, " Old men for counsel, and young men for 
action." Since these elders in the councils of the Republi- 
can party have pointed us the way to victory, we of the 
younger blood gladly accept your judgment, and promise, 
that, with Judge Robeetsok as our candidate, we will enter 
the canvass knowing no such word as fail. * * * 

With any such candidate as we are likely to nominate, we 
shall triumph, and, with Judge Robertson, we shall surely 
win. Nominate him, and we shall go forward to victory in 
the State and in the nation. For it may be truly said of him, 
as was said of Gen. Grant : " He never has been beaten, 
and he never can be." 


The ScOEESBT family is one of note in England. Capt. 
William Scoresbt, the grandfather of the Senator, was 
bom in Cropton, England, in 1760. At the age of nine- 
teen he apprenticed himself as a seaman, and ten years 
later was in command of a Greenland whaleship, in which 
capacity he made thirty voyages to the Arctic seas. Not 
only his success in his legitimate calling, but the great 
importance of his explorations and discoveries in those 
regions gave him great celebrity. He became an authority 

102 Life Sketcbes. 

on all matters connected with Arctic navigation. His obser- 
vations and conclusions on this subject were of 'great ser- 
vice to the cause of science. He had also a genius for inven- 
tion, and made and suggested many improvements in con- 
nection with his professional occupation. He died in 1828. 

Capt. William Scokesby's son, Kev. Wm. Scokesby, 
D. D., took up his father's profession, and for many years 
was engaged in the whaling business. During this period 
he was carrying on a series of investigations regarding the 
laws of magnetism, and communicating the results to the 
scientific world in papers of great value. Retiring from the 
sea he entered the church and rose to eminence as a divine. 
Meantime he pursued his inquiries into scientific subjects 
and became one of the leading savans of his day. He visited 
Australia as a member of a scientific commission ordered by 
the English government. He was a member of the Royal 
Societies of Edinburgh and London, of the Institute of 
France, and of the American Institute, Philadelphia. He 
visited this country twice, once in 1844 and again in 1847-48. 
His death occurred in 1857. » 

Capt. William Scokesby's daughter Mary married Mr. 
John Clakk, of Whitby, England, who was largely engaged 
in the iron trade. Upon his death in 1834, Mrs. Clark 
succeeded to the management of his business. From then 
to the present, hers has been among the heaviest establish- 
ments in England, doing a large mining and manufacturing 
business, of which she has the sole direction. Her corres- 
pondence is immense, and her transactions are colossal. 

Another daughter of Capt. William Scoebsby, Arabella, 
married Capt. Thomas Jackson, a shipping merchant of 
Whitby. Mrs. Jackson is the mother of the late Prof. R. E. 
Scokesby Jackson, of the University of Edinburgh, whose 
brilliant talents gave promise of great distinction. His 
death in January, 186G, was regarded as a great public loss. 

Capt: William Scokesby's son, Thomas, the father of 
Senator Scokesby, was born in York, England, in 1804. 

William T. Scokhsby. 103 

He made four voyages with his father to the Arctic Seaa, 
between 1819 and 1822. In the intervals between these voy- 
ages, he studied medicine, and took his degree at the Eoyal 
College of Physicians and Surgeons in Edinburgh in 1825. 
In the same year he married Louisa, daughter of Capt. 
Geokge Richardson, of London. 

Mrs. ScoRESBT was born in London in 1804, and is still 
living with her son, the Senator. Dr. Thomas Scoeesbt 
practiced medicine at Whitby and Doncaster till 1834, when 
he emigrated to America. He located first at Port Jervis, 
Orange county, and then at Fallsburgh, Sullivan county, 
whence in 1865 he removed to Ellenville, Ulster county, 
where he died in 1866. 

Senator Scokesbt was born in Fallsburgh, Sullivan 
county, January 2, 1840. He received only an academic 
education, chiefly at the Ellenville High School, under the 
tuition of the late Prof. S. A. Law Post. Leaving there, he 
studied medicine under his father's direction, and graduated 
at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, corner 23d street 
and 4th avenue, New York, in March, 1864. In 1865, he 
began the practice of his profession at Ellenville, where he 
at present resides. As a practitioner, Dr. Scobesbt has been 
decidedly successful. He is enthusiastic, patient, thorough, 
and deeply in love with his profession. But few of the 
younger members of the fraternity have given to the public 
stronger pledges of eminence than he. How far his digres- 
sion into politics will serve to vitiate these promises remains 
to be seen. 

Until now he has not been diverted from professional 
work, except by. occasional visits to England, whither family 
aflfairs have several times called him. 

Senator Scohesby is a new comer in the political field. 
His neighbors have repeatedly intrusted him with the 
management of their public affairs, but except in these home 
matters, he has never sought nor held office until now. In 
politics he has always held and acted with the Bepublicans 

104 Life Sketches. 

till in the late Presidential canvass, when he sided with the 
Liberal Republicans. They made him a delegate to their. 
State convention at Syracuse, in the fall of 1872, and subse- 
quently they nominated him to the Senatorship of the 14th 
district, then vacated by the death of Hon. Jacob Harden- 
BUKGH. The nomination was also indorsed and adopted by 
the Democratic Senatorial Convention, and at the election, 
November 5, 1872, Dr. Sooresbt was elected by a vote of 
11,873, against 11,864 cast for his competitor, John Sandeb- 
soif, Esq., of Greene county. The Senator regards his present 
position as, on the whole, an independent one. While recog- 
nizing the fact that he is in honor bound not to betray the 
trust of those who have given him his position, he still thinks 
that party ties sit loosely upon him. The stuff that is in him 
is not good to make " rings " of. 

Senator Scoeesbt was married January 29, 1867, to Miss 
LiLLiE Eeuhout, a daughter of Capt. John Eekhout, of 
Sandburgh, Sullivan Co. Mrs. S. died suddenly, September 
17, 1867, while her husband was absent in England. In 
religious matters Dr. Scoeesby holds " orthodox " views, and 
at home is an attendant upon the Reformed (Dutch) Church, 
of which his mother and sisters are members. 


Senator and ex-Mayor Tiemakn was bom in New York city 
on the 9th of January, 1805. His father, I. Anthony Tie- 
MANN, was a native of Germany, and his mother, Mary 
Newell Tiemann, of Massachusetts. She came to New 
York in her childhood and resided there the remainder of 
her life. 

The subject of our sketch was educated at a private semi- 
nary, which used to stand, in the days of old New York, on 
Broadway at its junction with Twenty-second street. His 
preceptor was E. Whitney, father of James R. Whitney. 

Daniel F. Tiemann. 105 

On leaving school, and at the early age of thirteen, he entered 
the drug establishment of Shieffelin & Co., where he remained 
for six years. On reaching his twentieth year he was taken 
into business by his father and uncle, who were engaged in 
the manufacture of paints and colors. He is still in the 
same business and same establishment as the one in which he 
started, and stands to-day the head of the oldest, and one of 
the largest, manufactories of paints and colors in the country. 
The Senator has always been a Democrat, a Democrat in 
the best sense of the word — one devoted to the interests of the 
people. No public man has a clearer record than Dai^iel 
F. TiEMAifN. His oflBcial life commenced in 1838 when he 
was elected a member of the Board of Assistant Aldermen, 
for the Sixteenth ward. In 1839-40 he represented the same 
ward in the Board of Aldermen. In 1851 he was the Assist- 
ant Alderman of the Twelfth ward, and in 1852-53 the 
Alderman of the same ward. This long term of aldermanic 
service enabled Mr. Tiemann to become thoroughly 
acquainted with the municipal affairs of New York, and the 
science of practical government. In the fall of 1857 he was 
a contestant against Fernando Wood, the Tammany candi- 
date for the mayoralty, and was elected by a large majority. 
He held the office of Mayor for two years, and discharged 
its duties to the satisfaction of the people, showing him- 
self a brave, hard-working and incorruptible administra- 
tor at the head of the city government, influenced only 
by a sincere desire to promote the best interests of the 
people. Mr. Tiemann was for a long time very prominently 
identified with the school interest of New York. In 1853 he 
became a Trustee of Public Schools and held the position 
until the School Society dissolved, when he was made Com- 
missioner of its successor. He also held from 1840 to 1850, 
by election in the new Public School Board, the office of 
Inspector. During the years 1854, '55, '56, he was one of the 
Governors of the Alms-house. In this last-mentioned posi- 
tion, as in all others which he has held, he exhibited a sincere 

106 Life Sketches. 

desire to discharge the trust committed to him to the best of 
his ability. It is said that while he continued Governor of 
the Alms-house, he scarcely ever failed to visit the institu- 
tions on the islands at least two or three times every week. 

After a retirement of over ten years from official life, he 
was once more called to public service as a representative of 
that Reform spirit, which of late has swept so resistlessly 
over this State. Nominated as a Reform Democrat, against 
Hekkt W. Gestet, Tammany's choice, the people of his 
district rallied so enthusiastically to his support that, not- 
withstanding his opponent had been elected to the preceding 
Senate by a majority of 7,S01, Mayor Tiemann defeated 
him, and was chosen to represent the Eighth Senatorial dis- 
trict by a majority of 4,663. 

Afr. Tiemann is one of the marked men of the Senate. 
BluflF, direct and unconventional, he is careless of parliamen- 
tary usages, and inappreciative of the beauties of Jeffer- 
son's Manual. But all the same he makes a good Senator 
— a legislator who is incorruptible, hard-working and potent 
with his fellows. His speeches lack grace and finish, but 
they never lack force or common sense. 

Mr. Tiemann was married in 1826 to Miss Martha W. 
Clowes, a neice of Peter Cooper. He has six children, 
three sons and three daughters. 

Webster Wagner. 107 


Webster Wagner, to whom, in the present Senate, the 
interests of the fifteenth Senatorial district are committed, 
is descended from German parents, and was born at Palatine 
Bridge, Montgomery county, this State, where he still 
resides, in the year 1817. After receiving a common school 
education, he Hvas apprenticed to his brother James to learn 
the trade of wagon and carriage building. His apprentice 
ship ended, and a good knowledge of the business acquired, 
he continued to devote himself to wagon and carriage 
making for a number of years. In 1845 he received the 
appointment of station agent at Palatine Bridge for the 
Utica and Schenectady Eailroad, a position which he occu- 
pied until the year 1860. 

While acting as station agent, and watching the trains 
coming and going, he proposed to himself a problem, the 
successful solution of which has done so much for the com- 
fort of the traveling public, and made the name of Webster 
Wagner well known all over the country. The Senator 
would, doubtless, shrink from being designated by that 
much abused term "philanthropist," and yet if love for 
one's fellow men is to be inferred from benefits conferred on 
them, it is difficult to see why he should not in all justice be 
named a philanthropist in virtue of his Wagner Palace Cars. 

With the appearance of the sleeping and drawing-room 
car as part of the regular railway train, the comfort and con- 
venience of travel was increased an hundred fold. Looking 
back a few years to the order of things that then prevailed, 
we wonder how it was that we ever rested contented with the 
old time unsightly and uncomfortable cars. In virtue of the 
improvements, of which Mr. Wagner was one of the pioneers, 
the terror of railroad traveling has been removed, and now, 
seated in a drawing-room car, or reposing in a sleeping-car, 

108 Life Sketcmes. 

one approximates very nearly to the comfort and ease of a 
well-appointed home. 

Mr. Wagner was one of the original inventors, and the 
first to put in operation the drawing-room and sleeping-cars 
which have grown to be a necessity with those who travel by 
rail. His long experience at wagon and carriage building 
enabled him to proceed unerringly with his plans for an 
easy-riding car, while his taste and judgment suggested the 
proper interior arrangements. The result of his labors in 
this regard was first made manifest on the IsV of September, 
1858, when he introduced the first sleeping-car on the Utica 
and Schenectady Railroad. This effort proved eminently suc- 
cessful, and encouraged him to still farther exertions in the 
same direction. Having provided the means of accommoda- 
tion and comfort for those who journeyed by night, he set 
himself to work in the interest of day passengers. Consum- 
mate skill, joined to great energy and perseverance, compassed 
the desired object, and on the 20th day of August, 1867, he 
presented to an admiring and delighted public the first draw- 
ing-room car that was ever built in America. 

These drawing-room or palace cars have introduced an 
entirely new element of pleasure into traveling in the United 
States, have indeed reduced it to a fine art. Taking one of 
these magnificent conveyances in New York on Monday, a 
pleasure-seeker can find himself in San Francisco in a week, 
not the least fatigued by travel or otherwise, and scarcely 
less fresh than when he popped his head out at Spuyten 
Duyvil creek. 

The first sleeping-car that was ever built in America and 
used by Mr. Wagner, cost but $3,000, whereas those used 
nowadays cost $16,000 to $20,000 each. The difference in the 
figures representing the progress made in railway comfort 
and accommodation since 1857. Mr. Wagnee has now 
forty-nine drawing-room cars in active use, each of which 
cost near upon $15,000. 

The Wagner Sleeping Car Cbmpany are now running 

Webster Waqner. 109 

sixty sleeping cars, which coat three-quarters of a million 

Senator Wagner's legislative career commenced in 1871, 
when he was sent to the Assembly from Montgomery county. 
Running with the odds against him he was elected by a 
handsome majority, his vote being much ahead of that given 
to the general Republican ticket. He served on the com- 
mittee on Banks, and made a record as a legislator so satis- 
factory to his constituents, that in the Senatorial Convention 
of 1871, he was unanimously nominated for the position 
which he now holds. Two years previous, the Fifteenth dis- 
trict had been lost to the Republicans by an unfortunate 
division among themselves, and tht> selection of Mr. Wag nee, 
who was not a politician, and represented neither faction, was 
considered a guarantee that the Democratic majority of 1869, 
of 2,003, was to be overcome. And overcome it was. Mr. 
Wagnek was elected over Isaac Fullek, his Democratic 
opponent, by the rousing majority of 3,222. 

Senator Wagner is chairman of the committee on Public 
Expenditures, and a member on Railroads and Grievances. 
One of the quietest gentlemen of the circle of the Upper 
House, he is, nevertheless, a sound, reliable and discreet legis- 
lator, full of energy and determination, and in possession, in 
an eminent degree, of the confidence of the people. They 
acknowledge him as a man who is incorruptible, an enemy 
to fraud in all its forms, and who, by his genius and industry, 
has risen from life's lower ranks to wealth and commanding 

110 Life Skutcbes. 


Attqustus Weismann represents the Sixth Senatorial dis- 
trict, which consists of the Tenth, Eleventh and Seventeenth 
wards of the city of New York. 

Mr. Weismann was born March 6th, 1809, in a village in 
Wurtemberg, southern part of Germany. His ancestors were 
exiled Protestants from Austria and Salzburg, in Bavaria. 
At the age of six years he was sent to the village school, and 
a few years later entered a classical school in the city of 
Schorndorf, where he remained for six years, under the 
tuition of excellent teachers, and made good progress in 
ancient and modern languages and other important studies. 
Having passed a satisfactory examination, he was placed in 
charge of a prominent chemist and apothecary, " to whom," 
he is accustomed to say, "I was much indebted for my 
further education, for the formation of my character and my 
consequent success in business." Having followed the pro- 
fession of an apothecary in various parts of Germany, he 
resolved to go to the United States, and accordingly sailed 
from Rotterdam in an American brig to New York, where 
he arrived on the 3d of June, 1832. 

His prospects in life were very poor the first year, but after 
much diflBculty and many hardships, he succeeded in estab- 
lishing a small drug store in Broome street. New York city. 
In 1834 he was married to a native of New York and 
daughter of Adolphus Loss, then City Surveyor. Being 
prosperous and successful in business, he started in 1846, 
in company with H. A. Cassebur, Esq., the second estab- 
lishment, in importance, in Broadway, under the well-known 
firm Weism AKK & Cassebue, which firm continued until 

In 1851 he was, on the nomination of Alderman Robert 
T. Haws, of the Tenth ward, appointed a member of the 

AuausTvs Weisuann. ill 

Board of Education, and has become associated with the 
most prominent men of New York, who had the welfare and 
education of the rising generation truly at heart. 

In the fall election (1857) he was elected a member of the 
Board of Superrisors of the city and county of New York on 
the Eepublican ticket, and remained in said board until the 
31st of December, 1863. 

From that period until 1871 he retired entirely from 
politics, spent part of his time on his farm in New Jersey, 
and paid much attention to agricultural pursuits, of which 
he is passionately fond. 

In June, 1869, he sailed with his wife to Germany, his 
native country, which he had not visited in 40 years, and 
studied with great attention the forms of government of 
several States, and the management of their public and 
municipal affairs. He returned in 1870 highly pleased with 
his Tisit. 

Prom 1837 to 1845, he served in the Jeflferson Guards of 
the New York State Militia, first as private and subsequently 
as a commissioned officer. He was in the city during the 
days of the memorable riots of 1863, and was a member of 
the special committee appointed to examine the riot claims, 
and other great expenditures proceeding from that incipient 

Senator Weismank was formerly a Democrat, in 1848 was a 
Free-Soiler, and since the formation of the Eepublican party 
has been a member of that organization. He was elected to 
the Senate by a plurality of 2,425. 

The Senator is an earnest, nervous speaker, and when treat- 
ing of subjects in which he is specially interested, is often 
quite eloquent. There is a pleasant reminiscence of the 
Fatherland in his accent, although he is a master of the 
Anglo-Saxon tongue. He is very rarely absent from his 
place, and seems to be as devoted to the public weal as if it 
were exclusively his private matter. 

The President, in arranging his standing committees, very 

112 Life Sketcbes. 

properly placed Senator WEiSALiirs' at the head of the com- 
mittee on Public Health. He is also a member on com- 
merce and Navigation, and Cities. 

The Senator is the most courtly gentleman in the Sen- 
ate — a fine exponent of the entente cordiale. 


Senator Winslow represents the eighteenth Senatorial 
district, composed of the counties of Jefferson and Lewis. 
His father, John Winslow, was formerly member of Assem- 
bly, and subsequently one of the Supervisors of Watertown, 
of which city he is a respected and influential citizen. 

His son, the present Senator, was born in Watertown, in 
May, 1835, and is emphatically a self-made man. After 
attending the common schools and academies in his native 
place, he entered a dry goods store, in Watertown, as clerk, 
on the rather slim salary of two dollars a week. He was 
engaged in the mercantile business from 1855 to 1865, when 
he became proprietor of the Merchants' Bank, which 
remained an individual institution until April, 1871, when a 
stock company was organized, of which he was made 

, Mr. Wi2j'SL0vr is extensively engaged in manufacturing, 
leading in many important enterprises, and an energetic 
patron of every movement calculated to promote the material 
or moral prosperity of the community in which he resides. 
He is President of the Watertown Fire Insurance Company, 
and holds a large interest in the Agricultural Insurance Com- 
pany of the same city. He is also President of the Hoard 
American Spinner Manufacturing Company, and in addition 
is extensively engaged in the manufacture of the Davis Sew- 
ing Machine. 

^osms WirfSLOw. 113 

Senator Wikslow is still in early manhood. His mental 
powers, however, have ever heen active. By diligent read- 
ing, and, what is not less important, by the habit of severe 
thinking, he has acquired a large measure of information, 
which, with ready tact, he is able to make available in the 
practical work of legislation. A thoroughly well-informed 
gentleman, his wealth and intelligence have always been 
cast on the side of right, and have been potent in his native 
place, with the wants and interests of which he is perfectly 

Mr. "WiNSLOw's first vote was cast for John C. Fremont 
for President in 1856. Since then he has always acted with 
the Republican party, and during the rebellion he, like 
thousands of other patriotic men, labored according to the 
best of his ability to put down the terrible civil revolu- 
tion. He was a candidate for Presidential Elector upon the 
Republican ticket in 1868, and is at present Supervisor of 
the Second ward of Watertown. 

In the last Senate Mr. Winslow served on the committee 
on Banks, where his experience as a banker was of great ser- 
vice in determining the many perplexing questions brought 
before that committee. He also was a member of the com- 
mittees on Charitable and Religious Societies and Joint 

So well pleased were his constituents with the manner in 
which their interests had been attended to by Senator 
WiNSLOVf in 1870, '71, that they re-elected him to the present 
Senate by a majority over eight hundred greater than he 
received when first running. Such an indorsement of his 
legislative course any man might well be proud of, and 
doubtless the Senator appreciates it at its full value. 

In February of last year, he attracted a great deal of 
interest and attention by his elaborate letter to Horace 
Greeley in reply to certain criticisms made by the great 
editor in the " Tribune," as to his course in the Senate on the 
New York charter 

114 Life Sketches. 

In the present Senate, the important and responsible 
position of Ghainnan of the committee on Banks is held by 
Senator Winslow. He is also a member of the Insurance 
and Printing committees. 

Gifted with fine social qualities, he is as agreeable as a 
companion, as he is capable and efScient as a legislator. 


Daniel Wood, the father of the subject of this sketch, 
came, in 1800, to Pompey, Onondaga county, from the Berk- 
shire Hills. DAifiEL P. Wood is of New England, Massa- 
chusetts stock. And this implies more than many men, 
whose minds are biased by religious, sectional or political 
antagonisms, are willing to admit. 

Massachusetts is, in some important respects, the inferior 
of this our native State. She has many faults of history 
and character. She has given birth to not a few unworthy 
sons and daughters. But, after all, in spite of what may be 
truthfully said about the Puritan sternness and Calvanistic 
bigotry, the persecution of Baptists and Quakers, the Cotton 
Mathers and Salem witches of the past, or the lax notions 
and heresies of the present, spite of all the business and 
political sins fairly or unfairly laid at her door, Massa- 
chusetts is a commonwealth eminent among her sisters for 
the nobler qualities. Considering her population, and the 
extent of her territory, her history cannot easily be sur- 
passed for variety of excellence. Her children get from her a 
moral and intellectual training, a personal independence and 
love of liberty, and a political education which subordinates 
States to the nation, the interests of the individual to the 
interest of the masses, which holds the home prosperity as 
bound up in, and inseparable from, the prosperity of neigh- 

Daniel P. Wood. 115 

bors and sisters. Such sons of hers who go wrong are unjust 
to their mother and share nothing of her spirit. 

Hon. Dakiel P. Wood inherited, and has exhibited 
through life, the New England traits — readiness to labor and 
to learn, strength of will, forecast and sympathy with those 
movements which have for their end the well-being of the 
country, for their means to that end the advancing condition 
of all classes and races. His father was a lawyer and 
farmer, farming being his main occupation. Mr. Wood 
worked diligently on the fai'm till he was twenty years 
old, acquiring a vigor of constitution which has since 
enabled him to endure the severest mental labor. After 
a preparatory course at Pompey Hill Academy, he entered 
Hamilton College. There he not only disciplined his mind 
by a mastering of the class studies, but expanded it by a 
wide range of reading. He studied law at Pompey, with 
Victory Biedsete, and in 1846 commenced the practice of 
law at Syracuse. His industry and skill were not long in 
securing him great success. He was Corporation Attorney 
for three years, and his general business was so large, and 
attended to with such fidelity, that in 1853 his health broke 
down. In that year, and the year 1854, he consented to 
represent his district in the Assembly, in the hope of benefit 
from lighter labors and a change of occupation. But the 
legislation of those years was very important, and Mr. Wood 
was too earnest and active to give the needed rest to his 
worn-out frame. In 1853, he was Chairman of the Com- 
mittee on Salt, and was on the Committee on Claims and 
the Code. On this last Committee was Aephaxad Loomis, 
while David Dudley Field, another codifier, was often 
present at its sessions. The Committee sat many hours 
each day, entertaining the most important discussions, de- 
manding for their proper handling, severe thought and wide 
knowledge, and Mr. Wood brought to them his legal acumen 
and conscientious industry. 
In addition, the canal policy came up for review and 

116 Life Sketches. 

determination. The Legislature of this year submitted the 
question of debt for the completion of the enlargement to 
the people, and in the long, exciting and able debates, Mr. 
Wood was prominent and influential. He was one of the 
Managers, on the part of the Assembly, of the impeachment 
of Canal Commissioner John C. Mather. To have been 
assigned such important posts by a House politically opposed 
to him, and during his first year as a legislator, was no light 
tribute to his reputation and capacity. 

In 1854, as Chairman of the committee on Colleges, 
Academies, etc., he matured and carried through the act 
creating the Department of Public Instruction. He was, 
this year, a member of the Committee of Ways and Means. 
He attended moderately to his profession during the three 
years immediately following ; but, in 1857, a hemorrhage of 
the throat or lungs brought him to the borders of the grave. 
Most men would have given way, but the will of Mr. 
Wood triumphed over disease, and as soon as he became 
convalescent, he started for South Carolina, returning thence 
on horseback. 

In 1864, '65, '66, he was elected to the Assembly, as Repre- 
sentative from the Second District of Onondaga county. In 
1865 and 1866 he was Chairman of the committee on Canals, 
a position requiring almost ceaseless labor. He understood 
the canals, and defended their interests with honor to him- 
self and usefulness to the State. In 1865, he was Chairman 
of the Committee to receive the remains of President Lin- 
coln, at the city of New York, and conduct them through 
the State. He was also on the Ways and Means, a committee 
of which, in the following year, he was Chairman. 

Mr. Wood was a Whig; then a Republican. During the 
war, he labored without ceasing. The first regiment which 
went from Syracuse was raised in one week. In the same 
period, mainly through the exertions of Mr. Wood, nearly 
$30,000 was contributed on behalf of the soldiei-s and their 
families. His patriotism knew no fear or faltering; he kept 

James Wood. 117 

up his patience and his hope, speaking words of good cheer 
all the more when hours were darkest. 

As a legislator, Mr. Wood is noticeable for his vigor, 
activity and versatility. He speaks often, but always with a 
good understanding of his subject. He was elected to the 
present Senate by a majority of 3,991. Possessing, in an 
eminent degree, the confidence of the people as a sound and 
reliable representative, he has grown gray in the long years 
of service exacted of him, because of his high intellectual 
endowments and unflinching integrity. 


An English family bearing the name of Wood was num- 
bered among the stout-hearted and hard-headed Puritans 
who, two centuries ago, sought the inhospitable shores of 
Massachusetts. These pilgrims came with the anomalous 
desire of enjoying free worship themselves and of dictating 
the worship of others. 

From out of this colony a little band explored the then 
unbroken forests of the North, and established a settlement 
in what is now known as the State of New Hampshire. The 
Wood family accompanied this party of pioneers. They 
were honest, industrious people, practical in worldly affairs, 
and enthusiasts in matters pertaining to religion. 

From this worthy stock sprang the Senator from the 
Thirtieth District. 

James Wood was born at Alstend, New Hampshire, April 
4, 1820. His father was a poor man, who earned a scanty 
subsistence by tilling that soil which Dan'iel Websteb 
described as being so stony that it was common to sharpen 
the sheep's noses, to enable them to nibble the blades of grass 
which grew between the rocks. 

118 Life Sketches. 

In the year 18/J4, seeking to better his condition, the elder 
Mr. Wood emigrated with his family to the State of New 
York, where, after several changes of residence, he finally 
settled in the year 1829, at Lima, in Livingston county. 

Here James attended a district school, and subsequently 
entered the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, where he completed 
an academic course. He then went to Auburn, with the in- 
tention of reading law, but reaching the conclusion that a 
more thorough preliminary education was desirable, he 
changed his plans and went to Union College, where he 
graduated, with the honors of the institution, in the year 

Immediately after leaving college, Mr. Wood entered the 
oflBce of the Hon. John Young, then a practicing lawyer at 
Geneseo, in Livingston county, as a student. In 1843 he was 
admitted to the bar and became a partner of his patron. In 
1846, Mr. Young was elected Governor of the State of New 
York, and in coming to Albany, relinquished his professional 
business to Mr. Wood, who has ever since made Geneseo his 

In 1854, he was elected District Attorney of Livingston 
county, and served one term with great acceptance to the 
people. He declined a re-nomination, which was proffered 
him, and returned to the regular duties of his profession. 

Mr. Wood developed, at an early age, great taste for mat- 
ters pertaining to military affairs. While yet a boy at school, 
he was elected the captain of a regularly organized company 
of militia. During his college days he was made Lieutenant- 
Colonel, and in the year 1843, he was commissioned Colonel 
by Governor BouCK. In 1850, he was instrumental in secur- 
ing the passage of the law for uniforming the militia. In 
the fall of that year his regiment, duly armed, equipped, and 
uniformed, held an encampment at Mt. Morris, in the county 
of Livingston — the first ever held in the State. The next 
year. General Wool reviewed this regiment, and compli- 
mented it highly on the excellence of its discipline. 

James Wood. 119 

In 1854, Colonel Wood drafted the law, authorizing the 
appointment of an Inspector-General, an officer, whose power 
has been largely instrumental in raising our National Guard 
to its present high standard. 

In 1855, the rank of Brigadier-General was conferred on 

When the war for the Union commenced in 1861, General 
Wood entered heartily into the patriotic spirit which actuated 
the people, and devoted much of his time during the first 
year to the work of organizing troops. 

It was mainly through his efforts that the 136th regiment 
was raised, and in August, 1862, he was offered the command 
of it, and accepted the same. He was shortly after ordered 
to join the Eleventh Corps, with which body he participated 
in much hard fighting. He led his men at the battles of 
Chancel] orsville, Gettysburg, Lookout Mountain, Chatta- 
nooga, Missionary Eidge, Knoxville, Kesaca, Cassville, Dallas, 
Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, Atlanta, Milledge- 
ville. Savannah, Charlestown, Averysburgh and Bentonville. 
The first man killed in the Atlanta campaign was from 
his regiment, and he commanded a brigade in the last battle 
of Sherman's famous march to the sea. 

For his distinguished services in the army. Colonel Wood 
was breveted Major-General of the United States volunteers. 
In 1865 he returned to his home in Geneseo, and resumed 
the practice of law. 

He was elected to the Senate from the Thirtieth district, 
at the election of 1869, by a majority of 4,694, and in 1871 
having been re-nominated by acclamation, by a majority of 

The Senator is an affable, agreeable gentleman, standing 
full six feet in height, with erect soldierly bearing. As a 
debater he is unusually calm and dispassionate, speaking 
with some hesitation at times, but always clothing his 
thoughts in clear and unequivocal language. As Chairman 
of the Judiciary Committee, his fine legal abilities have full 

120 Life Sketches. 

scope for their exercise, and are vigorously and patiently 


The President j5ro tern, of the Senate, and the premier of 
his party in that body, is Hon. "William B. Woodim", of 
Auburn, the subject of the present sketch. 

He was born at Genoa, in the county of Cayuga, on the 
25th of September, 1824. After receiving a thorough acad- 
emic education, and graduating at the Cortland Academy, he 
applied himself to the study of the law with so much suc- 
cess that, once admitted to practice, it was not long before 
he rose to a prominent place among his brethren at the bar. 

In 1859 his high character and conspicuous legal abilities 
secured his election to the office of Surrogate of Cayuga 
county. He brought to the discharge of the delicate and 
responsible duties incident to settling up estates, so much 
patience, industry and intelligence that his re-election as Sur- 
rogate followed almost as a matter of course. A second 
re-election resulted at the proper time, and when Mr. 
WooDiK was elevated to the Senate in 1869 there was a gen- 
eral and an urgent request made of him to continue to dis- 
charge the duties of Surrogate. He may well be proud of 
the indorsement which he has received from home. 

The Senator's first experience as a law-maker for the 
Empire State dates back to 1855. In that year he repre- 
sented the second district of Cayuga county in the Assembly 
to the satisfaction of those who sent him there. He is now 
serving his second term in the Senate, having been a mem- 
ber of that body in 1870-71. During his first term he took 
high rank as a legislator, especially distinguishing himself 
from the very start as a debater. On the second day of the 
session of 1871 he made an able argument on the right or 

William B. Woodin. 121 

power of one Legislature to rescind the action of a previous 
Legislature in relation to amendments to the Constitution 
of the United States, an argument -which, although delivered 
after a very slight preparation, commanded great attention, 
and was pronounced by those who heard it as an exhaustive 
treatment of the subject under discussion. 

Having, in his two years' service in the former Senate, 
taken rank among the foremost as an able, judicious and 
honest legislator, possessing both business and forensic 
capacity, he was, in the fall of 1871, renominated as Senator 
by acclamation. The wisdom of the renomination, and Mr. 
Woodin's growth in the respect and confidence of the people 
of the Fifteenth district is shown by glancing at the vote cast 
for him in 1869, as compared with that which he received in 
1871. In 1869 he was elected by a majority of 2,897 ; in 
1871 his majority was 4,120, an increase of 1,223. In the 
present Senate Mr. Woodin has played a very prominent 
part. The session of 1872 was presided over by Lieutenant- 
Governor Beach, and that gentleman being opposed politi- 
cally to the majority, was, very naturally, desirous of being 
relieved from the responsibility of naming the Standing Com- 
mittees. Accordingly, the task of committee-making fell to 
Senator Woodin', who had been chosen by his associates 
President pro tern, of the Senate. Probably no more thank- 
less or delicate task can well be conceived of than that of 
forming standing committees. Artemus Ward thought 
he could achieve a military success by raising a regiment to 
be composed entirely of major-generals. The plan is more 
felicitous than feasible, but if something similar to it could 
be contrived for legislative bodies, in virtue of which 
every honorable gentleman should have a chairmanship, Mr. 
President and Mr. Speaker would have considerable less worry 
than under the present limitations. "We believe Senator 
WooDiN gave general satisfaction with his make-up of the 
Senate committees for 1872 — the chief, if not the only point 

122 Life Sketches. 

of criticism that developed itself being that he gave himself 
no appointments. 

Lieutenant-Governor KoBiNSOiir, in arranging the Senate 
committees for 1873, designated Senator Woodin as Chair- 
man of the Committee of Cities — a position which was an 
appropriate recognition of his standing among his associates, 
and his signal legislative capacity. 

As a presiding ofiQcer, Senator Woodin has won many 
encomiums. Courteous, yet dignified, possessing a faculty 
of dispatching business, and well versed in parliamentary 
law and usages, he fills the position of President pro tern, to 
the satisfaction alike of the majority and the minority. 

Politically, Mr. Woodin was a Whig from the time he be- 
came a voter until the Whig party ceased to exist. When 
the great Compromise was repudiated and the Kansas- 
Nebraska bill passed, and, as a consequence, the Whig party 
dissolved and made way for its legitimate successor, the Ee- 
publican party. Senator Woodin at once became a zealous 
supporter of the new organization. He still continues to 
uphold its principles, and in nearly every political canvass 
does effective work " on the stump." 

CsAKLBS R. Dayton. 123 



The duties of the Clerk of such a body as the Senate are 
not solely or chiefly clerical, in the ordinary acceptation of 
the word. Very m uch more is required of him than keeping 
the diary of each day's legislative doings in a large, legible 
hand ; very much more than filing petitions, bills, reports and 
all that sort of thing in appropriate pigeon holes, and pro- 
ducing them when required ; very much more than taking 
charge of that important but imaginary table attached to his 
desk, upon which so many documents of one kind and 
another are temporarily or permanently " laid ; " very much 
more than proclaiming, with stentorian voice, all the wis- 
dom which " The People of the State of New York, repre- 
sented in Senate and Assembly, do enact." 

A man may give satisfaction as regards all the points indi- 
cated, and, nevertheless, fall short of the stature of a Clerk of 
the requisite capacity and accomplishments. A thoroughly 
capable Clerk — such an one, for instance, as he whose name 
stands at the head of this article — is on occasion, and must 
always stand ready to be the prompter, if not the power, 
behind the Chair. When new and inexperienced legislators 
for the first time are called upon to preside over Senate or 
Committee of the Whole, where would they be, what would 
become of them, but for the friendly and incessant whis- 
pers of the Clerk? When a knotty point in parliamen- 
tary law is brought forward to the disagreement of the 
Senators, the Clerk who, on being consulted, fails to pro- 
duce from his tongue's end a solution of the difficulty, is 
apt to be looked upon with a measure of disapprobation, as 
one not entirely fortified in his position. In addition to all 
this, the Clerk is expected to name, on the instant that a bill 
is introduced — no matter how queer and outlandish the bill — 

124 Life Sketches. 

the very committee set apart for its reception ; to keep in 
mind the title of every act, " entitled an act," introduced from 
the commencement to the close of the session, including, as 
germain to the subject, the name of the committee to whom 
referred, and the date of subsequent report. Having added 
that, he must be as ready "with answers to all sorts of ques- 
tions as a metropolitan hotel clerk ; that his legislative 
ability would avail him but little unless combined with great 
executive talents ; that it behooves him to have a knowledge 
of men as well as of affairs ; to be the possessor of the social 
virtue, of unfailing good nature, and, as it were, to be a 
walking edition of the blue and red book, we refrain from 
further definition, and, merely repeating our preliminary 
observation, that the duties of the Clerk of the Senate are 
not solely or chiefly clerical, we pass on to give a brief sketch 
of the present efiScient Clerk of the Senate, Charles E. 

Charles R. Dayton was born at East Hampton, Suffolk 
county, on the 25th of December, 1838, and was the only 
son of JosiAH C. Dayton, of that place, and the eldest of 
four children. His father, who died in 1850, was well and 
favorably known in Suffolk county. He represented it in 
the Assembly in the years 1837 and 1841, and for twenty-five 
years held the ofiice of Justice of the Peace, for East Hamp- 

The subject of this biographical notice received a common 
school education and spent some time in attendance at Clin- 
ton Academy, at East Hampton. He was, however, not per- 
mitted to pursue his studies without interruption, being com- 
pelled to divide the year between the school-house and the 
farm. His schooling over, he continued to farm it until the 
year 1852, when he was appointed Engrossing Clerk of the 
Senate. He served in that capacity two terms, 1853-53, and 
later in 1856-57. In the fall of 1858, he was elected County 
Clerk of Suffolk county — the first Republican incumbent 
of that oflBce. In this position he gave general satisfaction. 

Charles R. Dayton. 125 

but declining, at the end of his term, a renomination, he 
returned to private life. 

In 1862 he resumed a line of work for which he had shown 
himself peculiarly qualified, being appointed Journal Clerk 
of the Assembly. In this position he remained until 1865, in 
the mean time making troops of friends, by his genial 
but dignified deportment, and his faithful and intelligent 
discharge of the duties of the desk. On the resignation of 
the Journal Clerk of the Senate in 1865, Mr. Dayton was 
tendered the vacant place. He accepted it, and ever since 
has been in the service of the Senate. His character and 
capacity are shown in the fact that he retained his position 
during the years in which his political opponents had full 
control of all the appointments. In 1872, upon the resigna- 
tion of James Tekwilliqee, it followed, as a matter of course, 
that he should be appoinied Clerk of the Senate. 

Such is a brief record of the salient points in Mr. Dat- 
tok's life. Born of humble parentage, and in an obscure 
corner of the State, ivith none of the agencies surrounding 
him which compel the smiles of fortune, whatever of success 
he has attained has been the result of his own unaided 
efforts. His continued service as Journal Clerk in the two 
Houses was not the, result of political wire-pulling or oflBcial 
influence. It was rather the logical sequence of duty, 
thoroughly and conscientiously discharged — he made himself 
necessary to the places which he filled, and so retained them. 
In serving the public he has always brought to bear the same 
attention and devotion which he would have bestowed upon 
individual enterprise, and hence his long and uninterrupted 
service under Democratic as well as under Republican rule 
is not hard to be accounted for. 

On his appointment as Clerk of the Senate the Albany 
Argus, the organ of his political opponents, testified that, 
" as a public officer, Mr. Dayton has no superior for close 
attention to business, and for courteous conduct toward all 

126 Life Sketches. 

with whom he may come in contact. No gentleman more 
deserving or more trustworthy ever filled the desk." 

Mr. Datton commenced his political life as a Free Soil 
Democrat, so called, but joined the Kepublican Party on its 
organization in 1855, and ever since has remained an energetic 
and influential member of that organization. He was mar- 
ried December 16th, 1868, to Saeah R Shebrill of East 
Hampton, and has been for many years a member of the 
Presbyterian Church. 




In the long list of Speakers, few names shine more than 
that of Hon. Alokzo B. Cornell. The circumstances under 
which he was chosen were peculiarly honorable to himself. 
He had never been a member of any general legislative body. 
Among the others elected to the Assembly were several who 
had served through extended terms, and who united great 
capacity with ample parliamentary experience. Yet such was 
the standing which Mr. Coenell had acquired, such the 
aptitude he had shown in every position where he had been 
placed, and such the universal sense of the recognition due 
to his public services, that from the very day of the election, 
the eyes of the people and of the members turned to him as 
pre-eminently the man to preside. In this sentiment none 
concun-ed more cordially than those whoso own abilities 
might justly have entitled them to aspire to the honor.' 
There was no contest. But one voice prevailed. Mr. CoR- 
kell was nominated by acclamation in the caucus of his 
party, and elected by the vote of nearly three-fourths of the 
members. The complimentary judgment thus expressed has 
been more than confirmed by the progress of the session. 

Mr. Cokkell was born at Ithaca, Tompkins county, New 
York, on the 22d of January, 1833. His father, Hon. Ezra 
Cornell, still actively continuing a busy, beneficent and 
honorable career, is a man of high distinction in the State, 
and universally esteemed as one of the chief of her public 
benefactors. He was a Member of Assembly in 1862 and 

128 Life Sketcbes. 

1863. In the latter year he was chosen to the Senate, where, 
being re-elected, he served with great credit through two full 
terms. But it is in connection with the establishment of 
Cornell University that the senior Mr. Cornell has the 
highest claims to public gratitude. His munificent gener- 
osity created that noble institution, as his wise direction 
and ample endowments, skillfully assisted, have carried it to 
its present high degree of development. Broad in its 
scope, far-reaching in its aims, rich in the brilliant names 
which it enlists, and the varied treasures of scholarship 
which it lays under contribution, the newest in the sister- 
hood of our colleges, but already outstripping many of the 
others and pointing them to higher paths, it remains a source 
of pride to the State and an enduring monument to the 
liberal public spirit of its true-hearted founder. 

The younger Mr. Cornell was educated at the Ithaca 
Academy. In harmony with the genius of our institutions 
he early struck out to carve his own fortune. At the age of 
fifteen he entered upon the active work of life, beginning, like 
his father and so many of our successful public men, on one 
of the first rounds of the ladder, and by his own energy and 
capacity climbing his way up. He chose the field in which his 
father, struggling long and courageously, rendered conspicu- 
ous service to the world and achieved eminent success, that of 
the telegraph. Commencing as a telegraph operator, he was 
employed successively at Troy, Montreal and Bufi'alo until 
1848, when he became manager of the oflSce at Cleveland, 
Ohio, where he remained several years. Eemoving thence to 
New York, he served from 1855 to 1859 as the manager of 
the principal telegraph office in that city. Relinquishing 
this position, he became proprietor of a line of steamboats 
on Cayuga Lake, and continued as such through 1862 and 
the subsequent year. From 1864 to 1869 he was Cashier and 
Vice-President of the First National Bank of Ithaca, of 
which institution he has been a Director since its organiza- 
tion. He is also a Director of the Ithaca and Athens Kail- 

Alonzo B. Cornell. 129 

road, a Trustee of the Cornell Library and of the Cornell 
TTniversity, a Director and First Vice-President of the West- 
ern Union Telegraph Company, and also a Director of the 
Gold and Stock Telegraph Company, and of the American 
District Telegraph Company, positions which attest his busi- 
ness talents and success. In November, 1852, he was mar- 
ried to Ellen, daughter of George Covebt, Esq., of Ithaca, 
an accomplished and estimable lady. They have had three 
sons, the second of whom, a child of remarkable promise, 
was killed by falling down a stairway in March, 1870, being 
then about eight years of age. This sad affliction was a 
poignant blow to the fond parents, and they received the 
warmest sympathy of an extended circle of friends, with 
whom little Eddie was an especial favorite. 

In politics, Mr. Cornell has been an ardent Bepublican 
since the organization of that party in 1854. With large 
public spirit and a natural taste for public affairs, he has 
always taken a keen interest in political movements. His 
rare organizing faculty was developed at an early period, as 
he was Chairman of the Republican Central Committee of 
Tompkins county from 1859 to 1866, and a member of the 
Eepublican State Committee in 1866 and 1867. For two 
vears also, beginning in 1864, he seiTed as Supervisor of the 
town of Ithaca. He was named by the law of the State as 
one of the Commissioners for the erection of the New Capitol 
at Albany, and continued as such from 1868 to 1871, partici- 
pating in the adoption of the plarfand in the initiation of the 
work which will produce one of the most commanding archi- 
tectural stractures on the continent. In 1868 he was the 
Republican candidate for Lieutenant-Governor on the ticket 
with the lamented John A. Gkiswold. The ticket proved 
very popular, and the campaign was one of great earnest- 
ness ; but though Mr. Cornell received 411,670 votes, he 
and his associates were defeated through the well-known 
election frauds of that year. In March, 1869, at the begin- 
ing of the new Republican Administration, he was appointed 

130 Life Seetcbes. 

to the responsible position of Surveyor of the Port of New 
York, which he filled to the entire satisfaction of the govern- 
ment and the public until October, 1872, when he tendered 
his resignation in order to accept a nomination to the Assem- 
bly. In June, 1870, he was nominated by President Geant 
to the honorable office of Assistant Treasurer of the United 
States, at New York, but declined the appointment. 

During these later years Mr. Coenell has been recognized 
as one of the most prominent and influential representatives 
of the Eepublican party, with others wisely guiding its 
councils and skillfully leading it to victory. No one has 
labored with more zeal and judgment to advance its inter- 
ests or contributed more to its success. In 1870, he was 
made Chairman of the Eepublican State Committee — a 
position which he still holds, and which he has filled with 
conspicuous ability. In two of the three years of his admin- 
istration, his party won remarkable triumphs, and even, in 
the first, where it failed, the foundations were being laid for 
the success which was subsequently achieved. This con- 
summation was not reached merely by the ordinary methods. 
It was wrought out through the prescient wisdom which 
recognized the necessity for a thorough reorganization of the 
parby, and the firm purpose which persistently and unflinch- 
ingly prosecuted it to its conclusion. This is not the place 
for partisan references or for political history. Yet, as illus- 
trating one of the most important achievements with which 
Mr. CoENELL was intimat^y identified, it may be permitted 
us to say a word of this great work accomplished under his 
Chairmanship. In connection with others, conspicuous 
among whom was Senator Coitkling — and the relations of 
Mr. CoENELL with the distinguished Senator merit a pass- 
ing allusion as deserving a place in the annals of notable 
political friendships — in connection with these associates, 
Mr. CoENBLL believed that a reorganization of the party in 
the city of New York, and its rescue from prejudicial influ- 
ences which had debauched and paralyzed its machinery. 

Alonzo B. Cornell. 131 

were vital to success. Accordingly, he and they set out to 
retrieve its position. Their determination was in reality the 
beginning of the gi'eat reform movement which has produced 
such important and far-reaching consequences. In the 
prosecution of this work, he was brought into conflict with 
some men who resisted the new policy, and, among others, 
with the late Mr. Gkeelet. Having written a letter to the 
Hon. Giles Hotchkiss, explaining the necessity and char- 
acter of the movement, he was arraigned by Mr. Greelet 
in a passionate and vehement reply. Mr. Coknell rejoined 
in a calm, able and convincing letter, dated September 7, 
1871, and concluding with the following dignified reference 
to his own action and spirit : 

Mr. Greelet ! much has been said about dissensions and 
controversies between Republicans. Remember that this 
controversy is of your own seeking. I wrote a civil letter to 
a leading Republican, in answer to inquiries which had been 
made of me as Chairman of the State Committee. Others 
thought it desirable that it should be published. In it I 
assailed no one, nor spoke an unkind word of any Republi- 
can. The Tribune attacked me by name, called me a calum- 
niator, and charged me with unworthy motives. Not con- 
tent with this, you, over your own signature, address me 
officially by name in the Tribune, and boldly accuse me of 
falsehood and misrepresentation. In what manner have I 
merited such violence ? Last year I labored earnestly and 
faithfully to nominate you for Governor, and that, too, in 
opposition to General Woodford and George William 
Curtis, both my esteemed personal friends. Later, I warmly 
supported your nomination and election to Congress, while 
you were strenuously opposed by many of the very men 
with whom you are now consorting in the Tammany-Repub- 
lican committee. During all of the proceedings in regard to 
the reorganization, I treated you with the greatest courtesy. 
In my Hotchkiss letter I said not a single word disrespectful 
of you. What I have said in this communication has been 
more than provoked by your personal attack upon me. The 
Republicans of the State are sick and tired of these person- 
alities. With them rests the disposition of the work of 
reorganization. For my part, I do not intend to contribute 

133 Life Sketcbes. 

to any further controversies. I shall do my best to promote 
the harmony and prosperity of the party which has been so 
needlessly imperiled by your unfortunate action. 

The reorganization was completed. It was ratified by the 
State Convention. It was followed by the success of the 
party and the triumph of reform ; and the sagacity of those 
who had planned and executed it was thus fully vindicated 
by the result. The final test came in the campaign of 1872, 
and the masterly abilities of Mr. Coekell, as a political 
organizer, were then signally illustrated, as the movement 
itself was crowned with complete victory. Every thing con- 
spired to make it a memorable contest. Besides involving this 
action, it was the Presidential battle, and that made the can- 
vass long and arduous. As Chairman of the State Committee, 
Mr. Cornell took the full and immediate direction. Never 
was a campaign more thoroughly and systematically organized. 
A hundred speakers were on the stump; scores of meetings 
were daily held ; all the local committees were playing their 
harmonious parts; the whole intricate machinery of an 
intense, absorbing campaign, stretching over the entire State 
and aiming to concentrate half a million voters, was in full 
motion. It was the touch of the central spring in the hands 
of the chosen chief, that largely impelled these varied and 
multiplied movements. Himself untiring, he inspired others 
with his own energy. Himself full of faith, others caught 
from him the infectious spirit of confidence and enthusiasm. 
Such was the general sense of his invaluable services that it 
prompted a pubUc testimonial, which took the appropriate 
and graceful form of two costly and superb albums, the one 
embracing the photographs and the other the accompanying 
letters of the candidates and of those who shared the labors 
of the campaign ; a testimonial in which President Gkakt, 
Vice-President Wilson, Senator Conkling, Speaker Blaine 
and many of the most illustrious men in the State and the 
nation cordially united. Rarely has so extraordinary a tribute 
been paid or been so well deserved. 

Alonzo B. Cornell. 133 

The campaign with which Mr. Cornell was so promi- 
nently identified in the interest of his party, also brought 
his own election as a Member of Assembly, from the EleTenth 
district of New York. This was followed by his unanimous 
nomination to the Speakership, as already stated. In this 
diflBcult and trying position, as in every other place, he has 
acquitted himself with eminent success. From the very first, 
he has shown much of that peculiar native gift which dis- 
tinguishes the true presiding officer, and which can scarcely 
be acquired. Ready in resource, prompt in decision, impar- 
tial in judgment, cordial and unaffected in manner, and 
endowed with rare tact, he has become as popular with his 
associates as he is expeditious in the dispatch of business. 
It is but the common expression of all who are familiar with 
Legislative history, that, in the qualities which adorn the 
chair, he justly ranks with the most accomplished and 
successful Speakers of later years. But he is more than an 
executive and presiding officer. His impression is felt in 
shaping legislation, and moulding public policy, a«d in this 
sphere he is actuated by a high and conscientious sense of 
public duty, as he is guided by clearness of perception and 
wisdom of judgment. 

In personal appearance, Mr. Coestell is at once attractive 
and commanding. Of full proportions, with dark, clear eye, 
and clean-shaven face, his features expressive both of decision 
of character and of a genial disposition, and possessing the 
stamp of animation and intellect, his whole bearing is that 
of the courteous gentleman. Though yet only in the early 
prime of life, he has had a successful and promising career, 
and has proved himself equal to every position in which he 
has been placed. 

134 Life Sketches. 


Mr. Abbott, who capably represents the Second district of 
Orange county, claims New Haven as his birth-place. He 
was born February 9, 1828, of parents who were also natives 
of Connecticut. As is the case, generally, with Connecticut 
youth, Mr. A. received a good common school education, 
and learned a trade before he reached his majority, conse- 
quently he is a thoroughly competent machinist and en- 
gineer, and, in addition to his services as a legislator, has, 
for the last three years, filled the position of master mechanic 
of the Erie railway shops at Port Jervis, and also the office 
of engine-dispatcher, having charge of the engineers and 
firemen located at that place, both of which are offices of 
much responsibility, requiring not only superior mechanical 
skill, but^decided executive ability in the performance of 
their duties. In 1862 and 1863, he rendered important 
service in operating the United States military railroads. 
His labors in this connection, always arduous, were some- 
times exceedingly dangerous. 

Mr. Abbott was the first to institute and put in practical 
operation the co-operative plan of life insurance, which has, 
for a number of years, been a very economical and popular 
method of insurance with railway engineers, conductors 
and other classes ; he has held the office of Secretary and 
Treasurer of the Engineers' Association since its first organi- 
zation in 1867. The association numbers over three thousand 
members, and pays from ten to twenty thousand dollars per 
month to the widows and orphans of deceased members. 

Mr. A. was a member of the last House, to which he was 
elected by the Republicans, receiving a majority of 549 over 
Henet B. Ogdek, his Democratic opponent. He served on 
the Committees on Trade and Manufactures and Civil 

FRAyKLiN A. Albergee. 135 

Divisions. Last fall he was re-elected by the Democrats and 
Liberal Eepublicans, defeating R. H. Chamberlaik, Kepnb- 
lican, by a majority of about 600. Mr. Abbott's political 
history is somewhat varied. Formerly a Democrat of the 
strictest sect, the issues of the war placed him on the side 
of Eepublicanism, and up to the last campaign he acted 
with that party. Entering heartily into the Cincinnati 
movement, however, he supported the late Horace Geeelet 
for President, and was elected to the Assembly as a Liberal. 
In the present House he is a member of the Committees on 
State Prisons and Grievances. 

Mr. Abbott is a man possessing a good deal of force of 
character and practical ability, and performs his legislative 
duties quietly and unostentatiously, yet effectively. 


Few men who figure in State politics occupy a more con- 
spicuous position than the member from the Third district of 
Erie county ; and it may also be added that few have been 
identified to a greater degree with the material and com- 
mercial progress of the commonwealth. Representing a con- 
stituency largely composed of those connected with the 
mercantile and shipping interests, and being himself one of 
that class, he has a clear appreciation of the importance of 
developing to the utmost every means likely to augment the 
commercial greatness of the State. His long experience as 
Canal Commissioner has also given him a thorough insight 
into the workings of the great arteries of inter-communica- 
tion, and enabled him to fully understand their relation to 
the stupendous eastward movement of the agricultural pro- 
ducts of the great west. He has, therefore, always been the 
earnest advocat? o*" every project which commended itself to 

136 Life Sketches. 

his judgment as likely to effect an increase in the capacity of 
the canals, and enable them to successfully compete with 
other transportation routes from the west to the Atlantic sea- 
board. His views upon the subject of canal policy are not 
only clear and decided, but liberal and progressive, and 
founded upon a regard for the best interests of the State at 
large, i-ather than of special localities. Indeed, his convictions 
upon every subject brought before the Legislature are quickly 
and generally judiciously formed and tenaciously adhered to. 
Enjoying a lai'ge business experience, as well as an intimate 
knowledge of State affairs, and also of men and events, Mr. 
Albergeb is peculiarly qualified to perform the duties of 

Bom in Baltimore, Md., on the 14th of January, 1825, of 
parents who were both natives of that city, Mr. Albeeger 
received a liberal education in district and select schools. He 
removed to Buffalo at the age of 17 years, and engaged in the 
butchering and provision business, which he prosecuted suc- 
cessfully until the year 1868. He early became very active 
in the local politics of Erie county, and was prominently 
identified, first with the Whig and then with the Republican 
party. It is a notable fact, in this connection, that he was 
a member of the last Whig convention, and also of the first 
Eepublican convention held in Erie county. He was also 
Secretary of the first Republican meeting held in the city of 
Buffalo, and a member of the first County Committee of that 
party, acting as its Treasurer during a period of ten years. 
During the native American campaigns, Mr. Alberger 
was decided in his hostility to the movement — his uncom- 
promising opposition to every thing savoring of Knov/- 
nothingism being doubtless still remembered by those fami- 
liar with the political contests of those days. 

Mr. Alberger's known ability and integrity have marked 
him as peculiarly a fit man in almost any capacity. He has, 
therefore, often been called upon to fill positions of trust and 
responsibility. As early as 1854, he was elected an Alderman 

Franklin A. Alberger. 137 

of Buffalo, and was reelected in 1858 and 1859. In 1860 
the people of Buffalo chose him as their mayor, and so 
acceptably did he fill the position during the term of two 
years, that the eyes of the State at large were turned upon 
him, and in 1862 he was elected to the office of Canal Com- 
missioner, in which he served six years, two successive terms, 
being nominated each time by acclamation. Mr. A. is now 
serving his third consecutive term as Member of Assembly, 
and it is a sufficient indication of his growing popularity to 
state that his majorities were, respectively, in 1870, 189 ; in 
1871, 881 ; and, in 1872, 1,861. 

Besides these public positions, strictly political in their 
nature, Mr. Alberger has held numerous private and busi- 
ness trusts. During the war, he was Chairman of the Mili- 
tary Relief Fund of the city of Buffalo, and was also Chair- 
man of the committees charged with raising and equipping 
the 21st and 49th Eegiments of volunteers. The last-named 
regiment was raised with such celerity that it was the first 
completed regiment raised outside of New York city under 
the second call for volunteers. 

As a public speaker, Mr. Alberger is forcible and fluent. 
His speeches usually bristle with a formidable array of facts 
and figures, and upon them he relies rather than upon fervid 
eloquence, or brilliant rhetoric. He takes part in the 
debates upon all questions which come before the House., 
and displays equal familiarity with the subject, whether it 
relate to government, law, social reform or commerce. In 
religions belief and connection Mr. Alberger is a Presby- 
terian, but his views on religion, as on other subjects, are 
broad and liberal. He was married June 16, 1847, to Miss 
Kate Rice. 

138 Life Skbtchjss. 


Mr. Babcock, who represents, for the second time, the first 
Niagara district in the Assembly, was born in Rensselaer- 
ville, Albany county, on the 20th of September, 1830. In 
his early youth, his parents removed to Somerset, Niagara 
county, and engaged in farming on the borders of Lake 
Ontario, a region of unsui'passed fertility. Here young Bab- 
cock spent his youth, working on the farm, and attending 
school during the winter months. His father, Jeptha W. 
Babcock, represented the Second district of Niagara in the 
Assemblies of 1851 and 1852, being elected by the Whigs, and 
is still living at Lockport, engaged in active pursuits. 

At the age of sixteen, young Babcock entered the Wilson 
Collegiate Institute, having previously obtained considerable 
rudimentary instruction in the common schools. The ensuing 
six years were devoted to study, some time being spent in the 
Lockport Union School, and he graduated from the first- 
named institution in 1852. Several years later he settled in 
Lockport, engaging successfully in nursery and fruit grow- 
ing, and entering the mamed state soon after, he settled 
permanently in the suburbs of that thriving city. The 
prominence which he subsequently attained as a successful 
horticulturist is indicated by the fact that in 1870 he was 
chosen President of the Niagara County Agricultural Society. 

Mr. Babcock's political career dates back some fifteen 
years, wljen he was known as a Free Soil Whig. When the 
Eepublican party was organized, however, he was one of its 
first members, and has since been unswerving in his fidelity 
to its principles. He was a candidate for County Clerk, in 
1862, when Hokatio Setmoue was elected Governor, but, 
owing to the presence of a third candidate in the canvass, he 
lacked seven votes of an election, the Democrats carrying the 
county by a small majority. In the years 1867 and 1868 he 

Isaac H. Babcock. 139 

served with credit in the Board of Supervisors. In 1871, he 
received an unsolicited nomination to the Assembly, and 
though his district is a very close one, and his opponent, 
Wm. S. Faekell, was professedly favorable to reform, Mr. 
Babcock was successful by a majority of 26&. 

In the Assembly of 1873, he acquitted himself with entire 
satisfaction, serving upon the Insurance Committee and upon 
the Committee on Expenditures of the House. The insur- 
ance investigation of the last session is fresh in the mind of 
the public. Mr. Babcock was a member of the Sub-Com- 
mittee which conducted the investigation into the charges 
against Mr. Miller, the then Superintendent of the Insur- 
ance Department ; and he, with other members of the Com- 
mittee, was called upon to perform exacting and laborious 
service, spending several weeks in New York and Albany in 
taking evidence. It has been alleged that strong influences 
were brought to bear to control their final action, but the 
committee made a report sustaining the charges, and, as 
is now matter of history, the Assembly promptly passed a 
resolution expelling Mr. Miller from his oflBce. Mr. Bab- 
cock's part in this trying investigation was cordially indorsed 
by his constituents, who gave him the compliment of a unani- 
mous renomination last fall, and he was re-elected by a 
majority of 542, Mr. Farnell again being his opponent. 

In the present session he has been prominent in another 
important investigation, acting as Chairman of the special 
committee to inquire into alleged frauds connected with the 
recent transfer of the Erie railway directory. 

Mr. Babcock is a man of quiet and unassuming manners, 
polished and genial in social intercourse, and extremely indus- 
trious and regular in his habits. He has already made his 
mark as a capable and efiScient legislator, and has shown 
himself worthy of still further honors at the hands of his 
fellow citizens. 

140 Life Sketches. 


John Peaslee Badger was bora in Ossipee, Carroll 
county, N. H., August 3, 1834. He is a son of "Wm. P. C. 
Badger, a native of Compton, P. Q., but born of American 
parents. While yet in early infancy lie came with his parents 
to this State, and is consequently a New Yorker to all 
intents and pni-poses. His father and mother are still living 
in comfortable circumstances, the former being about sixty 
years of age. Young Badger was educated in the common 
schools, and though his early life was spent upon the farm 
and in a country store, of which he was proprietor for 
several years, he availed himself of every opportunity to pre- 
pare himself for the legal profession, to which he looked 
forward as his chosen pursuit. He finally entered the Albany 
Law School, graduated with credit in November, 1871, and, 
shortly afterward, was admitted to the bar. Since that time 
he has practiced law with marked success, ranking already 
as one of the foremost lawyers in his county. 

Mr. Badger learned his first political lessons in the Ameri- 
can party, and was an ardent member of that party during 
its brief existence, voting for Millard Fillmore for Presi- 
dent. When its elements were scattered he identified him- 
self with the Eepublicans, with whom he has continued to 
act up to the present time. He is constitutionally quite an 
active man, and has therefore been a participant in Franklin 
county polities for a number of years past. Twice he has 
been elected to represent his town in the Board of Super- 
visors — in 1870 and 1872. Though his town was formerly 
Democratic, he carried it when first elected by a majority 
of 32. In his second canvass his majority was 46, in a total 
vote of 300; and last fall he carried it by the gratifying 
majority of 141, his entire majority in the county, over W. 
W. Paddock, being 1,214, or about forty votes ahead of the 

GxoROE Baltz. 141 

state ticket. These figures speak well for the popularity of 
the Franklin county member at home. 

Mr. Badger's frank and modest deportment and evident 
ability attracted attention very early in the present session, 
and he has already demonstrated great aptitude for legisla- 
tive duties. He is a consistent and earnest member of the 
Methodist church, and possesses a character entirely above 
reproach. He was married in January, 1855, to Miss Emily 
E. Phelps. 


Mr. Baltz, an active and wide-awake German Republican, 
of the city of Buffalo, is now serving his second term in the 
Assembly. He was born in Odernheim, Hesse Darmstadt, 
Germany, on the 11th of August, 1837, and may therefore 
be ranked among the younger members of the House. He 
received a liberal education in the German common schools, 
and being a man of more than ordinary shrewdness and 
intelligence, he attained prominence as a politician very soon 
after he came to this country. He located at Buffalo, where 
he has taken an active part in political campaigns for several 
years past. From the start he identified himself with the 
Eepublican party, and he has also labored with zeal and 
enthusiasm to induce his countrymen to act as a unit with 
that political organization. For several years past he has 
made it a practice to stump the counties of Erie, Niagara, 
Chautauqua and Cattaraugus, speaking usually in the Ger- 
man tongue. His speeches are characterized by thorough 
earnestness and convincing logic, and are delivered with a 
pointed energy which sends their truths straight to the hearts 
of those to whom they are addressed. His success, there- 
fore, has been very great. With an unusually active mind, 
and broad views upon all the questions of the day, it was 

142 Life Sketches. 

very natural that Mr. Baltz should turn his attention to 
journalism as a means of more thoroughly Americanizing 
his countrymen, who constitute no inconsiderable portion of 
the population of Buffalo. He became the proprietor of the 
Freie Presse, a daily and weekly journal, which has attained 
a large circulation among his German constituency, and is 
doing good service in the Eepublican cause. 

Mr. Baltz held the office of City Auditor of Buffalo in 
1869, and during the next two years was an Assistant Asses- 
sor of Internal Eevenue. He was elected to the Assembly 
of 1872 by a majority of 626, and served in that body on the 
Committees on Petitions of Aliens, and the Militia. Last 
fall he was re-elected by a majority of 646, and now serves 
on the Committees on Charitable and Eeligious Societies, 
Public Printing, and Militia. 


Gen. Batcheller is certainly entitled to be ranked 
among the most popular and distinguished members of the 
present House. He was born in Batchellerville, Saratoga 
county, February 25, 1836, and has therefore just completed 
his thirty-seventh year. He is descended from a somewhat 
illustrious ancestry. His father's family were originally Irish, 
and went to Spain with the O'Dosohue. From thence, 
after several generations, their descendants found their way 
to this country, and settled in Massachusetts. Gen. B.'s 
father, Shekman^ Batcheller, was born in Vermont, and 
was a nephew of Eoger Shermak, one of the signers of the 
Declaration of Independence, and was also related, though 
distantly, to Daxiel Webster's family. He died suddenly 
in 1862. The General's mother was of English descent, and 
a native of Massachusetts. Gen. Batcheller is a thoroughly 

George 8. Batcheller. 143 

educated gentleman, having graduated at Harvard University, 
and received the degree of LL. B. from the law school of 
that institution. He entered Harvard in the junior year, 
but, owing to a family affliction, he was obliged to suspend 
his studies. He returned, however, and completed the scien- 
tific course successfully, receiving a diploma which entitles 
him to the degree of Ph. B. In 1858, about a year after 
leaving college, he was admitted to the bar, and soon I'ose to 
eminence in his profession. In the fall of the same year, he 
was elected to the Assembly from the same district now rep- 
resented by him. This proved the stepping-stone to what 
is as yet an uncompleted career of brilliant and honorable 
public service. 

Two or three years later the war of the rebellion broke 
out. He entered the volunteer service, acting as Major 
until he was commissioned as Lieutenant-Colonel in the 
One Hundred and Fifteenth New York Volunteers, and, 
though but recently married, he went to the front with 
that command. He participated in all the battles and skir- 
mishes in which the regiment was engaged, until he was 
taken prisoner at Harper's Ferry, in September of the same 
year. Early in 1863 he was exchanged, and received the 
appointment of Deputy Provost-Marshal-General in the 
department of the South. He held this responsible position, 
having under his charge all the civil and military matters 
pertaining to that office, within those portions of South 
Carolina, Georgia and Florida within our lines, until the 
winter of 1864, serving under Generals Hunteb, Gilmoee, 
Setmotje and others. Subsequently he was transferred to 
Elmira to look after drafted men for his department, and 
there honorably discharged from the service, receiving the 
rank of brevet Colonel. 

In 1865 he was appointed Inspector-General on the staff 
of Governor Fenton, and held the position during the four 
years' administration of that official. While Inspector- 
General, he reorganized the National Guard throughout the 

144 Life Sketches. 

State, and, as President of the Auditing Board, examined 
and presented to the general government claims of the State 
for organizing volunteer forces, amounting to several 
hundred thousand dollars, which the United States have 
since allowed and paid. 

In 1868 he ran as Grant elector for the Eighteenth, 
now Nineteenth, Congressional district. Since 1868 Gen. 
Batchellee has applied himself diligently to his profession, 
and to the enjoyment of those home pleasures to which he 
had almost become a stranger. Last fall, however, the Repub- 
licans of his district tendered him, with one accord, the 
nomination for the Assembly, and, after a lively canvass, he 
was elected a member of that body by the largest majority 
ever given in the district, although his opponent, Chaeles 
H. HoLDEif, was an agent of the Delaware and Hudson 
Canal Company, and backed by the influence of that organi- 
zation, the managers of which made special eflForts to elect 
him. Speaker Coestell paid a marked compliment to Gen. 
B.'s sagacity and knowledge of State aifairs, by selecting him 
as Chairman of the Canal Committee, a position for which 
he possesses special qualifications. He is, besides, a member 
of the Committee on Militia. 

Gen. Batchellee is a man of fine figure, polished manners 
and pleasant address. Courteous alike to friends and oppo- 
nents, he is in every respect the affable and genial gentleman. 
With fine oratorical powers and rare forensic ability, he 
unites a ready appreciation of legislative requirements, and 
is, therefore, a skillful and effective debater. He is at all 
times keenly alive to the welfare of his immediate con- 
stituents, but he is as watchful of the interests of the entire 
State, and every measure designed to effect genuine reform 
in State or municipal government, or likely to advance the 
commercial prosperity of the commonwealth, invariably 
enlists his sympathy, and, should his judgment approve, his 
enthusiastic advocacy. Few men in the State enjoy a larger 
measure of personal popularity, or have yet before them a 

Oeoroe M. Beebe. 145 

more promising future. Gen. Batcheller is a man of 
family, having married, in 1861, the daughter of the late 
Hon. James M. Cook. 


George Monroe Beebe was born in New Vernon, Orange 
county, on the 28th of October, 1836. He is the son of Gil- 
bert Beebe, a native of Connecticut, who, still living in 
Middletown, Orange county, at the advanced age of 72, is 
aotively engaged in the varied occupation of preaching the 
gospel and publishing the Signs of the Times, a religious 
newspaper. Mr. Beebe secured a good education at the 
common schools and at the Wallkill Academy, Middletown, 
graduating from the latter in 1854. Next year he com- 
menced studying law in the oflBce of Geo. W. Lord, in Mon- 
ticello, attending in the mean time the requisite courses of 
lectures, and graduated from the Albany Law University, in 
1857, with the degree of Bachelor of Law. A year later 
he went to Peoria, 111., where, on the recommendation of 
Stephen A. Douglas, he had been selected to edit a Demo- 
cratic daily newspaper. Though young in years, he was an 
earnest and spirited writer, and rendered efl5cient service in 
the memorable campaign of 1858, accompanying Douglas in 
his famous tour of discussion with Abraham Lincolk. At 
the close of the campaign he settled in Troy, Kansas, and 
commenced practicing law in earnest. He succeeded in 
making himself so popular there that in about a year he 
was elected, notwithstanding his pronounced Democracy, to 
represent the Eepublican county of Doniphan in the Terri- 
torial Council. While still a member of the Council^he was 
appointed Secretary of the Territory by President Buchak- 
AN. Subsequently, by the resignation of Gov. Medaet, he 

146 Life Sketches. 

became acting Governor, and although he had not yet com- 
pleted his twenty-third year, he was continued in the posi- 
tion by the President, until Kansas was admitted into the 

In 1861 he married Cornelia, the eldest daughter of 
James H. Foster, of Monticello. Subsequently, he practiced 
law during a year or more at St. Joseph, Mo., but in August, 
1862, he went overland to Virginia City, Nevada, where he 
again " nailed up his shingle " as an Attorney and Counselor 
at law. Wherever he located he gained speedy populariby. 
In 1864, when Nevada was admitted as a State, we find Mr. 
Beebe the nominee of a Democratic Convention for District 
Judge, for which ofiice he was defeated by a small majority. 
Subsequently he declined the appointment of United States 
Internal Eevenue Collector for Nevada, which was tendered 
by President Johnson, but he consented to represent the new 
"State in the Philadelphia Convention of 1866. In October 
of that year he purchased the Monticello Watchman, a Demo- 
cratic journal, and removing at once to Monticello, he has 
since conducted that paper with marked ability and success. 
In the fall of 1871 Mr. Beebe was the Democratic nominee 
in the Orange and Sullivan district for the State Senate, and 
took strong ground against the use of money in elections, 
tendering a public challenge to his opponent to unite with 
him in a pledge not to use money in the canvass. He was 
beaten, however, Hon. E. M. Madden, the present Senator 
from that district, being successful. Last spring he was a dele- 
gate to the Rochester Convention, and strongly opposed the 
policy of indorsing Greeley. He also fought the idea with 
warmth and earnestness in his paper; but after the Baltimore 
Convention, being left with the only alternative of " Grant or 
Greeley," he felt constrained to support the latter. He was 
also sent as a Delegate to the Syracuse Convention, and was 
unanimously chosen its permanent President, in which posi- 
tion he displayed marked ability as a presiding oflScer. He 
took active part in the subsequent campaign, stumping the 

Bernard Bwlin. 147 

State for the Liberal Democratic ticket. His nomination for 
the Assembly was made by acclamation in both the Liberal 
and Democratic Conventions, and he was elected by a majority 
of 664, though the county gave Grakt a majority of some 

As will be gathered from this sketch, Mr. Beebe is, and 
always has been, an unflinching Democrat. On entering the 
Assembly he at once assumed a prominent position among 
the members of the " opposition," and his career as a legis- 
lator is certainly, thus far, a brilliant one. Possessing rare 
oratorical powers, he is cool, incisive and compact in argu- 
ment, thinks rapidly, and is prompt, either in availing him- 
self of the weak points of his opj>«jnent, or in arranging his 
own line of attack or defense. He is frequently strongly 
denunciatory in his speeches, using, in his polished invective, 
the plainest and at the same time the most cutting words in 
the language. He is also master of the art of sarcasm, and 
often covers an antagonist with confusion by a deftly hurled 
shaft of ridicule. The member from Sullivan is justly con- 
sidered one of the most forcible and effective debaters in the 
present House. 


There are, perhaps, few readers of newspapers who are 
unfamiliar with the aquatic exploits of the BiGLlN brothers, 
the celebrated N"ew York oarsmen, but there are many, 
doubtless, who wDl now learn for the first time that one of 
these brothers, whose name heads this article, is a Representa- 
tive in the State Assembly. 

Beenabd Biglik was bom in the State of Pennsylvania, 
on the 4th of September, 1841. His parents, John and 
Ellen Hart Biglin, were natives of Ireland, and are both 
deceased. Their family consisted of eighteen children, of 

148 Life Sketches. 

whom ten are now living, six brothers and four sisters. 
Young BiGLiN was educated in the common schools, and, 
locating in New York at an early age, he served an apprentice- 
ship as brass moulder with Mr. S. B. H. Vance, now Presi- 
dent of the New York Board of Aldermen, and proprietor 
of the largest chandelier manufacturing establishment in 
the country. Completing his apprenticeship in 1860, he soon 
after obtained a position as Inspector in the New York Cus- 
tom House, which he held three years. From 1863 until 
1867 he was an Inspector in the Internal Eevenue Depart- 
ment. Subsequently he was appointed Ganger in the Internal 
Eevenue Department, but resigned when elected to the 

Always a Eepublican, Mr. Biglin has occupied a promi- 
nent position in New York politics for a number of years, 
taking an active part in the primaries and conventions of 
the party. He has served as delegate at all the Eepublican 
State Conventions for five years past, and is now in the 
Assembly as the representative of the eighteenth Assembly 
district Eepublican Association. His district, which is 
usually strongly Democratic, gave, in 1871, a Eeform Demo- 
cratic majority of 4,034. Mr. BiGLiU" had three candidates 
opposed to him last fall — Peter Seeet, Tammany, and 
Wm. J. Shields and John P. Crosby, both Apollo Hall, the 
last named being indorsed by the Committee of Seventy, but 
he was successful by a plurality of 612; certainly a very grat- 
ifying result. The confidence reposed in him by his friends 
was well placed, as he is a very active and industrious mem- 
ber, and watches closely the interests of his constituents. 

Had we the requisite data at hand it would be interesting 
to refer with some particularity to Mr. Biglin's career as an 
oarsman, which has been very brilliant. The crew of which 
he and his brother John were the organizers and leading 
spirits, and which included five of the Biglin brothers, 
obtained, a wide reputation, and were virtually the champions 
of the United States during a long period, being victorious 

Charles Blackie. 149 

in numerous contests on the lakes and rivers in various parts 
of the country. The Biglins are not " sporting men," as 
the phrase is generally understood, and never prostitute 
their rowing abilities to the object of gambling, as is too 
often the case. They are imbued with a thorough enthu- 
siasm for the pursuit, and are using their best efforts to 
spread a love for the manly and vigorous art, with the 
laudable object of improving and developing the physique 
of the rising generation. This is so well understood in A'ew 
York that their athletic school is patronized by the best an 1 
wealthiest citizens of the metropolis, and a large number of 
amateur oarsmen owe their proficiency to the tuition received 
from the Biglins. Their service is also frequently called in 
j'equisition to train and instruct racing crews in other parts 
of the country. 

As may be presumed, Mr. Biglix is a man of good 
physique. He is about the medium height, well and com- 
pactly built, light hair aud moustache, light blue eyes, and 
generally a- pleasing expression of countenance. He is, 
withal, a gentleman in every sense of the word. He was 
married some years ago to Mary Axk Grundy. In religious 
faith he is a Catholic. 


Mr. Blackie represents the thirteenth Assembly district 
of New York in the present Legislature, and constitutes a 
very fair personification of the young Eepublican element of 
that city. The district was represented last year by George 
McKay, also a Republican, previous to which it was in the 
hands of Tammany. Mr. Blackie received the decided 
plurality of 1,305, against McKay's majority of 110, which 
shows either that Republicanism is making rapid progress in 
the Sixteenth Ward of New York, or that Mr. Blackie is a 

150 Life Sketches. 

YBTj popular man. Mr. B. was born in New York city on 
the 7th of October, 1836, and receiyed a very thorough 
academic education. He engaged in a mercantile business 
soon after leaving school. This he continued until 1868, 
when he accepted the position of Weigher in the New York 
Oustom House, which he held up to the time of his election. 
In the recent canvass he was elected as a straight Eepubli- 
can, his opponents being Mr. Chbistophee Fine, Democrat, 
James Kellet, Liberal, and Johm F. Hagan, Independ- 

Mr. Blackie is a young man of great activity and busi- 
ness capacity, having already shown a striking aptitude for 
legislative duties ; with the practical experience in law- 
making, which he is rapidly acquiring, he gives promise of 
becoming a man of more than ordinary mark in the As- 


Andrew Blessing is from the seventeenth New York dis- 
trict, and is now serving his first term as a member of Assem- 
bly. Born in the county of Cavan, Ireland, in the year 1844, 
he came to this country at the age of thirteen, and obtained 
a very fair education in the common schools of New York 
city. He learned the trade of boiler maker, and worked at 
that and kindred mechanical employments for several years, 
when he obtained a lucrative clerkship in a mercantile 
house, and finally drifted into the real estate business, in 
which he is now engaged. In the course of business, Mr. 
Blessing has visited nearly every part of the country, and 
is therefore very thoroughly acquainted with American insti- 
tutions. He has always retained his residence in New York, 
however. Possessing decided natural ability, and being a 
shrewd observer of men and events, he is, withal, a man of 

Joseph Blvmenthal. 151 

much practical common sense, and a fair representative of 
the active and energetic Irish-American. 

Mr. Blessing is not a politician, strictly speaking, having 
never formally, identified himself with any of the numerous 
political organizations in the metropolis ; but he has always 
been known as an uncompromising Democrat of the Tam- 
many school, and as such he was elected to the Legislature 
by a plurality of 596, three candidates being opposed to him. 
He is a member of the Committee on Grievances, and State 

Though very quiet and reserved in manner, Mr. Blessing 
is a useful and capable man in the Assembly, and performs 
his duties with praiseworthy diligence and modesty. 


Mr. Blumenthal, one of the most prominent of the New 
York city members, was born in Munich, the capital of 
Bavaria, December 1, 1834, and came to this country with his 
parents, Lawrence and Eebecca Blumenthal, and their 
family of six other children, when he was but five years old. 
Both his parents are dead. He was educated in the common 
schools, and in 1853 went to California, residing while there 
in Mariposa county, celebrated as the locality of the famed 
Yosemite valley and falls. He remained in California but 
five years, returning, in 1858, to New York, where he engaged 
in business as an importer and merchant, with very satisfac- 
tory results. 

Always a straightforward Democrat, Mr. Blumbnthal 
has never until now held any ofl5ce, but he has participated 
actively in the political contests of New York city for many 
years past, and has secured wide prominence by reason of his 
efforts in behalf of municipal reform, and for the elevation 

152 Life Seetcbes. 

of honest and capable men to ofiBcial position. He was one 
of the earliest and most persistent opponents of the corrupt 
ring that has disgraced and well nigh ruined the Democratic 
party in the metropolis. He has been a member of the Com- 
mittee of Seventy since its organization, serving on such 
important sub-committees as Elections, Investigation of 
Frauds, Nominations, etc. 

Last winter he was active in urging the passage of what was 
known as the Keform Charter, and during the present session 
he has been, probably, the most active opponent of those 
features of the Charter measure, which proposed to abolish 
the Board of Assistant Aldermen, and curtail the power of 
the Mayor in making appointments, representing the views 
of the Committee of Seventy. He made several able speeches 
during the discussion of the measure, and the courtesy, 
moderation, and entire freedom from personality or acrimony 
which characterized his participation in the exciting debates, 
were the subject of complimentary remark among opponents 
and friends. 

In the election last fall he received the indorsement of 
Tammany Hall, the German Eeformers, the Committee of 
Seventy, and the Council of Municipal Reform, and received 
a plurality of 1,169, although there were four strong candi- 
dates in the field against him. He is a member of the Com- 
mittee on Cities, and Engrossed Bills. 

A man of decided ability and much practical good sense, 
Mr. Blumenthal is quick to understand the bearings of 
every question which he is called upon to consider, and 
therefore possesses qualities invaluable in the legislator. He 
is also a thorough gentleman in every sense of the word, 
and his excellent social traits render him popular in a very 
large circle of acquaintances. He is a member of the Jewish 

Francis B. Brewer. 163 


Mr. Beewer is a descendant of revolutionary stock, his 
grandfather having held the rank of colonel in the struggle 
with the mother country. His father, Ebenezer Brewer, 
who died some years since, was also familiar with the trying 
scenes of that period, and held a captain's commission in 
the war of 1812. They were both, we believe, natives of 
New Hampshire. Mr. Brewer was himself born in Keene, 
N. H., and is now a robust and well-preserved gentleman of 
perhaps fifty years of age. He enjoyed, when young, the 
advantages of a liberal education, and early determined to 
enter the medical profession. He therefore pursued with 
diligence the general and scientific courses at Dartmouth 
College, from which he graduated in 1843. Two years later 
he graduated with honor from the medical department of 
the same institution. He practiced his profession but five 
years, however, when he entered the lumbering business at 
Oil creek in Pennsylvania. This was about the year 1850, 
when the oleaginous treasures of that region were practically 
unknown to the world. Mr. Brewer perceived the value 
of the deposits before they attracted general attention, and 
it is an interesting fact, that in his clear and practical brain 
was formed the first feasible plan to secure and utilize the 
petroleum oozing through the soil. As early as 1858 he, 
with several other gentlemen of energy and means, formed 
the first oil company, and inaugurated a branch of commerce 
which has since reached gigantic proportions, and added 
immensely to the wealth of the world. 

Mr. Brewer was reasonably successful in his ventures in 
the oil region, and finally removed to Westfield, in Chautau- 
qua county, where he has since resided, having become a 
wealthy and substantial citizen of that thriving village. He 

154 Life Sketches. 

devotes his attention mainly to supervising the affairs of the 
Westfield Lock Works, of which he is the sole proprietor. 
He is also President of the First National Bank of Westfield, 
a flourishing institution. 

He has frequently been the recipient of political honors 
from his fellow citizens, with whom he is held in very high 
regard. Several times he has been elected to the Board of 
Supervisors, and once or twice he was Chairman of the Board. 
Mr. B. always discharged his duties satisfactorily in this local 
legislative body, acting on all questions for the best interests of 
the county and the town he represented. During the war he 
rendered important service as special State Agent to the hospi- 
tals, and also to the soldiers in camp. This oflBce he held, 
with rank of Major, by appointment of Governor Fenton, 
and from the time of his appointment, in the winter of 1864, 
until the close of the war, he was instrumental in relieving 
an immense amount of suflfering among the brave men who 
composed the Army of the Potomac. 

Mr. Bkewee was a Whig until the formation of the Re- 
publican party, since which time he has always been actively 
identified with Eepublican measures and men. In person, 
he is somewhat portly, and rather above the medium height. 
His flowing light brown beard, in which a few white hairs 
are sprinkled, gives him a slightly venerable appearance, 
which is contradicted, however, by the vigorous frame, elastic 
step, and florid, healthy complexion which characterize him. 
Dignified and courteous in bearing, a man of well-balanced 
intellect and unusually ripe judgment, he is in the full 
prime of intellectual and physical manhood, and is in all 
resoects an able and upright legislator. 

Elijah E. Brown. 156 


The Second district of Cayuga is well represented in the 
person of Hon. Elijah E. BBOwif, of Niles. No man in 
the House enjoys in greater degree the respect and regard of 
his fellow-members, or the confidence of his constituents, 
and the fact is due as well to the decided ability and excellent 
judgment he possesses as to the natural courtesy of manner 
and kindliness of disposition which he takes pains to mani- 
fest toward all with whom he comes in contact. 

Mr. Bkowk was born in Hancock, Berkshire county, 
Mass., April 9, 1816. He is the youngest of a family of six 
children, and when but seven years old, his father moved to 
Niles, Cayuga county, and purchased a farm. Young Brown 
was brought up on the farm, remaining steadily at home 
until the age of twenty-one. He varied the routine of farm 
life by a pretty constant atteudance at the district school, 
where he developed a passion for mathematics, spending 
much of his leisure in working out difficult problems. It 
was intended that he should have a liberal education, but his 
father's health failed to that extent that it was desirable that 
the son should remain and manage the farm, which he did 
until his parent died, in May, 1854. Mr. Beowjt therefore 
received no instruction outside of the common schools, be- 
yond that obtained in a select school one winter. When he 
reached the age of twenty-one, however, he went west and 
invested largely in land, his father furnishing means for that 
purpose. After being absent about a year, he disposed of 
his purchase at a large advance, and returned to Cayuga 
county, where he has since resided. 

In September, 1840, he was married to Miss Ann Chenet, 
a daughter of Zaccheus Chenet, with whom Hon. Millabd 
Fillmore served an apprenticeship and learned the trade 
of a clothier. Mr. Brown continued to manage his father's 

156 Life Sketches. 

farm as well as another farm which he purchased himself, 
embracing in all some 360 acres, for a number of years, 
devoting his attention especially to stock breeding. He still 
owns one of the farms, though for the past ten or fifteen 
years he has done little but supervise his agricultural opera- 
tions. Of late years he has turned his mathematical knowl- 
edge to account in the business of surveying. 

Mr. B.'s ancestry have been somewhat noted as well as 
numerous. His father was born in Killingly, Conn., in 1773, 
and was, therefore, too young to be of service in the Revolu- 
tionary war, but the family, in its different branches, were 
somewhat prominent in that struggle. His father's ancestry 
were English on the paternal side, and Irish on the mother's. 
His maternal great-grandfather, WiLLiAii Smith, was com- 
pelled to flee from Ireland, because of some trouble incident 
to hot-headed youth, and subsequently became a Lieutenant 
in the Revolutionary war. The maternal ancestors of the 
subject of our sketch lived in Rhode Island for several 
generations ; his grandfather on that side being a noted sea 

Mr. Bkown's political record is in every way honorable. 
He commenced life as a Whig, casting his first Presidential 
vote for Haerison. Acting with the Whigs iinti^ the party 
dissolved, he was among the first to cast his lot with the 
Republicans, and np to the present time he has steadily given 
his efforts to secure the success of the principles and candi- 
dates of that organization. In his town, and in his county, 
he has been recognized as an active and influential worker 
in the Republican ranks, and his counsel has been highly 
valued and always songht. Occupying such a position, he 
has frequently been called to fill public office. In 1856 he 
was elected Justice of the Peace, and held the office until 
1869, adding to its duties from 1859 to 1863 those of Justice 
of Sessions. In the years . 1866 and 1867 he represented his 
town in the Cayuga county Board of Supervisors. In each 
of these positions he displayed ability and judgment, and 

Elijah E. Brown. 157 

succeeded in adding to the regard in which he was held by 
the people. In the fall of 1871 he was elected to the Assem- 
bly by a majority of 1,608, and so well did he fulfill the trust 
reposed in him, that he was returned in the fall of 1872, by 
the increased majority of 1,772, defeating William P. Sis- 
son, a Liberal Eepublican. 

It is not alone as a politician that Mr. Brown has won 
prominence, however. He has always evinced an unselfish 
regard for the welfare of the community in which he resides. 
During the war he was the leading spirit among those in his 
county who aided in sustaining the government. When 
hostilities first began, he advanced the money necessary to 
pay the first installment of recruits, trusting to the good 
faith of the town to make good the amount. Subsequently 
he was intrusted with the duty of filling the quota of the 
town, and it was by his active exertions, mainly, that the 
quotas were promptly filled at every call, as he devoted his 
time and money largely to that end. Large quantities of 
hospital stores were also sent to the army through his aid, 
much of the incidental expense of which was defrayed from 
his private purse. 

Mr. Bkown is held in very high regard by all the mem- 
bers of the House, because of his numerous graces of char- 
acter. Modest and unobtrusive in manner, dignified and 
courteous in deportment, a thorough gentleman, and a 
pleasant acquaintance, he unites, with all these qualities, 
ability and thoroughness in performing his legislative work. 
He is therefore popular with all, and though he seldom 
makes a speech, he is admittedly one of the most valuable 
members of the present Assembly. 

168 Life Sketches. 


Mr. Beown represents the Second district of Ulster county. 
He is a large-framed man, of about fifty years of age, and 
occupies quite a prominent position in the community where 
he resides. In his early days he learned the trade of a black- 
smith, but after working at it for a number of years he 
bought the farm on which he has since resided, and which 
he cultivated during a long period. For several years past 
he has served his fellow-citizens as a Justice of the Peace, 
and has, therefore, to a great extent, remitted agricultural 
labors to other hands. He filled the oflBce of Justice with 
dignity and ability, and has, besides, occupied other positions 
of a public nature, enjoying in a large measure the confidence 
and esteem of all who have occasion to know him. 

He was elected to the Assembly by a majority of 226, 
defeating Oscak Mulfokd, his Democratic opponent. He 
is a member of the Committees on Affairs of Villages, and 
Commerce and Navigation, and though not specially con- 
spicuous as a public speaker or as a politician, he, never- 
theless, effectively represents a large and intelligent con- 
stituency. Seldom absent from his seat in the chamber, he 
at all times evinces comprehension of the business of legis- 
lation and diligence in the performance of his duties. 

J. Lynan Bulklet 169 


Justus Ltma.^ Bulklet, for fifteen years a successful 
Physician and Surgeon of Sandy Creek, Oswego county, was 
born in Fairfield, Herkimer county, August 30, 1832. His 
father, Peter H. Bulklet, born in the year 1800, and a 
native of this State, died when young Bulklet was but 
eleven years old, leaving his son little besides an inheritance 
of poverty. Compelled thus early to fight his way in the 
world, he did not shrink from the contest, but proceeded, 
under the counsel of his worthy mother, who is still living, 
to secure an education. Although for a number of years he 
was compelled to work in the capacity of a farm laborer, he 
eventually succeeded in his object. He studied the English 
branches in an academy, and when he was able to do so, 
entered college. He passed through Madison University, 
graduating in 1857, vnth an honorary degree, and after- 
ward graduated witji all the honors from the New York 
Opthalmic Hospital College. He immediately entered upon 
the practice of his chosen profession, and has pursued it 
with such success that he now enjoys a reputation second 
to none in the county. It will be seen, therefore, that Dr. 
Bulklet is in the fullest sense a self-made man, and owes 
all that he has and is to his own individual exertions. 

Dr. Bulklet has always been an earnest Republican, and 
has found time to devote considerable attention to party 
politics, in which, in his county, he is a leading spirit. 
Besides holding the office of Coroner during one term, and 
being an incumbent of the post of Pension Surgeon for three 
years past, he has held a number of minor offices, and is 
always active at local conventions and primaries. He was 
elected to the Assembly last fall by a majority of about 1,700, 
defeating Gilbert W. Harding, his Democratic opponent. 
He serves acceptably on the Committees on Education and 

160 Life Sketches. 

Public Lands, and though he cannot be numbered among 
the talkers of the House, he is an energetic and efficient 


Mr. Burns, who comes from the Second district of the 
metropolis, is a pleasant and sociable gentleman, just turning 
his forty-sixth year. Blunt and plain of speech, he yet 
possesses a kind heart, and a sympathetic disposition. The 
direct and merciless little speeches which frequently burst from 
him, are invariably reserved for opposing political schemes, 
or questionable measures of legislation. They are never the 
vehicles of ill-nature or malice, though he is unsparing in his 
denunciation of every thing which does not agree with his 
notions of right and wrong. 

Mr. BuHNS was born in Ireland, in the year 1827, and 
came to New York when he was abjut ten years of age. 
Shortly after his arrival in the metropolis, he was apprenticed 
to a stone-cutter. He learned the trade thoroughly, and 
worked at it a number of years, but its effect upon his health 
was such that he was obliged to relinquish it. He subse- 
quently obtained a clerkship in the County Clerk's office, and 
still holds the position. 

He has been active in New York politics for many years, 
being well known in the down-town wards, and, indeed, in the 
city at large. Always a Democrat of the Tammany stripe, 
he has never swerved from his allegiance, and is, to-day, one 
of the most wide-awake representatives of that organization 
upon the floor. He was first elected to the Assembly, in the 
fall of 1867, beating in the canvass two TJnion Democrats, 
by a plurality of 1,101. He made a satisfactory record during 
his first year of service, being a member of the Committees on 
Banks, and Claims. In the fall of 1868, he was re-elected by 

Dennis Burns. 161 

a majority of over 6,000, his opponent being a Republican. 
With the exception of the year 1872, when the district was 
represented by Mr. Dtjnphy, an Apollo Hall Democrat, Mr. 
Burns has occupied a seat in the House since 1867. In 
1870, he was Chairman of the Committee on Insurance, 
and a member of the Committee on Charitable and Eeligious 
Societies. In the present House, he is a member of the Com- 
mittees on Aliens, and Indian Affairs. 

In person Mr. Buhns is about the medium height, stoutly 
built, somewhat florid complexion, nearly white hair and 
moustache, and that cast of countenance and contour which 
indicates a bull-dog tenacity of purpose. He watches the 
course of legislation closely, and being very prompt in grasp- 
ing a subject in its various bearings, it is a favorite habit of 
his to break in upon the elaborate arguments of the more 
oratorical legislators with a brief but forcible and unanswer- 
able query or proposition which often plays the mischief 
with finely spun theories. He possesses plenty of sound 
common sense, which, with a fair education, an intimate 
knowledge of the inner workings of that mystery known as 
New York politics, and a familiarity with the details of leg- 
islation, renders him a very eflBcient membei". His social 
qualities and many fine traits of character constitute him a 
favorite with an extensive circle of friends and acquaintances, 
and there are few men who are able to appreciate a good joke 
with greater readiness than Dennis Buens. 


162 Life Sketches. 


Mr. BuEEiTT, who represents the Third district of Monroe 
county, is one of the "always reliable" Eepublicans of 
the lower House. He makes few speeches, but invariably 
votes " right," is invaluable in the committee room, and has 
a sharp eye for the wishes of his constituents. He was once 
a Whig, but since Whigism became a thing of the past he 
has been a steadfast Eepublican. He was born in Chili, 
Monroe county, his father being Isaac Bueeitt, now 
deceased. Brought up on a farm, and receiving in the mean 
time a pretty thorough common school and academic educa- 
tion, he has remained a farmer until the present time, but 
manages also to attend to other pursuits. From 1863 until 
1870 he filled the position of TJnited States Assistant Asses- 
sor for Monroe county. In the fall of 1867 Mr. Bueeitt 
was elected to the Assembly by a majority of 890, and last 
fall by a majority of 985, a decided gain. 


The pleasant face of the genial and popular member fi"om 
the Sixth district of New York is as familiar to the regular 
habitues of the Capitol as is the appearance of the ancient 
pile itself. He boasts a longer continuous service than any 
other member, except John C. Jacobs, and though he 
stands in point of age with the younger members, his long 
experience and close habit of observation have rendered him 
an excellent politician. He sprung from a Scottish-Irish 
ancestry, and unites the firmness, persistency and frankness 
of the Scotch character, with the characteristic humor, hearty 
friendship and unswerving fidelity of the Irish. With a 

Timothy J. Campbell. 163 

nature imbued with such sterling qualities, it is not strange 
that Mr. Campbell has troops of friends in the metropolis 
and elsewhere. 

Born in the county of Cavan, Ireland, in January, 1840, 
young Campbell was brought to New York by his parents 
when he was but five years old. At suitable age he was 
placed at a common school, where he remained until the age 
of twelve. His parents were in straightened circumstances, 
however, and this fact, as well as his restless and ambitious 
spirit, impelled him to seek a means by which to earn his 
own livelihood. Leaving school, therefore, before he had 
fully realized its benefits, he entered a printing ofiBce. By 
his own act, as well as by the necessities of the case, he was 
thrown upon his own I'esources, and under the tuition of 
stern necessity he learned the habits of industry and self- 
reliance which have brought him to his present position. 
Always watchful and studious, he availed himself fully of 
the many opportunities for acquiring general knowledge' 
afforded by a printing office, gradually making up for early 
deficiencies in book-learning by attending evening schools. 
He also joined a debating club, gaining by active partici- 
pation in its discussions that familiarity with parliamentary 
practice, and with the social and political topics of the day, 
which has since been very valuable to him. In the mean 
time he passed through all the grades of the piintei-'s craft, 
from the fly-boy of the press to general office manager. On 
completing his apprenticeship he worked several years at the 
trade, serving in several job offices in New York, and also in 
the various newspaper offices, including the Herald, Express, 
and Neios. 

During a portion of the year 1860, while portentous war- 
clouds were rolling up from the southern horizon, Mr. 
Campbell sojourned at Augusta, Ga., and was connected 
with the office of the Dispaich of that city. He returned to 
New York, however, before the storm burst upon the country, 

164 Life Sketches. 

and has since resided there, serving during several years as 
a clerk in the county clerk's office. 

Mr. Campbell has, for a number of years past, been active 
in metropolitan politics, his ability as a local manager 
securing him a position as Chairman of his district on the 
Tammany General Committee, which he still holds. He has 
alvirays been a steadfast adherent of the Tammany wing of 
the Democracy, and so popular is he in his Assembly district, 
that all the mutations through which Tammany has recently 
passed have not resulted in materially reducing the majori- 
ties by which he is annually elected to the Legislature. 

Mr. Campbell was a member of the fire department in 
the good old days of the "volunteer" system. In that 
capacity he was behind none in enthusiasm and daring, and 
had his share of "perilous adventures and hair-breadth 

He is now serving his sixth term as Member of the House, 
Saving been first elected in 1867. During his first year of 
service, he acted as Chairman of the Committee on Eoads 
and Bridges, and as Member of the Committee on Internal 
Affairs. Since then he has served three years on the Com- 
mittee on Cities, and has been Chairman of the Committee 
on Petitions of Aliens. 

Mr. Campbell is a man of medium size, compactly built, 
well proportioned, and quite prepossessing in appearance. 

Jacob B. Carpenter. 165 


Nearly a century ago Benjamin Carpenter purchased a 
large tract of land in Stanford, Dutchess county, N. Y., and 
resided upon it until his death, in 1836. His son, the late 
Morgan Carpenter, was there born in 1799, and in 1819 
married Maria, daughter of Hon. Jacob Bockee. His 
birthplace was also his residence until 1852, when he removed 
to Poughkeepsie, where, in November, 1871, he died, but a few 
months the survivor of hii' wife. For many years he took 
an active interest in wool-growing, and his flocks, numbering 
about 3,000 sheep, were widely celebrated for the fineness of 
their fleeces. An ardent ajid influential Whig and Republi- 
can, he sought only the advancement of the cause, and sel- 
dom occupied any ofQcial p«osition. 

Jacob B. Carpenter, the subject of this sketch, is the 
son of Morgan and Maria Bockee Carpenter, and was 
born at the ancestral homestead, on the 26th day of July, 
1826. He received a collegiate education, graduating at 
Union College, in 1846, in the same class with Hon. Henrt 
E. PiERSON and Ex-Governor John T. Hoffman. After 
leaving college he engaged extensively and successfully in 
agriculture in his native town until 1864, when he retired 
from active business, and removed to the city of Poughkeep- 
sie, where he has since resided. He has served twice as a 
member of the Board of Supervisors, and in 1855, having 
aided as a delegate in the formation of the Republican party, 
he was elected to the Assembly, but declined to be a candi- 
date for a second term. In 1860 he was Presidential Elector 
for the Twelfth district, and voted for Lincoln and Ham- 
lin. During the eleven succeeding years, although an 
earnest Republican, and frequently active in his efibrts for 
the success of the party, he was at no time a candidate for 
oflRce, or even a delegate to a Convention. After the pro- 

166 Life Sketches. 

mulgation of the platform adopted by the Cincinnati Con- 
vention, he espoused the Liberal cause, and was urged by the 
Liberals and Democrais to accept their nomination for 
Eepreseutative in Congress. Shortly after the Congressional 
Convention, a joint Convention of Liberals and Democrats 
unanimously nominated him as their candidate for the Assem- 
bly, and upon the representation that they could harmonize 
only upon his name, he yielded to their solicitations, and 
accepted the nomination. The election resulted in giving 
him a majority of 1,268 over the Kepublican nominee, 
George Esselsttne, Esq., a talented and popular lawyer 
of Ehinebeck. 

The estimation in which he is held by the citizens of his 
county is attested by the fact that, whenever a candidate for 
oflBce, he has never failed to run very largely ahead of the 
general ticket. In 1860 he was married to Sakah E., 
daughter of the late Stephen E. Thoun, Esq., of Pough- 
keepsie, and attends the Episcopal Church. In politics he is 
a Liberal Republican, and but recently received the unani- 
mous nomination of the Liberal and Democratic Convention 
as their candidate for Mayor of Poughkeepsie, but business 
reasons compelled him to decline being a candidate. 


The member from Putnam county is Rev. Wm. S. Clapp, 
of Carmel, where he has resided for the past fifteen years. 
He is the son of Chester Clapp, whose ancestors were 
direct descendants of the Puritans, and natives of North- 
ampton, Mass. He was born in Ballston Spa, Saratoga 
county, about fifty years ago, and is in the full prime of a vig- 
orous and well-developed manhood. Mr. Clapp early chose 
the ministry as his profession, and was educated with that 
end in view, accomplishing successfully the full collegiate 

William S. Clapp. 167 

course at Madison University, and graduating in 1846. Very 
soon afterward he was ordained to the ministry and took 
charge of the First Baptist Church at Albany, where he 
'•emained four years. Since then he has preached with 
decided success in New York city, at Danbury, Conn., and at 
Carmel, in this State. Several years ago he enjoyed a brief 
respite from ministerial duties and made the tour of Europe, 
from which his keen powers of observation enabled him to 
profit largely. He is an able and eloquent preacher, possessing 
fine oratorical abilities, and is, withal, a gentleman of culture 
and a man of generous impulses, pleasant manners and 
exalted personal character. 

In politics Mr. Clapp has always been a Republican, 
though he voted twice for Maetik Van Buren, and sympa- 
thized warmly with the Liberal movement in the last can- 
vass. He endeavors, however, to perform his duty as a popu- 
lar representative without rigid regard to party lines, though 
on strict party questions he usually votes with the Republi- 
cans. He was elected as an independent candidate by a 
plurality of 430, running against the regularly nominated 
candidates of both the great parties. This fact is sufficiently 
indicative of the estimation in which he is held at home. 

Mr. Clapp has been married twice. His first wife was 
Ma3ia Mesick, to whom he was united in Albany soon after 
he was ordained to the ministry. Since her death occurred 
he married Mrs. C. D. Kellet, the only daughter of Dan- 
iel Drew, tlie distinguished financier. He serves acceptably 
on the Committees on Charitable and Religious Societies, 
Public Education, and Expenditures of the House. 

1C8 Life Sketches. 


George Washington Claeee was born in the town of 
Milton, Saratoga county, on the 2cl of April, 1820. His 
parents were plain, honest, well-to-do people, of the class 
which gives character and stability to our more flourishing 
rural communities. One of their chief aims was to give each 
of their children a good education ; and, therefore, young 
Clarke was enabled to gratify the desire for knowledge which 
he felt at quite an early age. He passed through the usual 
common school experience of youth, and at the proper age, 
entered Union College at Schenectady, from whence he gradu- 
ated with honor in the year 1840. It was intended that he 
should enter tlie Christian ministry, but the state of his 
health forbade this, and, after weighing the matter, he 
decided to adopt teaching as a profession. "With this vie\^ 
he took up his residence in New York city, and soon after 
founded the Mount "Washington Collegiate Institute on 
"Washington square. This institution still flourishes, and has 
ranked, for many years past, among the best of the educa- 
tional establishments in New York city. Its course of study 
is judicious, thoroughly systematized and progressive, and 
numerous graduates of the institution now occupy exalted 
positions throughout the country. Professor Clarke is 
thoroughly imbued with enthusiasm and love for his profes- 
sion, untiring in his efibrts to elevate the standard of instruc- 
tion, to extend and improve the mgdes of imparting knowl- 
edge, and to enlarge the scope of human thought. 

"While Prof. Clarke has never been a politician in the 
ordinary party sense, he has always closely watched the 
developments of party movements and policy, and invariably 
co-operated with that organization which, in his view, best 
represented liberal and progressive ideas of government. In 

Oeorge W. Clarke. 169 

his younger days he acted with the Whig party, and when 
that dissolved he became a Republican. Being well known 
in the metropolis as an earnest and thoroughly conscientious 
member of the party, he was frequently called upon to repre- 
sent his fellow Republicans in the local conventions and 
organizations. For some time he was President of the 
Seventh Assembly District Republican Association, and dis- 
charged the duties of the trust with dignity and judgment. 
He was a delegate to the Elmira Convention, at which dele- 
gates were chosen to Philadelphia, and was a member of the 
Utica Convention of last August, and had the honor there 
of presenting Gen. Dix for the gubernatorial nomination. It 
is not out of place, perhaps, to state here that Prof. Clarke 
undoubtedly had as much to do with bringing Gen. Dix 
forward as any other man. Months before the Convention 
met, he became convinced of the propriety of such a nomi- 
nation, and strove earnestly to bring it about. Two or three 
weeks before the Convention met, he addressed a letter on 
the subject to Hon. A. B. Coenell, Chairman of the State 
Committee, in which he strongly urged the nomination, as 
an effectual means of uniting the reform movement with the 
Republican party, and of opening the door for those Demo- 
crats who were dissatisfied with the Geeelet coalition. 
That Gen. Dix was nominated and triumphantly elected are 
matters of history, and Prof. Clarke would be less than 
human, perhaps, did he not feel proud of his own connection 
with the event. 

In view of Prof. Claeke's prominence and known probity 
of character, there was a strongly expressed desire among 
the Republicans of his district that he should represent them 
in the Assembly this winter, and when the convention met 
he was nominated without opposition. He accepted the 
honor with considerable reluctance, but he entered into the 
canvass with spirit, and was elected by the gratifying 
majority of 1,135. He proves to be an active and energetic 
member of the House, taking part in nearly all the debates 

170 Life Sketches. 

on general as well as local questions, devoting his attention 
more particularly, however, to the latter. He is an efficient 
Member of the Committee on Ways and Means, and also 
that on Charitable and Eeligious Societies. 

Both by education and conviction, Prof. Clarke is a firm 
and consistent Presbyterian, having been a member of that 
religious denomination since his youth. He was married at 
Fort Washington, on the Hudson, in 1847, to Makt Jane 
McKiE, a daughter of Thomas McKie of New York city. 


Mr. Cleary, a young and active Democrat, represents the 
city of Troy, where he has resided all his life, and for several 
years past has been identified with its business interests. 
Born in Troy, on the 12th of September, 1847, he is still quite 
a young man, but he takes naturally to political life, and 
occupies quite a prominent position in the local councils of 
his party. His father, Kyran Cleary, who died in 1861, at 
the age of 45, was also active in politics and was once a mem- 
ber of the Board of Aldermen. The younger Cleary 
received a good education in the common schools, and was 
brought up in the business followed by his father, the manu- 
facture of ale and porter, and on his father's death, he took 
sole charge of his large establishment, conducting it with 
success up to the present time. 

Mr. Cleary has already held a number of positions in the 
gift of his party. During two terms he occupied a seat in 
the Board of Aldermen, and was chosen unanimously at his 
last election. In 1870 he was President of the Board of 
Common CouQcil, and filled the position satisfactorily to the 
people, and with credit to liimself. Two years ago he was 
Chairman of the Democratic Central Committee. He was 

Frkdkkick CovBEi:. 171 

elected to the Assembly by a majority of 1,485, over Dennis 
O'LouGHLiN, an independent candidate. Young, vigorous, 
intelligent and capable, Mr. Cleary evidently has a bright 
future before him. He is still unmarried, and is a member 
of the Roman Catholic Church. 


The gentleman who represents the Seventeenth district of 
Kings county is one of those who rpally deserve to be styled 
" self-made." He never went to a sciiool in his life, his parents 
being too poor even to feed and clothe him, and he has 
earned his own living since he Avas eight years old. Conse- 
quently we find him to-day a thoroughly self-reliant, ener- 
getic, and well-informed man of business, and possessing 
more than ordinary force of character. He came from quite 
an illustrious stock, as his father, now deceased, was a native 
of France, and had the honor of serving in the body guard 
of Napoleon Bonaparte. His mother was born in Orange 
county, in this State, where her ancestors resided for several 

Young CocHEU was born in New York city, on the 30th 
of Marcli, 1832. He is therefore about forty-one years of 
age. His youth presents no feature of special importance,, 
save the fact that during the period when other boys go to 
school, lie was acquiring practical knowledge of life through 
the teachings of adversity and bitter experience. Soon after 
reaching his majority, he secured a position on the police 
force of Brooklyn, which he held until the breaking out of 
the Rebellion. He then enlisted as a private in a battery of 
artillery, serving with honor and distinction during upward 
of three years of that bloody struggle. His valor and atten- 
fdon to duty soon secured him promotion to a Lieutenancy, 

173 Life Sketches. 

and when he finally came home he held the commission of 
Captain in the 61st Eegiment, New York volunteers. He 
participated in most of the battles and marches which fell to 
the lot of the Army of the Potomac, and performed much 
arduous service in North Carolina and other portions of the 
theater of war, having been actively engaged, from first to last, 
in some twenty-three battles. Always a brave soldier and 
eflBeieut officer, Mr. Cocheu certainly has no reason to feel 
ashamed of his military record. 

At the close of the war, he was appointed Internal Revenue 
Inspector for Long Island and Staten Island, and during two 
years service in that capacity he passed upon three hundred 
and eleven cases of violation of the revenue laws. During 
four years past, he has been President of the Grand Street 
and Newtown Eailroad Company. 

Always a Eepublican, Mr. Cocheu has been very active in 
the local politics of his district, but has never before been 
elected to office. The fact that he was elected by a decided 
majority, in a district recently very strongly Democratic, shows 
that he is popular at home, and that his valuable services and 
undoubted capacity are appreciated. 

Mr. Cocheu has a ratlier dark complexion, with a coun- 
tenance which, though mild and pleasant in its expression, 
denotes a strongly marked individuality. He does not have 
much to say, but he manifests keen interest in the progress 
of legislation. He has already attained prominence in the 
■ House, and is known as a man of fine instincts and generous 
sympathies. He attends the Episcopal Church. 

Henry J. Coqoeshall. 173 


Mr. CoGGESHALL was born at Waterville, Oneida county, 
N. Y., April 28th, 1845. His education was gained at the 
Seminary in his native village, from which he graduated in 
1862. Soon after his graduation he entered upon a course 
of law study in the office of E. H. Lamb, Esq., of Water- 
ville. Being admitted to the practice of law in 1866, he has, 
until the present time, been sedulously engaged in profes- 
sional labors at Waterville. 

From 1869 to 1872, Mr. Coggeshall held the position of 
Assistant District Attorney of Oneida county. Duriug the 
past year he has been chairman of the Eepublicai. town 
committee of Sangerfield. He is a member of the board of 
trustees of Waterville, and for the last four years has fre- 
quently been elected delegate to district and county conven- 
tions. He was sent as delegate to the Republican State con- 
vention held at Elmira in May, 1872, and was there elected 
alternate delegate to the Eepublican National convention 
held in Philadelphia. 

In addition to the political trusts imposed upon him by 
his constituents, he has held several positions of honor and 
popular confidence in his native town, having been for sev- 
eral years prominent in furthering the interests of church 
and school, and various charitable enterprises. 

Mr. Coggeshall is well known in Oneida and adjoining 
counties as an eloquent and trenchant speaker. He has de- 
livered able addresses before agricultural and temperance 
societies, giving expression at all times to broad, liberal 
and generous views. As a friend of the soldier he has, with 
fervid unction, eulogized the memory of our slain military 
heroes, on successive Decoration Days, and has ever aimed to 
promote the welfare of those who imperiled their lives in 
our countiy's service. 

174 Life Sketches. 

During the late Presidential campaign he rendered valiant 
aid tj the Republican cause, which he warmly and ingenu- 
ously espoused. With pen and voice he gave his best efforts 
to the pi'omotion of a Republican triumph, performing with 
ardor the onerous duties devolving upon him. Possessing a 
warm and sympathetic heart, a clear and analytical brain, a 
calm and mature judgment, he worked with energy to secure 
the victory. During the canvass he developed remarkably 
his great natural gifts ; and a rare, convincing intellect has 
placed him where he worthily belongs, among the foremost 
of Oneida county's distinguished political orators. 

Mr. CoGGESHALL has always been a Republican. He was 
elected to the Assembly by a majority of 462 over REUBEif 
S. Bingham, Liberal. 


One of the most agreeable members of the New York 
delegation is William W. Cook, who is now serving his 
fourth consecutive term as a representative from the Twelfth 
district of that city. He rose from the ranks of the working- 
men, and owing partly to his well-known personal qualities 
and partly to the fact that he is ever watchful of their inter- 
ests, Mr. Cook is very popular among that class in the 
metropolis. He was born in Philadelphia on the 12th of 
October, 1832. When he was but two years old his parents 
removed to New York city. He attended Public School No. 
4 quite steadily previous to his fourteenth year, when he was 
apprenticed to the trade of mason. He served faithfully 
four years, when he laid aside the trowel, and has not since 
resumed it as a means of livelihood. In 1854 he was 
appointed to an important position in the melting and 
refining department of the United States Assay Office, 
which he held until he was elected to the Assembly in the 

John Cope. 175 

fall of 1869. Tlie manner in which he performed his duties 
while in the service of the govei-nment demonstrated his 
fitness for almost any position requiring industry, integrity 
and general ability, and he gained the confidence and esteem 
of all with whom he came in contact. 

Mr. Cook has always affiliated with the Tammany wing of 
the Democracy, invariably carrying his district by very 
decided majorities. In 1869 his majority over two competi- 
tors was 1,500 ; in 1870, 1,29S ; in 1871, over three competi- 
tors, 274; and in 1872, 639. He has served on vai-ious com- 
mittees, among which may be mentioned those on Banks, 
Public Health Printing, Manufacture of Salt, and others. 
In this session he is a member of the Committee on Petitions 
of Aliens, and the Sub-Committee of the Whole. 


Mr. Cope is of English descent, his father, who was born 
in Staffordshire, in the year 1798, emigrating to this country 
about the year 1800. The subject of this sketch was born on 
the 1st of March, 1821, at New Lisbon, Otsego county, and 
he is therefore about fifty-two years of age. His education 
was obtained in the common and select schools of Otsego 
county, and at tlie age of fourteen he commenced his busi- 
ness life in the counting-room of a manufacturing company 
at Morris, in that county. He remained at Morris some 
eighteen years, gaining a reputation for persistent industry 
and correct business habits. About the year 1852, however, 
he removed to Oneonta and engaged in mercantile business 
on liis own account, which he lias successfully carried on up 
to the present time, being now one of the most substantial 
and prominent citizens of that thriving village. He is Presi- 
dent of the First National Bank of Oneonta, and is in all 

176 Life Sketches. 

respects a wide-awake and enterprising citizen. The fact 
that he has served almost continuously in the Board of 
Supervisors of Otsego county, during a period of twelve 
years, suflSciently indicates the opinion entertained by his 
neighbors concerning him. 

He was first elected to the Board in 1861, re-elected in 
1864, and since that year he has been regularly chosen each 
spring to represent the town of Oneonta in the county legis- 

Mr. Cope wis a Whig while that party existed, and voted 
for Heket Clay in 1844. When the Eepublican party was 
organized, he immediately joined its ranks, and has since 
been an unwavering advocate of its principles and candi- 
dates. He is an efiBcient worker as member of the Com- 
mittees on Villages and on Banks. 


Mr. Cornell represents the Fourteenth district of New 
York city, and is a man of solid worth and decided ability. 
He was born in that city on the 13th of February, 1837. He 
is a Democrat of the sturdy, uncompromising type, as were 
his fathers before him, and is identified with the Tammany 
wing of the party. In personal appearance he is a well-built 
man, standing about five feet eleven, with a well-balanced 
head set on a stout neck. His frame is closely knit and well 
covered with muscle, so that physically he is a fine specimen 
of a man. His face denotes truth and sincerity, and firm- 
ness, if not stubbornness of character ; yet he has a mild blue 
eye and quite pleasing expression of features. His disposi- 
tion and social qualifications are such as to gather around 
him firm and lasting friends. As a business man he is one 
of those who have the foresight to look well ahead, and the 
courage to take risks where others would hesitate. He 

Charles 0. Cornell 177 

acquired a competency in his business before he entered the 
field of politics, and, with his business habits, had he 
ignored the honors of office, he might have been far more 
wealthy than he is at present. 

Mr. CoENELL is greatly esteemed and respected in the 
district which he represents. His political course has been 
open and faithful to his party and to his friends. Even with 
his political opponents he bears the reputation of being 
a man of honor and truth. He served several years in the 
city government, and in one of its branches as its presiding 
officer. During the years 1863, 1864, 1865 and 1866, he filled 
the onerous position of Street Commissioner, holding the 
place longer, and giving better satisfaction in the discharge 
of its duties, perhaps, than any other incumbent. During 
the last year in which he performed its duties, the office was 
made a sort of scape-goat for all the so-called reform inter- 
ests, and he was so harrassed and annoyed that he retired 
from the position. 

Mr. CoKNELL has served two terms in the State Senate 
with distinguished ability, representing the Fifth district. 
He was first elected in the fall of 1861, and again in 1865. 
His career in the upper House during both terms was highly 
honorable to himself and to his constituency, and he was 
instrumental in initiating and perfecting much valuable 

Mr. CoKNELL served the full period of his time in the 
Eighth Regiment, New York State Militia, and was among 
the first to volunteer his services, at the breaking out of the 
war. He served with his regiment with great credit, and 
was in command during most of the Bull Run battle. 
During the long struggle with the South, he was an unflinch- 
ins Union man, and an advocate of law and order. When 
the draft riots broke out in the city of New York, he rendered 
efficient service, for which he was publicly complimented by 
Mayor Opdykb. 

He was elected to the Assembly last fall, by a plurality of 

178 Life Sketches. 

491, two candidates being opposed to him. He is recognized 
as one of the ablest members of the New York delegation. 
While not particularly ambitious to distinguish himself as a 
debater, he knows how to make a forcible speech when the 
occasion requires. He was especially prominent in his oppo- 
sition to the New York charter measure of this session. He 
is courteous and affable with every one, while his legislative 
tact and sagacity are unquestioned. He is a member of 
the Uommittees on Banks, and on Public Health. 


The member from the Third district of Oneida is a kindly, 
pleasant-faced gentleman of perhaps fifty years of age. A 
thorough Irishman, Mr. Costello possesses in a marked 
degree the best traits of the large-hearted and impulsive race 
to which he belongs. He was born in the old country, and 
emigrated to America at an early age. About the year 1848 
he established himself, though on a small scale, in a tannery 
at Camden, Oneida county. In this business he was asso- 
ciated with his nephew, Patrick C. Costello, who was a 
Member of Assembly in 1859, and a candidate for Presi- 
dential elector in 1868. The Costellos were excellent and 
prudent managers, and their business has prospered to such 
a degree, that their Oneida county concern is now one of the 
largest leather manufactories in this State. They also carry 
on the hide and leather business in New York city on a 
large scale. 

Mr. Costello has mingled very little in politics, preferring 
to devote his best energies to his business ; but he has never- 
theless always been warmly devoted^to Republican principles 
since the party had an organization. Last fall, much 
against his inclination, he was induced to accept the Assem- 
bly nomination in opposition to George K. Carroll, a 

Peter Couchman. 179 

member of the last Assembly, and though the district is 
usually Democratic by a majority of four or five hundred, 
he was elected by seven hundred and eighty-nine majority. 
This decided mark of popular confidence is evidently not 
misplaced, as Mr. CosjEjiLO is a man of sound judgment, 
great activity and l»i^*.e; business capacity, united with liberal 
views and coiTect principles. He is not a man of great ora- 
torical ability, but, what is better, he possesses an appreciar 
tion of the practical duties of legislation, and is regarded as 
a valuable member of the House. He is a devout Eoman 
Catholic, and in all his dealings with others he is scrupu- 
lously exact and truthful. 


Mr. Couchman is the largest member in the House, and 
though his towering form is seldom to be observed among 
those who engage in the frequent oratorical conflicts on the 
floor, his keen, black eye intently watches the progress of 
legislation, and no man is, as a rule, better posted upon the 
merits of every question than the member from Schoharie. 
When occasion requires, however, he is able to state his views 
as clearly, logically and sensibly as many of the gentlemen^ 
who possess much greater fluency of speech. Quiet and 
reserved in manner, he is always in his place, fully awake 
to the welfare of his constituents and the public. 

Mr. Couchman was born in the town of Broome, Scho- 
harie county, July 28, 1833. His parents were both natives 
of this State, but of Dutch descent; his father, Philip 
Couchman, having filled the oflSces of Supervisor and Jus- 
tice of the Peace in Schoharie county for a number of years. 
Until about the age of thirty, Mr. Couchman continued to 
reside in the place of his birth, and was brought up to the 
occupation of a farmer, receiving meanwhile a good common 

180 Life Sketches. 

school education. Eleven years since, and shortly after his 
marriage to Mart B. Bloodgood, an estimable lady, he 
removed to Conesville, where he still resides. For several 
years he was engaged in the hardware business at Windham 
Center, with D. S. Kingsley, but he sold out his interest in 
the concern about a year ago, and now, as far as is consistent 
with public duties, he devotes himself to the management 
of a productive farm. Mr. Couchman has been honored by 
his fellow-citizens iu an unusual degree, having been elected 
Supervisor eight times in succession. In the fall of 1871 he 
was elected to the Assembly, and notwithstanding the popu- 
larity of his opponent, Luman Eeed, he received a majority 
of 1,133. His course in the last House, in which he served 
on the Committees on Internal Affairs, Grievances, and 
Expenditures of the House, gave such satisfaction to his con- 
stituents that he was returned by nearly the same majority. 
Mr. Couchman has always been a straight dyed-in-the- 
wool Democrat, and it is probably a sufficient indication of 
his personal character to state that he has never tasted strong 
drink in his life. In September last he sustained a severe 
affliction in the death of his wife. 


Dr. Cranpall was born in Genesee, Allegany county, 
March 23, 1828, and is, therefore, in the prime of a vigorous 
manhood. He is the son of Ezeeiel Crandall, a native 
of Westerly, E. I., who held a Major's commission in the 
war of 1813, serving with honor in the defenses of Ehode 
Island and Connecticut. The elder Crandall died in 1855, 
at the age of 71 years. He was a farmer during the greater 
portion of his life, and settled in Allegany county about 
three years anterior to the birth of the subject of this sketch. 

Young Crandall was raised on his father's farm, but he 

William W. Grand all. 181 

developed very little taste for agriculture. In accordance 
with his evident predilection, he was suffered to indulge hie 
inclination for study to a very liberal extent. After passing 
with credit through the curriculum of study at Alfred 
Academy, Mr. Ckakdall, about the year 1848, secured a 
teacher's license from Victoe M. Kice, Superintendent of 
Public Instruction, and taught in the public schools of New 
York and Khode Island for several years, occupying hi» 
leisure in the mean time in diligent study. He entered upon 
the scientific course at Brown University, at Providence, E. 
I., spending about two years there, but before he graduated 
his father became a sufiferer from cancer in the face, and 
duty called him home to take charge of the farm and the 
care of his parent's infirmity. Not expecting to return to 
study, and the prospect then being that he would continue at 
farming, he was married to Miss E. Euphemie Potter, July 
5th, 1853. The elder Ckandall survived under his malady 
two years, and arrangements being made whereby an elder 
brother took charge of the farm and the invalid parent, he 
turned to the study of medicine, passing through the course 
of the Medical Department of the University of New York, 
and graduating in the year 1858, with the usual diploma, 
and a "certificate of honor" conferred for extra qualifica- 
tions. His technical education thus completed. Dr. Ckan- 
DALL spent a year or two in England, closely studying the 
schools of medicine and hospitals of London, and on his 
return settled in a lucrative medical practice. The Doc- 
tor is about the medium height, of pleasing manners and 
appearance, and though not remarkable as a fluent debater, 
he is very earnest in the advocacy of any measure in which 
his feelings or his sense of right and duty are enlisted. In 
view of his fifteen years successful practice as a physician, he 
occupies a peculiarly appropriate position in the present 
House, as Chairman of the Committee on Public Health, and 
in that capacity has been actively instrumental in initiating 
several important measures. He was a member last year. 

182 Life Sketcbes. 

having been chosen by the handsome majority of 2,742 over 
Ittai J. Elliot, his Democratic competitor. His record was 
80 unexceptionable that he was returned last fall by a 
majority of 2,913 over Miner, the "Liberal" candidate. 
Mr. Crandall is a staunch E«publican, as was also his 
father, after the division of the Whig party, with which he 
had always previously acted. 


The member from the Twenty-first district of New York 
is a self-made man, having won an enviable position in the 
legal profession solely by the aid of his own exertions and 
his inherent natural gifts. Mr. Crary was born in Williams- 
ville, Erie county, on the 2d of May, 1823, and is, therefore, 
still in the prime of life. He was the son of Gen. Leonard 
P. Crakt, a native of Vermont, who died near Buffalo when 
the subject of our sketch was but twelve years of age. Young 
Crart remained at home, attending school occasionally until 
his seventeentti year, when he entered the printing office of 
Abraham Dinsmore, in Buffalo, and spent two years as an 
apprentice. His ambitious spirit, however, indulged in 
aspirations which the types and composing stick could not 
satisfy. His elder brother, Leonard P. Crary, had already 
won some distinction as a lawyer in Milwaukee, Wis., and 
thither he determined to proceed. His brother gave him the 
advantages of his office, and for nearly two years he remained 
there, paying his way by setting type in the newspaper offices, 
and devoting his leisure moments to hard study. At the end 
of that period he returned to Buffalo, and continued the 
same course of life, varied by one or two terms of school 
teaching in the town of Willink. In 1845 he moved to 
Salem, in Washington county, where he entered the office of 
John Crary, once a candidate for Lieutenant-Governor, 

Charles Grary. 183 

and somewhat of a celebrity. Here he remained fourteen 
years, and not only mastered his chosen profession, but 
established a good reputation, and won the confidence and 
esteem of his fellow-citizens. In 1859 he removed to New 
York city, and soon became established in a lucrative practice 
in ihe metropolis. Two years afterward he published a work 
on the " Law and Practice in Special Proceedings," which is 
BO exhaustive in its treatment of the subject, and so well fills 
a manifest legal want, that it has since passed through 
several editions, and no law library is now deemed complete 
without it. Mr. Crabt, since his sojourn in the metropolis, 
has identified himself prominently with the best interests of 
the city. He was for several years President of the Eastside 
Association, an organization having for its object the carry- 
ing out of needful public improvements, and the promotion 
of municipal reform. He is also an eflScient member of 
the Committee of Seventy. In politics he has always been a 
Democrat, belonging to the reform or progressive wing of 
the party, and bowing to no dictation of rings or cliques. 
During tbe war he acted with the Republicans and war 
Democrats, espousing with enthusiasm the cause of the 
Union, and in 1868 he voted for Gen. Grant. In the last 
election, however, he suppoi-ted Horace Greeley for Presi- 

Mr. Chart possesses undoubted talent as a public speaker, 
and without being impassioned or very brilliant in style, he 
is plain, logical and fluent, influencing his hearers more 
by earnest, direct, convincing statement, than by ornately 
rounded periods or exalted flights of eloquence. In person, 
he is tall, well proportioned, straight as an arrow, with dark 
complexion, and large, earnest, dark gray eyes. He is easy 
and courteous in manner ; and is, in fact, in every way well 
constituted to secure a large measure of popularity. 

184 Live Sketches. 


Although not really a native of this country, Mr. Craw- 
ford may be justly considered such, as his father, an eminent 
Methodist divine, was born and reared in Saratoga Springs. 
He, however, removed to Brantford, Ont, where the subject 
of this sketch was born on the 13th day of July, 1831. Pre- 
vious to his ninth year, Mr. Crawford gained some rudiment- 
ary knowledge in a public school. From that time until his 
twenty-first year, he enjoyed no educational advantages, except 
such as he availed himself of in moments of leisure. He 
learned a trade, however, that of maker of agricultural imple- 
ments, and succeeded in saving some money, which he deter- 
mined to devote entirely to gaining an education. He 
entered Cazenovia Seminary in 1852, and spent four years in 
that institution, graduating in 1856 very successfully. 

Like his father, he is a minister of the Methodist persuasion, 
and is a member of the Central New York Conference, in 
which he has preached with considerable success for sixteen 
years past. About a year previous to his graduation he mar- 
ried Miss Elizabeth A. Porter, of Cazenovia. He resides 
at Cazenovia where, in addition to his ministerial duties, he 
superintends the cultivation of a farm of 290 acres, and 
attends to other business operations. 

In 1870, he was active in promoting the establishment of 
the Syracuse University, an institution which is now well 
known throughout the State. He not only made a donation 
of $25,000 from his own means to the project, but it was 
largely by his influence and exertions that a plot of land 
was secured for its use, and he has in other ways rendered 
material aid to the enterprise. He manages an establishment 
for the manufacture of mowing machines and other agricul- 
tural implements, whose profits are in part devoted to the 

JosEPB F. Crawford. 185 

University, and he also acts as its agent, performing much 
efficient service in that capacity. 

Mr. Crawford is a man of great force of character and 
executive ability, and brings to the performance of the mul- 
tifarious duties devolving upon him all the energy and 
decision characterizing a well-balanced and cultivated mind. 
He adds to great mental resources untiring industry, as is 
evidenced by the fact that he is able to attend and do full 
justice to his various duties as minister, business agent, 
farmer, manufacturer and legislator, all of which necessi- 
tate a voluminous correspondence, and an immense amount 
of work. The secret of his success lies in the fact that one of 
his inflexible rules is to perform each day all the duties belong- 
ing to that day, and never to procrastinate. It is worthy of 
note, also, that amid all his engrossing occupations, he finds 
a little time to devote to literary pleasures, and has recently 
published, iinder his own supervision, a volume of poems of 
merit, under the title of "Echoes from Dreamland." 

He is earnest in and out of the House in the advocacy of 
all measures of refoim and retrenchment, a zealous supporter 
of the temperance measures introduced during the present 
session, and is always found on the Christian and moral side 
of every question. 

As a public speaker, he possesses rare gifts. His voice is full 
and well modulated, and being well skilled in all the graces 
of oratory, his earnest and deliberate style of delivery never 
fails to secure the attention of the House. Strictly speak- 
ing, he is not a politician, but he has always taken an active 
interest in the political movements of the day, and his influ- 
ence has been felt in the Kepublican party since its organiza- 
tion, previous to which he voted and acted with the Whig 
party. Although never a seeker for political preferment, his 
many and obvious qualifications for legislative position were 
seen and recognized by the Republicans of his district, and 
he was induced to be their candidate in the canvass of last 
fall. He was elected by a very decided majority, Geo. Berrt 

186 Life Sketcbes. 

of Oneida being his Democratic opponent. He has been 
assigned to the Chairmanship of the Committee on Charita- 
ble and Religious Societies, and is a member of the Committee 
on Internal Affairs. 

Mr. Crawford is six feet and one inch high, weighs 200 
pounds, wears a full beard, and is as good a figure of a man 
as one often meets. 


The member from the First district of Ulster county is a 
straight- forward man of business, and such men are peculiarly 
valuable in legislative halls. His parents were born in 
Ireland, and, emigrating to this country shortly after their 
marriage, settled in Ulster county, ia the fall of 1837. They 
were industrious, frugal people, and young Cummlngs, who 
was born in London, on the 13th of September, 1835, inheri- 
ted these traits, to which in a large degree is due his success 
in life. He received a fair common school education, and 
began life as an engineer, at the age of twenty-one. Two 
years later he became superintendent of the lime and 
cement business at Wilbur. He acted in that capacity a 
number of years, and finally became a partner in the concern, 
which yields a large revenue. He is also engaged in the 
flour and feed business, and in all his business ventures, 
has been quite successful. He is a man of high standing in 
the city of Kingston, where he now resides, and was recently 
elected city Assessor, by a unanimous vote. In politics he 
is an unflinching and life-long Democrat. Though he has 
never sought ofiice and place, he has generally been quite 
active in party organizations. He was elected to the Assem- 
bly last fall by a majority of 394 over Clifford Coddingtok, 
Republican, in a district which gave over 700 Republican 

John N. Da vidso/t. 187 

majority, in 1871. His religious faith is that of his fathers, 
Roman Catholic. He was married to Anna Mubrat, in the 
year 1865. 


John Nesmith Davidson, of Wyoming county, was bom 
in Wyndham, Rockingham county, New Hampshire, April 
14, 1834. He is of Scotch-Irish descent, through both 
parents, whose ancestors settled in Londonderry, in the same 
State, and he inherits many of tb*" solid virtues characteristic 
of the sturdy north of Ireland race. In person, Mr. David- 
son is tall and slender, and though a young man, his 
demeanor is marked by a quiet, reserred dignity, tempered 
with unassuming modesty. His countenance bears the un- 
mistakeable impress of sterling honesty and unquestion- 
ing candor. An examination of his record as a member of 
Assembly affords full confirmation of this estimate. No bill 
ever received his indorsement or vote unless he felt satisfied 
that it was not only a proper measure, but one demanded by 
the best interests of the people. Strictly upright in thought 
and action, he is the inflexible foe of every thing in the shape 
of " rings " or legislative jobs, and keenly alive to the inter- 
ests of his constitutents. Mr. Davidson has received a good 
education, graduating at Alfred Academy in the year 1854, 
after passing with high honor through the full academic 
course. Since then he has pursued the occupation of farm- 
ing and occasionally teaching school. Mr. D. is unmarried, 
which may be partially accounted for from the fact that his 
mother is still living, and claims his regard in an unusual 
degree. Mr. Davidson's religious faith is not strictly 
bounded by creeds and dogmas, though he is a firm believer in 
the Christian faith. He is a man of acts, rather than of pro- 
fessions, and is inclined to treat all men as brethren who act 

188 LiFJS Sketches. 

in a fraternal spirit. In politics he is an ardent Kepublican, 
being firmly imbued with the distinctive principles of that 
party. Though he never sought public position, he was 
induced, in the fall of 1871, to alloAv his name to be used as a 
candidate for the Assembly. He was elected by a handsome 
majority, and was re-elected last fall by a greatly increased 


Mr. Deeeikg enjoys the distinction of being the youngest 
member of the present House, being as yet under twenty-two 
years of age. He was born in New York city in July, 1851. 
As is the case with several of the active members of the 
present Legislature, Mr. Deerikq's parents came from the 
north of Ireland, and the sturdy independence and hearty 
generosity characterizing the people of that country are 
fully expressed in the frank countenance of this young 
New Yorker. Mr. Deering has enjoyed ample educational 
advantages, and before he had reached his nineteenth year 
he had graduated with the degree of A. M., from Manhattan 
College, and also from Columbia College Law School, with 
the degree of LL. B. He immediately commenced the practice 
of law, and is rapidly winning a reputation in that profession. 
For three years past he has been Secretary of the West-Side 
Property Owners' Association, of the Twelfth Ward. In the 
recent canvass Mr. Deeking was known as a " straight-out " 
Democrat, and was the only individual of that stripe elected 
in New York last fall. The fact that he was chosen to the 
Assembly by a majority of 460, in what has heretofore been 
a strong Tammany district — Thomas C. Fields having 
carried it by large majorities the two previous years — 
is a striking illustration of the change that has been 
wrought in New York politics, and constitutes a splendid 

Augustus Denniston. 189 

personal compliment to Mr. Deebing. Mr. D. has, on 
several occasions during the present session, shown marked 
ability as a public speaker and an acute reasoner, and he does 
not hesitate, when the occasion arises, to cross lances with 
any of the old debaters of the House. Being hampered by 
no cliques or rings in his political connection, he is also in 
a position to be perfectly untrammeled in the expression of 
his opinions on the floor. His tendencies have been toward 
the Apollo Hall wing of the Democracy, but we believe he 
came to the Legislature entirely unpledged to any specified 
course. Mr. Deeking is a man of robust physique and fine 
presence, which causes him to appear much older than he 
really is. He is a consistent member of the Roman Catholic 
church, and is still a bachelor. 


Though quite a young man, Mr. Denniston has passed 
through quite an eventful career, and has already shown that 
he possesses the characteristics of the Scotch-Irish ancestry 
from which he sprung. He was born on the 25th of May, 
1842, at Blooming Grove, Orange county, where he still 
resides. His father was the late Hon. Eobekt Denniston, 
who, in old Barnburner times, was distinguished for his 
integrity, force of character and ability during several years 
of service in both Houses of the Legislature, and one term as 
Comptroller of the State. Young Denniston was educated 
by private tutors at home, and enjoys, therefore, a very 
thorough acquaintance with all the practical branches of 
knowledge. In 1860, when his father was elected Comptrol- 
ler, he accompanied him to Albany as his confidential secre- 
tary, and diligently availed himself of the opportunity thus 
aflforded of becoming familiar with the practical details of 

190 Life Sketches. 

legislation. At the expiration of the two years term of ser- 
vice, Mr. Denniston was seized with the war fever, then 
widely prevalent among young men, and receiving the ap- 
pointment of Quartermaster of the 124th Regiment, New 
York volunteers, h.e went to the front with the gallant Col. 
Ellis. He made an excellent Quartermaster, winning the 
good opinion of the entire regiment, but the severity of camp 
life was too much iov him, and he was compelled to resign 
after about six months service, having contracted a disease 
by which he was prostrated nearly a twelve-month after his 
return. Mr. Denniston belongs to a patriotic family. Four 
brothers and a brother-in-law were in the army and navy 
during the great war. Since the death of his father, in 1867, 
Mr. Denniston has been occupied in administering and 
managing the large estate left to his care, as well as being 
trustee of several other estates, and as it includes one of the 
finest farms in Orange county, it furnishes him ample em- 

Almost from boyhood Mr. Dekniston has been active in 
political life, it being his habit always to attend the primary 
conventions, and he has frequently been sent as a delegate to 
various deliberative bodies. He was never elected to office 
until last fall, however, and is the first Assemblyman elected 
in many years from the country portion of his district, the 
member being generally taken from the city of Newburgh. 
His personal popularity is indicated by the fact that he re- 
ceived a majority of nearly nine hundred over a very popular 
Liberal Eepublican opponent, Alexander Leslie, of New- 
burgh. Mr. Denniston" is a gentleman of pleasant manners 
and incorruptible character, possessing in a large degree 
those qualities which are essential to the able legislator. He 
is a consistent member of the Presbyterian church, and, in 
all the public and private relations of life, is without re- 
proach. He has never married, and, with the exceptions 
already noted, has always lived on the farm occupied by h*ii3 
father and grandfather. 

SsYMOUR Dexter. 191 


Mr. Dextek was bom in Independence, Allegany county, 
March 20, 1841. He is the son of Daniel Dextee, a native 
of Herkimer county, who is still living at Independence, at 
the age of 67. His mothei-'s maiden name was Angelina 
Beiggs. She is also living, being ten years younger than her 
husband. Mr. Dextee's early youth was spent upon his 
father's farm. On reaching a suitable age, he entered Alfred 
University, from whence he graduated ia July, 1864, and 
afterward studied law in the office of J. L. Woods, at Elmira. 
He was admitted to the bar in May, 1866, and is now a mem- 
ber of the law fii-m of Dexter & Van Duzee, at Elmira. 
Though quite a young man, Mr. Dextee has gained a wide 
reputation as an able advocate, and his success thus far indi- 
cates a promising future. The rebellion broke out while he 
was pursuing his studies at Alfred University, but he 
promptly responded to the call for men, enlisting as a private 
in the 23d Regiment, New Yoi'k Volunteers, in April, 1861. 
The regiment shared in the good and ill-fortune which fell 
to the lot of the Army of the Potomac during the first year 
of the war, Mr. Dexter remaining with it and participating 
in innumerable battles and skirmishes, until the expiration 
of his two years term of service. He was then honorably 
discharged with a non-commissioned grade. 

Though Mr. Dextee has always been a Eepublican, he 
has never been ambitions for office. Last year he held the 
position of City Attorney in Elmira, and discharged its 
duties with marked credit. For several years, however, he 
has been prominent in Elmira politics, and has become quite 
popular. His canvass last fall was in some respects remark- 
able. For six years past, Chemung county has sent Demo- 
cAtic representatives to Albany, usually by decided majori- 
ties. Last fall Mr. Dextee was nominated by acclamation. 

192 Life Sketcbbs. 

and was elected, after a most spirited contest, by a majority 
of 350, a gain of 750 votes over the previous year, when 
David B. Hill, a Democrat, was elected. Mr. Dextee's 
opponent was John A. Eeynolds, a well-known citizen of 
Elmira. Mr. Dexter was married in June, 1868, to 
Ella E. Weaver, of Leonardsville, Madison county, a very 
accomplished lady, and, by the way, a graduate of the ladies' 
collegiate course at Alfred University. He is a member of 
Kev. T. K. Beechek's Congregational Church at Elmira, 
and is a man greatly esteemed in the social circles of that 
city, and respected in all classes of society. In person, he is 
about the medium height. He possesses no marked physi- 
ognomical characteristics, but is simply a man of the ordi- 
nary American type, genial, courteous, intelligent, and a 
favorite with those who are so fortunate as to possess his 
friendship. As a member of Assembly, he has shown great 
aptitude for legislative duties, and is a forcible and eloquent 
speaker. As a member of the Committees on the Judiciary 
and State Prisons, he is active and eflBcient. 


James Francis Donahue was born in Brooklyn, where 
he still resides, December 25, 1843. He is a son of Timothy 
and Mart Donahue, who are both natives of Corry, Ire- 
land, and who are still living in Brooklyn at an advanced 
age. In fact, Mr. Donahue comes of a long-lived stock, his 
grandparents having all of them lived to a great age. 
When very young, Mr. Donahue enjoyed some common 
school advantages, but he was able to acquire very little aside 
from the merest rudiments, and he may be said to be really 
self-educated. Since boyhood he has followed various occu- 
pations. He has been at diflFerent times a hatter, a candle- 
maker, and a ship-caulker, and at present he is very success- 

James F. Donasue. 193 

fully engaged in mercantile pursuits. Soon after the break- 
ing out of the rebellion he enlisted as a private in the Four- 
teenth (Brooklyn) Regiment, which was attached to the first 
brigade, first corps, army of the Potomac, and was in all the 
battles in which that noted regiment participated, until nearly 
the close of the war. He never asked nor sought promotion, 
but was content to do his duty as a soldier, regardless of 
nonors or emoluments. In 1868 he was married to an estima- 
ble lady of Brooklyn. During several years past Mr. Dona- 
hue has been an active and influential Democratic politi- 
cian in his district, being frequently called upon to do duty 
as delegate to the Assembly, Senatorial and County conven- 
tions of his party. The good sense and thoroughness with 
which he performed his duties, together with his known per- 
sonal popularity, moved his friends to nominate him for the 
Assembly last fall. He accepted the nomination and was 
elected, after a spirited contest, by a majority of 283 over 
Patrick J. Collins, a Democratic opponent, there being 
no Republican in the field. He is a member of three Com- 
mittees, Public Education, Civil Divisions, and Public 
Lands, and is known as a quiet, attentive and industrious 
legislator. Mr. Donahue is a little below the medium 
height, but he is solidly built and weU-knit together. His 
face, which is round and full, is closely shaven, and, without 
going into details, we may observe that his appearance is 
prepossessing and indicative of much ability, as well as 
capacity to appreciate the social amenities of life. 


194 Life Sketches. 


Mr. Elting was born in the town of Kosendale, Ulster 
county, Jan. 29, 1839. He is descended from French Hugue- 
not stock, his father's name being Dakiel Elting, a native 
of New Paltz, in the same country. His father and mother 
are still living, the latter now fifty-five years of age, being of 
Holland descent and a native of Kochester, Ulster county. Her 
maiden name was Eai;hel Schooxmakek. Young Eltiug 
was educated in the common schools, and at EUenville High 
School, and after leaving school entered mercantile life as a 
clerk, and followed that occupation several years. For a 
long period, and until within a year or two, he was foreman 
of repairs on the Delaware and Hudson canal. Besides his 
present position, he has never held any public office except 
that of Town Collector. 

In the spring of 1861, being at that time engaged as clerk, 
Mr. Elting enlisted in Company E, Twentieth Eegiment, 
New York State Militia, for three months. He was appointed 
to the grade of Sergeant, and served with the regiment until 
its return. He was then commissioned 1st Lieutenant in 
Co. G, 56th New York Volunteers, and served through most 
of the hardest fighting of the war. He was in the memora- 
ble Peninsula campaign, sharing in the honors won by the 
regiment ; his conduct at the battle of Fair Oaks being such 
that he was pi'omptly promoted, on the field, to a Captaincy 
in the same command. Subsequently he participated with 
marked credit in the campaigns in North and South Caro- 
lina, and was present at the protracted bombardment of Fort 
Sumter. When the regiment re-enlisted in the fall of 1864^, 
Captain Er,TiNG resigned his commission and returned to 
civil life. 

Mr. Elting is a straight-forward Republican, active in the 
performance of his legislative duties, a pleasant, courteous. 

Henry L. Fish. 195 

gentleman, and in all respects an honor to Ms district. He 
was married Dec. 15, 1864, to Miss Maky Bhodhead. He 
is a member of the Committees on Roads and Bridges, Public 
Printing, and Militia. 


Mr. Fish is a fit representative of the flourishing commer- 
cial city of Eochester, which embraces by far the largest 
assembly constituency in the State, there being fully 60,000 
inhabitants within its boundaries. Having been engaged in 
the forwarding and commission business in that city for 
many years, he is fully conversant with all its requirements, 
and knows precisely what legislation is needed, not only for 
the healthy development of its commercial interests, but for 
securing to its citizens good municipal government, and coii- 
•sequent progressive social tendencies. Mr. Fish has always 
been known as a Democrat of advanced views and liberal 
ideas. During the rebellion years, he was classified as a war 
Democrat, and such he was, ip the best sense of the phrase, 
inasmuch as he favored no half-way measures in that contest. 
Since the war closed he has retained his party association, 
but invariably held himself at liberty to vote the best men 
into office, without much regai'd to political affiliation. 
Being brought by his extensive business relations into close 
intimacy with " canal men " and canal interests, he is fully 
conversant with the needs and capabilities of New York's 
great water highway, holding decided views in regard to the 
policy which should guide its management. Speaker 
CoEKELL paid a handsome compliment to his sagacity and 
experience in this respect, when he gave him the second 
place upon the Canal Committee, and in reference to matters 
which came before that committee, Mr. Fish's counsel and 
co-operation are valued by every member of the House. 

196 Life Sketches. 

Mr. Fish's parents, who are both dead, were natives of 
Massachusetts, and he was born in Amherst, Mass., on the 
25th of October, 1815. Three years later his father's family 
moved to this State, settling in Wayne county, where he 
followed the occupation of farming for many years. Young 
Pish was brought up on the farm, receiving, meanwhile, 
a good common school education. In the year 1840, he 
located in Rochester, and engaged in the business which he 
still carries on successfully. He is now a member of the firm 
of Fish & Heath (formerly Fish, Ellison & Co.), Forward- 
ers and Commission Merchants, and was one of the founders, 
and still a part owner, of the Eochester Transportation Com- 
pany, one of the heaviest freighting lines in western New 
York. During several years, he was also President, Treas- 
urer and part owner of the Eochester Towing Company, 
another very extensive concern. It will therefore be seen 
that Mr. Fish is one of the " solid men " of Rochester, and 
it may also well be imagined that he has played no insignifi- 
cant part in the political and municipal history of that city. 

Never a strong partisan, in any sense, he has always 
espoused the cause of the people, and labored to secure the 
greatest good to the greatest number. He is, therefore, very 
popular among all classes. For two decades he has resided 
in the Eighth ward of Eochester, and during that period he 
has been almost constantly in the service of the city in some 
capacity. As he always acted in his political connection 
with the Democratic party, he has frequently been a member 
of the city and county committees, in which he has ren- 
dered effective campaign service. Popular appreciation of 
his merits has, however, been generally based on other than 
party considerations. 

His public career may be said to date from 1850, when he 
was elected to serve two years in the Board of Aldermen. 
During the years 1852, 1853 and 1855, he filled the oflBce of 
School Commissioner with credit to himself and advantage 
to the educational interests of the city. In 1854 he was a 

UEyRY L. Fish. 197 

member of the Board of Supervisors. In 1856 he was again 
elected Alderman, and was successively elected for two year 
terms until he had served nine years, being chosen in one 
year to fill a vacancy. While in the Board of Aldermen, he 
was a leading member of all the important committees, and 
was personally identified with every measure designed to 
benefit the city. In 18()7 he was the candidate of his party 
for the Mayoralty, and was elected by a majority of 400. 
His course in this exalted position was so satisfactory that 
he was re-elected in 1868, his opponent being the late Hon. 
Wm. a. Ketnolds, late a member of the Constitutional 
Commission. He was renominated in 1869, but declined 
to run. Since that year he has devoted himself assiduously 
to commercial life. Last fall, however, he was nominated 
for the Assembly by acclamation, at a mass convention of 
citizens called regardless of party affiliations, it being deemed 
desirable, on account of important local issues, to defeat Geo. 
D. LoKD, the regular Democratic candidate, who had repre- 
sented the city two years. Although it promised to interfere 
seriously with his other pursuits, Mr. Fish reluctantly 
accepted the nomination, and was elected by a majority of 
173, his opponent having received a majority of 1,186 the 
year previous. The result was hailed with gratification by 
good men of all parties. 

Mr. Fish's earnestness in the cause of reform is shown by 
the fact that, on the first business day of the session, he in- 
troduced three bills designed to abolish the system of com- 
missions given to the city by the Legislature of 1872. That 
he has not succeeded in securing the repeal of the acts creat- 
ing those commissions is due to no lack of energy and persist- 
ency on his part, as he has labored in season and out of 
season to effect what he deemed the principal object of his 
election to the Assembly. 

Being elected by the people on other than party issues, Mr. 
Fish occupies a particularly independent position in the 
House. He recognizes two facts, however: First. That lie re- 

198 Life Sketches. 

ceived the solid support of the Republicans in the recent can- 
vass ; and, second, that true refoi'm in State and municipal 
administration can best be subserved by supporting the Re- 
publican policy. Hence, he has uniformly acted with the 
majority on party questions. 

Mr. Fish is a fervent and consistent member of the Pres- 
byterian church. He has been married a number of years, 
and has one son. His personal appearance indicates marked 
individuality, in which there is much of the milk of human 
kindness, strong moral and religious convictions, and correct 
ideas of the principles which should govern all the relations 
of life. His countenance, framed in a flowing beard, in 
which the gray of age predominates, is extremely kindly in 
its expression, and faithfully mirrors some of the best traits 
of the human heart. It is a countenance, in short, in which 
one feels implicit confidence. Mr. Fish does not appear to 
be ambitious to excel as a debater, or to gain political promi- 
nence. His sole aim is apparently to perform his duty as a 
legislator acceptably, and in this, we imagine, he will succeed 
to the satisfaction of his constituents. 


The member from Yates is Hon. Mobris B. Flinn of 
Rnshville, who was born in Springport, Cayuga county, on 
the 27th of April, 1811. He therefore ranks among the 
older members of the Assembly. His father was Peter 
Flinn, who was bom in this State and was one of the first 
settlers upon the Cayuga reservation. His mother, whose 
maiden name was Richardson, came from thrifty Pennsyl- 
vania stock, and the two were fair types of the hardy pioneers 
of Western New York. Young Flinist was brought up on 
the farm, but his parents permitted him to enjoy every 
educational opportunity which the country afforded in those 

Morris B. Flinn. 199 

days. He attended common school with considerable regu- 
larity, and he was also a pupil in a village academy for several 
terms. He thus secured as much book-learning, perhaps, as 
a young man in his position required. During his 20th, 21st 
and 22d years he taught school, after which he followed farm- 
ing as a means of livelihood, marrying, in 1836, Miss Eliza 
Thompson. On the death of his wife, in 1851, he relin- 
quished the farm and soon after established himself in the 
hardware business at Rushville, and a few years afterward 
was again married, his second wife being Miss Harriet A. 
Whitn ET. He has continued in the hardware business until 
the present time, and has been quite successful. 

Mr. Flinn's political career has been no more notable 
than that of hundreds of other plain and unassuming, 
yet substantial and useful citizens of the State. During 
his earlier years of manhood he was a Democrat, and 
remained such until the Republican party was organized. 
He then changed his party connection, and has since been 
uniformly identified with the Eepublican organization. 

Although he has for a number of years exerted consider- 
able influence politically, he has never held any oflBce, and it 
was only at the earnest solicitation of his neighbors and 
friends that he consented last fall to be a candidate for the 
Assembly. The fact that he was elected by a majority of 
680 in a county which is usually closely contested, and 
which, in 1871, gave its Eepublican member but 59 majority, 
conclusively indicates the estimation in which he is held at 

Mr. Flink is not one of the talkers of the House, but 
he possesses gifts which more than make up for a lack of 
words, and render him an exceedingly efficient legislator, 
while his many excellent traits of character have caused 
him t6 be highly esteemed at the capital. 

200 Life Sketches. 


Mr. FooT£ represents the Fifth district of Erie county, 
which has heretofore heen Democratic. He is a man of con- 
siderable ability and force of character, having, by dint of 
well-directed energy, worked himself up from poverty to a 
position of comparative affluence. 

Born in England, on the 13th of February, 1844, he was 
brought to this country by his parents when only three 
years old. His youth was spent upon the farm, with inter- 
vals of hard study in the common school and academy. 
During the winters of 1861 and 1862, and also that of 1865, he 
taught school. In 1862 he enlisted as a private in the 116th 
Eegiment of New York Volunteers, and accompanied the Regi- 
ment in the eventful campaign which culminated in the cap- 
ture of Port Hudson. In the sanguinary struggle for the pos- 
session of that stronghold, he lost the forefinger of his right 
hand and the index and middle fingers of his left hand. 
The disability thus occasioned resulted in his honorable dis- 
charge a couple of months later, he having in the mean time 
been promoted to a non-commissioned grade. 

In 1864 he located in the oil regions of Pennsylvania, and 
became interested in certain oil property which proved very 
valuable. He operated several oil wells and kept a hard- 
ware store until 1867, when he left the oil regions, having 
secured a moderate fortune.. He then purchased a farm in 
the town of Hamburgh, Erie county, and has since been 
quietly engaged in agricultural pursuits, in which he has 
been fairly successful. He was married in 1865 to Mary 
G. KiNGSCOTT, of Buffalo. 

Always a strong Eepublican, Mr. Footb has generally been 
quite active in the local councils of his party, but he has 
never before held office. He ran for Supervisor of his town 
two years ago, but was defeated by a small majority, as the 

William L. Ford. 201 

town has generally been Democratic. His majority over Mr. 
Wiley, in the Assembly canvass last fall, was 240. 

Mr. FooTE is a man of quiet manner and modest bearing; 
though he has little to say in debate, he watches the legisla- 
tive proceedings with close, interest, and is seldom absent 
from his seat. 


Mr. FoBD, the member from Broome, is a successful mer- 
chant in the village of Deposit, where he has carried on busi- 
ness for the past twenty-five years. He is not a stranger to 
legislative duties, having been a member of the House in 
1852, and agian last year, when he was chosen to succeed 
the late Hon. Wm. M. Ely. He has made himself quite 
popular in the House, and as his business habits are brought 
to bear upon all the details of legislation with which he is 
connected, he is a very useful member, either in the com- 
mittee room or on the floor. 

He was born at Middleville, Herkimer county, March 12, 
1820, his father being Daxiel Foed,- of Connecticut, who 
died about seven years ago. Mr. Fokd received a thorough 
common school education. Previous to going into business 
on his own account, he married the daughter of Major 
Augustus Morgan, of Binghamton. She died, however, in 
1850, three years later, and, in 1859, he married the daugh- 
ter of Austin Wakd, of Floyd, Oneida county. 

jyir. Fokd was a member of the old Whig organization 
before its dissolution, and afterward joined the Republican 
party, with which he has since acted. Besides his legislative 
service, he was a member of the Broome County Board of 
Supervisors in 1867, and was a delegate to the Republican 
State Conventions of 1871 and 1872. His popularity at 
home is shown by the fact that he carried his county in the 

202 Life Sketches. 

recent canvass by the large majority of 1,280, his opponent 
being Neil T. Childs, a Liberal Kepublican. In the session 
of 1852, he served on the Committee on Trade and Manu- 
factures, and in that of 1872 on State Prisons and on Con- 
gressional Apportionment. In the present session, he is 
Chairman of the Committee on Eoads and Bridges, and 
an efficient member of the Committee on Public Printing. 


The subject of this sketch was born in the town of Clifton 
Park, Saratoga county. New York, on the 27th of January, 
1827. His father was a farmer, and while Mr. Port was still 
a child, removed to Pabius, Onondaga county. In the com- 
mon schools and academies of that section Mr. Pokt was 
educated. Like many of our public men, in early manhood 
he resorted to teaching, alternating summer and winter 
between the duties of the school-room and the labors of the 

In 1855, Mr. Fort went to the city of Syracuse and 
engaged in mercantile pursuits, as a salesman and book- 
keeper. A few years subsequently he accepted an invitation 
from E. B. Judsok, Esq., the well-known banker of Syra- 
cuse, to accompany him to Oswego, where he had become 
interested in the Lake Ontario Bank. This invitation was 
accepted, and in 1863 Mr. Fort succeeded to the cashiership 
of that institution, a position which he has ably filled to the 
present time. Mr. Judson subsequently returned to Syra- 
cuse, but his early interest in our subject, who still regards 
him as one of his most cherished friends and advisers, has 
never ceased. 

In 1862, Mr. Fort, very unexpectedly to himself, was 
made the Eepiiblican candidate for Mayor of the city of 

Daniel 9. Fort. 203 

Oswego. It was in the stirring days of the war, and the 
excitement ran high. A public meeting was called the 
night before the election in the principal hall of the city, to 
ratify the nomination. The hall was densely packed, and 
npon this occasion Mr. Fokt made his first speech. Young 
and inexperienced in politics, and comparatively unknown 
up to that time, that effort convinced the Eepublicans that 
the confidence of their convention had not been misplaced. 
The late Hon. Henry Fitzhugh, who presided at the meet- 
ing, slapped his hands during the speech, exclaiming, em- 
phatically, " He'll do — he'll do ! " And he did do. 

Mr. Fort was elected. As Mayor, of the city it became 
necessary that he should take an active part in the raising 
of men for the war under the various calls of the govern- 
ment. To this work he lent his full energies. Having 
" broken the ice " in the Eepublican ratification meeting, he 
soon become one of the most eflBcient and ready public 
speakers in the city. He addressed meeting after meeting, 
not only in the city of Oswego, but in all parts of the coun- 
try, and no man in his county rendered the government 
more eflBcient service than he did down to the close of the 

From the close of his term as Mayor down to his election 
to the Assembly in 1871, Mr. Fokt allowed himself to 
become a candidate for no political office. He was elected 
and served a term as a member of the Board of Education 
of the city, in which body he was an active and influential 
member, always laboring to promote the eflSciency of the 
schools and to advance the interests of education. While 
Mayor he became acquainted with the working of the laws 
for the support of the poor of the city, and matured the plan 
which was subsequently adopted, under which the poor of 
the city are now supported. This system, non-partisan in 
operation, is unlike that of any other city in the State. 
Although condemned and severely denounced by the party 
in power in the city when it became a law, it has proved a 

204 Life Sketches. 

great success in every respect, saving the tax payers of the 
city thousands of dollars annually, while the poor are more 
comfortable and better provided for than ever before. This 
system has been so successful in Oswego that no one now 
asks for its repeal, and other cities are looking into its fea- 
tures with a view to its adoption. 

Although, as we have stated, Mr. Fokt, until recently, has 
not allowed himself to be a candidate for any political office, 
no man in his section of the State has been more active in 
promoting the success of the Republican party. A ready, 
popular and effective speaker, the opening of every campaign 
has been the signal for him to take the field in behalf of the 
principles and candidates of his party. During every politi- 
cal canvass during the past few years there is no speaker in 
his county whose services have been so frequently called for 
in every section, and during the late national political can- 
vass his services were frequently called for by the State 
Republican Committee to address meetings in various parts 
of the State. These calls he has always responded to very 
acceptably to the people whenever his business duties would 

Mr. Foet's readiness as a speaker, and his untiring 
activity, have resulted in his frequently being called upon to 
serve his fellow-citizens in various capacities. He is an active 
member of the Board of Trade, and is frequently selected 
to represent his city in commercial, railroad and business 
conventions in various parts of the country. His knowledge 
of the laws of commerce and trade, and his energy of char- 
acter, make his services in such bodies always valuable, and 
reflect credit upon those who make him their representative. 

In 1871 Mr. Fort accepted the Republican nomination in 
his district (the first of Oswego county), for Member of 
Assembly. It was in the palmy days of Tweed. The dis- 
trict was regarded as a close one, and one of the number in 
the State that had been selected, in which extraordinary 
efforts should be made to save the Legislature to the 

Daniel G. Fort. 205 

Pemccracy. That party nominated its most popular man. 
and the contest became an animated one, resulting in the 
election of Mr. Fort. In the Legislature, his knowledge of 
business and commerce gave him the important position of 
Chairman of the Committee on Canals, an unusual compli- 
ment to a new member. The manner in which the duties of 
that committee were discharged fully vindicated the wisdom 
of the Speaker in his selection of its chairman. Mr. Fort, 
in that Legislature, was also complimented by a position upon 
the Committee on Ways and Means, and other important 

It is not too much to say that in the Legislature of 1872 
Mr. Fort was one of the most prominent and influential 
members, and that his legislative record was unspotted ; his 
fidelity to the interests of his constituents and the State was 
unquestioned. In the Republican Convention of his district 
in the fall of 1872, he was complimented by a unanimous 
nomination for re-election. The Democrats and Liberals 
brought out against him Hon. D. C. Littlejohn, who 
accepted the nomination. It was understood at once, all over 
the district, that it was to be a contest between titans. Mr. 
Fort had, to his advantage, a small majority in the district, 
personal popularity, and indomitable "pluck "and energy. 
Mr. Littlejohn" had the prestige of unbroken success as a 
political candidate, almost unbounded popularity, and a per- 
sonal following which could be boasted by but few other 
public men in the State. He was also at the head of the Mid- 
land Railroad, which, with its oflBcers and car works, gave 
him great personal strength. The Democrats and " Liberals " 
entered the contest entirely confident of success. Both can- 
didates, so to speak, stripped for the encounter. It was lit- 
erally a " hand to hand fight." Every other issue was lost 
sight of in the discussions and encounters which followed. 
Probably never in this State had there been so exciting and 
animated a canvass over a question of this kind. It assumed 
moi'e than local importance, and the leaders of both parties, 

206 Life Sketches. 

all over the State, watched the issue with great interest. 
Notwithstanding the great efforts put forth, the sturdy 
Kepublieans of the district stood firm by the principles of 
their party and their candidate. Mr. Fobt was elected by 
one hundred and twenty-nine majority. 

Mr. Fort's prominence in the last Legislature, and the 
notice which the contest in his district attracted throughout 
the State, caused the suggestion of his name for the Speaker- 
ship, and he was frequently urged to become a candidate for 
that honor, but he promptly and peremptorily declined the 
use of his name in that connection. 

In the present Assembly he has been awarded the position of 
Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, by common 
consent regarded as the most important and leading Com- 
mittee of the House. The Chairmanship of this Committee 
is a position rarely attained by one year's service in the Legis- 
lature. That Mr. Fobt has doUe and will do himself honor 
in the prominent place he has reached, no one familiar with 
the doings of the Assembly of the present winter will doubt. 

Mr. Fort is still in the vigor of manhood. In addition to 
his duties as Cashier and principal manager of an important 
banking institution, he is a member of the firm of Whbeler, 
Fort & Co., an extensive Milling house in Oswego, and has 
been engaged in various other business enterprises. He is a 
member of the Congregational Church, and has always taken 
an active part in the enterprises and movements of every 
description to advance the business, moral or religious inter- 
ests of his city. 

With a pleasing address, a hearty and unaffected manner 
which " takes with the people," with ability and energy, and 
at least a laudable ambition, it may safely be believed that 
the subject of this sketch has still before him, either in the 
public or private walks of life, a useful and an honorable 

Thomas M. Fowler. 207 


Mr. PowLEB, who resides in the village of Wayland, was 
a member of the Assembly of 1872, and established a repu- 
tation for faithfulness to duty and honesty of purpose 
greatly to his credit. Though a man of few words, his acts 
are ever prompted by correct understanding and sound con- 
victions, and few members of the last House, or of the 
present one, can show a cleaner record in every way than 
Thomas M. Fovpler. 

Bom in the town of Gorham, Ontario county, on the 25th 
of May, 1823, Mr. F. is now turning a half century of exist- 
ence. He is the son of Kepben W. Fowler, who was born 
in Connecticut shortly after the close of the revolution and 
died in 1856 at the age of 78. Mr. Fowlee'-s mother is still 

Young Fowler was educated mainly at the common 
schools, but he spent some time at the Genesee Wesleyan 
Seminary at Lima, Livingston county, and there perfected 
himself in several branches not so thoroughly taught in the 
district schools of that day. The first regular business he 
engaged in after reaching years of manhood, was that con- 
nected with the operation of a foundry and mill. In this 
he was quite successful, remaining in it up to the year 1870. 
Since that time he has been in the produce and commission 
business, and has also invested pretty lai-gely in the lumber 

Mr. Fowler has been quite active in politics for a num- 
ber of years, and few men in Steuben county possess a larger 
degree of influence in the Kepublican party. Naturally, 
he has been frequently urged to fill positions of trust in the 
gift of the party, and occasionally he has accepted such 
positions. When he has done so he has invariably brought 
to the performance of the duties devolving upon liim, a high 

:i08 Ltfe Sketches. 

degree of ability, as well as a conscientious regard for the 
public interests. 

In 1863 he was chosen Supervisor of the town of Spring- 
water, Livingston county, where he then resided, and so sat- 
isfactorily did he represent his town in the Board that he 
was re-elected the ensuing year without opposition. Kemov- 
ing afterward to Wayland, he soon acquired popularity, and 
in 1871 he was elected to the Assembly and served through 
the session on the Committees on Internal Affairs and on 
Expenditures of the Executive Department. In the pi'esent 
House he is member of the Committees on Eoads and Bridges, 
Two-thirds and Three-fifths Bills, and Joint Library. 

Mr. Fowler had the good or ill fortune to be drafted in 
1864-, but he was discharged before entering the service, 
thereby cutting short what might have been a brilliant mili- 
tary record. 

As may be gathered from the foregoing, Mr. Fowler is 
an earnest Republican, and has been such since the party was 
organized, acting with the Whigs previous to that time. He 
was married in 1848 to Miss Haknah E. Everett, a daugh- 
ter of Hon. B. Everett, of Herkimer county. He is a man 
of quite striking appearance, though he is extremely plain 
and unpretending in his carriage and demeanor. For some 
time previous to taking his seat this session he was afflicted 
with a painful and lingering illness, but he is rapidly regain- 
ing his wonted health. 

John I. Furbeck. 209 


The subject of the present sketch was born in New Scot- 
land, Albany county, October 14, 1827. His father, Johk 
FuKBKCK, who is still living at the age of seventy-six years, 
is also a native of Albany county, and has followed farming 
all his life. Mr. Furbeck received an ample common 
school and academic education, graduating from the Onon- 
daga Academy with all the honors in 1847. Brought up on 
a farm, however, he has adhered to that pursuit during most 
of his life, though he has also engaged in business more or 
less extensively, dealing especially in real estate, tobacco and 
hops. His enterprises have been uniformly successful. 

Mr. Furbeck has been active in politics from early youth, 
acting first with the Whig and then with the Eepublican 
party. It has invariably been his desire to devote his time to 
his business pursuits, and to labor at his own expense for the 
success of the Eepublican party and the advancement of its 
principles. Always prominent in the party caucuses and 
local conventions, he has been relied upon as a trusted leader 
and wise manager. Several times, also, he has been intrusted 
with positions of honor and trust, none of which have been of 
his own seeking. These positions he has uniformly filled with 
fidelity and ability. In 1858 he was elected Justice of the 
Peace, and evinced such manifest fitness for the position that 
he was four times re-elected thereto, and is now an incumbent 
of the magisterial office. The first time he ran for Justice of 
the Peace was when his town was considered Democratic — but 
two other Eepublican s being elected — he receiving 185 major- 
ity. He was triumphantly re-elected the second term ; the 
third term he ran 145 ahead of his ticket ; and the fourth 
term he was 87 ahead of his ticket, with one of the strongest 
opponents in the county Democracy against him. In 1863 
he was elected Associate Judge, and served four years. In 

210 Life Sketches. 

1861 he was appointed Postmaster of CoUamer, and still 
holds the position. Finally his fellow-citizens determined 
that he was fitted for higher honors. The Assembly conven- 
tion of his district — the third of Onondaga — gave him, on 
the informal ballot, thirty-four out of its thirty-seven votes 
as its candidate for member, and he was nominated by accla- 

He had refused a number of times to become a candidate, 
and did not accede to the persistent demands of the press of 
the district and his personal friends until about one hour 
before the Convention was organized. The vote was very 
flattering in view of the fact that he made no eflfort to secure 
a single delegate. The succeeding canvass was sharply con- 
tested, but he was elected by a majority of 639 over Garret 
DoTLE, his Democratic competitor. He serves the House 
and his constituency effectively as a member of the Com- 
mittees on Villages, Public Printing, and Manufacture of 

Mr. FuRBECK was married April 17, 1852, to Emily 
MosHER, of Albany county. He attends the Presbyterian 
Church. In all his intercourse and relations with others he 
is the soul of probity and honor, and is just what he seems 
— a plain, unpretentious man of business. 

William H. H. Gere. 211 


Mr. Gere enjoys the distinction of being the successor of 
Governor Alvokd, from the First district of Onondaga. It 
is but just to add, however, that this fact does not constitute 
his sole claim to consideration, as he is one of the most wide- 
awake and substantial citizens of Central New York. 

Mr. Gere was born in Geddes, where he still resides, on 
the 14th of August, 1829, his father being Robert Gere, a 
native of New London, Conn., and still living, at the age of 
seventy-seven. He received a very thorough education in the 
common schools and at Homer Academy, taking especial 
pains to qualify himself for the profession of civil engineer- 
ing, which he afterward followed for a number of years. 
For a long time previous to 1868, he served the State as 
Resident and Division Engineer on the canals. In 1866 he 
was appointed Inspector of the Onondaga Penitentiary, and 
continues to hold the ofiBce. He was also elected Supervisor 
of the town of Geddes six successive terms, commencing in 
1864. He is now engaged in the manufacture of salt and 
iron, and, we may add, is honorably accumulating a com- 

Mr. Geke has always been a straightforward, active 
Republican, and in the late canvass he was chosen to the 
Assembly by a decided majority over Thomas G. Alvokd, 
the candidate of the Liberals and Democrats, although 
extraordinary efforts were made to secure his defeat. 

Physically, Mr. Gere is a robust, vigorous man, with a 
large and well-proportioned frame, and a countenance glow- 
ing with health. He also possesses a generous heart, and 
correct instincts, while his entire personality, in fact, is so 
constituted that he will undoubtedly be proof against all the 
deleterious influences pervading the capitol, whether they be 
the mephitic gases of the Assembly chamber, or the seduc- 

212 Life Sketches. 

tive wiles of the swarmiug lobbyists. Mr. Gebe is not a 
public speaker, his abilities tending rather toward practical 
and effective work, for which, whether ia or out of the 
Legislature, he is well qualified by nature and education. 
He is a member of the Committees on Cities and Indian 


The member from the Second District of Steuben is an 
active, energetic, well-informed gentleman of about thirty- 
one years of age. With the exception of two years recently 
spent in Rochester, he has resided in Horneljsville nearly all 
his life. He was bom in Groveland, Livingston county, on 
the 28th of February, 1842. His parents moved to Hor- 
nellsville about a week later, and young Gilbert enjoyed the 
benefit of common school education until his twelfth year, 
after which he had few educational opportunities, except 
those which came by reading and observation. He is an 
accomplished stenographer, and is probably the first profes- 
sional short-hand writer ever elected to the Assembly. Since 
1865 he has been a regular reporter in the courts of the Sixth 
and Seventh judicial districts, and has attained considerable 
eminence as an accurate and rapid stenographer. 

Mr. Gilbert served honorably in the war of the rebellion. 
In the summer of 1862 he enlisted as a private in Company 
F, 141st Kegiment, New York Volunteers, and participated 
in numerous battles and marches until he was honorably 
discharged in the fall of 1864. 

Always an enthusiastic Kepublican, Mr. Gilbert has been 
quite active in the local politics of Hornellsville since he was 
quite young, but he never held oflBce until the present vear. 
He was elected to the Assembly by a majority of 1,107 over 
John McDougall, his Democratic opponent. He serves 

George A. Goss. 213 

on the Committee on Petitions of Aliens, Expenditures of 
the House, and Privileges and Elections. His record thus 
far, while devoid of any marked feature, has been such as 
to reflect honor upon his constituency. 


Mr. Goss was born at Pittsford, N. Y., March 3, 1834. He 
is the son of Hon. Epheaim Goss, who represented the 
Twenty-eighth (Rochester) district in the State Senate 
during the years 1860 and 1861. Senator Goss was born 
in West Fulton, Schoharie county, N. Y., on the 12th 
of June, 1806. Mr. Goss's mother was the daughter of 
Chaukcey Porter, and born in Nassau, Eensselaer county, 
Jf.Y., March 9, 1814; his greatgrandfather, Epheaim Goss, 
seiTed through the war of Independence, and was a gallant 
and successful soldier. The subject of this sketch received 
his education in the common and union district school. For 
a sliort time he followed the occupation of farmer, but for 
several years he has been engaged in the commission busi- 
ness. His first vote was given for the Republican ticket in 
the year 1855, and he has ever since been a reliable and active 
Republican, devoting much time as a member of the County 
Central Committee and otherwise to the success of the 
party. Besides holding a number of town oflSces, he was in 
the year 1871 unanimously nominated by the Republican 
Convention of the First Assembly district of Monroe county, 
and triumphantly elected, and in 1872 was re-elected by a 
large majority, defeating Richard D. Cole, the Democratic 
candidate. Mr. Goss is Chairman of the Committee on 
Expenditures of the Executive Department, and is also a 
member of the Committees on Villages and Education, and a 
regular attendant upon the sessions of the House, looking 

214 Life Sketches. 

after the interest of the State, and especially watching and 
taking care of the business of his constituents. 

Frank, genial and courteous in his intercourse with every 
one, Mr. Goss is certainly a very popular member of the 
present House. He is large and well built, with a prepos- 
sessing countenance, intelligent blue eyes, and generally 
agreeable presence. He possesses what is a prime requisite to 
those compelled to labor in the fetid atmosphere of the As- 
sembly Chamber, a sound constitution and robust physique, 
but above all, he is a man of unquestioned integrity of char- 
acter and earnestness of purpose. He is still unmarried. 


Mr. Griffin is a self-made man. His early youth was 
passed amid humble surroundings, and though he was com- 
pelled to earn his own support from a very early age, he 
managed, by close application during his winter schooling, 
to obtain a good education. He was bom in Dutchess 
county, in this State, October 22, 1811, of parents who were 
of English descent, his father's name being Ezeeiel Grif- 
fin. His father, now deceased, moved to Delaware county, 
and there young Griffin worked by the day or week at 
whatever presented itself in the way (if occupation until his 
twenty-sixth year, by which time, as the results of his habits 
of prudence and close economy, he had accumulated quite a 
respectable savings. He then entered mercantile business, 
and' though he found it moderately remunerative, he disposed 
of it ten years later and moved to Ulster county, where he 
engaged in steam forwarding. He remained in this branch 
of trade but three years, however, when he sold out his in- 
terest, and, returning to Delaware county, resumed the pur- 
suit he left, being able, with increased capital, to conduct it 
much more advantageously and extensively. 

Matthew Griffin. 215 

In the mean time, Mr. Griffin was a hard student, spend- 
ing most of his leisure in a determined effort iro master a 
knowledge of the law. As a result he was admitted to the 
bar in 1851, and has since, besides attending to his mercan- 
tile business, practiced as an attorney and counselor more 
or less continuously, and with a good degree of success. His 
probity of character and purity of life, together with the 
warm interest he ever felt in the welfare of those around 
him, made him very popular among his townsmen, and he 
has been frequently called upon to fill positions of local 
official trust. It is worthy of mention that in one instance 
he was elected Justice of the Peace in a town where the 
party vote was about 160 majority against him. 

In his political connection, Mr. Griffiit has always been 
either Whig or Eepublican. He voted for Henky Clay for 
President three times, and for Harrison twice. He voted 
for Taylor in 1852, and for Scott in 1856. Since that time 
his votes and influence have been given to the nominees of 
the Eepublican party. His Assembly district is quite closely 
contested, but he was elected in the fall of 1871 by a major- 
ity of 266, and in the recent canvass, after a very spirited 
contest, he exceeded those figures by nearly a hundred votes. 
His popularity may, therefore, be said to rest upon a very 
solid basis. 

Of his course in the Assembly, it is sufficient to say that 
he has fully justified the confidence of those who elected 
him. He is a good cpeaker, a man of strong convictions 
and earnest views, and has regard at all times to what is for 
the best interest of the commonwealth. He participates 
frequently and ably in debate, and being active and ener- 
getic in the performance of his duty, he may fairly be 
regarded as among the most efficient members of the lower 

Though he is in the prime of life, his personal aspect is 
quite venerable, his tall and commanding form and patri- 
archal beard, giving him a dignity which comports well with 

216 Life Sketches. 

a demeanor in which courtesy, frankness and modesty are 
the chief characteristics. He was married in the year 1833 to 
Miss Claka Dodge, by whom he has had five children, two 
sons and three daughters. His eldest son died in 1872 ; but 
the rest of his children are all comfortably settled in life. 
His second son is a graduate of the Albany Law school, and 
is now practicing with very fair prospects. 


Mr. Haedy was bom in Westminster, Vermont, in 
August, 1827, his parents removing to this State and settling 
in Cortland county when he was quite young. He secured 
a thorough education in Cortland Academy and in the State 
Normal School at Albany, graduating from the latter insti- 
tution in 1855. He adopted teaching as a profession, and 
was for eight years principal of the Weedsport Union School. 
Subsequently he engaged in the mercantile business at Weeds- 
port, which he still continues very successfully. He held the 
position of School Commissioner from 1867 to 1872, but, 
with that exception, he has never held public oifice until his 
election to the Assembly. He has been a Eepublican since 
the organization of the party, and previous to that was a 
Whig. He succeeds Dr. Ika D. Brown in the Assembly, 
and in the recent canvass received a majority of 1,020, a gain 
of nearly 400 on the Assembly vote of the previous year. He 
is an eflQcient and wide-awake member, serving on the Com- 
mittees on Expenditures of the House, Public Lands, and 
Engrossed Bills. 

Jambs Hayes. 217 


Mr. Hates' parents were bom in Ireland and emigrated 
to this country many years ago, locating in New York city, 
where the subject of this sketch was born on the 11th of 
May, 1830. Though his father's family were in humble cir- 
cumstances, young Hayes managed to obtain a good ordi- 
nary education at the public schools. At an early age he 
entered a printing office and learned the " art preservative." 
He worked at the press several years after attaining his 
majority, but finally abandoned printing. During the palmy 
days of the Volunteer Fire Department Mr. Hates was an 
active and prominent member and officer, and for a number 
of years he was honorably identified with that organization 
of the past. Prom a very early age Mr. Hates has mingled 
more or less in local politics. A disciple of the Tammany Hall 
society in its best days, he is still a trusted member of that 
association of politicians, and one of the most influential 
Democrats of that stripe in the third Assembly district. 
The extent to which he has been trusted by the rank and file, 
as well as the leaders of the party, is shown by the fact that 
he was a member of the New York Common Council for five 
years in succession, being first elected in the spring of 1862. 
In 1866 he was chosen Supervisor and held a seat in that 
board for five consecutive years. In these capacities he has 
shown signal ability, not so much in speech -making, however, 
as in managing the practical details of local legislation and in 
closely watching the interests of his constituents. In 1870 he 
warmly espoused the cause of the Young Democracy. His 
temporary defection from Tammany Hall did not result in 
any loss of popularity, inasmuch as he was elected to the 
Assembly in the fall of 1871 by a very decided majority. 
His services as a State legislator were so satisfactory to his 
constituents, that he was re-elected. 

218 Life Sketches. 

Last year he served on the Committees on Trade and 
Manufactures, and Indian Affairs. In the present session he 
is on the Committees on Expenditures of the House, and 
Public Lands. Mr. Hayes is a slimly-built, dark-complex- 
ioned man ; his countenance indicates a high degree of intel- 
ligent capacity and the ability to appreciate the requirements 
of any situation. He is a married man, and a member of 
the Catholic church. 


The subject of this sketch is modest and unassuming in 
deportment, but, as Chairman of the Eailroad Committee, he 
is one of the active workers of the Assembly. Mr. Hea- 
COCK was bom in the town of Johnstown, Fulton county, on 
the 5th of April, 1821, near what is now the flourishing vil- 
lage of Gloversville, and his present residence. His parents. 
Philander and Margaret Smith Heacock, were both 
natives of Connecticut. They settled at Johnstown soon 
after their marriage, and died in the meridian of life, within 
a few days of each other, leaving a family of eight children, 
several of whom were at the time quite young. Mr. Hea- 
cock enjoyed the advantage of an excellent common school 
and academic education, spending several terms in the acad- 
emy at Kingsboro, then considered one of the best educa- 
tional institutions in the State. He commenced business 
life as a merchant at Kingsboro, within sight of his late 
father's home, and amid his early friends and associates. 
Four years subsequently he began the manufacture of gloves 
and mittens on quite a large scale, and has, for twenty- 
five years, carried on that branch of industry with marked . 
saccesB. Latterly his energies have been directed to the 
accomplishment of certain railroad projects which will 
ultimately be of great benefit to that section of the State. 


The fact that he is now President of two railroad corpora- 
tions — the Fonda, Johnstown and Gloversville, and the Glov- 
ersville and Northville railroads, the first of which has been 
some time in successful operation — is a suflBcient indication 
of the interest felt by him in local enterprises, and of the 
public appreciation of his services. 

Mr. H. is not a stranger to legislative halls, having served 
as a member of Assembly in 1863, when he was Chairman 
of the Committee on Trade and Manufactures. 

The Fulton and Hamilton district is closely contested 
politically, and it was, therefore, a most gratifying compli- 
ment to him when he was chosen over so popular an oppo- 
nent as NiEL Stewart, by the decided majority of 234, to 
represent the district in the Assembly. 

Mr. Heacock was a Whig until the formation of the 
Eepublican party, and was not only active among those who 
aided in the organization of that party, but has, up to the 
present time, remained unchangeably attached to its princi- 
ples and policy. In all his business and public relations 
Mr. Heacock is a man of unswerving and scrupulous integ- 
rity. He possesses many qualities which constitute him the 
ornament and favorite of the social circle, while tone and 
strength are given to his character by a consistent practice 
of the principles and precepts of the Christian religion. For 
many years he has been a ruling elder in the Presbyterian 
Church and superintendent of the Sunday school. He was 
most active in the organization of the Presbyterian society 
of Gloversville, and it is largely to his exertions and contri- 
butions that it now occupies a commodious and beautiful 
house of worship, and, generally, is in a very flourishing con- 
dition. Mr. Heacock was married on the 11th of February, 
1845, to Minerva, only daughter of the Rev. E. A. Avery, 
with whom he still lives, within a mile of the spot on which 
they first settled. In the present session, in addition to being 
Chairman of the Committee on Eailroads, Mr. Heacock is 
also a member of the Committee on Trade and Manufactures. 

220 LiFM Sketches. 


The First district of New York city, embracing wards 1, 
2, 3 and 5, is represented for the second time consecutively 
by Hon. James Healet. He was elected to the present 
House by a plurality of 362 oyer the Apollo Hall and Re- 
publican candidates, the latter being, however, very much in 
the minority in that district. His plurality in 1871 was 401. 
He has served on several important committees during the 
two sessions, and is a faithful adherent of the Tammany 
Hall wing of the Democracy. He is a man of considerable 
ability, though he makes no claims to oratorical attainments, 
and, generally, his legislative course is such as to reflect 
credit upon his constituency. 


Dr. Hendee, of Carthage, worthily represents the Second 
district of Jefferson county. A man of commanding presence 
and high gnide of ability, he is one of the marked members 
of the present House, and not only gives every measure close 
scrutiny but is active in forwarding those ivhich he deems 
conducive to the public welfare. He was born in Greig, 
Lewis county, November 11th, 1826, and is, therefore, about 
forty-six years of age. His parents, Caleb and Euth Hen- 
dee, were natives of Vermont, from whence they moved to 
New York shortly after their marriage. Mr. Hendee's 
mother is still living, at the age of eighty, but his father 
died in 1833. 

Mr. Hbndee secured the advantages of a liberal common 
school education, and early chose the medical profession. 

Horatio S. Hendee. 221 

in which he has attained considerable eminence as a practic- 
ing physician and surgeon. After the completion of his 
studies he visited Europe, and gained much knowledge of 
value in his profession. During his absence the rebellion 
broke out, and on his return he offered his services in the 
Union cause. He was commissioned Surgeon of the 183d 
Regiment, New York volunteers, and during the years 1862, 
1863 and 1864, he served with distinction in that capacity, 
and acquired a professional experience which was invaluable 
to him. On leaving the army he settled at Carthage in a 
lucrative practice, which he still enjoys. 

In political belief, Mr. Hendee is an uncompromising and 
earnest Republican, having always acted with that party 
since its organization, though his first vote was cast for 
Whig candidates. He has always been adverse to accepting 
public honors, however, and never held ofiBce previous to his 
present term in the Assembly. He was elected by a majority 
of 300 over Andrew J. Cornwall, his Democratic oppo- 
nent. He is Chairman of the Committee on State Chari- 
table Institutions, and«a member of the Committees on the 
Militia and Public Health. 

Mr. Hendee is a man of large frame and iron constitu- 
tion, and his physiognomy denotes that he is also a man of 
deep convictions and sound judgment. He is now in the 
prime of life, and with a mind fully matured and ripened in 
the school of experience, he is in all respects a safe counselor 
and an able legislator. He has been twice married. His 
first wife was Sabea L. Myeeb. She died in January, 1871, 
twenty years after her marriage ; and in February, 1872, he 
married Ella P. Ward. For many years past, Mr. Hendee 
has been a member of the Presbyterian church. 

222 Life Sketches. 


Mr. Hekrick is a native of Dutchess county, and was born 
in the town of Washington, September 28, 1811. He is 
theref jre over sixty years of age, though he does not appear 
to be more than fifty. He received a good education in the 
common schools and elsewhere, and has mainly been engaged 
in commercial life. For a number of years he was engaged 
in the patent medicine business with Dr. L. E. Herkick, at 
Albany, but he disposed of his interest in that in 1868, and 
has since been successfully engaged in the manufacture, of 
boots and shoes. 

Formerly a Whig, and latterly a Republican, Mr. Hekeick 
has mingled more or less in politics for a number of years, 
and now occupies a leading position in his town and county. 
In the years 1859 and 1860 he represented his town in the 
Board of Supervisors of Rensselaer county, and has, besides, 
held various other town oflBces. In 1860 he was a delegate to 
the Republican State Convention. In the fall of 1871 he was 
elected to the Assembly by a majority of 315, and served big 
constituency well as a member of the Committees on Internal 
Affairs, Public Health, and Grievances. He was elected to 
the present House by the largely increased majority of 979. 
He is now Chairman of the Committee on Grievances, and 
a member of the Committee on Internal Affairs, and of the 
Sub-Committee of the Whole. 

Mr. Herrick is a stoutly-built, active and well-preserved 
man of business. Rarely absent from his seat during the 
session, he closely watches the public interests, and is one 
of the most industrious and valuable members ,upon the 

William HEitRiNO. 223 


Were we called upon to name the most eflfective orator in 
die present Assembly, we should certainly be inclined to 
select the stalwart representative of the First district of West- 
chester. It is not our province, however, to make any such 
invidious distinction, and we will leave to others the delicate 
task of weighing critically the points of comparison between 
the several gentlemen who habitually and ably take part in 
legislative discussions. Nevertheless it is the duty of the edi- 
tors of this work to state facts, and in doing so they cannot 
ignore tiie very obvious fact that Mr. Herring's gifts as a pub- 
lic speaker are of a very high order. His distinguishing per 
sonal characteristics are a large and towering form, straight 
as an arrow and well proportioned, a piercing gray eye, a well 
shaped forehead, and a physiognomy suggestive of great 
mental force and large reserve power. With magnificent 
physique is united a voice round, full and powerful, having 
something of the grandeur of muffled thunder in its sonor- 
ous intensity, a manner occasionally impassioned, but always 
earnest and scholarly, and a mind from which is evolved with 
startling rapidity a chain of consecutive and logical ideas 
which, he groups and arranges around the pivotal proposition 
with rare skill, clothing them the while in chaste and pol- 
ished language. When he rises to address the House he at 
once fastens the attention of every person within the sound 
of his voice, and fortunate indeed is the cause which secures 
his eloquent advocacy. Although he is serving his first term 
in the halls of legislation, he is already known as at least 
the peer of the most brilliant debaters in the Assembly, being 
especially at home in the discussion of legal questions. Mr. 
Herring is a native of New Jersey, and was born in New 
Branswick in that State on the Slst of January, 1833. He 
comes of sterling revolutionary stock, his father, Caleb 

224 Life Sketches. 

Herrikg, having been born a few years after the close of 
that struggle in Fort Putnam ^on the Hudson river. His 
grandfather, whose name was also Caleb, was a soldier iu 
the revolution, and served his country faithfully until he was 
killed in the Indian campaign under General Harmak. Mr. 
Herrikg's father is still living at the age of eighty-five. 
His mother, who was a native of Newburgh, Orange county, 
has been dead several years. 

When young Herring had reached a proper age, he was 
placed in the Normal School in New York city. There he 
obtained a thorough knowledge of the English branches, 
and subsequently entered the Law Department of Columbia 
College, acquitting himself honorably and graduating in the 
year 1866. In 1865, however, he was admitted to practice in 
the Poughkeepsie circuit and, on his graduation, he was also 
admitted to the bar by virtue of his diploma from Columbia 
College. He at once commenced an active practice in West- 
chester county and in New York city, meeting with extra- 
ordinary success. His first case, which was a mandamus 
upon the trustees of Morrisania, was a brilliant victory for 
the young lawyer; and so well pleased was the judge, who, 
upon his motion, afiBrmed the mandamus, that he secured a 
copy of his brief in the case and deposited it in the State 
Library. Since then he has won many legal victories, and 
has evinced high talent as an advocate. 

Previous to the war, Mr. Herring was a Democrat, and 
cast his first vote for Franklin Pierce ; but as soon as the 
first gun was fired at Fort Sumter he withdrew his allegiance 
from the party with which his youthful associations were 
connected, and transferred it to the organization which up- 
held the government in its struggle with rebellion. Since 
that time he has been earnestly and uncompromisingly a 
Eepublican of the strictest sect. He has never been afflicted 
with an itching for office, and even in the canvass of last fall, 
when he was deemed the fittest person to carry out, in the 
legislature, certain important local projects, among which 

Albion P. Eiaoms. 235 

may be mentioned the scheme to annex Westchester county 
to New York city, he was for a long time exceedingly reluc- 
tant to be a candidate. The result of his acceptance was 
his election by a majority of 656, in a district which is really 
about 1,350 Democratic. As an evidence of his popularity 
among his own neighbors and friends, it is woi'thy of men- 
tion that the town of Morrisania, where he resided several 
years, gave him 193 majority, though t■v^^o years previous it 
gave Gov. Hoffmak 941 majority. He, in fact, enjoys the 
confidence and esteem of all his constituents, while his course 
as a legislator shows that the people of Westchester county 
have wisely judged their man. In the House his unflinch- 
ing integrity, straightforward conduct, polished manners and 
innumerable graces of mind and heart, have won the friend- 
ship and esteem of all his fellow-members. He is one of 
that class of men, none too numerous, with whom a mean 
action, willfully committed, is an impossibility. He was 
married about fifteen years ago to an estimable lady, and 
is now a wealthy and substantial citizen of West Farms. 


Albion P. Higgins, youngest son of Rev. Joseph Hiq- 
GINS, was born October 13, 1824, in Waldo county, Maine. 
He received an academic education at Parsonsfield Seminary, 
in that State, came to New York in 1852, and has since 
been engaged in the piano business — connected with the 
firm of T. S. Beket & Co., 789 Broadway, but making his 
residence in Brooklyn. He has been a Republican since the 
formation of the party, but never ran for oflBce until last 
November, when he was elected to the Assembly from the 
5th district of Kings county (7th and 20th wards of Brook- 
lyn), by a majority of 845 over John L. Hill, the Democratic 
and Liberal candidate. 

226 Life Sketches. 

Mr. HiGGiKS is a man of much practical good sense, and 
possesses many qualifications desirable in a law-maker. He 
bids fair to make an excellent record. He is a member of 
the Committees on Cities, and State Charitable Institutions. 


Mr. Hill, the somewhat magisterial looking gentleman 
from Greene county, is one of those quiet, unimpressible 
persons, who give little indication of their real character to 
those who are unfamiliar with them. He is, nevertheless, a 
man of marked personal characteristics and possesses more 
legislative ability, pei'haps, than many whose pretensions 
are much greater. Personally and socially he is genial, 
courteous and frank, a firm friend and an agreeable com- 
panion, while, as a politician, he is firm in his views and 
faithful in his party allegiance, but never obtrusive in the 
expression of his opinions, which, however, are not con- 
trolled by party action, where such control would destroy 
his independence of spirit or violate his own convictions of 
right and wrong. He is a man somewhat under the medium 
height, -with a sharp, grey eye, a benevolent cast of counte- 
nance, and profusely whitened hair and goatee. He was 
born in Waterbury, Conn., in the year 1816, and is, there- 
fore, about fifty-seven years of age. His father, Harvey 
Hill, was of English descent, and died in 1843, at the age 
of 54. His mother is still living at the advanced age of 88. 
When eight years old, young Hill came with his parents to 
Durham, Greene county, and six years later moved to Cairo, 
where he has since resided. He was educated in the com- 
mon schools, and also in what were then known as select 
schools. Subsequently he studied law in the office of P. C. 
Maitoon, at Cairo, and being admitted to the bar in 1856, 

Augustus Hill. 227 

he soon afterward commenced practicing as a lawyer, and is 
still a member of that profession. 

He has always been a leading Democrat of Greene county, 
and has taken an active part in politics, but has never been 
particularly anxious for public position. Some twenty-two 
years ago, however, he was elected Justice of the Peace in 
his town, and he has held that responsible and honorable 
office ever since, to the entire satisfaction, we believe, of 
everybody interested. 

When the rebellion broke out he took strong ground in 
favor of supporting the administration and vigorously prose- 
cuting the war. He addressed the first war meeting held in 
his town,. and throughout the entire struggle he was active 
in behalf of the Union cause. At first he incurred consid- 
erable odium among members of his party because of his 
course, but the stern logic of events fully vindicated his action, 
and much of his present popularity is undoubtedly due to 
his war record. 

In the fall of 1871 he was elected to the Assembly by a 
majority of 355, and he served very acceptably in the last 
Legislature as a member of the Committees on Bailroads, 
Boads and Bridges, and Sub-Committee of the Whole. He 
was elected to the present House by a majority of 780, over 
Hezekiah Baldwik, Eepublican. This year he is a mem- 
ber of the Committees on Civil Divisions, and Roads and 

228 Life Sketches. 


Mr. HiLLYEE is the very capable representative of Kich- 
mond county in the present House. His parents were hoth 
of American birth, and resided in Kichmond county until 
the close of their lives. It is worthy of note that his father 
and grandfather each in his day filled the oflBce of Sheriff of 
that county. 

Mr. HiLLYER was born in the county he now represents 
on the 18th of October, 1818, and is therefore pretty well 
advanced in life. He received an ordinary common school 
education in the town of Northfield, where his parents 
resided. After reaching his majority he became engaged in 
mercantile business and manufacturing, which he followed 
for ft number of years. Finally he purchased a farm, and he 
may now be classed as a successful agriculturist and fruit 

Mr. HiLLYER is a plain and unassuming citizen, but he 
possesses solid worth and probity in very large measure, 
and faithfully watches over the interests of his constituents 
in the Assembly. He has been Justice of the Peace for the 
past twelve years and Justice of Sessions for nearly the same 
length of time, while he is at present a member of the Board 
of Supervisors of Kichmond county. He has been active in 
politics since early youth, having been a Whig until the dis- 
ruption of the party, and since that date a thorough-going 
reliable Eepublican. He was elected to the Assembly by a 
majority of 347 over Samuel R. Buck, his Democratic 
opponent, and is a member of the Committees on Public 
Health, and Federal Relations. 

John D. Hillbb. 229 


Mr. HiLLBK, of Chautauqua, is one of the new members. 
He is a fine-looking man, about forty years of age, with dark 
hair, full beard, well-proportioned form, and frank, ex- 
pressive features. His presence conveys the impression to 
those who know him for the first time that he has suflBcient 
brains and capacity for almost any position in life, and it is 
but just to say that a closer acquaintance confirms the im- 

He was born at Smith's Mills, Chautauqua county, where 
he still resides. His father, Johk I. Hillee, was a native 
of Schoharie county, but removed to Chautauqua county in 
1828, and died there a couple of years ago, at the ripe age of 
seventy. Mr. Hillke laid the foundation of his education 
in the common schools, spending, however, one year at the 
Fredonia Academy. Subsequently he entered the State Nor- 
mal school at Albany, and after accomplishing the entire 
course at that institution, graduated with credit in 1855. 
Being well qualified for teaching he spent one year in charge 
of a department in Canandaigua Academy, and also taught 
two years in the district schools ; but teaching was not pre- 
cisely to his taste and he entered mercantile life. Since 
1858 he has managed a country store at Smith's Mills with 
fair success. In 1857 he married Libbie M. Smith, a 
daughter of Rodney M. Smith, one of the earliest settlers 
of Chautauqua county. 

Mr. Hillee held the office of Clerk of the town of Han- 
over during the years 1864 and 1865, and in 1868 and 1869 
he served in theChatitauqua Board of Supervisors. While 
the rebellion raged in the South, he warmly sympathized 
with the cause of the Union, and though not himself liable 
to military duty, he furnished a representative recruit at a 
time when men were greately needed. He has been a Ee- 

230 Life Sketches. 

publican since the formation of the party, and has always 
taken an active interest in the political movements of the 
day. Though not a strict churchman, Mr. Hiller is a man 
of correct life, large heart and generous impulses, and 
thoroughly in earnest. His convictions are deeply-rooted and 
decided, and his influence and votes are invariably on the 
side of right and justice. As yet he has developed no es- 
pecial penchant for oratory on the floor of the Assembly, but 
he is able to talk and to talk well when the occasion arises. 


Mr. HoLLiSTER is now serving his second term as a repre- 
sentative of the first district of Washington county, having 
served his constituents faithfully in the last House as a mem- 
ber of the Committees on Canals, and on Charitable and 
Keligious Societies. He is not a man who seeks to obtrude 
himself much upon public notice, or to render himself promi- 
nent in any way. He prefers to perform his duty quietly, 
thoroughly and unostentatiously, and so as to win the appro- 
val of his conscience as well as the satisfaction of his con- 
stituents. He is somewhat above the medium height, with 
florid complexion, brown whiskers, and mild, intelligent eye. 
His frame is rather loosely knit, though it is evidently tough 
and muscular ; and judging from his daily intercourse among 
his friends and acquaintances, a heart imbued with more than 
ordinary kindness and generosity throbs underneath the 
rough exterior of the man. 

Mr. HoLLiSTEE was bom in the town of Chatham, Colum- 
bia county, in July, 1827, and is consequently nearly forty- 
six years of age. His father, Stlvanus Hollistek, now 
deceased, was also born in Chatham in 1797. Mr. H. 
received a liberal education at the Schuylerville and Uiiion 
Village academies, and was brought up as a farmer, an occu- 

James W. Rusted. 231 

pation which he has since followed more or less up to the 
present time, though much of his attention is now devoted 
to the buying and selling of country produce. 

Always an active Kepublican, Mr. Hollistee has inva- 
riably taken m ich interest in party movements, and has for 
a number of years been known as one of the best men of 
his party in Washington county. He never held office, 
however, until 1868, when he was elected Supervisor of the 
town of Easton, and served two years with credit. In 1871 
he was elected to the Assembly by a majority of 1,422, and 
re-elected last fall by- a majority of 1,528, his opponent being 
R W. LowBEE, a popular and well-known Democrat. He is 
now serving acceptably on the Committees on Canals, and 
Roads and Bridges, and is making for himself an excellent 

He was married on the 27th of February, 1873, to Miss 
Julia F. McMullen. 


Although now serving his fifth term as member of 
Assembly, Gen. Husted admirably retains his pre-eminence 
among legislators for brilliancy of intellect, quickness of per- 
ception, and, we may add, oratorical excellence. His dash- 
ing, ofiF-hand style of debate, and the lightning-like rapidity 
with which he grasps the situation of the moment, together 
with his bold, concise and incisive mode of argument, and 
sometimes startling readiness at repartee, render him a 
formidable opponent. He is master of the art of sarcasm, 
and, as he usually veils his keen and merciless retorts in 
elegant language and apt classical allusion, the wounds 
made by his sharp thrusts produce more pleasure than pain. 
In the most exciting passages of partisan debate, Mr. 
Husted is ever the pink of courtesy and coolness, while in 

232 Life Sketches. 

argument he is clear, connected and logical, his more ambi- 
tious speeches being frequently enriched with pointed anec- 
dote and scholarly illustration. He speaks very rapidly, and 
has surprising command of language, while his thorough 
knowledge of parliamentary rules enables him to be perfectly 
at home in the most bewildering cross-fire of motions and 
counter-motions characteristic of legislative fillibustering 
and bushwhacking. 

Gen. Husted's ancestors were of marked honesty and 
respectability, and belonged originally to the old Whig party. 
He was born in Bedford, in this State, October 31, 1833. 
The incidents of his boyhood were not specially remarkable. 
He prepared for college at the Bedford Academy, in his native 
town, and at quite an early age he entered Yale College, 
from which he graduated on reaching his majority in 1854. 
While in college he stood well with his class, and was com- 
plimented with University honors when he graduated. Sub- 
sequently he studied law with Edwaed Wells, of Peekskill, 
and was admitted to the bar in 1857. As a lawyer he pos- 
sesses fine abilities, and is regarded with confidence and 

As a politician Gen. Husted's life has been somewhat 
varied and not entirely devoid of vicissitudes. He started 
as a Know-Nothing, and for two years was Secretary of the 
American State Council. He was elected Town Superin- 
tendent of Common Schools, in 1855, on the Know-Nothing 
ticket, and in 1858 he was chosen by the same party as one 
of the School Commissioners of Westchester county. But 
in 1859 the test of a man's " Americanism " being a willing- 
ness to " plough with a Democratic heifer," Mr. Husted pro- 
tested against a betrayal of the principles upon which the 
party was founded. During the Utica Convention, held in 
that year, when the " Hybrid " ticket was formed, he pub- 
lished a protest against it and left the organization, joining 
the Republican party. In 1860 he was appointed Deputy 
Superintendent of the State Insurance Department by Hon. 

James W. Husted. 233 

William Barnes, the then Superintendent. Since 1862 he 
has been Harbor Master of the city of New York, and, until 
recently, was Deputy Captain of the Port. 

In the fall of 1868 Mr. Husted was elected to the Assem- 
bly from the Third district of Westchester county by 307 
majority. He made an honorable record as a debater and as 
a legislator during his first session, being Chairman of the 
Committee on Federal Relations, and member of the Com- 
mittee on Commerce and Navigation. The next year he was 
re-elected by 1,144 majority, running 837 ahead of his ticket, 
and 417 ahead in his own town. Since then he has been 
regularly re-elected, his majority in 1871 reaching the unpre- 
cedented figure of 1,509. Last year, owing to local compli- 
cations and the defection of Liberal Republicans, it was 
reduced to 502. He has served during the last three terms 
on the Committees on Commerce and Navigation, Ways and 
Means, Grievances, Local and Special Legislation, and Fed- 
eral Relations, being again Chairman of the latter Committee 
in 1872. In the present session he is Chairman of the Com- 
mittee on Education, and member of the Ways and Means. 

Gen. Husted has been frequently honored with respon- 
sible positions by the party to which he belongs, and he in 
turn has honored the party with his best efforts, but his 
sphere of useful activity has not been confined to politics. 
He is one of the most prominent members of the Masonic 
Fraternity in the State, and has reached to the highest honors 
in the order, being a member of the Order of Knights Templar, 
and entitled to wear the jewel of the 33d degree. For sev- 
eral years he has held the rank of D. D. G. M., and is now 
Junior Grand Warden. He has also been Judge Advocate on 
the staff of the Seventh Brigade, New York State Militia. 

On March 26th, of the present year, he was nominated by 
Gov. Dix to be Major-General of the Fifth Division of the 
National Guard, in place of Gen. Gates who had resigned, 
and he was immediately confirmed by the Senate. The 
appointment was universally recognized as an eminently fit 

234 Life Sketcbes. 

one, and none were more hearty in their congratulations 
than his fellow members of the Assembly. On the evening 
after the announcement of his appointment, Mr. McGuire, 
of Schuyler, offered the following resolution, which was 
unanimously adopted : 

Resolved, That always feeling a deep interest in the per- 
sonal and official relations of our fellow members, and a 
warm regard for them individually, we desire to express our 
heart-felt thanks to Gov. Dix for his promotion of the Hon. 
James W. Husted to the command of the military forces of 
the Fifth Division, and that as he has been first in peace, we 
know he will, in the event of a great military necessity, be 
first in war, and in the future first in the hearts of his 

Socially, Gen. Husted possesses rare gifts. Genial and 
talented, a brilliant conversationalist, and an adept in all the 
accomplishments and qualities which constitute the gentle- 
man, he is peculiarly fitted to ornament society and win 
friendship and esteem. His unaffected manners and sterling 
qualities have rendered him extremely popular with the 
people at large, while the same traits, in connection with his 
solid attainments, have secured him hosts of friends in the 
field of letters and politics. 


Mr. Jacobs, the able and popular representative of the 
Ninth district of Kings county, bears the honored title of 
" Father of the House," being, in point of consecutive ser- 
vice, the oldest member of the present Assembly. He is far 
from being the oldest in years, however, and is youthful 
enough to be one of the most shrewd and active members of 
the opposition. 

He was born in Lancaster county, Penn., on the 10th of 
December, 1838, and is, therefore, now in the thirty-fourth 

John C. Jacobs. 235 

year of his age. His paternal ancestors were of the old New 
England Kevolutionai-y stock, and several of them partici- 
pated with honor in the memorable struggle for independ- 
ence. Mr. Jacobs' mother was born in PennsylTania, and 
was of German origin, one of her progenitors having held a 
high position under Frederick the Great of Prussia. 

"When Mr. Jacobs was quite young his parents removed to 
Brooklyn, and he was placed in a select school as soon as he 
had reached a suflBcient age. The family removed to Phila- 
delphia a few years later, and his school studies may be said 
to have closed when he attained the age of twelve. He was, 
nevertheless, able to turn every opportunity of obtaining 
knowledge to account, and the loss occasioned by the check 
thus given to his educational progress, is not as apparent as 
it might be in a duller man. Returning to Brooklyn, after 
a year's stay in Philadelphia, he entered a lawyer's oflSce as a 
messenger boy. The drudgery there required of him was 
very repugnant to his somewhat high-strung nature, however, 
and he left it after a short experience, and sought and 
obtained a position as copy-holder in the large piinting 
establishment of John A. Gray & Co., New York. A 
large number of journals being issued from the establish- 
ment, Mr. Jacobs naturally came in contact with many 
newspaper men, and he soon developed a taste for journal- 
istic life. At the age of eighteen he became a reporter for the 
New York Express. He showed great aptitude and ability 
in the arduous duties belonging to the life he had now 
entered, and he,was gradually promoted on the Express staff, 
until he was given charge of the political news columns. In 
1859 he became correspondent of the same paper at Albany, 
remaining with it until 1865, when, in the same capacity, he 
represented the New York World. He also won distinction 
as a war correspondent, volunteering in 1863 to accompany 
McClellan's army to the Peninsula. Becoming attached 
to the 1st New York Volunteers, then in Keaknet's 
division, he had a chance to see and participate in sojne of 

236 Life Sketches. 

the hardest fighting of the war. His account of the evacua- 
tion of Harrison's Landing, and the march to Yorktown, 
which he sent to the Express, was extensively copied by the 
press throughout the country. 

Mr. Jacobs began his political life when a mere boy. In 
1851, though but eighteen years of age, he was active in his 
opposition to Premoxt's election. In 1860 he was well 
known in Brooklyn as a leader among the young men who 
combined against the Lincoln ticket. In 1863 he received 
the regular Democratic nomination for Assembly against 
John C. Pekry, Republican and present Senator ; Theophi- 
Lus C. Callicott ran as an Independent Democratic candi- 
date, however, and the split thereby occasioned defeated him. 
In 1865 he also ran, being again defeated by William W. 
Goodrich, after an unusually spirited contest. Mr. Jacobs' 
friends insisted that he should run again in 18G6, and the 
Democratic Convention nominated him by acclamation. A 
strong effort was made by the Republicans to defeat him, but 
the plucky young journalist was successful this time by 900 
majority. Since that time he has been regularly returned 
annually, his majority being usually larger than the State 
ticket received. 

In 1869 he served on the Committee on Commerce and 
Navigation and on several special committees. In 1870 he 
was Chairman of the Committee on "Ways and Means, and a 
member of the Committees on Insurance, and Giievances. 
In 1871 he was a member of the Committees on Grievances, 
Judiciary, and Ways and Means, and Chairman of the latter. 
In 1872 he was a member of the Committee of Ways and 
Means, and Petitions of Aliens ; and in the present Hou.'se 
he is a member of Ways and Means, Insurance, and Rules. 
Daring the last session Mr. Jacobs was honored by being 
chosen as one of the managers to conduct the trials of Judges 
Barnard and McCunn. In the years when the Democrats 
held the majority in the House Mr. Jacobs displayed great 
effectiveness as a leader and party manager, winning deserved 

JoBN 0. Jacobs. 237 

repute for his readiness and ability in debate, his tireless 
activity and his dauntless courage in battling for political 
principles. Two or three times he has been a candidate for 
the Speakership, but in the year when the party majority was 
with him, the Tammany interest of New York city, with 
which he was not always in entire accord, succeeded in 
defeating him. He was the candidate of the Democratic 
minority for the position in the last session, and also in the 
present one, receiving the entire vote of his party. Inas- 
much as he possesses peculiar qualifications for the post of 
presiding oflBcer, and is thoroughly versed in parliamentary 
law, the compliment thus twice given him has been in every 
way deserved. 

Mr. Jacobs is a great favorite among all his friends, and 
is in every respect a genial, true-hearted gentleman. Though 
he is an ardeat and active partisan, there is yet a courteous- 
ness of manner and a frankness of language in all his politi- 
cal endeavors, which invariably extorts admiration and 
respect from his most decided opponents. He is a man of 
large heart and warm sympathies to his friends, and gener- 
ous to his foes, very few of the latter being such in other 
than a political sense. In legislative matters he devotes the 
largest share of his attention to local matters, but his ring- 
ing voice is often heard, also, in defense of party policy, and 
in denunciation of Republican measures and schemes. He 
is very fluent in debate, occasionally rising to heights of ora- 
torical eloquence rarely attained by a party speaker, and he 
never fails to command the attention of the House, when 
once warmed up with his subject. He unquestionably 
stands in this session among the foremost members of a 
mijiority which includes an unusual number of very able 

238 Life Sketches. 


Mr. JoHiTSON is of New England parentage, his father, 
Lowell Johnsok, having been a native of Vermont, while 
his mother was born in Massachusetts. He was bom in the 
town of Volney, Oswego county, on the 16th of May, 1830. 
He attended common school at an early age, and subsequently 
went to the Mexico and Cazenovia academies, thus securing 
an excellent education. In the year 1852, he engaged in the 
lake and canal transportation business at Fulton, and con- 
tinued it successfully for about twelve years. Afterward he 
became a contractor and has completed several important 
works for the State and national governments, among which 
may be mentioned the improvement of the Mississippi river 
at Rock Island, and the construction of a lock in the Illinois 
river, which is probably the largest in the world, being .350 
feet long, 75 feet wide, and 30 feet high, and- capable of 
accommodating twelve ordinary canal boats at once. He has 
successfully completed contracts which amount, in the aggre- 
gate, to fully five millions of dollars. 

Mr. JoHKSOK has always been a Democrat of the old school, 
and for many years he has been prominent in the councils of 
that party. During the rebellion he was classed as a War 
Democrat, and gave his influence and means freely to the 
cause of the Union. In 1863 he was elected to the Assembly 
without opposition, and co-operated heartily in all the meas- 
ures designed to sustain the national government in the con- 
test which it was then waging against armed treason. Sub- 
sequently he served two years on the War Committee of 
Oswego county. He was also a member of the Board of 
Supervisors in the years 1861 and 1863. In 1860 he was a 
delegate to the memorable Charleston Convention, and was 
afterward also a delegate to the National Democi-atic Con- 
ventions at Chicago in 1864, in New York in 1868, and in 

Eleazer Jones. 239 

Baltimore in 1872. During the five war years, he was a 
member of the State Committee. It will thus be seen that 
Mr. Johnson's political experience is extensive and varied, 
and there are really few men in Central New York whose 
counsel is held in greater estimation. He still holds to the 
political creed of his earlier years, and is very popular among 
the Democrats of Oswego, and, indeed, among men of all 
parties. This is shown by the fact that he was elected last fall 
by a majority of 189, over Thomas W. Gkeen, Republican, 
who represented the district last year. He is a man of mod- 
est, unassuming deportment, and seldom addresses the House, 
being a man who believes in actions rather than words. His 
large experience, ripe judgment and active mind are of great 
value, however, in the practical work of legislation, and his 
seat is seldom unoccupied during the sessions. He was 
married at the age of 37 to Mart Gaspe, and as a result of 
his prudently managed business operations he is quite 


Although Mr. Jones has been removed by death from his 
legislative duties, and can, therefore, be no longer numbered 
among the members of the Assembly, a brief sketch of his 
career will not, perhaps, be out of place. He was born in 
Beddgelert, Wales, in the year 1824, and after receiving a 
thorough education at one of the Beddgelert private schools 
and at the Academy of Dr. Robert, at Holyhead, he left Wales 
and started in business as a general passenger broker and 
commission agent in Liverpool, and met with gi*eat success. 
In 1852 he came to this country and was appointed by 
Messrs. Weed & Maby as manager of the Emigrant Depart- 
ment of the New York and Erie Railway. In that capacity 
he returned to Great Britain and Ireland, armed with author- 
ity to establish agencies at all the seaports, important cities 

240 Life Sketches. 

and inland towns. During the years 1854 and 1855 he made 
several trips across the Atlantic in the performance of his 
duties, occupying the intervals in extended tours through 
the United States for the douhle object of gaining relaxation 
and information. During one of these excursions he pur- 
chased a joint interest with his brother and nephew in the 
slate property at Middle Granville, Washington county, then 
operated by his brother, who had emigrated to this country 
in 1845. In 1856 he disposed of the Erie agency and trans- 
ferred his family to New York. He then applied himself 
with energy to the development of the slate quarry, which 
promised in time to be quite profitable. In 1860, however, 
he was induced to accept the general agency for this 
country of the Passage Department of the Montreal Steam- 
ship line, which he retained for about five years. In 1866 
the Penrhyn Slate Company was organized, and up to the 
time of his death he was actively engaged in its management. 
To his exertions is largely due the fact that the establish- 
ment is now probably the most extensive of its kind in the 
United States. Since he became a citizen of this country, 
Mr. Jokes has always been an active Republican, and when 
he became well established at Granville it was not long 
before he was prominently identified with local and county 
political movements. His business prominence and shrewd- 
ness of character rendered him a desirable accession to those 
who run the party machine, and he soon secured confidence 
and esteem. In 1870 he was elected a Justice of the Peace 
for the town of Granville, and filled the oflBce satisfactorily. 
In' the fall of that year the Democratic District Convention 
tendered him a nomination for the Assembly, which he 
respectfully declined, and last fall he received the unsolicited 
nomination of the Republican Conventicn for the same 
oflBce, and was triumphantly elected, receiving a majority of 

Though Mr. Jones spent but a brief time in the halls of 
legislation, the members, one and all, had begun to regard 

Archibald Kennedy. 241 

him as a quiet, active, conscientious and courteous gentle- 
man, one who gave ample promise of hecomiug a capable, 
eflBcient law-maker, and his sudden death evoked sincere 
expressions of regret. His death, which was the result of 
a severe cold contracted at Albany, occurred on the 10th of 


Mr. Kennedy is serving his second term as the repre- 
sentative of Livingston county. Born in York, in that 
county, he has been identified during his whole life with the 
interests of that locality, and is, perhaps, better acquainted 
with its needs than any other resident. He was the sou of 
Archibald Kennedy, a native of Rannoch, Scotland, who 
died in 1842, at the age of sixty-four. Mr. Kennedy is 
well educated, having passed through the general course of 
study in Geneseo Academy and Lima Seminary. In addi- 
tion to these opportunities, extensive reading at home has 
rendered him thoroughly well informed upon every subject. 
Though he makes no special pretension to oratorical powers, 
he is a good speaker, and, when occasion requires, he 
expresses his views in a plain and logical, and, at times, 
forcible and eloquent manner. He is fully alive to the 
importance of fostering the educational interests of the 
State, though, even in this direction, he studies economy in 
the use of the public funds. His views, in reference to popu- 
lar education, are broad and liberal. He believes in adopt- 
ing the most effective mode of educating the masses, and, as 
a means to this end, he is the warm friend of every measure 
likely to increase the efficiency of the common schools. 

Mr. Kennedy is a plain and prosperous Livingston county 

farmer. Since 1853, however, he has almost constantly been 

the incumbent of some responsible official position, and 

much of his time is occupied in settling estates. In 1853 he 


243 Life Sketches. 

was elected Town Superintendent of Common Schools and 
served four years. He was Justice of the Peace from 1856 
to 1868, and was then elected Supervisor, serving three years, 
the last as Chairman of the Board. In 1869 hewas a dele- 
gate to the Eepublican State Convention from Livingston 
county. Finally, in 1871, he was elected to the Assembly, 
defeating Andrew Sill, the Democratic candidate, by a 
majority of 889. His service last winter was so satisfactory 
to the people of the county that he was returned to the pres- 
ent House by the immense majority of 1,231 over C. "W". 
Gibson. He is an energetic and capable member of two 
important Committees, Ways and Means, and Public Print- 

Mr. Kennedy has always been a Republican, and is one 
of the leading men of the party in Livingston county. 
Always straight-forward and reliable, he is also a man of 
stern and unyielding integrity, and is as strong in his oppo- 
sition to those measures which contemplate inroads upon the 
public treasury, as he is earnest in the advocacy of legislation 
designed to eflfect genuine reform in State and local govern- 
ments. He was married to Catharine McMaktin on the 
17th of April, 1856. 


Mr. Knettles, who is entitled to whatever distinction 
may attach to the fact that he is the tallest man in the 
House, was born in South Lansing, Tompkins county, 
August 7, 1834. His parents came to this State from Penn- 
sylvania when quite young. He received a good education 
at the Aurora Academy, but on reaching mature years he 
continued to pursue the occupation of his father, that of a 
farmer, in which he is still successfully engaged. He has, 
however, spent much of his time in the service of his 

Anson W. Knettles. 243 

country, and has also held a number of positions of trust 
in his town and county. During three years he was a 
member of the Board of Supervisors of Tompkins county, 
representing the town of Lansing, and one year was Chair- 
man of the Board. Shortly after the war broke out he 
assisted in raising the 109th Regiment, New York Volun- 
teers, and on the organization of the regiment in July, 
1862, he was commissioned as Captain of Company 6. In 
that capacity he participated in most of the hard fighting 
which fell to the lot of the army of the Potomac, from the 
summer of 1862 until the close of the war. He passed un- 
scathed through the terrible campaign of 1864, from Wash- 
ington to Petersburg, but was wounded in the memorable 
siege of the latter city. While acting as Brigade OflScer of 
the Day he received a rifle ball above the right eye, cutting 
out the eye and passing entirely through the head and out 
of the left side, injuring somewhat the sight of the left eye. 
It was certainly a narrow escape from death, and though his 
countenance is somewhat disfigured by the rebel bullet, it 
constitutes an honorable memento of the scenes in which he 
was a prominent actor. 

Mr. Knettles was a Democrat until 1855, but since that 
year he has uniformly acted with the Republicans and taken 
quite a prominent part in the local politics of his county. 
He was a member of the House last year, and made a good 
record as a member of two important Committees, Canals, 
and Militia. His majority in 1871 was 1,273. Last fall, not- 
withstanding the fact that a Liberal Republican ran against 
him, his majority was 513. In the present session he serves 
on the Committees on Canals, and Villages. 

Mr. K. is a man standing over six feet in height, somewhat 
slender, with light brown hair and somewhat florid complex- 
ion. Though not a speech-maker, he is a very active man 
and possesses a great deal of the practical ability essential to 
the legislator. 

244 Life Sketches. 


Mr. Landfield's father, Clark Landfield, was born in 
the town of Harvard, Delaware county, and there, also, 
the son first saw the light, in Kovember, 1827. He was 
educated at Delhi Academy, and also in the Delaware Insti- 
tute, at Franklin, and on reaching years of maturity, he 
entered a mercantile business at Harvard. Several years 
since he removed to Newark Valley, where he is now success- 
fully engaged in mercantile pursuits, managing besides an 
extensive tannery. He is also postmaster of that town, and • 
a member of the Tioga Board of Supervisors. 

In 1864, he represented Delaware county in the Assembly, 
serving on the Committee on Affairs of Villages, and making 
a creditable record. He was elected to the present House 
by a majority of 711, and serves acceptably on the Com- 
mittees on Railroads, and Trade and Manufactures. 

Mr. Landfield was a Whig until the party dissolved, and 
since then he has been an unyielding Eepublican. He is a 
man of great probity of character, and greatly respected in 
Newark Valley, where he resides. 

William Lewis, Jr. 345 


Mr. Lewis, now serving his second term in the Assembly, 
is a native of Scotland, and was born on the 31st of October, 
1827. When but six years of age, he came to this country 
with his parents, who settled in Delaware county, and 
engaged in farming. Young Lewis was brought up on the 
farm, receiving meanwhile a common school education, and 
remained with his parents until about the year 1850, when 
he entered mercantile life at Hamden, in Orleans county, 
and has followed it successfully until the present time. 
Soon after he started in business he married Miss Janette 
Neish. His father is still living at an advanced age. 

Besides his mercantile pursuits, Mr. Lewis has had some 
experience in railroad building, and during the years 1870 
and 1871 he constructed, under contract, about twenty miles 
of the New York and Midland railroad. From 1862 until 
1870 he held the office of Assistant-Assessor of Internal 

In politics, Mr. Lewis was formerly a Whig, but he joined 
the Republican party at its organization, and has ever since 
voted and acted therewith. In the fall of 1871 he was 
chosen to represent his district in the Assembly, defeating 
James Knox Polk Jackson — whose name, it would seem, 
deserved better fortune — by the usual majority of 1,135, the 
Republican majority of the previous year being but 682. 
His majority last fall, when he was re-elected, was 457. 

Mr. Lewis is known as a careful, sound and able legiela- 
Lor. Always favoring economy when it can be accomplished 
with due regard for the public interests, he is keenly alive to 
the material and moral advancement of his own locality, as 
well as the entire State. While he perhaps yields to no man 
in his attachment to party, his votes and speeches are evi- 
dently dictated by honest conviction and regard for that 

246 Life Sketches. 

which is due to his constituents. He makes no pretensions 
to oratory, but he is nevertheless a clear and cogent speaker, 
and has the faculty of presenting his views sensibly and 
gracefully, and frequently takes part in the debates on gen- 
eral questions. 


Being a man of acknowledged ability, sound principles 
and inflexible integrity, and possessing a large share of per- 
sonal magnetism, Mr. Lincolk wields an influence hardly 
inferior to that of any other member of the present Assem- 
bly. His habit of thinking and acting for himself on all 
important questions, at the same time maintaining an atti- 
tude of entire party fealty, and doing so with such tact and 
judgment as to commit no mistakes, has secured him respect 
as well as the hearty esteem of friends and opponents. His 
character has the ring of the genuine metal, and though he 
is now serving his second term in the Assembly, his gar- 
ments are free from the slightest taint. 

Mr. LiNCOLK was born in South Bristol, Ontario county, 
on the 18th of July, 1833. His father, Lucius Lincoln, 
was born in Otsego county, and is still living and engaged in 
farming. Young Lincoln enjoyed ample educational advan- 
tages. At the age of twelve he entered the Genesee Wesleyan 
Seminary, subsequently spent some time in the New York 
Conference Seminary, and in 1855 entered Union College, 
graduating from that institution with honor in 1858. He 
then read law for a year or more at the ofiBce of F. L. 
DuRAND, in Eochester, and was soon after admitted to the 
bar. Since then he has practiced successfully, devoting 
much of his time, however, to grape growing, owning one of 
the finest vineyards in that section of the State. In 1864 he 
was elected Justice of the Peace, and held the oflBce until 
1871, when he was elected to the Assembly. 

Ctrillo S. Lincoln. 247 

His career in the Assembly has been most creditable to his 
constituents and to himself. He was elected to the last 
House by a majority of 510, but in the recent canvass his 
majority reached 810, and constitutes a most gratifying 
indorsement of his course. His recognition at Albany has 
also been marked. Though he had been placed on no very 
important committees last year, a deserved ti-ibute was paid 
him by the House later in the session in choosing him as one 
of the managers in the Babkard impeachment trial. The 
result of that trial is well known, and no one, with perhaps 
one or two exceptions, labored harder to bring it about than 
Mr. Lincoln. In the present House he is Chairman of 
the Committee on Claims, and is also a member of the Com- 
mittee on Petitions of Aliens and of the Sub-Committee of 
the Whole, and of the special committee to investigate the 
affairs of the Erie Eailway Company. 

Mr. Lincoln's Eepublicanism is a part of his personality. 
It is " dyed in the wool." Since the party was organized he 
has steadily acted with it, voting for Fkemont in 1856, for 
Lincoln twice and for Gbant twice. He is, in fact, one of 
the most active and influential Kepublicans of Ontario county. 
As a public speaker he has few superiors. "With a voice full 
and sonorous, easy and natural manner of delivery, and clear 
enunciation, he has no difficulty in securing the attention of 
the House, whatever the topic of discussion. He talks well 
on all subjects, and is also a clear and acute reasoner, hold- 
ing in the main sound views on all the political, social and 
financial questions of the day. 

Physically, Mr. Lincoln is well built, and the embodi- 
ment of perfect health. His prepossessing countenance is a 
true index to the man, and harmonizes well with the broad 
intellectual forehead, luxuriant brown hair, and clear blue 
eyes. The people of the Second district of Ontario can cer- 
tainly congratulate themselves on being well represented in 
the present Assembly. 

248 Life Sketches. 


The son of parents in quite comfortable circumstances, 
Mr. Lynde has been literally the architect of his own for- 
tune. He was born at Antwerp, Jefferson county, July 1, 
1833, and is therefore nearly forty years of age. His parents 
were of Irish and English descent. He remained with his 
father, doing farm work, and attending the common schools 
and Gouverneur Wesleyan Seminary until the age of twenty, 
when he married Esther S. Caul, who proved herself 
indeed "a help-meet" to him. His father was worth a 
fine property at that time, yet he declined to extend to the 
young couple any pecuniary aid whatever. He argued that 
he had earned the money himself, and, as he might need it, 
he proposed to take care of it while he lived. The newly- 
married pair moved into a board shanty, and supported 
themselves by keeping boarders at a dollar and a half each 
per week, the plucky husband earning in the mean time about 
$20 a month by driving an ox team and carting and piling 
lumber. He carried the first fifty pounds of flour for the 
new household a distance of two miles past his father's house, 
although at the same time there were two hundred bushels of 
wheat in the old gentleman's barn. 

The somewhat singular conduct of his parent aroused all 
the spirit in the young man's breast. When the next spring 
arrived he bought a farm and a stock of cows on credit, and 
sold them again in the fall, realizing $1,000 above the debt he 
had incurred. This fortunate speculation was the beginning 
of a successful career. Placing his money at interest, he 
kept a set of books during the next two years for James 
STEELiifG, an Antwerp iron manufacturer, at an annual 
salary of $500, and the use of a house and garden. At the 
end of three years he had doubled his thousand dollars. He 
then moved to Hermon, St. Lawrence county, where he has 

DoLPMUS S. Lynde. 249 

since been engaged in selling goods, milling, buying and sell- 
ing cattle and real estate, and similar occupations. He also 
aided to organize the Cooper's Falls Iron Works, and was one 
of the stockholders of the corporation, but sold his interest 
before the works were finally completed. 

He has been uniformly successful in all his ventures, so 
that he is now the possessor of a handsome fortune, and he 
filially attributes his success in life entirely to what he deemed, 
at the time, very harsh conduct on the part of his respected 
parent, which, however, had the intended effect to stimulate 
him to make extraordinary exertions to place himself in an 
independent position. However we may regard the course 
of the elder Ltnde in the abst-.ract, we must admit that he 
correctly estimated his son's character, and did what in tlie 
end proved to be the best for him. 

Since Mr. Lynde has resided in St. Lawrence county, he 
has been prominently identified with its political history. 
Previous to 1864 he was a Democrat, but in that year, in 
common with many Democrats, he took a new departure, and 
cast his vote for the Lincoln electoral ticket. Since that 
time, he has invariably acted with the Republican party. As 
a member of that party he represented the town of Hermon, 
in the St. Lawrence Board of Supervisors, for three years, 
commencing in 1868. In 1870 he was appointed a Notary 
Public. Three times in succession he has been elected to the 
Assembly from the Second district of St. Lawrence, the last 
time by a majority of 3,486, and his straightforward, honest 
course in that party has been a source of gratification, alike 
to his constituents and the State at large, in which he is 
already quite extensively known. 

250 Life Sketches. 


Mr. Mackin, a man of prepossessing appearance and 
pleasant address, represents the First district of Dutchess 
county for the second term. He is a lineal descendant of 
genuine Irish stock, though his parents were natives of this 
country, his father having heen bom in New York, and his 
mother in Newburgh. They both died, however, within 
three years of each other, before young Mackik had reached 
his eighth year, and he was left entirely without means. 
Compelled thus to struggle for his own support, from early 
youth, Mr. Mackin is necessarily one of those practical 
self-made men, who contribute so largely to the prosperity of 
the country. 

Bom in Newburgh, Orange county, on the 25th of Decem- 
ber, 1823, he was educated in the common schools of New- 
burgh and Fishkill, and has spent the greater portion of his 
life in the latter town, where he has had the care of a large 
estate. During the years 1860, 1861 and 1862, he conducted 
a mercantile establishment at Fishkill quite successfully. 
The responsibilities of the estate mentioned were, however, 
sufficient to give him ample occupation, and he retired from 
business. Subsequently, he became President of the First 
National Bank of Fishkill Landing, and still holds that 

Mr. Mackin has mingled largely in public and political 
life. He was an active and influential Whig of the Free Soil 
stamp, until the party was dissolved. He was not only a 
delegate to the convention which gave form and cohesion to 
the Eepublican organization, but, previous to 1866, he was 
several times a delegate to the conventions of that party, and 
has held a number of public positions. For four years he 
was postmaster at Fishkill, holding the position under the 
appointment of President Fillmore. In 1862 President 

James Mackin. 251 

Lincoln appointed him United States Assessor for the 12th 
(now the 13th) district, and he held the oflBce two years and 
a half. Font times he was elected Superyisor of his town, 
and once he was chosen President of the Board. In 1859 he 
represented his Assembly district in the Legislature, serving 
on the Committees on Claims, and Internal aflfairs of Towns 
and Counties. 

During the past six or seven years, Mr. Mackin has acted 
with the Democratic party, and was elected to the Assembly 
last fall as a member of that political organization, receiving 
a majority of 828 over Edwaed M. Goeing, the present Ser- 
geant-at-Arms of the House, who was elected in 1871 by a 
majority of over 1,400. 

Though not greatly given to debate, Mr. Mackin possesses 
excellent qualifications for legislative position. He enjoys a 
large degree of popularity, both in private and public life, 
and there are few men in his section of the State more deserv- 
ing of public confidence. He was married, in July, 1858, 
to Miss Saeah E. Wiltse, a very intelligent and accom- 
plished lady, and a daughter of James Wiltse, an old and 
respected citizen of Fishkill. She was a devout member of 
the Reformed Church, where Mr. Mackin also worshiped. 
Her death took place in 1862, and her place in the family 
circle has never been filled. Mr. M. has been reasonably suc- 
cessful in all his business undertakings, and may be regarded 
as in quite comfortable circumstances. 

252 Life Sketches. 


The member from the Second district of Cattaraugus 
county is new to the Assembly, but he is well known through- 
out the State as a sound and reliable business man, as well 
as an earnest and conscientious Republican. Born in Nor- 
ridgewock. Me., in the year 1824, his early years were mainly 
spent upon the farm of his father, Amasa Maklet. He 
attended school regularly, however, and obtained a good 
English education. In 1847 he married Miss Elizabeth 
BiTTUES, at Augusta, Me., aud soon afterward removed to this 
State. He settled at Little Valley, Cattaraugus county, 
where he in time became the owner of a large landed prop- 
erty. For a number of years he has been engaged in farming, 
and gradually became one of the most prosperous, active and 
influential citizens of that section. His real estate operations 
in Little Valley have been quite extensive, and to his enter- 
prise and public spirit is due much of the attractions of that 
thriving village. 

Mr. Manley has been very prominently identified with 
politics during most of his life. In his early days he was a 
Whig, and as such he voted for Generals Taylor and Scott 
for the Presidential oflBce. Since the Whig party dissolved 
he has been an unswerving Eepublican, taking a leading 
part in the councils of that party, both in his own county 
and in the State at large. He has also held several important 
public positions, in which he invariably exhibited marked 
ability and devotion to duty, as well as the sternest integrity. 
His first entrance into public life was in 1860, when he repre- 
sented Little Valley in the Cattaraugus Board of Supervi- 
sors. In 1870 he was again chosen a member of the Board, 
and still serves in that capacity, being re-elected every year 
by a nearly unanimous vote. In 186J he was appointed 
Clei'k in the Department of the Interior, under Secretary 

John Manley. 353 

Smith, and served four years. In 1864 he was detailed as a 
special Indian Agent within the New York agency, and it 
was made his duty to pay over the moneys and annuities due 
from the United States under treaty stipulations. In the 
performance of that duty he visited the several reservations, 
and conferred freely with the Indians in reference to their 
educational, agricultural and industrial condition, and also 
in regard to a difficulty which had previously arisen between 
the special Commissioner of the Government and some of 
the representatives of the Six Nations. In March, 1865, he 
was appointed Military Secretary on the Staff of Governor 
Fenton, and held the position until May, 1866. Since that 
time, however, he has been an tmcompromising opponent 
of Mr. Fenton. 

During the war, Mr. Manlet was active in his efforts to 
mitigate the sufferings of the Union soldiers in the hospital 
and in the camp. During his residence in Washington he 
was active in their behalf, directing his efforts, of course, 
specially to those from his own county. At the close of the 
war, he received several handsome testimonials, in recogni- 
tion of the service he rendered in this respect, among which 
was an elegant gold watch and chain, presented by the mem- 
bers of the Sixty-fourth New York Volunteers. 

That Mr. Manley has gained considerable eminence as an 
agriculturist, is shown by the fact that he served seven years 
as President of the Cattaraugus County Agricultural Society, 
aiding very materially in bringing it to its present prosperous 
condition. He is now a member of the Executive Committee 
of the New York State Agricultural Society. 

In the recent canvass, Mr. Manley was met by a storm of 
detraction and slander, and herculean efforts were made to 
defeat him ; but, after an exciting contest, he was successful, 
notwithstanding the large " Liberal " defection in his district, 
by a majority of 535. 

He is a plain, substantial-looking gentleman, in the full 
flush of rosy health, and possesses a nature well calculated 

254 Life Sketches. 

to win tfte regard of his fellows. His religion, as he himself 
expresses it, consists in faith in the Supreme Being, and an 
endeavor to do right in all things. A knowledge of the 
man impresses one with the belief that he is quite successful 
in carrying that sort of religion into his daily life. 


Mr. Mabct, a clear-headed, energetic man of business, is 
the son of Zebadiah and Abigail Mabct, of Millington, 
Connecticut, and was bom at Willimantic, in the same State, 
on the 23d of March, 1830. He received in his youth no 
more than the ordinary common school education ; but gifted 
as he is with quick perception, large powers of observation 
and a good stock of common sense, there are few men of his 
age and position in life who entertain broader views of pub- 
lic affairs, or whose counsel is more valuable. He was 
brought up on a farm and laid the foundation of a healthy 
personal organization in early youth. Since his majority he 
has been engaged in several business ventures, in which he 
has met with uniform success. About the year 1862 he went 
into the insurance business, which he followed until 1871. 
In that year he purchased a farm near Riverhead, where he 
now resides. Twenty years ago he married Miss Sabah L. 
Case, whose family resides in Brooklyn. 

Until the year 1860 Mr. Mabcy was a Democrat, but in 
common with many others then in that party, he joined that 
organization which had assumed the duty of crushing armed 
treason. Ever since Sumter was fired upon he has been a 
straightforward and consistent Republican. Mr. M. was a 
member of the last Assembly, having been elected over 
James N. Batlis, a member in 1871, by a majority of 1,194. 
His popularity among his constituents is shown by the fact 
that his majority last fall was 1,314. 

Jeremiah McGuibe. , 255 

Mr. Makct is a mau of medium height, with a frame 
solidly knit and well proportioned. He is quite genial in 
disposition, and popular among a host of friends. Having 
taken a deep interest in politics for many years past he is 
well posted in all the intricacies and detail of party manage- 
ment. He seldom makes speeches upon the floor of the 
House, but his influence and labors are appreciably felt in 
the shaping and perfecting of important legislation. 


Schuyler county is fortunate in her present representative 
in the Assembly. Mr. McGuieb, to whom we allude, is a law- 
yer of eminent ability, who possesses much more than the 
average share of discriminating judgment and common 
sense. Without being at all obtrusive, and only occasionally 
indulging himself in a speech, he is, notwithstanding his 
connection with the political minority, a man of command- 
ing influence in shaping legislation. His legal reputation is 
one of the best in the State, having enjoyed a wide practice 
in the courts of central and western New York for many 
years past, and being connected with more celebrated causes 
than usually fall to the lot of lawyers outside of the great 
cities. The McGee suits, which have been in litigation for 
years, involving an immense estate, were in his charge from 
their commencement, while other suits of magnitude have 
been conducted by him successfully. Born in Ireland in the 
year 1825, Mr. McGuire came to this country at an early 
age. He enjoyed no extraordinary educational advantages in 
his youth, but he eagerly availed himself of all that his 
opportunities threw in his way, and when he reached man's 
estate, determined to qualify himself for the legal profession. 
He did so, and was duly admitted to the bar. As we have 
intimated, he soon rose to eminence in his calling, and 

256 Life Sketches. 

enjoys the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens very 
largely. He is located in the thriving vUlage of Havana. 
His career as a politician, as a lawyer, and as a man, is 
replete with much that would interest the public, and we 
therefore regret that the paucity of data in our possession 
precludes more than the baresb reference to his life. 

He was elected from the county of Schuyler to succeed a 
Kepublican by a majority of 106. He is a firm and consist- 
ent Democrat, and has long taken an active part in politics. 
His well-known legal abilities secured him a place on the 
Judiciary Committee, and he is also a member of the Com- 
mittees on Claims, and Local and Special Laws. 

DANIEL P. McQueen. 

We have been accustomed to couple the name of the his- 
toric county up the Mohawk with venerable associations, but 
the fact that she is represented on the floor of the Assembly 
by one of her younger sons, is not so incongruous as it might 
appear at first thought, inasmuch as she has of late suc- 
ceeded, in a figurative sense, in transfusing a good deal of 
youthful blood into her veins. 

Mr. McQueen, the member from Schenectady, is of Scotch 
descent, and was born in Stockbridge, Mass., July 6, 1843. 
His father, Walter McQueen, a practical machinist, re- 
moved to Schenectady about twenty-five years ago, and 
became Superintendent of the well-known Schenectady loco- 
motive works, a position which he has held until the present 
time. Young McQueen received a good common school 
education, and was brought up in the locomotive works, 
becoming, like his father, a practical machinist and locomo- 
tive engineer. Four years since, he was married to Miss S. 
M. Myeks, of Toledo, Ohio. 

Darius A. Moose. 257 

He has never been particularly promineut as a politician 
until the recent canvass, when he was induced, somewhat 
against his wishes at first, to become a candidate for the 
Assembly, and was nominated in the convention by accla- 
mation. The Democrats nominated Thomas B. Mitchell, 
a man of considerable ability, but the popularity of Mr. 
McQueen secured his election by a majority of 489. Mr. 
McQueen is a man of action rather than of words, and is 
wide awake in every sense of the term. Favored as he is 
with robust health, a superb physique, and sound common 
sense, his future career certainly promises to be a brilliant 


Mr. Moore is serving his second term, and ably represents 
the First district of St. Lawrence county. He is of Scotch 
descent, though his parents were both American born, his 
father, John W. Moobe, being a native of Pultney. Vt., and 
his mother of Ogdensburgh, N. Y. Young Moore received 
a good education in Gouverneur Wesleyan Seminary, and 
early developed a taste for mercantile life. For a number of 
years past he has been successfully engaged in business, and 
has acquired a wide reputation for energy and integrity. 

Mr. Moore has been an active politician from his youth 
up, always active in the primaries, in the conventions and at 
the polls. His influence in the politics of his county is there- 
fore something tangible. Frequently, also, he has held 
responsible positions in the gift of his party, always bringing 
to the performance of his duties, of whatever character, de- 
cided ability and sound judgment. Soon after he reached his 
majoriiy he was elected Town Clerk, and held that position 
until 1865. He was then elected Supervisor of the town of 
DeKalb, and has held the position ever since, being again 

258 Life Sketcbes. 

elected this spring. He commenced life as a Democrat, 
though he Toted for Fillmoke in 1865, but he soon afterward 
joined the Eepublican organization, and has since acted and 
voted therewith. In 1871, he was chosen to the Assembly 
by a majority of 1,816. He served his constituents with such 
marked fidelity to their interests, and proved himself so 
capable as a legislator, that he was returned last fall by the 
largely increased majority of 2,252. 

Mr. MooEE is a quiet member, rarely making a speech, but 
he is fully conversant with the requirements of legislative 
routine, and is second to none in executive capacity and 
effective industry. 


Mr. MoSHER, of the Fourth Albany district, is a native of 
Warren county, where he was born on the 28th of August, 
1825. He received a good common school education, and 
became a lumber merchant and manufacturer at Fort 
Edward, carrying on business there for a number of years. 
While a resident of Fort Edward he was prominent as a 
Democratic local political leader. In 1860 he was elected 
Supervisor of the town, Asahel Wing being his opponent. 
In 1863 he was the Democratic candidate for Sheriff of 
Washington county, but was defeated. A few years ago he 
removed to West Troy, Albany county, and engaged in busi- 
ness quite extensively as a lumber commission merchant. 
In this he has been quite successful, and is now worth a snug 

He was not long a resident of West Troy before he became 
prominent in political circles, and the fact that he has been 
three times a candidate for Member of Assembly suflSciently 
indicates the regard in which he is held by the Democratic 
party. He was nominated in 1870, but, owing to the fact 

Gnoses B. MosBER. 359 

that there were two Democratic candidates in the field, he 
was defeated. He was renominated in 1871, however, and 
was successful, defeating Oscab F. Potter by 78 majority. 
Last fall he was again elected by a majority of 136, Jehiel 
W. HiMBS, of Cohoes, being his opponent. As a member of 
the House, he is energetic and capable, giving close attention 
to the interests of his constituents. He serves on the Com- 
mittees on Canals, and Villages. 

Mr. MosHEE boasts a long and honorable army record. 
Commissioned as Captain of Company F, Ninety-third Regi- 
ment New York Volunteers, in August, 1861, he proceeded 
to the front, and served about two years under Generals 
McClellan, Hooker, Buenside and Meade, participating 
in nearly all the battles and marches of the Army of the 
Potomac during that period. A portion of the time he was 
detailed as an officer of General McClellak's headquarters' 

Mr. MosHEB is a man of somewhat striking presence. 
He is solidly built, about the medium size, with dark features, 
long flowing beard, tinged with iron-grey, large black eyes 
and dark hair. He has the appearance of an earnest, intel- 
ligent man of business, and he is one. He was married, in 
1848, to Christina McMillin, of Warren county. 

260 Life Sketches. 


Erie county has very nearly a monopoly of the German 
element in the House, there being bnt two native Germans 
from the rest of the State, ■while Erie county sends two very 
excellent representatives of that nationality, Messrs. Baltz 
and Nice. Mr. Nice is a resident of Grand Island, and was 
elected from the Fourth district of Erie county. He was 
born October 15, 1813, in Kindenheim, Rhenish Bavaria. 
He therefore ranks among the older members of the House. 
His parents, who were also born in Kindenheim, emigrated 
to this country in 1836, settling upon a farm in Erie county. 

Young Nice was educated in the common schools and 
brought up on the paternal farm, which he continued to 
manage for some years after his father died. Finally, he 
became a heavy dealer in wood and timber, and gave up 

He has generally felt a warm interest in politics, and exer- 
cises considerable influence among his countrymen, who con- 
stitute a large proportion of the population of that section 
of the State. He has been a Republican since the party was 
organized, and before that was a Whig. His almost life-long 
residence in Erie county, and his active participation in its 
politics, have rendered him more than ordinarily deserving 
of the numerous public positions he has been called to fill. 
He has served four times on the Board of Supervisors in 
1864, and each time he bore himself with credit. During 
three years — from 1861 to 1863 — he was County Superin- 
tendent of the Poor. Last fall he was selected by common 
consent as the fittest man to represent his district in the 
Assembly, and was chosen by a majority of 754, although 
another German, Geokge Zent, ran against him. The Re- 
publicans carried the district by a majority of 89. 

Mr. Nice is a man of robust, well -developed physique. 

MiCBAEL Norton. 26] 

His countenance indicates much decision of character, 
blended with kindness of heart. He is one of the quiet 
members, but he watches closely the progress of legislation. 
He professes the Protestant religion, was married in 1843 to 
MisB Mart Ann Pfizenmeiee, and is greatly respected in 
the community where he resides. 


Mr. NoETON, from the Fifth metropolitan district, is one 
of the best known members of the New York delegation. 
An Irishman by birth, but a thorough American in feeling 
and education, energetic, generous, true-hearted, social, and 
in every way an agreeable gentleman, Mr. Noeton is un- 
doubtedly one of the most popular members on the opposition 
side of the House. Born on Christmas day, 1839, he is now 
in the prime of a vigorous manhood, and.presents a splendid 
specimen of physical development. The better traits of 
manly character are very fully indicated in his physiognomy, 
of which a pleasant countenance, a mild blue eye, and a firm, 
yet amiable expression of feature are the main characteristics. 
He is a man of strong, practical common sense, and knows 
well how to make his knowledge of politics available. Few 
men of his education can compare with him in his control 
of men and party organizations. He is a Democrat by 
instinct, faith, education and practice, and though a firm 
adlierent of Tammany, and, in fact, a representative of that 
wing of the Democracy in the Assembly, no man has ever, 
by assertion or intimation, connected him witJi the fraudulent 
practices of certain former members of the Tammany organ- 

Mr. Norton was born in the county of Roscommon, Ire- 
land. His ancestry were all honorable and honored, and 
embraced men of distinction. But the misfortunes so com- 

262 Life Sketches. 

mon and constant in the Green Isle did not spare his father's 
family ; and when he was but five years old they joined in 
the exodus to America, and settled in the city of New York, 
where they resided up to the time of their death. 

Mr. Norton' is almost entirely self-educated. Except 
during a period of about nine months, at a very early age, he 
never attended a school under ordinary teachers; at the age 
of eight years he not only had to earn his bread but make it 
also, and commenced that part of his education which relates 
to the " loaves and fishes " in a cracker bakery, in which he 
remained about three years. He was then employed about 
five years with the firm of Swift & Co., sugar refiners, and 
subsequently engaged as mess boy on the " Atlantic," one of 
the vessels of the " Collins Line," and made several trips to 
Europe. He next learne^i the cooper's trade, which he fol- 
lowed with characteristic industry until the assault upon 
Sumter in 1861 called the country to arms. Leaving his 
hoops and staves in response to that call, Mr. Noktok 
enlisted as a private in the 25th Eegiment New York Volun- 
teers. His popularity and ability secured his selection to the 
Captaincy of Co. D of the regiment, which was mustered 
into service in May, 1861, and was one of the first at the 
front. He remained in the field about eight months when 
news of the serious illness of his mother compelled him to 
resign, his father having died a few months previously, and 
the care and support of the family consequently devolving 
upon him. 

Eeturning to New York in December, 1862, he was urged 
to enter politics. After some hesitation he accepted an inde- 
pendent Democratic nomination for Alderman of his dis- 
trict, though it involved the leadership of a forlorn hope. 
The result of the election, however, was auspicious for the 
future, and fully demonstrated his power with the people. 
Four candidates besides himself were in the field, but, not- 
withstanding the odds against him, he came out second in 
the race. In 1864 he again ran as an independent Demo- 

Michael Norton. 263 

cratic candidate and came off victorious in a severe contest 
with three opponents. His course in the Board of Alder- 
men, during his first term, was such that in 1866 he received 
the regular Tammany nomination for re-election, and after 
another hot contest swept the field against three candidates. 
His aldermanic record was eminently satisfactory, and his 
courage and firmness, combined with his manifest sincerity, 
his natural gentility of manners, and his knowledge of men, 
constantly added to his power and popularity, which have 
since been fully proven by his repeated election to the State 
Senate from the Third district. 

At the time Mr. NoBTON became a Senatorial candidate, 
in 1867, the Legislature was Kepublican, and a Eepublican 
Senator, Hon. Abraham Lekt, represented the district, 
which had become traditionally of the same political com- 
plexion. Mr. Noeton's first campaign, however, changed 
the tradition and the facts, and he carried the district for 
the Democracy by a large majority, although he had opposed 
to him Charles Blauvelt, the Mozart Hall candidate, and 
two Eepublican candidates. In the Senate he became a per- 
sonal favorite with men of all parties, and was in all respects 
a valuable member. In 1869 he was again nominated as the 
regular Tammany candidate for Senator, and though again 
opposed by an outside Democrat, ex-Alderman Fltitn, and 
by a Republican, Hon. Jacob Sharpe, he gave both a speci- 
men of his quality as the " Thunderbolt," a title which he 
earned in these contests, and was again elected by a large 

In the fall of 1871 he was again a candidate, but the com- 
bination against him was too formidable, and he was defeated. 
Last November he was elected to the Assembly by a majority 
of 673, and as a member of the Committees on Canals and 
Militia, he is an effective member of the House. 

Besides his services as a State legislator and as an Alderman, 
Mr. Norton has frequen tly been a delegate to the State con- 
vention s of his party, serving in that capacity in the National 

264 Life Sketches. 

D'-mocratic Convention which was held in New York in 
July, 1868. He has also been a prominent member of the 
Tammany General Committee in New York, and is recog- 
nized as one of the most shrewd and indefatigable workers 
in his party. 


Mr. Oaklet \b now serving his third term as the represent- 
ative fi"om the Third district of Queens county. He is one 
of the younger members of the House, having been born in 
New York city on the 19th of January, 1839. He received 
a thorough academic education, and since his majority has 
been engaged in the business of buying and selling real 
estate. He now resides at Jamaica, Queens county, where 
he is very popular among all classes. 

A Democrat of unswerving fidelity, Mr. Oaklet has 
mingled considerably in politics, and enjoys the confidence 
of his party in very large measure. In the recent canvass 
extraordinary efforts were made to defeat him, but he re- 
ceived a majority of 141, over Thomas J. Cogswell, Repub- 
lican, and was the only Democrat elected in Queens county. 
He is a man of unusually prepossessing appearance and 
genial manners. Well posted in the routine of legislation, 
though not a great talker, he is an efScient and valuable 
member, and much esteemed by all so fortunate as to possess 
his friendship. 

His seat was contested by Mr. Cogswell, his opponent, 
but the Committee on Privileges and Elections decided 
unanimously that Mr. Oaklet was entitled to the seat. 

JoBN CBbian. 265 


Mr. O'Brian, of Erie, is a son of John and Maky O'Brtan, 
natives of the county of Cork, Ireland, and was bom in Little 
Falls, Herkimer county, December 12, 1842. He is well ed- 
ucated, having spent most of his youth in the public schools, 
and in the Buffalo Mercantile College, obtaining a thorough 
acquaintance with those branches especially essential to busi- 
ness life. After leaving school he learned the printing busi- 
ness, but he was compelled to leave it on account of ill health, 
and was then employed as salesman in the coal department of 
the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Eailroad Company, at 
Buffalo. At the commencement of President Grant's admin- 
istration, he was appointed assistant postmaster of Buffalo, 
and served two years. Eecently he held an important position 
in the State Comptroller's oflSce, under Hon. Nelson K. Hop- 
kins, but resigned last fkU, in order to accept a nomination 
for Member of Assembly. 

Mr. O'Bbian has always acted with the Republican party, 
his first vote having been cast for Abraham Lincoln. He 
has mingled largely in the local politics of his district, and 
not only bears a good reputation for integrity and ability, 
but is very popular with all classes. He ran for Assembly 
in 1868, on the Republican ticket, but was defeated by Hon. 
Geo. J. Bamleb. The result of the contest was, however, 
quite gratifying to Mr. O'Brian, inasmuch as he ran 1,400 
ahead of his ticket. In the fall of 1872, he again received 
the nomination, and was elected by a majority of 467, over 
Daniel Cruise, Democrat, in a district which gave 607 
Democratic majority the previous year. He is, in fact, the 
first Republican member ever elected in the district. He is 
Chairman of the Committee on Militia, and a member of the 
Committee on Public Education. 
Being Captain of the McMahon Corps of the 74th Regi- 

266 Life Sketches. 

ment, N. T. S. N. G., one of the crack organizations among 
the citizen soldiery of Buffalo, and being identified with 
various social and political institutions in that city, Mr. 
O'Erian naturally enjoys a large acquaintance, and he is 
highly esteemed by all his associates and friends. He pos- 
sesses numerous graces of character, and is ever firm in his 
friendships, strong and decided in his convictions, and always 
the courteous, genial gentleman. With his many good quali- 
ties, however, and possessing in marked degree those attri- 
butes which are calculated to win the regard of the other 
sex, Mr. O'Bbian is, strangely enough, unmarried. In 
religion he is a Eoman Catholic. 


Mr. Opdtke, who represents the Twentieth metropolitan 
district, was born on the 6th of October, 1836. He received 
a liberal education, graduating at the age of twenty from 
the University of the city of New York. Deciding to adopt 
the profession of the law, he attended the Albany Law 
School in 1866-7, and then went to Europe and studied at 
Heidelberg during the years 1858 and 1859. On his return 
he again attended the Albany Law School in 1859-60, was 
admitted to the bar at Albany in May, 1860, and has since 
practiced in the city of New York. He has always been more 
or less active as a politician. In the earlier years of his life he 
was attached to the Free Soil wing of the Democratic party, 
but, as the issues of the war obliterated that distinction in 
the ranks of the Democracy, he, in common with many 
others holding similar views, gravitated toward Kepublican- 
ism, and for several years past he has uniformly acted with 
the party which fought out the war and abolished slavery. 
He enjoys a large popularity in the Nineteenth ward, where he 
resides, but, with the exception of being a member of the 

Jacob M. Patterson. 267 

lower board of the New York Common Council in 1S64, he 
has never held public oflBce until the present year. In the 
present canvass he was elected by a plurality of over 1,000, 
in a district largely Democratic, the opposition vote being 
about equally divided between the Tammany and Apollo 
Hall candidates. This result is, perhaps, the more gratifying 
to him, as the Committee of Seventy declined to indorse his 

Mr. Opdyke is a young man of decided force of character, 
and possesses marked legislative ability. As a public speaker 
he is pleasing, concise and logical, and, though he is more at 
home, perhaps, in the discussion of legal questions than any 
other, he brings to every question the ripe judgment of a 
well-balanced and well-informed mind, and that critical fac- 
ulty which springs from thoroughly matured conviction. 
Since the session opened he has ably participated in numer- 
ous important discussions, and was specially prominent in 
the debates in the Assembly upon the New York city char- 
ter. He is a man of very pleasing appearance, and carries 
with him the manners of the cultivated gentleman. He was 
married in October, 1863, to Miss Post, a daughter of Prof. 
Alfred C. Post, an eminent physician of New York city. 


Hon. Jacob M. Patterson, Jr., was bom of American 
parents, June 20th, 1838, in the district which he now repre- 
sents, the 10th of New York. He received a common school 
and academic education, and is now engaged in business as a 
dealer in meats. 

Mr. Pattbesom' has for a number of years been actively 
engaged in political contests, especially in his own district, 
where he has labored for years to establish a Republican 
Association to be composed only of consistent members of 

268 LiFS Sketches. 

his party. In this he has been completely successful, and 
for several years he has been unanimously elected to the 
presidency of a large and influential organization. 

A warm admirer of Gen. GtKANT during his military 
career, he was one of his most ardent supporters in 1868, 
and early became an earnest advocate of the President's 
claims to the renomination. As a member of the Executive 
Committee of the State Central Committee he labored zeal- 
ously during the late campaign. The Tenth Assembly dis- 
trict, comprising a densely populated portion of the Seven- 
teenth ward, is largely Democratic, and great numbers of 
Germans reside within its boundaries. By the latter element 
Mr. Patterson has been justly regarded as a friend, and 
their hearty support greatly contributed to his success in the 
late election. It is worthy of mention that Mr. Patteeson 
is the first Republican who has obtained a clear majority in 
the district since the formation of the party. 

In view of his business interests, he yielded reluctantly to 
persuasions of political and personal friends, and entered 
upon a compaign against two opponents, one of whom had 
received the regular nominations of Tammany and Apollo 
Hall. He had, however, the prestige of a name well known 
and highly honored for many years in the district where his 
ancestors resided. Hosts of personal and political friends, 
together with fiermaos and others who, regardless of party 
ties, combined with those who were enthusiastic in his sup- 
port, on account of his great personal popularity and well- 
known unswerving devotion to Republican principles, 
secured a result which, considering the political complexion 
of the district, surprised those most who deemed themselves 
the best judges of political probabilities, and can only be 
regarded as a great personal triumph of the candidate thus 
honored. In 1871 the vote for member of Assembly was as 
follows: Republican, 1,810; Independent Liberal, 309; 
Tammany, Apollo, and Independent Democrats, 3,633. The 
Republican candidate was elected by a small plurality, though 

Stephen Pell. 269 

the total opposition vote was in a majority of 2,131. In 
1873 Tammany and Apollo Hall combined upon one of the 
candidates of 1871, and a German ran on an Independent 
ticket The result was most gratifying to the friends of Mr. 
Paiteeson. He received a vote of 3,985 ; Rollwagon, the 
Tammany and Apollo Hall candidate, received 1,834, and 
Werner, the Independent candidate, polled but 891 votes, 
thus leaving Mr. Patterson a clear majority of 260, and a 
majority over Tammany and Apollo Hall of 1,151. 


Mr. Pell is a prosperous merchant of New York city, 
residing in the Ninth ward of that city nearly all his life. 
He was born, however, in the Fifth ward, on the 26th of 
February, 1819, being, therefore, about fifty-four years of 
age. He was a son of Abijah Pell, who served with 
honor in the war of 1812. Mr. Pell is in large degree self- 
educated, though he passed through the usual training 
which the average American youth receives in the public 
schools. His common-sense views of questions which come 
before him as a legislator, and his equally common-sense 
mode of dealing with them, were derived mainly from the 
school of experience, in which he has been all his life an apt 
pupil. In 1843, he was married to Mart Jane Masterson, 
who was also a native of New York city. During many 
years Mr. Pell was an active member of the old Volunteer 
Fire Department of the metropolis, and has long borne tlfe 
reputation of a large-hearted, public-spirited citizen. He 
never held public position, however, until 1872, when he 
represented the same district, the Ninth, in the Assembly, 
being elected by a decided majority over two opponents, 
William Bergen and Terence Shea. In the canvass 

270 Life Sketcbbs. 

last fall his re-election was opposed by William Ddrgak. 
He has been a Republican since the organization of the 
party, previous to which he acted with the Whigs. Mr. 
Pell is a well-preserved gentleman of courteous manners 
and liberal views. In person he is large and rather stoutly 
built, with a massive head and shoulders, benevolent coun- 
tenance, black eye, and hair plentifully sprinkled with 
gray. He is esteemed by friends and opponents alike, and 
performs his legislative duties with diligence and ability, 
devoting his attention mainly to local matters. 


Mr. Persoxs, who represents the first district of Jefferson 
county, was born in Somers, Tolland county, Connecticut, 
August 2, 1809. His father, Samuel Peesoks, was also a 
native of Connecticut, but he removed to New York State a 
few years after his marriage, and died in 1859 at the age of 
ninety-two. Mr. Persons was educated in the common 
schools of this State, and learned the trade of a wheelwriglit, 
which he followed until about the year 1852, when he pur- 
chased a farm in the town of Ellisburgh, and has managed 
it up to the present time with a very good degree of success. 
At an early age he became identified with the old Whig 
party, and steadily adhered to its fortunes until it was 
dissolved ; since that event he has as steadily acted with the 
Republican party, taking a very active part in the details of 
local organization. His first advent in public affairs was in 
f 847, when he was made Collector of the town of Ellisburgh, 
and served one year. Iq 1862 he was elected Highway Com- 
missioner, and remained in oflBce continuously for nine years. 
Last fall his friends and neighbors determined upon his pro- 
motion, and, after receiving the unanimous nomination of 
his district convention, he was elected by the flattering 

Oeorqb W. Phillips. 271 

majority of 1,587 over Alexander Dickinson, a Liberal 
Republican, supported by Democrats. Mr. Pehsons has 
been married twice, his first wife being Eliza McNitt, whom 
he married in 1833, and his second, Chloe E. Kexchum, 
married in 1855, and still living. Mr. Persons is a plain, 
blunt man of action, with kindly disposition and pleasant 
manners. He expends very little energy in words,' but is 
always in his seat, and performs his legislative duty with 
diligence and judgment. 


Mr. Phillips was born in the town and county of Onon- 
daga, December 18, 1823. In addition to an ordinary com- 
mon school education, he came to Homer in 1840 and was a 
diligent and faithful and successful pupil of Cortland 
Academy until 1843. He taught a common school for 
several winters, and was Town Superintendent of common 
schools during the years 1845 and '46. In 1850 he became a 
resident of Homer, where he established himself as a mer- 
chant, and has pursued that occupation ever since. He soon 
acquired, and has uniformly maintained, an honorable repu- 
tation as an upright, competent and successful business man, 
and a public spirited citizen. He served one term as Trus- 
tee of Homer village. For the past several years he has been 
an active and influential Trustee of Cortland Academy, In 
1861 he was elected Supervisor of the town of Homer, and 
with an interval of a few months, held the oflice for nine 
years. He was chosen by the Board of Supervisors a member 
of the Volunteer Bounty Committee, and held that position, 
most of the time as Chairman, during its entire existence. 
His services on this committee are regarded as having been of 
great value to the county and to the Federal cause. His 
knowledge of the details of the duties devolving upon him 

272 Life Sketches. 

was thorough, and his judgment was much respected. His 
clear perception of the principles involved, his retentive mem- 
ory of the facts in each case, and his uniform readiness to meet 
all the demands made by it upon his time and attention, fully 
justified the successive Boards of Supervisors in retaining his 
services upon the committee. In politics he was a Whig 
imtil the formation of the Kepublican party, in which he 
took an early and active part. He has remained an earnest 
worker in that party. In the Republican County Convention 
last fall he was nominated for Member of Assembly by an 
unusually large vote. At the ensuing election he received 
3,484 votes, his opponent, Judge W. A. Shankland, receiv- 
ing 2,493. His service in the Assembly thus far has been 
eminently satisfactory. 


The gentleman who ably represents the First district of 
Madison county in the Assembly is Edward C. Philpot, a 
native and resident of the town of Eaton, in that county. 
He is of Protestant-Irish descent. His grand-parents settled 
in Eaton in 1807, on the farm still occupied by his mother, 
whose maiden name was Maet Tooke, his father having 
died July 27, 1859. Mr. Philpot was born on November 9, 
1834, and he is, therefore, a little over thirty-eight years of age. 
He was liberally educated in the common schools and at the 
Central New York Conference Seminary at Cazenovia, com- 
pleting his study of the ordinary branches in 1852. During 
a couple of years subsequently he taught school, but enter- 
taining a penchant for the legal profession, he read law for 
several years in the office of Hon. Henry' GooDWiif and 
D. J. Mitchell, of Hamilton, and was admitted to the bar 
in 1856. He then formed a partnership with Hon. J. B. 
Eldridge, at Hamilton, and practiced with fair success until 

Edward C. Phil pot. 273 

the partnership was dissolved in 1858. During the next two 
years he practiced law with Col. John T. Philpot, his 
brother, at Cleveland, Ohio. Owing to poor health he finally 
returned to Eaton, however, and settled down to the occupa- 
tion of farming. He also practices law, and is a Railroad 
Commissioner of his town. 

Mr. Philpot has been active and prominent in Madison 
county politics for a long period, having been a delegate to 
every county and district convention for the last ten years. 
He has also been a delegate to State Conventions, and as 
Supervisor, Justice of the Peace, Justice of Sessions, and now 
as member of Assembly, bids fair to perform his full share 
of public service. Soon after his return from Ohio he was 
elected Supervisor for the town of Eaton, and served two years 
in the board. In 1864 he was chosen Justice of the Peace, and 
has filled the oflBce ever since. In 1867 he was also elected 
Justice of Sessions, holding the ofiBce until 1869. Last fall 
he received a majority of 1,525 for the Assembly, P. Adelbert 
Btjbdick being the opposing candidate. Mr. Philpot's first 
rote was cast for John C. Pkemont for President. Since 
then he has steadily labored and voted for the success of 
Eepublican principles and candidates. Mr. P. is Chairman 
of the Committee on Petitions of Aliens, and a member of 
the Committee on Privileges and Elections. He is a bachelor, 
and weighs 200 pounds. 


till Life Sketches. 


The Second district of Albany cwinty has of late adopted 
the commendable rule of sending her best men to the 
Assembly. To this class, in whatever way we may regard 
him, Mr. Pierson assuredly belongs. He is decidedly the 
most conspicuous man in the Assembly, and his prominence 
in the public mind is due entirely to his exalted personal 
attributes. He is emphatically one of those men who, by 
self-reliance, ability, and force of character, achieve a meas- 
ure of success of which many, more favored by fortune, 
come short. Born in Charleston, Montgomery county, in 
this State, on the 13th of January, 1819, of poor and 
obscure, but respectable family, he inherited nothing but 
the sterling honesty which characterized his parents, and his 
early opportunities for acquiring an education were con- 
fined to those obtainable, with little regularity, in a country 
school-house. When he reached the age of twenty-one, how- 
ever, being thrown upon his own resources, he left home. 
His first care, on finding himself his own master, was to 
make up, as far as possible, for his educational deficiencies. 
He therefore labored industriously, studied hard, and by 
teaching school, and with trifling outside aid, he finally 
attained the object of his ambition. He entered Union Col- 
lege in 1843, and graduated in July, 1846, with full honors, 
being in the class with ex-Governor John T. Hoffmax, and 
other men who have since reached eminence. He chose the 
law as his profession, and removed to New York in 1847. 
Being without fortune, friends or influence, it was up-hill 
work with him at first, but his unconquerable spirit soon 
surmounted those obstacles which often fatally discourage 
young men on entering the crowded city. He studied faith- 
fully, and in May, 1848, his zeal and ability were rewarded 
by his admission to the bar. He at once engaged in active 

Henry R. Piersox. 275 

practice, and was known as one of the most promisiag 
young lawyers of the metropolis. He formed a partnership 
with Hon. Abijah Mann, which continued several years, 
during which he established a good reputation. 

In 1849 he removed to Brooklyn and immediately inter- 
ested himself in public affairs to that extent that he soon 
became a prominent and influential citizen. Warmly attached 
to the Whig cause at that time, he allied himself with the 
Eepublicans as soon as the new party was organized, and 
has consistently adhered to it up to the present time. The 
prominence he attained and his splendid abilities caused him 
to be selected as the standard bearer of the party in numer- 
ous political contests, and it has been well for him, and well 
for the communities in which he has resided, that he pos- 
sessed a physical and mental organization which singularly 
fitted him to stand in the fore-front of the hottest party 

The first position held by him was that of member of the 
Brooklyn Board of Education. He was appointed to that 
oflBce by the mayor and aldermen in 1854, and served until 
1857. Mr. PiEHSON fully recognized the importance of the 
trust confided to him, and performed his duties with tact and 
judgment. He was re-appointed in 1860, and held the posi- 
tion as long as he resided in the city. In 1857 he was elected 
Alderman of the Third ward of Brooklyn, and represented 
the interests of the ward for three years, to the entire satis- 
faction of a large, wealthy and intelligent constituency. 
His position in the municipal legislature was one of com- 
manding influence, and for a year and a half he was Presi- 
dent of the Board of Aldermen. In 1857 he was the 
Republican candidate for State Senator for the Second dis- 
trict, and was defeated by the Democratic candidate, Mr. 
Gardiner, by about forty votes. Irregularities, amounting 
in some instances to positive fraud, were alleged to have 
occurred in connection with the election, and Mr. Pierson 
was urged, by his political friends, to contest the seat. He,. 

370 Life Sketches. 

however, declined to do so, preferring to owe Senatorial 
honors to the will of the people, clearly expressed in a major- 
ity vote, rather than to a technical question of regularity. 
In 1868 that will was thus expressed, hy a handsome majority, 
in a district usually regarded as close and doubtful. In that 
year Mr. Pierson was elected over Calvik E. Pratt, the 
Democratic candidate, by a majority of 1,097. His services 
in the Senate are forgotten neither by his constituents nor 
by the State at large. He participated in the important dis- 
cussions occurring during his stay at the Capital with signal 
ability, and showed those qualities of the true statesman 
which have since been more fully developed. 

In 1860, Mr. Pierson retired from the legal profession, 
and was chosen President of the Brooklyn City Eailroad, 
and henceforth became actively identified with the great and 
rapidly growing railroad interests of the country. He held 
tliis office until 1869, when he was elected Financial Agent 
of the Chicago and Northwestern Eailroad Company. This 
necessitated his removal to Chicago, and he was soon after 
made Vice-President of the same company, retaining, how- 
ever, the position of Financial Agent. This office he held 
two years, when, on being chosen Resident Executive Direc- 
tor of the New York Central and Hudson Eiver Railroad, he 
removed to Albany, where he has since resided. 

Besides the positions of a business and political nature 
already mentioned, Mr. Pierson" has held several important 
trusts of an honorary character, educational and otherwise. 
In July, 1870, he was elected a trustee of Union College, his 
alma mater, and was also chosen as a trustee of the Albany 
Medical College, but he resigned both positions on being 
elected Regent of the University by the Legislature of 1872, 
to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of Hon. Eras- 
Tus Corning. He is now, however. Trustee of the Dudley 
Observatory at Albany, and also of the State Inebriate Asy- 
lum at Binghamton. 

It seems superfluous to observe that in all these positions 

James G. Portdous. 277 

Mr. PiERSON has shown conspicuous ability, rare capacity, 
and large mental powers. In every situation requiring exec- 
utive talent, prompt and unerring judgment, and discrimi- 
nating tact, he is at home. A keen observer, a rapid reasoner, 
and an acute thinker, he certainly seems fitted to occupy 
more exalted places of trust than any he has yet been called 
to fill. 

In the Assembly he was accorded a prominent position 
from the start, being assigned to the Chairmanship of the 
Committee on Cities, and the second place on the Railroad 
Committee. He therefore wields an influence second to that 
of no other member of the present House. He is a man 
of large frame and dignified presence, and is full of healthful 
vitality. His profusion of silvery hair gives him a venerable 
appearance beyond his years. Of unruffled disposition, warm, 
social qualities, hearty and pleasant manners, he certainly 
possesses all the characteristics which win popularity. He is 
an excellent debater, fluent, clear, sensible, unostentatious, 
frequently brilliantly eloquent. He lays down his proposi- 
tions vigorously and plainly, and always commands the atten- 
tion of the House. 


James George Porteous, who represents Warren county 
in the present Assembly, is a physician of twenty years' 
practice, and so thorough and reliable is he in his professional 
capacity, that he is admitted to be '' the best physician in 
Warren county." He was born in Moriah, Essex county, on 
the 3d of January, 1839, his father being Andrew Por- 
teous, who is still living. He received a liberal education, 
graduating from Harvard University in 1863. In August 
of the same year he received the appointment of assistant 
surgeon of the 118th Regiment New York Volunteers. While 

278 Life Sketcbes. 

with this I'egiment, and subsequently, he greatly distin- 
gnished himself by his bravery and coolness in action, 
making it his invariable practice to accompany the command 
wherever it went^ nobly sharing in its dangers and priva- 
tions on the march and under fire. He was in many of the 
battles and campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, and 
served throughout with the Army of the James, being espe- 
cially conspicuous at South Anna, siege of Sufiblk, City 
Point, Drury's Bluff, Coal Harbor, second Pair Oaks, Chapin's 
Parm, Fort Harrison, Petersburgh and Five Porks. He was 
known in the army as the "Fighting Surgeon," and his 
bravery on the occasion of the capture of Port Harrison, 
while his regiment formed a portion of the Army of the 
James, elicited the following complimentary mention in the 
general orders of the commanding officer. Gen. Butler : 

" Assistant Surgeon, J. G. Pokteous, 118th N. Y. V., 
deserves the highest credit for his bravery and attention to 
duties, being the only surgeon in the brigade advancing with 
his regiment in charging column." 

After the close of the James River campaign, Dr. Poe- 
TEOUS was promoted to Surgeon, and transferred to the 46th 
Regiment N. Y. Volunteers, with which he remained until the 
close of the war. 

On his return home. Dr. Pokteous settled at Luzerne, 
where he still practices his profession with great success. 
Though always an enthusiastic and active Republican, he 
never accepted public position until the year 1869, when he 
was chosen Supervisor of Luzerne. To this office he has 
been twice re-elected. Last fall he was a delegate to the 
county convention, and steadily resisted the efforts made to 
induce him to be a candidate for the Assembly, and it 
was only when the unanimous voice of the convention called 
upon him to accept that he yielded. He was elected by 
a decided majority in a county sometimes closely contested, 
and his course, since he has been a member, fully justifies 
the confidence i-eposed in him by his constituents. 

L. Bradford Prince. 279 

Dr. PoETEOUS is a man of fine presence and courteous 
demeanor, with warm, social instincts. Quiet and unassum- 
ing in manner, a man of few words, but sound judgment, 
his natural abilities and finely cultured mind inspire respect, 
and render him competent to fill any position in life. He 
also unites with those qualities strict principles and unas- 
sailable integrity. 


In view of his three years' record as a legislator, his emi- 
nence in the legal profession, his prominence in literature 
and politics, and his honorable connection with societies and 
institutions of learning, Mr. Prince may be regarded as one 
of the prominent men of our State. A finely cultivated gen- 
tleman, a thorough scholar, a brilliant and forcible speaker, 
and a man of decided and advanced opinions in most depart- 
ments of thought, he is well qualified to maintain a leading 
position in a House which practically recognizes no leader. 
Mr. Pkince was born in Flushing, his present place of resi- 
dence, on the 3d of July, 1840. He is a lineal descendant of 
Gov. Wm. Bbadfoed, of Plymouth, one of the " Men of the 
Mayflower," and inherits many of the sturdy virtues of his 
Puritan ancestry. Both his grandfather and great-grand- 
father, on the maternal side, were Governors of Rhode Island, 
and, on the paternal side, he comes of the well-known 
Peince family, of horticultural fame. After spending much 
of his youth in South Carolina and Florida in search of 
health, he was engaged for a short time in horticultural pur- 
suits at Flushing, but his tastes leading him to the law, he 
entered Columbia Law School, from which lie graduated 
with the highest honors, receiving the $300 prize in Politi- 
cal Science. In 1868 he was complimeinted by being chosen 
as the Alumni orator, and is now President of the Alumni 

280 Life Sketches. 

Association of the Law School. As a lawyer, he stands 
high, being a clear and incisive reasoner, and possessing rare 
ability as an advocate. He indulges in very little fanciful 
rhetoric, relying mainly upon carefully presented facts and 
skillfully digested deductions therefrom. 

Mr. Peince's political career reaches over a perit>d of 
more than sixteen years, extending through the whole his- 
tory of the Eepublican party. His interest in political mat- 
ters early developed itself, and as long ago as 1856 — in the 
Fremont campaign — he was an active writer and worker, 
receiving a special vote of thanks from the town club, of 
which he was too young to be a member. In 1860, though 
still not a voter, he acted as oflScer of the local organization, 
delegate, speaker, etc., enthusiastically supporting the Lincoln 
ticket. Since that time he has always been actively engaged 
in political work, though living in a county where the heavy 
Democratic majority precluded all expectation of personal 
advancement ; and, as a political speaker, is well known in 
many sections of the State. Twelve years ago he was chosen 
a member of the Republican Committee of Queens county, 
and has been its presiding officer for several years. He was 
also a delegate to the Chicago National Convention in 1868, 
and in the following year a member of the State Committee. 
He was first elected to the Assembly in 1870, when he 
received a majority of 1,415, although the district is about 
600 Democratic. 

Mr. Pbiijce's popularity, in fact, has never been bounded 
by party lines, men of all shades of political belief recogniz- 
ing the fact that his splendid abilities are available for the 
welfare of the whole people. Though not entirely unknown 
in the State Bit large when he entered the Assembly, his 
talents commanded speedy recognition in that body, and his 
skill as A debater and his legislative efficiency were soon appar- 
ent. In the fall of 1871 he was again placed in nomination, 
and though his opponent was the strongest Democrat in the 
district, and a man who had served two terms in the Assem- 

L. Bradford Prince. 281 

bly and one in the State Senate, Mr. Pkince received a 
majority of 1,169. In the fall of 1872 he received the extra- 
ordinary compliment of a request for his continuance in 
oflBce, signed by over two thousand voters irrespective of 
party. He was thereupon nominated by acclamation, and 
elected without opposition. Such tribute to high personal 
character and exceptional oflBcial fidelity, is rarely extended 
to a public man, and all who know Mr. P. will readily admit 
that it was in every way deserved. 

His service in the Assembly has been an honorable one. 
As Chairman of the Judiciary Committee during this and 
the last sessions, his labors have not only been multifarious 
and arduous, but exceedingly valuable to the State. It was 
his province during the winter of 1872 to conduct the investi- 
gation into the odicial conduct of Judges Bakn'ARD, Cak- 
Dozo and McCunw. This investigation extended from Feb- 
ruary 19 to April 10, during which time 239 witnesses were 
examined, and over 2,400 pages of evidence taken. The 
thoroughness and fairness with which the investigation was 
prosecuted secured the approbation of all parties, and its 
results form the brightest page in the history of the last 
Legislature. The verdict of the committee was so evi- 
dently based upon justice and evidence, that it met with 
very general acquiescence. The report in favor of impeach- 
ing two of the judges and removing the other, was adopted 
by the House, and in the choice of managers to conduct 
the impeachment trial, which, as is known, resulted in the 
disgrace of Judge Baknakd, Mr. Prince received 110 of the 
113 votes cast by the House, the others chosen varying from 
] 04 to 50 each. He was also appointed to proceed to the 
Senate and formally impeach Judge Barkard at its bar, for 
high crimes and misdemeanors. He was active in the mat- 
ter until the trial closed, and it is probably due to him more 
than any other one man, that the Judiciary of the State was 
relieved of the disgrace that would have attended Barnard's 
retention on the Bench. 

282 Life Sketcbes. 

In the present session, besides the Ohainnanship of the 
Judiciary Committee (which Committee annually considers 
nearly four hundred bills, having over one-quarter of the 
legislation of the State referred to it), he is Chairman of the 
Committee on Local and Special Laws, and a member of the 
Joint Library Committee. 

It is not alone, however, in the field of politics or law 
that Mr. PRiifCB has won honor and fame. He is well 
known, also, as a thoughtful writer and lecturer on various 
topics, among which, perhaps, those relating to Legislative 
and Grovernmental Eeform have attracted the widest notice. 
Several years ago he wrote a work entitled "E Pluribus 
Unum, or, American Nationality," which passed through 
several editions, and was warmly commended by statesmen 
and political scientists. Last winter he delivered a lecture 
in New York and several other cities, in which some of the 
evils of the present system of law-making were severely 
handled. He inveighed very strongly, in particular, against 
the tendency to burden the Legislature with a mass of spe- 
cial and local legislation, compelling much of the important 
work of every session to be cr«dely and hastily performed. 
His suggestions attracted much attention, and some of them 
have been embodied in the constitutional amendments now 
pending. Mr. PEiiircE is also a prominent member of the 
Masonic fraternity, having been D. D. Grand Master of 
Queens and Suffolk counties for three terms. For ten years 
he was Superintendent or Director of the Queens county 
Agricultural Society, and during eight years has been an 
oflRcer of the Long Island Historical Society. With all his 
attainments, Mr. Prince is a quiet, courteous, unassuming 
gentleman, strictly conscientious in all his dealings with 
others, and it is evident that still greater honors are in store 
for him in the future. 

BENjAMiy Ray. 283 


The member from the First district of Columbia county is 
one of the old-fashioned class of Democrats. Sturdy and 
uncompromising in his character, earnest in his views, and 
persistent in the advocacy of what he deems to be right prin- 
ciples, he is well known in the eastern section of the State 
as a sound and reliable member of the party. From his 
youth up he has never faltered in his Democracy. During 
the divisions of the party previous to the war he warmly 
espoused the Hunker or Hardshell wing. His political 
faith may therefore be said to be pure and unadulterated. 

Mr. Ray was born in the city of Hudson, February 16, 1819. 
His father, now dead, was Captain Samuel Eat, a native of 
Dixtchess county, and in his day a well-known shipmaster. 
Mr. Ray's mother, we believe, is still living, at a very advanced 
age. Educated in the common schools and at Hudson 
Academy, Mr, Rat adopted the profession of engineering, but 
has not recently followed it. Until a few months ago he 
owned a handsome farm in the vicinity of Hudson, upon 
which he spent much of his time for several years past, but 
he availed himself of an opportunity to dispose of it. 

Mr. Ray's life has been somewhat checkered and replete 
with incident. Besides those mentioned he has at different 
times tried his hand at a number of employments. He has 
been a steamboat builder, a navigator on the Hudson, and 
has done something at blacksmithing, boiler-making, and 
sundry other trades. He went to California in 1849, working 
his passage, and spent several years in San Francisco, where 
he made many warm friends, and held an important public 
position solely because of his capability therefor, being polit- 
ically opposed to those who appointed him. The climate did 
not agree with him, ho>vever, and he returned to New York. 
He remained in that city until about five years since, when 

284 Life Sketches. 

he located in Columbia county, and still resides there, 
respected and honored. He is quite influential in the local 
politics of that county, and has frequently held positions of 
trust, which he has filled with credit. As the result of his 
varied experience, and the bufFetings of fortune, Mr. Rat is 
a man of iron nerve and determined purpose. Yet with all 
his rough exterior he is a man of extremely generous im- 
pulses and kindly nature, and his inbred coui'tesy of manner 
is extended to friends and opponents alike. He is now 
serving his fourth term in the Assembly, having been a 
member in 1856, and the last three terms being consecutive. 
Mr. Ray's voice is not often heard in debate, but he is capa- 
ble of making a strong common-sense speech on almost any 
topic, and is thoroughly posted in all the details of legis- 


The member from the Second district of Onondaga county 
is a quiet man of business, possessing sound sense and un- 
questioned capacity for legislative duties. This is his first 
term in the Assembly, but the honorable record he has made 
thus far is certainly to some extent an earnest that it will not 
be his last. He was born in Oswego, December 14, 1816, 
and is, therefore, about fifty-seven years of age. He is of 
English descent, his father, Jacob Raynoe, being the scion 
of a family which early settled on Long Island. His mother 
was a native of Washington county, in this State. Both his 
parents have been dead some years. 

Young Raykok received a good business education, partly 
in a common school, and partly in the Onondaga Academy, 
under the tutelage of the well-known educator, S. B. WoOL- 
WOKTH. After leaving school in 1828, he spent several years 
as a clerk, and about the year 1841 he became an assistant in 

George Raynor. 285 

the Syracuse post-oflBce. He entered energetically upon his 
duties, and made postal matters a study to such a degree that 
he has been almost continuously in the service of the depart- 
ment until a very recent period. He served in the Syracuse 
oflSce until 1845, when he became a mail agent on the route 
between Albany and Buffalo, and served, either as deputy or 
principal, from 1846 to 1865. When the new post-office 
cars came into use he was selected as one of the postal clerks 
between New York and Buffalo, and acted as such during 
the years 1870 and 1871. He is largely interested in build- 
ing and street-car enterprises in Syracuse, and though he 
resides in Onondaga, the Saline City is virtually his business 

Mr. Eaykor's political life has been active and honorable. 
His first vote was cast for Wm. H. Sewakd, in 1838, and 
thenceforward he consistently acted with the Whigs until 
the party dissolved. Then he became a Republican, and we 
are safe in asserting that Onondaga county has few men who 
have worked harder or more zealously for the cause than 
Mr. Eatnor, He is, in fact, always ready to do his whole 
political duty, and has, therefore, been for many years prom- 
inently identified with Onondaga county politics. For the 
most part he has preferred to do his work in the ranks, but 
he has occasionally held oflBces of a local nature, and invari- 
ably filled them with credit. During two years, in 1864 and 
1865, he was Supervisor of the town of Onondaga. He was 
elected to the Assembly by a majority of 442, after an excit- 
ing canvass, and is assigned to the Committees on Canals, 
and State Charitable Institutions. 

Mr. Eatnor was married, in 1848, to Cordelia Hall, a 
daughter of Judge Johkson Hall, of Syracuse. Unob- 
trusive in disposition, agreeable in manners, strictly just and 
honest in all his relations, and, withal, a man of keen judg- 
ment and great ability, the member we have thus briefly 
sketched needs no graces of oratory to constitute him a val- 
uable and effective les^islator. 

286 Life Sketches. 


The member from Herkimer was born in Salisbury, Her- 
kimer county, on the /J6th of March, 1837, and has there- 
fore reached the age of full manly vigor. He was educated 
at Fairfield Academy, in the same county, but he chose an 
agricultural life, and, during his adult years, has farmed and 
dealt in real estate with considerable success. He has 
mingled much in political affairs, and has uniformly enjoyed 
the confidence of his party and the country in large degree. 
He held the office of Commissioner of Highways three 
years, was Justice of the Peace twelve years, and Supervisor 
three years. In these positions he exhibited marked ability 
and integrity of character. He was a Democrat previous to 
1856, but since that time he has acted with the Eepublican 
party, never missing an opportunity to vote for its candi- 
dates. In the fall of 1871 he was elected to the Assembly 
by a majority of 1,063, and his career was so entirely satis- 
factory to his constituents that he was returned last fall by 
a majority of 1,101, his opponent being George A. Feetek, 
a well-known Liberal Eepublican, of Little Falls. Mr. Eice 
was married in 1851, to Miss Sakah A. Ingham. He pos- 
sesses plenty of tact and judgment, and is, withal, a culti- 
vated and agreeable gentleman. 

DoMiNiCK H. Roche. 287 


Mr. EoCHE, from the Third district of Kings, is well 
known among the politicians of the State, especially those 
of New York and Brooklyn, having, for a number of years, 
taken an active part in the political contests of the latter 
city, and, for three years past, forming part of its representa- 
tion in the Assembly. He is a young man, full of fire and 
vigor, and belongs to what is commonly regarded as the 
Tammany school of Democracy. He was born in Cork, 
Ireland, in 1834. Twelve years later he came to New York 
with his parents, and was subsequently educated in the com- 
mon schools of that city. He then commenced his business 
life as a clerk in a wholesale dry goods house. His industry 
and integrity were appreciated by his employer, and he 
rapidly rose to the position of chief book-keeper and cashier. 
He was, in fact, on the point of securing admission as a part- 
ner in the concern, when the financial crisis, following the 
political troubles of 1860, forced the firm into bankruptcy, 
in consequence of its heavy southern losses. He was already 
a resident of Brooklyn, having removed thither in 1854, and 
he speedily obtained employment in adjusting the accounts 
of the city sinking fund, which had become greatly involved. 
Completing this task satisfactorily he was offered and accepted 
a responsible position in the Register's office of Brooklyn, 
and in 1863 he became Secretary of the Board of City 
Assessors, an office which he still holds. He was an active 
member of the old volunteer Fire Department until it ceased 
to exist, and always evinced a warm interest in its welfare. 
In 1863, he was elected Trustee of the Fire Department 
Widows and Orphans' Benefit Fund, of which board he was 
President for several years, and is now Chairman of the Law 
Committee. He has been elected to the Assembly, each time 
by large majorities, receiving in 1870, a plurality of 510 over 

288 Life Sketches. 

two candidates. His majority in 1871 was 5,182 over Hans 
Cheistian, the Republican candidate, and he was chosen 
last fall by a vote of 2,914 against 1,715 for Samuel B. 
Vreeland, Eepublican, and 1,400 and 1,285 for two inde- 
pendent candidates. His course in the Assembly has, we 
believe, been eminently satisfactory to his constituents, and, 
indeed, no better proof would be desired on that point than 
the decided popular majorities mentioned above. He is a 
wann friend of local improvements, and, when he assumes 
to champion a cause in the Legislature, he devotes to it all 
his energies, and frequently carries his point through sheer 
momentum. His speeches, though unquestionably lacking 
in finished rhetorical eloquence, are always terse and logical, 
and bristle with facts and figures, items which more eloquent 
opponents frequently find it hard to controvert. During his 
three years' service, Mr. Roche has served on the Commit- 
tees on Railroads, Charitable and Religious Societies, Joint 
Library, Petitions of Aliens, Privileges and Elections, and 
Public Printing. 


No man in the Assembly bears a greater reputation for 
sturdy honesty, and those qualities which denote the states- 
man and patriot, than Parker W. Rose. His countenance, 
seamed and marked with rugged angularity, is an unerring 
index to the clear brain and keen intellect which it masks, 
and, though he is not given to bold flights of eloquence, his 
voice is always raised, when occasion requires, in behalf of 
sound public policy and honest legislation. He is the especial 
champion of economy in the public service, and no measure 
which contemplates a needless or wanton expenditure of the 
public funds can hope to escape either his vigilance or his 
earnest protest. 

Parker W. Rose. 289 

Mr. EosE was born in Stockholm, St. Lawrence county, 
on the 29th of March, 1812, and is consequently about sixty 
years of age, but he comes of a hardy stock, and physically 
and mentally he is as vigorous as the average of men at forty- 
five. His father, Daniel P. Rose, was born in Coventry, 
and is of English ancestry. Mr. Eosb's educational oppor- 
tunities in early youth were somewhat limited, being mainly 
such as could be obtained at the common school during the 
winter season. But he was more than ordinarily studious, 
and when this was finally supplemented by a brief term at 
the St. Lawrence Academy, he was abundantly competent to 
fill the position of a teacher in a district school, and spent 
several years in that capacity. Teaching was not to his 
liking, however, and he soon relinquished it. Shortly after 
attaining his majority, he engaged in the pursuit in which 
much of his youth was passed — that of farming; and to this, 
in later years, he added manufacturing. AU his business 
afiairs have been managed with such prudence and sagacity 
that ho possesses a comfortable competence as the reward of 
well-directed and honest industry. 

Mr. Rose has been an earnest and consistent member of 
the Baptist church since his youth, having made a public 
profession and consecration at the age of fourteen. During a 
period of nearly thirty-four years he was Superintendent of 
the Baptist Sabbath- School at Parishville. He was married 
to Ctkthia Putnam in November, 1837. She died in 
February, 1852, while he was a meniber of Assembly, when 
he was married in April, 1853, to Miss Juliana Beecheb, 
who is still living. Mr. Rose has frequently filled positions 
of a public nature. During six years he was a member of 
the St. Lawrence county Board of Supervisors, acting one 
year as its Chairman. In 1852 he was a member of Assembly, 
serving on the Committee on Grievances. He was re-elected 
next year, when he "was made Chairman of the Committee on 
Internal Affairs, and also acted as Chairman of the Demo- 
cratic caucus. In 1872 he was returned under different 

290 Life Sketches. 

political auspices, having joined the Republican party at its 
formation in 1854. Previous to that year he acted with the 
Free Soil wing of the Democratic party. Dui-ing the last 
session Mr. E. was Chairman of the Committee on Grievances, 
and the Sub-committee of the Whole, and a member of the 
Committee on Federal Belations. So entirely satisfactory 
was his course that he was renominated last fall by acclama- 
tion, and beat his opponent, Hoeace Bicknell, a " Liberal," 
by the very large majority of 2,120. He is still Chairman of 
the Sub-committee of the Whole, and a member of the Com- 
mittee on Expenditures of the Executive Department. 


James Rtan represents ward seven of New York city, 
which constitutes the Fourth Assembly District of the 
metropolis. He was elected by a majority of 6-35 over his 
Apollo Hall opponent, John Galvin. He is of Irish descent, 
is an inflexible adherent of the Tammany wing of the Democ- 
racy, and is a man of large social instincts, agreeable man- 
ners, and much ability as a legislator. He is a member of 
the Committees on Internal Afiairs, and Expenditures of the 
Executive Department. 


Mr. ScHOONMAKEE belongs to a class of intelligent and 
substantial farmers found in every section of the State, who 
are really among our best citizens. A man of strict integ- 
rity, excellent social virtues and practical good sense, he more 
than balances any lack of superficial polish by sterling traits 
of character, and those inborn instincts which constitute the 

Peter Schoonmaker. 291 

true gentleman. He was born in Knox, Albany county, June 
20, 1827, his father, Chkistiak Schoonmakek, being also a 
native of that town. He was brought up in the old home- 
stead, and has never left it, being content to follow in his 
father's footsteps and cultivate the paternal acres. He 
received a liberal common school education, however, and 
has taken pains to make himself thoroughly informed upon 
all the prominent subjects of human thought. He is there- 
fore a man of prominence in his quiet rural hamlet, and has 
frequently been selected to fill positions which ought to fall 
to the lot of the very best men in every community. During 
a period of seven years he represented the town of Knox in 
the Albany Board of Supervisors, making his influence felt 
in a marked degree in favor of economy and prudence in the 
management of the county finances. He is also President of 
the Knox Insurance Company, and a Trustee of the Knox- 
ville Academy. Living in a district which has generally 
been quite evenly divided, politically, Mr. ScHOOifMAKEE has 
always been an active worker in the Kepublican ranks, and 
has rendered efficient service to the party since its first organ- 
ization, previous to which he was a Whig. Though he has 
never been an anxious seeker for office, he has seldom felt at 
liberty to decline the public honors which have from time to 
time been urged upon him. Last fall he was somewhat 
reluctant to accept an Assembly nomination, but his friends 
overcame his scruples and elected him by the largest majority 
ever given to any candidate in the district, defeating CoE- 
NELius Bakee, a popular Democrat, by 980 votes. Quiet 
and unassuming in deportment, but possessing decided prac- 
tical ability as well as legislative knowledge, Mr. Schoon- 
MAEEE is a valuable member in a House which admittedly 
contains more than an average degree of talent. He is an 
industrious member of the Committees on Agriculture, Civil 
Divisions, and Privileges and Elections. He was married on 
the 7th of August, 1850, to Miss Emeune Wolfoed, and has 
two children. 

292 Life Sketches. 


Mr. Smith is one of the youngest members of the Assem- 
bly, being twenty-three years old this spring. His father and 
mother were both natives of New York city, where he was 
born on the 4th of April, 1850. He was educated in the com- 
mon schools, and is now a clerk in a grocery and provision 
house in the metropolis. Though his political career has 
necessarily been short, he has become quite well known in his 
district as an active Eepublican, and since he reached his 
majority he has been President of the District Association. 
He possesses ability, however, and he may yet attain fame 
and profit in the field of politics. 


Few members of the present Assembly enjoy a greater 
degree of personal popularity than Mr. JoHK L. Sntdee, of 
Rensselaer. His political career is in some respects remarkable. 
Although he has been but about five years in the arena of 
politics, he has already served nearly two terms in the 
Assembly, been a delegate to a State Convention, and won 
an enduring reputation as a man of good principles, excellent 
business capacity, and undoubted skill in the manipulation 
of party details. His popularity at home is very great. 
Being a native and life-long resident of the town where he 
lives, he is intimately identified with its prosperity and pro- 
gress, and has given his best efforts to its welfare. In twice 
selecting him as their representative in the Assembly, in pref- 
erence to older and more experienced, though perhaps less 
active men, his constituents have not only honored them- 

John L. Snyder. 293 

selves, but shown good sense. The adage "old men for coun- 
sel, young men for action," is evidently highly regarded in 
Mr. Sntber's bailiwick, and while he is certainly the man 
to act wisely and promptly at the proper time, we are sure he 
does not despise the invaluable counsel of his elders in the 
party at home. 

JoHif Lansing Snyder was born at Pittstown, Rensse- 
laer county, on the 34th of November, 1846. He is there- 
fore about twenty-seven years of age, and ranks among the 
youngest members of the Assembly. The parents of Mr. 
Sntdeb were of German extraction, but they were old resi- 
dents of Pittstown, residing there for a period of time 
" whereof the memory of man runneth not to the contrary." 
The subject of our sketch received the rudiments of an Eng- 
lish common school education in his own town, and subse- 
quently pursued the higher branches of a collegiate educa- 
tion at the Fort Edward Institute. He also perfected him- 
self in the elements of a business education in one of Bryant 
& Stratton's commercial colleges. His father was a sub- 
stantial farmer, and in the intervals of gaining an education 
the son was inured to the same honorable pursuit. In 1868, 
however, Mr. Sntdek availed himself of an excellent 
business opening in New York city, and became the leading 
and managing partner in a wholesale produce and commis- 
sion house. In this he was successful beyond even his own 
sanguine hopes ; but the death of his father in 1870 com- 
pelled the relinquishment of his metropolitan connection 
and his return to the paternal homestead. From that time 
forward he has resided at Pittstown, where he supervises his 
productive acres and mingles largely in the social, business 
and political life of the locality. 

Very soon after his return he was chosen to fill the oflBce 
of Justice of the Peace for a term of four years, and, of 
course, still holds the position, performing its duties with an 
urbanity and discrimination rare in one of his years. It is 
worthy of mention, in passing, that his opponent for the 

294 Life Sketches. 

magisterial oflQce was a man of his own political faith, bat 
Mr. Snyder was successful by 235 majority. That vote is a 
good indication of the esteem and popularity that he had 
acquired among his own townsmen, who have known him 
all the way from boyhood to man's estate. 

His next political fight was in the summer of 1871. 
There was a sharp contest over the delegates to the State 
Convention of that year. Mr. Sntdeb was brought forward 
by his friends, and especially by the young men, as a candi- 
date for delegate, but a number of the " old stagers " made a 
strong effort to defeat him. They were somewhat chagrined, 
however, when it was found that he had triumphed by a 
handsome majority. His success as a delegate was such that 
his friends insisted upon placing him in nomination for the 
Assembly. There were several candidates for the honor, 
some of whom were disposed to make light of the claims 
of •■' that young man Sktdbe." When the vote was taken 
in the Convention, he had a clear majority, and was duly 
nominated as the regular Republican candidate. Ira B. 
Ford, a wily and indefatigable worker, was his Democratic 
opponent in the subsequent canvass. The Kepublican 
majority was not large in the district, and his enemies 
thought they saw a chance of defeating him. Mr. Lape, a 
Republican, was thereupon put in the field as an Independ- 
ent Temperance candidate. The fight was a hot one, every 
inch of ground and every locality in the district being 
sharply fought over by the opposing candidates. It was one 
of the sharpest and most exciting contests ever witnessed in 
the district for member of Assembly, and the opponents of 
Mr. Snyder felt confident of securing his defeat. But they 
counted without their host, for Mr. Snyder developed all 
the qualities of a thorough leader in the conduct of a for- 
midably contested canvass. When the votes came to be 
counted, it was found that he had secured a majority of 987 
over Ford, 3,000 over Lape, and 600 over both combined. 
The young Republicans were greatly delighted at this result, 

John L. Snyder. 295 

his majority being one of the largest ever given to an 
Assembly candidate in the district. Of course the eflforts of 
his friends aided largely in securing his election ; but it was 
more directly due to his own indomitable courage, sagac- 
ity and energy. Last fall the opposing influences against 
him had sensibly diminished. He had made a good record 
in the Assembly, his popularity was assured, and even his 
bitterest opponents had began to admire the plucky young 
politician. He was re-elected by a majority of 3,361 over 
Sanders S. Baucus, his Democratic opponent. 

Mr. Snyder has thus far proved himself to be a straight- 
forward, unswerving and reliable Kepublican. He has placed 
himself above any claims or petty factional feuds that exist 
in Eensselaer county as well as in other portions of the State 
in both parties. He is honest and reliable under all circum- 
stances, and seems to have an intuitive knowledge of the 
course of conduct which gains the confidence and esteem 
of his fellows. He takes up very little time in speech-making. 
When he has any thing to say he says it in the most terse and 
forcible language he can command. Others may pile argu- 
ment upon argument, but he contents himself with a direct 
and plain statement of the case and leaves it. It is to be 
noticed that he seldom fails to carry his point. His effi- 
ciency as a member lies rather in his capacity for hard work 
in the committee room and elsewhere. His industry, his 
familiarity with legislative rules, as well as his genial quali- 
ties and wann friendliness of manner, combine to render 
him a capable member. During his two terms Mr. Snyder 
has served on several important committees. Last year he 
was a leading member of the Committee on Commerce and 
Navigation, and also a member of the Militia Committee. 
In the present Assembly he is Chairman of the Committee 
on Expenditures of the House, and retains his place on Com- 
merce and Navigation. 

296 Life Sketches. 


Though a young man, Mi-. Stewart is a lawyer of decided 
ability, and a respected and esteemed resident of South Wor- 
cester, Otsego county, where he was born November 36, 1841. 
He is a son of William Stewakt, an able and wealthy 
physician of that town, who, we believe, is still living. Mr. 
Stewart was thoroughly educated in the Delaware Literary 
Institute, the New York Conference Seminary, and Perguson- 
ville Academy, passing with credit through the English and 
classical course, and after suitably qualifying himself was 
admitted to the bar in 1863. He represented Otsego county 
in the Democratic State Convention of 1868, but aside from 
that service, he never held any political position until he 
took his seat in the present Assembly. At one time during 
the war, he was aid-de-camp on the staff of Gen. Burntsidb, 
and proved himself an able oflBcer. Always a consistent and 
straightforward Democrat, this gentleman's popularity 
where he is known is amply demonstrated by the fact that 
but fifteen votes were cast against him in his own election 
district in the recent canvass. Mr. Stewart is a tall, good- 
looking gentleman, of pleasing manner and gentlemanly 
address, and is evidently fully able to discharge the impor- 
tant trust which his constituents have committed to his care. 

Adrian M. Svyoam. 397 


Mr. SuTDAM worthily represents the Eighth district of 
Kings, and though his voice is not often heard in debate, 
his influence and co-operation are of great value in the prac- 
tical work of legislation. He was born in the town of Bush- 
wick, now the Eighteenth ward of Brooklyn, and a por- 
tion of his Assembly district, on the 25th of November, 
1826. He is a direct descendent of the first settlers of Long 
Island, who emigrated from Holland about the year 1626. 
His father, Jacob Suydam, served honorably in the war of 
1812. His grandfather, who was also a native of Bushwick, 
served with a cavalry regiment during the War for Independ- 
ence, and participated in many of the hard-fought battles 
of that trying period. It will be seen, therefore, that Mr. 
S. comes of good stock. Mr. Sutdam was educated in the 
district school at Bushwick, and early turned his attention 
to garden and dairy farming, which he has since followed 
with a reasonable degree of success. In 1852 he married 
the daughter of Nicholas Wtckoff, of Brooklyn. Mr. 
Sutdam was formerly an Old Line Whig, and when that 
party dissolved he became a Kepublican, and has never 
swerved from his political faith. During the years 1855 and 
1856 he represented the Eighteenth ward in the Brooklyn 
Board of Aldermen, and from 1867 to 1870, he was an 
efficient member of the Brooklyn Board of Education. In 
the Assembly canvass of last fall he received a majority of 
420 over two candidates, A. M. Bliss, Liberal, and W. F. 
Jennings, Democrat. He is an effective and hard-working 
member of the Committees on Kailroads and Agriculture. 

298 Life Sketches. 


Mr. Swain, a well-to-do farmer in the town of Somerset, 
Niagara county, was born in the town of Totteness, Devon- 
shire, England, October 18, 1821. His father was born in 
this country, and was married in England. He became a 
Nantucket whaleman, and led a very eventful life, having, in 
the course of his vocation, been in almost every portion of 
the world, and was at St. Helena when Bonapaete landed on 
that isolated place of exile. He died about two years ago, at 
the age of ninety-four. Young Swaik was brought to this 
country at a very early age, and had very little chance to 
emulate his father's roving course of life. He was educated 
at Auburn Academy and in a select school at Batavia, and 
spent the early years of his life at Auburn. Finally, he 
became a farmer, and has since adhered to that occupation, 
with a fair measure of success. 

His political record presents no feature of interest, beyond 
the fact that, since he ceased to be a Whig, he has always 
been a consistent and active Eepublican, and his counsel and 
co-operation in local management are valued very highly by 
the members of his party. He has not manifested much 
desire for office, but, at the same time, he is not disposed to 
shrink from any responsibility of that nature he is called 
upon to assume. He was a member of the Niagara county 
Board of Supervisors from 1862 to 1864, serving with credit. 
He was also a member of the Assembly of 1872, serving on 
the Committees on Claims and Agriculture, and was elected 
to the present House by an increased vote. He is now 
Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, and is retained 
on the Claims Committee. 

Mr. SwAiif is quiet and retiring in disposition. He seldom 
pai-ticipates in .the debates, but contents himself with ably 
and faithfully representing his constituency, and keeping 

Sidney Sylvester. 299 

himself right on the record. Possessing legislative abilities 
of a high order, he is well posted in parliamentary rontine, 
and is valuable in the committee room. He was married 
in 1842. 


Mr. Sylvester was born and has always lived in Lewis 
county, and is, therefore, fully competent to represent that 
locality, being fully acquainted with its needs. His parents 
were New England people, his father, Eleazer S. Sylvester, 
being a native of Chesterfield, Mass., and his mother coming 
from New Hampshire. His father died in 1835, at the age 
of 56, but his mother is still living, and is nearly seventy- 
four years of age. Young Sylvester first saw the light in 
the village of Copenhagen, June 5, 1818, and as soon as he 
was old enough, was given ample educational opportunities, 
spending several years in the common schools, and complet- 
ing his studies with a two years' course in Clinton Liberal 
Institute. He was then twenty years of age, and having 
been recently bereft of his father, he was thrown, to a certain 
extent, upon his own resources. He taught school for several 
years and then became a farmer, and afterward a merchant. 
He is now engaged in milling, and is not only a man of 
means, but an upright, public spirited citizen. 

Mr. Sylvester commenced his political life as a Democrat, 
and acted for many years with the " Free Soil " and " Barn- 
burner " wings of that party. Since 1855, however, he has 
voted and acted with the Republican party. Previous to 
1860 he held several public positions. In 1843 he was 
appointed County Superintendent of public schools by the 
Board of Supervisors of Lewis, and served two years. In 
1855 he was elected County Clerk, and was three years in the 
position. In the year 1860 he was a, member of the Board 
of Supervisors. During the past twelve years, while he has 

300 Life Sketches. 

felt a lively interest in political matters, and aided the local 
organizations with his personal co-operation and influence, 
he has steadily declined preferment of any kind tintil last 
fall, when he consented, much against his wishes, to become 
a candidate for the Assembly. The county is quite closely 
contested, politically, and after a spirited canvass he was 
elected, defeating Elisha Crofoot, the Democratic candi- 
date, by a majority of 321. He serves on the Printing Com- 
mittee, and also on the Sub-committee of the Whole. He 
takes part occasionally in the debates, but he is not ambitious 
as a public speaker. He applies his energies and abilities 
unstintedly to the work of the committee room, and to the 
practical details of legislation ; and no one who knows Mr. 
Sylvester will venture to dispute the statement that Lewis 
county is worthily represented in the present Assembly. 


Mr. Tefft's legislative career has as yet been very brief, as 
he comes into the House in the last third of the session. He 
has shown, however, that he possesses marked ability, both as 
an orator and as a quiet, persistent, practical worker. He is 
a man who would attract attention in any assemblage, his 
features impressing one at first glance with the fact that he 
possesses ample nerve and determination for every exigency. 
His full, clean-shaven, broad face, coal-black hair and eyes, 
fresh complexion, pleasing expression of feature, and well- 
developed form, make up a physique whjch shows, in every 
characteristic, a man of energy and capacity. 

William H. Tefft was born in Greenwich, Washington 
county, October 6, 1833. He is therefore yet in the early 
prime of manhood. He enjoyed excellent educational ad- 
vantages, and before attaining his majority he had graduated 

William U. Tefft. 301 

from the full course of the Troy Conference Academy, at 
West Poultney, Vt., and had also spent three years in Brown 
University, a member of the class of 1854. On leaving col- 
lege, he went to New York city and entered the law office of 
Judge E. D. CuLVEE, well known throughout the State as 
an able jurist and effective speaker. He remained with 
Judge Culver two years, assiduously striving to perfect 
himself in his chosen profession, and in 1856 he was duly 
admitted to the bar, at once assuming a respectable standing 
among the legal talent of the metropolis. In 1864 he 
removed to Whitehall, where he now resides, his time, when 
at home, being mainly devoted to editorial duties. 

Soon after his return to Whitehall, the Chronicle news- 
paper was on the point of suspension, owing to causes which 
it is not necessary to refer to here. He was induced to 
assume the control of the paper at this critical period in its 
fortunes, and his energy and determination soon placed it 
upon a firm footing, and it at once became recognized as 
a leading influence in Washington county politics. In 1870, 
the Chronicle was destroyed by fire, and for a time he devoted 
himself again to the legal profession; but his tastes and 
aspirations had become firmly rooted in the journalistic field, 
and his experience was that of nearly all newspaper men in 
similar circumstances — he could not content himself outside 
of the sanctum. Finally, a small paper was established out 
of the ruins of the Chronicle. He took control of it, and is 
now its editor and publisher, having already made it one of 
the best of the several excellent journals of that county. 

In politics, Mr. Tefft is and has been a Eepublican since 
he cast his first vote, and has been active in advocating 
Eepublican principles, both in the press and on the stump. 
He has never been a seeker for office, feeling that he could 
do more effective service with his pen than as the incumbent 
of any public position. On but one other occasion than the 
present has he filled public place, and that, strangely enough, 
was also to fill a vacancy caused by death. In 1869 he was 

302 Life Sketches. 

appointed School Commissioner in place of Rev. Dr. Parks, 
deceased. When the death of Hon. Eleazek Jokes made 
it necessary to elect another member from the second district 
of Washington county, public opinion naturally turned to 
Mr. Tefpt. He had been conspicuous in his editorial advo- 
cacy of the bill now pending in the Legislature to construct 
a ship canal from the Hudson river to Lake Champlain, a 
measure in which the citizens of his district feel a deep 
interest. He was, therefore, felt to be just the man to push 
forward that as well as other local measures. Though 
several gentlemen of acknowledged ability were named, Mr. 
Tefft was nominated and elected without opposition, the 
Democrats permitting the election to go by default. The 
estimation in which he is held is indicated by the fact that 
he received every vote but one in his own town, where the 
Democratic candidate for supervisor had received 263 
majority at the town meeting held the week previous. 

A man of strong sympathies, brilliant attainments, and 
the instincts of the thorough gentleman, Mr. Tefft is 
already popular in the House, his urbanity and courtesy 
securing him the esteem of all with whom he comes in 


Though the member from Essex has been less than two 
years in public life, he is well known from one end of the 
State to the other, and ranks among the most prominent 
members of the present House. Speaker Coenell displayed 
prompt recognition of his ability, and of the signal service 
he rendered the State at the last session, by placing him at 
the head of the Insurance Committee. Born at Jay, Essex 
county, on the 7th of February, 1844, Mr. Tobet is only 28 
years of age, and is, therefore, in the flush of youthful and 
vigorous manhood. He received no educational advantages 

Franklin W. Tobet. 303 

in his boyhood, except those offered by the common schools. 
His father, Isaac Tobet, was, and is still, a plain Essex 
county farmer, and young Tobey was trained to hard labor 
on the paternal acres. But he made diligent use of oppor- 
tunities within reach, and succeeded in acquiring knowledge 
to such a degree that before he reached his majority he was 
permitted to study law in the office of Judge Augustus C. 
Hakd. He made good progress, and in 1868 he was admitted 
to the bar, and has since been engaged in the practice of the 
law in the firm of Waldo, Tobey & Beckwith, at Port 
Henry. Several years ago he married the daughter of Eev. C. 
Eansom, a Presbyterian clergyman, now Chaplain of Clinton 
State Prison. Mr. Tobey's political life does not extend 
very far into the past, but it has been brilliantly successful. 
Always a Republican, he has taken an active part in local 
politics since his 18th year. In 1869 he was elected Super- 
visor, and on his being re-elected in 1870, was made Chair- 
man of the Board. In the fall of 1871 he \^as elected to the 
Assembly by a majority of 1,406, and re-elected last fall by 
1,981 majority. 

His services during the session of 1872 are so well known 
that it seems almost needless to refer to them. On making 
his first appearance at Albany he was regarded as a beardless 
youth of no great account, but he soon showed his mettle. 
Speaker Smith knew something about him, and assigned him 
the second place on the Insurance Committee, and also made 
him a member of the Judiciary Committee, which, as the event 
proved, were the two most important Committees of the last 
House. It fell to the lot of Mr. Tobey to act as Chairman 
of the Sub-committee which conducted the long and 
arduous investigation into the official conduct of Geo. W. 
MiLLEK, the then Superintendent of the Insurance Depart- 
ment. Weeks were occupied in the examination of witnesses, 
and the testimony taken constituted one of the most bulky 
documents of the session. Much of the examination was 
conducted by Mr. Tobey in person, and it is but just to say 

304 Life Sketches. 

that he was excellently fitted for the difiBcult and delicate 
task devolving upon him. The result of that investigation 
is now a matter of history ; but the unanimity with which 
the Republican majority of the Assembly promptly indorsed 
the conclusions of the Committee, by expelling Mr. Millek 
from his ofi&ee, was a marked compliment, not only to Mr. 
ToBET, but to every Eepublican member of the Committee. 
As a member of the Judiciary Committee, it was Mr. Tobey's 
privilege to play a prominent part in what was pre-eminently 
the distinguishing achievement of the last Legislature, 
namely, the impeachment trial and expulsion of the cor- 
rupt New York judges. The offenses of these men had 
long been a stench in the people's nostrils, and it was 
peculiarly the province of a " reform " Legislature to bring 
about a needed change for the better in the judiciary. 
If the Legislature of 1872 had accomplished no other 
act worthy of commendation, the fact that it did effect 
this reform should entitle it to the gratitude of the long- 
suffering people of the State. When the charges had been 
made against Judges Barnard, Cardozo and McCuNsr, it 
devolved upon the Judiciary Committee to investigate them, 
and to prepare articles of impeachment in case they were 
well founded. The committee entered upon its work with 
alacrity, and prosecuted it with thoroughness. They pro- 
ceeded to New York, where they took a great mass of evidence, 
and, except on one or two minor points, were unanimous in 
recommending the impeachment of the judges for mal and 
corrupt conduct. The impeachment articles were prepared 
and adopted by the Assembly, and the result of the protracted 
trial, which took place in the summer of 1872, is familiar to 
every one. In all these proceedings Mr. Tobet bore a con- 
spicuous and honorable part, and won a reputation which 
few realize who spend a life-time in public service. Of course, 
with such a record as the result of a single session, his con- 
stituents had no choice but to return him to the Assembly 
by a largely increased majority, and they did so. In the 

Milton M. Tompkins. 305 

present session he is making an unexceptionable record. As 
Chairman, respectively, of the Committees on Insurance and 
Rules, and as a prominent memuer of the Judiciary Com- 
mittee, he has aided in initiating and perfecting much im- 
portant legislation. 

In appearance, Mr. Tobet is still somewhat youthful, as 
he wears no beard, and while he is large of frame, his portli- 
ness is not suflBciently apparent to spoil his good looks. 
Though not particularly brilliant as an orator, he occasion- 
ally takes part in debates, but his speeches are mainly con- 
fined to brief statements of fact, and hence are, probably, as 
a rule, quite as effectiye as the more pretentious of those who 
have the "gift" in a much greater degree. Mr. Tobet's 
strong point lies in what may be termed the preliminary 
work of legislation, and in the labors of the committee 


Mr. ToMPKiKS was born in Chatham village, where he 
still resides, on the 6th of October, 1843. His parents, both ol 
whom are now deceased, were of American birth, his father 
being in his day a respected citizen of Columbia county. 
Young ToMPKixs was liberally educated, having spent several 
years at Sandlake Collegiate Institute, and at the Hudson 
River Institute at Claverack. His occupation is that of a 
paper manufacturer, a business which he has successfully 
conducted several years. He also owns a farm, but his 
agricultural labors are little more than supervisory in their 
nature. In 1866 he was married to Kiitie Garner, and 
among his neighbors and friends he is known as a young 
man of great business ability and strict integrity. He 
attends the Reformed church. 

Mr. Tompkins is a Democrat, and represents the Second 
district of Columbia county for the second time in the 

306 Life Sketches. 

Assembly. He was elected in 1871 by a majority of 74 
Last fall his majority, James S. Shufelt being his oppo- 
nent, was 324, showing a material gain. Besides his service 
in the State Legislature, he served one year as Supervisor of 
the town of Chatham, in the contest for the office defeating 
Geokge Van VALKENBrRGH by a majority of 152. Last 
year, in the Assembly, he served on the Committees on State 
Prisons and Expenditures of the Executive Department. 
This year he is on Villages, Salt and Public Lands. His 
career in the House is marked by quiet, unostentatious per- 
formance of duty. He is no speech-maker; but, where 
practical work is required, he is the right man in the right 


If physiognomy be any indication of character, the subject 
of this notice may be safely set down as one of nature's 
noblemen. A plain, honest face is Mr. Townsend's, and 
one which gives little encouragement to the designing horde 
of lobbyists which swarm about the Capitol. Coming from 
a portion of the State rich in agricultural resources and in 
all the elements of material prosperity, he has little sympathy 
with the schemes of political adventurers, and his efforts as a 
legislator are therefore directed to the accomplishment of 
that which is for the best interests of the commonwealth, 
and the immediate locality which he represents. He was 
born in Pavilion, Genesee county, January 28, 1842, and has, 
therefore, just passed his 31st year. His father, Ashley 
Townsekd, who died about thirteen years ago, was a native 
of Vermont, though he settled in western New York soon 
after his marriage, and was the inventor of the first thresh- 
ing machine used in that section of the country. Young 
TovrifSEND was brought up on his father's farm, and educated 
in the common schools. He married Miss Emilie Olmsted 

David C. Van Cott. 307 

in 1862, and since then has successfully managed a large 
farm, devoting his attention specially to the breeding of 
Spanish merino sheep and Durham cattle. His efforts in 
this direction have gained for him quite a reputation among 
the farmers of western New York, and he has already accom- 
plished much toward the improvement of farm stock in that 
section. In 1872 he was President of the Genesee County 
Agricultural Society, and has always taken an active interest 
in the welfare of that organization. Though he has always 
been identified with the Republican party, and generally 
exerted a strong influence in behalf of its nominees, he has 
very rarely accepted public position. Before he was 21 years 
of age he had served two years as Town Clerk, and he was 
subsequently Justice of the Peace for four years. His elec- 
tion to the Assembly was entirely unsought, and the fact 
that he received a majority some 400 in excess of the 
Eepublican majority of 1871, is a suflBcicnt indication of the 
regard in which he is held at home. Mr. Towxsend serves 
acceptably as a member of the Committees on Agriculture, 
Grievances and Indian Affairs. He is a man of robust 
physique, possesses an intelligent appreciation of the duties 
of a legislator, and will undoubtedly make an excellent record 
in the Assembly of 1873. 


Mr. Van Cott, who is deservedly regarded as one of the 
brightest and keenest members of the present House, is a 
native of Brooklyn, the city which he in part represents. He 
was bom May 31, 1843, and is descended from a Dutch 
family, who, about the year 1690, purchased and settled upon 
lands in Bushwick, which now forms part of the city of 
Brooklyn. His father is the Hon. Joshua M. Vak Cott, 
widely known as an eminent lawyer, who has given much of 

308 Life Sketches. 

his time to the service of his city and State in various oflS- 
cial capacities, his most recent and notable public service 
being performed as one of the leading counsel in the recent 
judicial impeachment trials. 

Assemblyman Van Cott acquired his education mainly 
in the course of private study, not having availed himself of 
collegiate advantages. He is said to have been u thorough 
student of scientific subjects, which laid the foundation for 
his taste and aptitude for the trial of patent suits and actions 
involving the consideration of that class of questions. 

By carefully applying himself to languages, historical and 
literary studies, he acquired the best possible preparation for 
a professional and public career, which, strengthened and 
directed by experience in public life, will add greatly to his 
influence and means of usefulness. By the diligent improve- 
ment of natural gifts he has come to be recognized, by those 
who know him, as a man of fine culture and acquirements, 
while the opportunities he has had of friendly intercourse 
with men of learning at home and abroad have afforded 
him many of the pleasantest associations of his life. 

"Wisely choosing the legal profession as the field for his life 
work, he was admitted to the bar in 1868, and after practic- 
ing several years in the firm of Van Cott, Winslow & 
Van Cott in New York city, he went to Brooklyn and 
entered into a law partnership with Benjamin F. Mact, 
Esq., in which he has since continued, and though he is still 
quite a young man, his reputation as a careful and industri- 
ous lawyer rests upon a solid basis. He is one of the most 
active and eflScient members of the majority in the Assembly, 
taking part in many of the discussions upon important sub- 
jects. He is a very finished speaker, and usually adopts an 
easy, conversational style, which wins attention by clear and 
logical statement expressed in graceful and correct English. 
Occasionally he warms up with his theme, and is at such 
times an animated speaker, but generally his remarks are 
delivered calmly and dispassionately, but with power and 

William W. Van Demark. 309 

emphasis. Especially at home in the discussion of legal 
questions which come before the House, he is well informed 
as to many of the subjects in reference to which legislation 
is sought, and applies to their consideration keenly critical 
faculties, excellent judgment, and correct understanding. 
He is rather below the medium size, and somewhat slight in 
fi-ame, but he evidently enjoys good health. Courteous and 
pleasant in his intercourse with others, Mr. Van Cott has 
made many warm friends in Albany, and it seems evident 
that his public career is destined to be one of exceptional 


Mr. Van Dkmark is another of the farmer legislators 
whose presence in the Assembly constitutes a solid wall 
against the schemes of unprincipled politicians. He was 
born in the town of Junius, fSeneca county, on the 13t]i of 
August, 1836, and still resides there, engaged in agricultural 
pursuits. He received a liberal common school and academic 
education, passing through the full English course at Water- 
loo Academy. In 1862, he married the daughter of Lewis 
B. Paksons, a prominent Republican of Galen, Wayne 
county. With the exception of one term in the Board of 
Supervisors of Seneca county, in 1866, Mr. Van Demaek 
has never before held public position. He has always acted 
with the Democratic party, and, though his district was 
represented by a Republican last year, he carried it last fall 
by a majority of 134, over Sterling G. Hadlet, his Repub- 
lican opponent. Serving on the Committees on Roads and 
Bridges and Agriculture, he performs his duties acceptably. 
He is, in fact, a man of decided ability, and though he is 
tenacious and positive in his political predilections, he is 
never obtrusive in the expression of his views. In religious 
faith he is a TJniversalist. 

310 Life Sketches. 


Hon. A. L. Van Dusen is a natiye of Gypsum, Ontario 
county, where he still resides, engaged in farming. He was 
born on the first of October, 1810, and is, therefore, over 
sixty-two years of age. His parents were natives of Hills- 
dale, Columbia coimty, and moved to Ontario county in the 
winter of 1800. His mother, who was a sister of Ambrose 
L. Jordan, now deceased, is still living. Mr. Van Dusen 
received a thorough common school education, although his 
"alma mater" was none other than a country "school- 
marm." At the age of fifteen he was apprenticed to a mer- 
chant, and, after seven years of service, he went into busi- 
ness for liimself. Three years of independent mercantile 
life satisfied him, however, as, at the expiration of that 
period, he purchased the farm which he has since managed 
with good success. During the past four years he has been 
a director of the Third National Bank at Buffalo. 

Until the formation of the Republican party, Mr. Van 
Dusen was a Whig, and was elected Supervisor of his 
town before the dissolution of that organization. Since that 
event he has invariably acted with the Eepublicans, and has 
held a number of responsible positions in the gift of his 
party. In 1861 he was elected Superintendent of the-Poor, 
and still holds the oflBce. He is now serving his second term 
in the Legislature. In the canvass of 1871 he was chosen to 
the Assembly by a majority of 456, although the district 
went Democratic the previous years by over 300 majority. 
Last fall his majority was 265, notwithstanding the popular- 
ity of his Democratic opponent, Mr. Thaddeus Hotchkiss. 
In the last Assembly he served on the Committees on Insur- 
ance and Engrossed Bills; in the present, on Ways and 
Means and Salt. 

Mr. Van Dusen was married, in 1834, to Miss Kichakd- 

William J. Van Dusen. 311 

SON, of Victor, in this State. In religious belief he is a 
Universalist, and his stable convictions and earnest purpose 
are very plainly apparent in his course as a legislator. His 
voice is frequently raised in behalf of the oppressed, and in 
favor of honesty everywhere. Mr. Vak Duskn has much 
of the " old school " in his appearance. His countenance is 
kindly and benevolent in expression, and no man would 
hesitate to trust him on sight. He is not given to much 
speaking, but all he says is to the point and eminently prac- 
tical. He closely scrutinizes every measure that passes 
through his hands, and is uncommonly fertile in suggestion. 
In short, he is an excellent legislator, prompt in the dis- 
charge of duties, and able to point his constituents to an 
unimpeachable record. 


The closely-contested county of Montgomery is repre- 
sented for the second time by Mr. Van Dusen, who is a 
plain farmer of unbending integrity and irreproachable char- 
acter. He was born in Schodack, Kensselaer county, of 
American parents, on the 16th of July, 1808. When he was 
but four years old his parents removed to Canajoharie, where 
he has since resided. Besides managing the productive 
estate which has been his main occupation through life, 
Mr. Van Dusen has found time to be of great service to his 
neighbors and the party in publfc positions, and has been at 
various times School Commissioner, Commissioner of High- 
ways, Assessor, Collector, Under-SheriflF, Assistant Assessor 
of Internal Revenue, and Supervisor, holding the last named 
office in the years 1858, 1859, 1865, 1866, 1867 and 1868. 
In all these positions he has shown large administrative 
capacity, and in each has developed the ability suited to the 

313 Life Sketches. 

exigency. He was elected to the last Assembly by a majority 
of 764, and served his constituents faithfully as a member of 
the Villages and Indian Affairs Committees. His majority 
last fall was reduced to 202, but that is not a matter of sur- 
prise in a county which occasionally sends a Democrat to 
the Assembly. His opponent was Judge David Speaker, a 
very prominent and influential citizen of the same town, 
and though the town is usually Democratic by 50 majority, 
Mr. Vak Dusen carried it by 129 majoi'ity. This year he is 
Chairman of the Committee on Villages, and a member of 
the Committee on Expenditures of the Executive Depart- 
ment. He also ranks among the honest workers of the 
Assembly, and is quiet, dignified and somewhat reserved in 


The member from the Third district of Albany county is 
a solid, substantial looking gentleman, in the prime of life. 
Square, compact and muscular in physique, his countenance 
and physiognomy denote an individuality in which force 
and determination predominate; a man, in fact, who is quite 
apt to succeed in any thing he undertakes, and who, pos- 
sessed of large business capacity and sound sense, is pecu- 
liarly well qualified to legislate for such a commercial and busi- 
ness center as is the city of Albany. Mr. Van Valkenburgh ■ 
was born in Chatham, Columbia county, June 23, 1826. 
His parents, both deceased, were James B. and Clorinda 
Van K. Van Valkenbdrgh, also natives of Columbia 
county, his father being a soldier in the war of 1812. 
Young Van Valkenburgh received an ample common 
school education, and, being brought up partially on a farm, 
he was well qualified to begin the battle of life when he 
reached the age of twenty-one. He followed farming and 
milling for a number of years, and has since been engaged 

J. W. Van Valkenbvrqb. 313 

in a variety of occupations. He was Town Collector at\ one 
time, then became a Railroad Conductor, and was Superin- 
tendent of the Albany and Susquehanna Railroad for four 
years prior to its being leased to the Delaware and Hudson 
Canal Company. While in this position he figured promi- 
nently in what was known as the " Susquehanna Railroad 
war," which arose from an attempt of the late James Eisk, 
Jr., and the Erie Railway Company to take possession of the 
Susquehanna Road. Mr. Van V. was called upon in the dis- 
charge of his duty to throw Mr. FiSK down the stairs of the 
Susquehanna ofiBce in Albany, and there are a number of 
witnesses who attest that he performed the task with remark- 
able celerity. He is still more or less interested in railroads, 
but is actively engaged in the cement, lime and stone busi- 

During the Rebellion Mr. Van Valkenbubgh went to 
the front as First Lieutenant of Co. E, 128th New York Vol- 
unteers (the Columbia and Dutchess county regiment), Col. 
CowLES commanding. He went to New Orleans under Gen. 
Banks, who was directed to relieve Gen. Bdtlbb, and parti- 
cipated in the subsequent Louisiana and Red River campaigns, 
being actively engaged at Port Hudson, and in all the arduous 
service before and after that stronghold fell. 

In politics he has been a life-long Democrat, and, as such, 
represented the second district of Columbia county in the 
Assembly in 1866, defeating Jonathan R. Rideb by 100 
majority, and being the first Democrat elected from the dis- 
trict in thirteen years. In the recent canvass he had two 
candidates opposed to him, Chas. P. Easton, a popular and 
influential Republican, and Lafayette Case, an independ- 
ent Democratic candidate, but his popularity was such that 
he received 131 majority over both, although the Republicans 
carried the district by a small majority in the previous elec- 
tion. He is a member of the Committees on Banks, State 
Charitable Institutions, and Expenditures of the House, and 
is in all respects an able and intelligent legislator. 

314 Life Sketcheb, 


Few members of the present Assembly exert a more com- 
manding influence or possess greater legislative talent than 
Mr. Vedder. He is known throughout the State as an 
active, earnest and independent Eepublican, who, while 
unswerving in his party fealty, is nevertheless incapable of 
being made the tool of cliques or rings. He is a man of 
exceptionally clear views of public interest as well as of 
party policy, while his convictions regarding all questions 
are the result of careful reflection and the exercise of sound 
judgment. When once formed they are tenaciously 
adhered to. 

Mr. Veddee is the son of American parents, his father, 
Jacob Veddek, being an industrious Cattaraugus county 
farmer. He was born in Ellicottville, his present place of 
residence, on the 23d of February, 1838. Before reaching 
man's estate he spent five years as a sailor on the lakes. He 
secured a good education, partially in the common schools, but 
mainly in the Springville Academy, which he entered in his 
twentieth year. Afterward he studied law, and was ad- 
mitted to the bar in 1866. In 1862, after teaching school 
a few months, he enlisted as a private in the 154th regiment, 
New York Volunteers, and remained with the regiment until 
the close of the war, participating with uniform credit to 
himself in the battles of Chancellorsville, Wauhatchie, 
Lookout Valley, Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, Eocky- 
faced Kidge, Siege of Savannah, and Bentonville. He bore 
an honorable part in Sherman's celebrated march to 
Atlanta and the sea, and for his gallant conduct in that cam- 
paign and at Lookout Mountain he was promoted success- 
ively to Lieutenant-Colonel of Volunteers, 1st Lieutenant, 
Captain and Brevet Major, U. S. A. His war record is 
therefore something to be proud of. 

Commodore P. Tedder. 315 

When the war ended Mr. Veddek commenced the practice 
of the legal profession, in which he has continued to the 
present time with marked success. In 1867 he was 
appointed Register in Bankruptcy, and still holds the office. 
He was also Assessor of Internal Revenue from May 10, 
1869, until May 4, 1871, filling the office, as he fills every 
position, to the satisfaction of every one interested. In the 
fall of 1871, he was elected member of Assembly by a major- 
ity of 401, defeating Chakles S. Cart, his Democratic com- 
petitor. Last fall he defeated the same opponent by a 
majority of 688, after a very sharp canvass, in which the 
combined strength of the Liberal Republican and Demo- 
cratic elements was brought against him, and herculean 
efforts made to defeat him. 

Mr. Veddee's course in the Assembly has been in every 
way creditable to himself and to his constituents. Last year 
he served on the Judiciary Committee, of Avhich he is still a 
prominent member, and took an active part in the investiga- 
tion into the conduct of the New York judges. He was also 
Chairman of the committee which drew up the articles of 
impeachment against Judge Baknard, and was one of the 
managers selected by the House to conduct the trial of that 
unworthy wearer of the ermine. His connection with these 
momentous proceedings aided largely in developing his fine 
legal talents, and added greatly to his reputation. He has 
also been prominently identified with much of the important 
legislation of this and the last session, serving on several 
committees faithfully and well. 

As an orator, Mr. Veddee has few equals. Though he 
always speaks extemporaneously, and often without prepam- 
tion, his eflforts upon the floor are generally models of com- 
pact symmetrical argument. He clothes his ideas in direct 
and forcible, yet elegant, phraseology; sometimes bold almost 
to audacity in his utterances, especially when discussing 
political questions, he frequently rises to heights of eloquence 
attained by few public speakers. 

316 Life Sketches. 

Previous to the war, Mr. Veddek was a Democrat, but the 
reverberation of the first gun at Sumter aflFected him much 
as it did thousands of other honest Democrats throughout 
the State. The so-called Democracy was eflfectually elimi- 
nated from his political constitution. He has since acted 
consistently with the Eepublican party, and is popular with 
men of all parties, as his personal and social qualities are of 
the most genial • character. Whether we regard him in his 
private or public life, he is above reproach, and is in all 
respects an honest, able and eflBcient legislator. He is a man 
of fine personal appearance and unusually pleasing address, 
and evidently has a brilliant career yet before him. 


Mr. VooKHis occupies his present position by virtue of 
indomitable energy, persistent industry and inflexible integ- 
rity. As the result of a long and successful business career, 
began at the bottom of the ladder, he possesses large wealth, 
which he quietly enjoys in well-earned retirement when not 
engaged in political duties. 

He was bom at Nyack, June 26, 1819, and is, therefore, 
nearly fifty-four years of age, though he possesses the activity 
of a man of forty. His father, Jacob Vooehis, a native of 
New Jersey, and his mother, born in Rockland county, are 
still living on the estate they have occupied since their mar- 
riage, which, by the way, was in the family before New York 
became a State, Mr. Vooehis' ancestors on both sides settling 
in Rockland county before the revolution. 

Mr. Vooehis attended the common schools in his youth, 
but he is for the most part self-educated. He commenced 
life as a boatman, and before he settled down to commercial 
pursuits he had considerable experience of the sea, for which 

William Voorhis. 317 

he had a decided predilection. Indeed, this predilection still 
clings to him, as he is the fortunate owner of the yacht Tidal 
Wave, and has been Commodore of the New York Yacht 
Club. He is, in fact, an authority in yachting matters, and 
is well known among nautical men. Most of his life, up to 
the past six years, during which he has been in retirement, 
has been spent in commercial pursuits in Brooklyn and New 
York, and the fact that he has been able to retire with a 
comfortable fortune is a suflBcient indication of his success. 

He has always taken a lively interest in politics, usually 
acting with the Democrats ; his course, however, is invariably 
dictated rather by his judgment of what is right, than allegi- 
ance to party. During the rebellion he was a strong War 
Democrat. He raised the first company of volunteers organ- 
ized in the county, and was otherwise very active on behalf 
of the Union. At that time sympathy with secession was 
predominant in Eockland county, and, indeed, so bitter was 
the feeling that Mr. Vookhis was actually mobbed for his 
loyalty, and his life was threatened. He, "however, took 
measures to defend himself, and manfully persisted in the 
course he had marked out for himself. 

His present position in the Assembly is his first appear- 
ance in public political life, and the honor which his fellow- 
citizens saw fit to bestow upon him was entirely unsought. 
He had taken a somewhat medium ground, and was therefore 
supported by men of both parties. He carries his independence 
into the House, and, though nominally a Democrat, he has 
on several occasions followed the dictates of his judgment 
and voted with the Republicans on party questions. He 
takes frequent part in the debates on the floor, and, though 
not specially gifted with the graces of oratory, he is a fluent 
speaker, and says what he has to say in a straightforward, 
practical manner. 

He was married, about nine years ago, to Miss Susan E. 
Lyon. He once belonged to the Methodist church, but his 
views are now more nearly in harmony with what is known 

318 Life Sketches. 

as the Armenian creed. The fact that Mr. Vooehis com- 
menced life poor, and without any adventitious aids, and 
has worked his way up to his present position solely by his 
own exertions, shows in strong light what can be attained 
by well-directed energy and perseverance. 


A plain, substantial and prosperous agriculturist repre- 
sents the Fourth district of Oneida, in the present Assembly ; 
a man who is as thoroughly proof against the evil influences 
surrounding the capitol as he is faithful in the discharge of 
his duty to his constituents. 

Daniel Walker was born in the town of Deerfield, his 
present home, on the 18th of May, 1807. In point of age he 
is therefore the patriarch of the House by several years. 
His father, Alexander Walker, was born in Wearthshire, 
Scotland, in 1778, emigrated to this country in 1803, was 
married in 1804, to Anna McErcher, of Broadalbin, Fulton 
county, and the same year settled in Deerfield, then a dense 
wilderness, and devoted himself to farming. Young Walker 
was born and reared amid the privations of pioneer life, but 
he attended school quite regularly, and secured a good ordi- 
nary education. His tastes led him to second the wish of 
his father that he should remain a farmer, and he has there- 
fore followed that pursuit all his life, having occupied the 
farm which he now owns for the past forty years, and managed 
it successfully. In 1832, he married Nancy McLaren, a 
member of an estimable family in Johnstown, Fulton county. 
Through his whole life he has borne a reputation for 
honesty and probity of character, and since early youth has 
been a member of the Presbyterian church. His son, Alex- 
ander Walker, served through the recent rebellion as 

Daniel Walker. 319 

Major in the 7th Michigan Cavalry, participating in some 
fifty skirmishes and battles, and was severely wounded in the 
battle of Gettysburgh. 

Mr. Walker has always taken a warm interest in politi- 
cal affairs, and as a Whig, and afterward as a Republican, has 
exercised large influence in the towns composing his Assem- 
bly district. He voted for Harrison in 1840, for Clay in 
1844, for Taylor in 1848, for Scott in 1852, for Lincoln 
in 1860 and 1864, and for Grant in 1868 and 1872. He 
also voted for Wm. H. Sevtard the last time he was returned 
to the United States Senate in 1855, and was a delegate to the 
Philadelphia Convention of 1872, which re-nominated Presi- 
dent Grant. Comment upon such a record is needless. 
He has once before been a member of the Legislature. In 
1855 he was elected to the Assembly by the Whigs of his 
district, defeating Salmon D. Root by about 900 votes. 
Last fall his majority was just 1,000, against a Republican 
majority of 658 the previous year, his opponent being 
Charles B. Coventry, a Democrat of considerable popu- 
larity- Besides his legislative honors, Mr. Walker, while he 
was a Whig, served as Justice of the Peace of Deei-field 
during a number of years, notwithstanding the fact that it 
was at that time a Democratic town. 

Mr. Walker is seldom absent from his seat in the House, 
and attends to his duties quietly and effectively, being at all 
times keenly alive to the interests of his constituents. 

820 Life Sketcbes. 


Dr. Watt, the member from the Fourth district of 
Brooklyn, was born in 1844. His parents were Scotch, and 
were noted for those habits of industry, frugality and 
personal integrity which so generally characterize their 
countrymen. From them young Watt inherited the valu- 
able patrimony of self-reliance, perseverance, and inflexible 
adherence to known duty. In 1859 he removed, with 
other members of the family, from Poughkeepsie to Brooklyn, 
where, from 1860 to 1864, he was engaged as a drug clerk. 
During the two following years we find him the proprietor 
and manager of a flourishing drug store on Fulton avenue. 
By the means and knowledge thus acquired he was enabled 
to prosecute with success at Bellevue Hospital and in the 
Long Island Medical College his favorite study of medicine. 
From the time of his admission into the parish school of 
Christ's church, Poughkeepsie, until the day of his gradua- 
tion, in 1866, he exhibited that enthusiasm, energy, persist- 
ency and unity of purpose which usually guarantee success. 
Soon after his graduation Dr. Watt spent some time abroad, 
where he visited the principal hospitals and medical institu- 
tions of Great Britain and France. The noble sentiment of 
Terence, " I am a man, and nothing human can be foreign 
to me," finds response in the sympathetic nature of every 
true physician. The medical profession, perhaps, more than 
any other, demands and invites tender sympathy with the 
suffering. In common with other philanthropic physicians 
of the Long Island College Hospital, Dr. Watt has for 
several years devoted some hours daily to that institution, for 
the gratuitous treatment of the worthy poor. Kecently he 
has extended these benevolent labors to the South Brooklyn 
Dispensary, which institution has honored him as one of its 
founders by appointing him to the vice-presidency. Though 

James Watt. 321 

always a firm Republican, Dr. Watt has never been a poli- 
tician. His election from a district which has not for years 
sent a Republican to the Assembly, is one of the significant 
signs of the political reforms now in progress. This election 
must also be regarded as the spontaneous expression of the 
people's heartfelt appreciation of those benevolent medical 
gentlemen to whose generous services the community is so 
largely indebted. Genuine courtesy cousists not in mere 
prudential self-praise, superficial polish or severity of man- 
ners; its seat is the heart and its law the golden rule, as 
applied to the varied intercourse of life. Education and 
association with the refined at home and abroad may develop, 
but can never produce it. Wherever such courtesy exists it 
secures social power for its possessor. 

It is generally admitted that the subject of this sketch 
possesses this quality, and that it constitutes an important 
element of his strength. 

There is yet another feature in the character of Dr. Watt 
which must not be overlooked in any life sketch of him. We 
mean his unflinching fidelity and unswerving tenacity to 
friends. He practices the great counsel of the poet : " The 
friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, grapple them to 
thy soul with hooks of steel." 


323 Life Sketches. 


Smith Mead Weed was born in the town of Belmont, 
Franklin county, N. Y., July 26th, 1833. His father, Eos- 
well Aloott Weed, was born at Lebanon, N". H., 1798, and 
died at Plattsburgh, N". Y., in the year 1869. His mother, 
Sakah a. Mead, a daughter of Smith Mead, a prominent 
citizen of Clinton county, and who participated in the battle 
of Plattsburgh, is still living. 

Mr. Weed, after receiving a good common school and 
academic education, attended the Harvard University Law 
School, where he graduated in 1857, with the degree of 
Bachelor of Laws. He immediately entered upon the prac- 
tice of law in Plattsburgh, becoming a copartner with 
Messrs. Beckwith & Johkson of that place. He very 
soon displayed more than ordinary ability and skill in his pro- 
fession, and, from 1857 to 1865, was constantly occupied with 
its duties. In 1865, Mr. Weed was elected President of the 
village of Plattsburgh, which ofi&ce he continued to fill for a 
number of terms. In the same year he first appeared in 
political life as Member of the Assembly from Clinton 
county. He was returned to the Legislature for the two fol- 
lowing years, and in 1866 received from his party the com- 
pliment of being its candidate for Speaker. 

In 1867, Mr. Weed was elected Delegate-at-Large to the 
Constitutional Convention. One of his speeches made in 
that body on the separate submission of the negro suffrage 
clause, attracted considerable attention at the time. In it he 
avowed his belief that the colored people of the State 
possessed suflBcient capacity and intelligence to vote. Ho 
had, in 1865, voted for the amendment to the Constitution 
of the United States prohibiting slavery, and in the Assem- 
bly, in 1867, urged that the negroes of the State be allowed 
to vote for delegates to the State Constitutional Convention. 

Smith M. Wj^ed. 323 

In fact, Mr. Weed then occupied the liberal ground which 
his party have rather slowly come up to since, and was cer- 
tainly one of the first Democrats in the country to urge the 
propriety of the " New Departure." 

In 1868, Mr. Weed was engaged as senior counsel, on the 
part of the State, by the managers of the impeachment of 
Canal Commissioner Dorn. He made the principal argu- 
ment for the prosecution in that case, which is reported in 
the volume of the proceedings at that trial. 

In 1871 Mr. Weed was again returned to the Legislature 
from Clinton county. During this term, when "Tammany" 
was in the very pride of its strength, he came, almost single- 
handed, in collision with its schemes. As a member of the 
then Kailroad Committee, he successfully resisted the designs 
of the strikers upon the Delaware and Hudson Canal Com- 
pany. He, as a member of that Committee, proposed and 
submitted to the Assembly a minority report in favor of the 
repeal of the Erie Classification Act. That report was con- 
sidered an able statement of the question, and came within 
one vote of carrying against the full power of Tammany 
and Erie. It was the first oflBcial document which denounced 
the Erie Eing in unmeasured terms. 

For this Tammany did not forgive him, and although his 
desire to adhere to his party led him to support, in common 
with other Democrats, such bills as had been made party- 
measures at this session, he was thereafter regarded as an 
enemy of the then party-controlling influence. He was bru- 
tally assaulted by the notorious James Irving, then a power 
with the " Ring," for which assault Irving was promptly 
driven from the Assembly. 

Since 1865 Mr. Weed has been a leading man in North 
Eastern New York, not only in its politics, but in its various 
business interests. He is now largely concerned in the 
lumbering and mining business of Clinton county. He has 
done much to call attention to the resources of that quarter 
of the State, and has labored with great earnestness for some 

324: Life Sketches. 

time to bring railroad facilities to the country along the 
■western shore of Lake Champlain. He forwarded very con- 
siderably the enterprises of the railroad on the west side of 
Lake Cham plain, and the recent formation of the New York 
and Canada Railroad Company with the design of pushing 
a through road from Whitehall to Montreal, on the west side, 
is due almost solely to his untiring efforts. 

In business, Mr. Weed is enterprising and sagacious. As 
a lawyer and political speaker, he commands attention more 
by the substance of his matter than by any graces of diction 
or manner. He has not the " gift of gab " or facility of 
fluent declamation. His ideas are always put into the 
plainest and shortest words. He needs antagonism to bring 
him out, and is strongest in debate and repartee. 

In politics he has always been a Democrat, and is greatly 
attached to the fundamental ideas of that party. He has 
always stood on the side of liberality and progress. Even in 
his first term in the Legislature he became noted for his 
advocacy of the Free School Law. 

Mr. Weed was married September 6, 1859, to Carrie L. 
Standish, seventh in lineal descent from Miles Standish, 
of Plymouth, and daughter of Col. M. M. Standish, late of 

He was elected to the Legislature of 1873 by about 250 
majority, although his county went for Grant by about 500 

Edward B. Wells. 325 


The subject of this sketch was born in Prattsburgh, 
N. Y., April 22, 1835, and is consequently nearly thirty-eight 
years of age. His father, Iba Wells, and his mother, Pa- 
MELiA Tatlok, are still living, and celebrated their golden 
wedding last September, with their children and their 
childi'en's children to the fourth generation, a family as yet 
unbroken by death. The subject of this sketch is the fourth 
of seven children. His parents removed in 1838 to Lyons, 
where he received such educational advantages as are afforded 
by the excellent Union School lu that village. In 1850 he 
was apprenticed to the business of marble-cutting. Com- 
pleting his trade, he moved to Cherry Valley, Otsego county, 
where he started in business on his own account — in an 
humble way, of course, for he had no capital beyond his 
own modest savings; soon after removing to Fort Plain, 
where he drove a thriving trade for about three years. We 
then find him back at Lyons, and a little later settled at 
Clyde, the owner of the marble-shops in both of those towns, 
and one in Canada ; besides that, a prominent member and 
director of a paper manufacturing company, and a heavy 
dealer in real estate. With scarcely an exception, all of Mr. 
Wells' numerous ventures have proved successful, thanks 
to his skillful management ; and his friends and neighbors, 
in the belief that a man who conducts his own affairs suc- 
cessfully, and at the same time honorably, may safely be 
intrusted with those of others, were not slow to name him 
(though not through his seeking) for positions of public 
trust in the community. He acquitted himself honorably 
of the duties imposed upon him, and in 1870, respond- 
ing to the almost unanimous wish of the Republicans 
of the town of Galen, he accepted the nomination for Super- 
visor. His opponent was an old resident of the town, a very 

326 Life Sketches. 

respectable, a very worthy gentleman, and personally 
popular — with the advantage, which was no small one, of 
his town having for two consecutive years previously, and 
several times besides, elected a Democrat for Supervisor. 
Mr. Wells was, however, elected by a majority of 138. His 
majority, as well as his vote, exceeding that of any other 
candidate on the ticket. In 1871 he was again nominated 
and again elected, this time by a majority of 287. In the 
fall of that year his name was prominently mentioned in 
connection with the position of Member of Assembly from 
eastern Wayne ; and the wishes of his party being expressed 
through its Convention, he was nominated, and elected in 
November by a majority of 250. Serving his district with 
the same fidelity and the same zeal displayed by him in 
the Board of Supervisors, he was in 1872 re-nominated 
and re-elected, this time having a majority of 494, or 
nearly double that of the previous year. In both of these 
campaigns his opponents were gentlemen of conceded 
influence and standing, who conducted the canvass on their 
side with acknowledged shrewdness and liberality ; and in 
both the Opposition was concentrated upon Mr. Wells, with 
the determination to defeat him, if such a thing were possi- 
ble. How they succeeded, let the figures show. It was 
enough to succeed at all, under such circumstances, but to 
come ofi" with such majorities was victory indeed. 

Mr. Wells, though not the man to thrust himself into 
conspicuousness, is one of the most generally respected 
and thoroughly reliable members of the House. In the 
Assembly of 1872, he served upon the Committees on 
Trade and Manufactures, and Affairs of Villages, and in the 
present Assembly he has places upon the same committees, 
being Chairman of the one first named. He is a careful 
legislator, observing closely the proceedings of the Assembly, 
and biinging into his legislative business the same practical 
common-sense that has insured his success in every-day 
affairs. Always prudent, thoughtful, and considerate, he 

Oborge West. 327 

makes no pretensions as an orator, but his remarks never 
fail to command attention because of their earnestness and 

Mr. Wells' life furnishes a practical illustration of the 
beneficence of our American institutions, under which a 
man may rise, by his own exertions, to an independent, 
honorable position. He is one of the kind of men we are 
glad to see honored: a man who has made himself what 
he is. 


Mr. West is also an excellent representative of the success- 
ful business man. By dint of energy, sagacity and persevering 
industry, he has risen in a few years from comparative poverty 
to opulence, and is now one of the largest manufacturers in 
the eastern section of the State. His career is instructive and 
worthy of emulation. Born in Keentsbeer, Devonshire county, 
England, on the 17th of February, 1823, of parents in moder- 
ate circumstances, he had very little adventitious aid in 
making a future for himself. He received a good common 
school education, however, and inherited from his parents 
industrious habits and a robust constitution. With these as 
his capital he commenced the battle of life. His father and 
uncle were paper-makers, but he served a thorough apprentice- 
ship with JoHK Dewdney, one of the leading manufacturers 
in the west of England, learning the business in all its 
branches. Soon after reaching his majority he married an 
English girl, whose prudent management and wise counsel, 
no doubt, contributed in no small degree to his success. He 
soon discovered that England failed to afford full scope for 
his abilities, and in 1849, when he had reached his twenty- 
sixth yeai', he came with his young wife to this country. 
When he aiTived on our shores he was almost penniless, but 
he possessed a good stock of indomitable pluck. He procured 

328 Life Sketches. 

employment in New Jersey, where he worked about a year. 
From there he went to Massachusetts, where he obtained em- 
ployment in a paper mill as an ordinary operative, continu- 
ing in that capacity about three years. Ultimately his 
employers discerned and appreciated his value, and he soon 
found himself the responsible manager of one of the largest 
manufactories of writing paper in the Bay State. During 
several years' experience in that position, he rapidly developed 
the sterling qualities by which he finally won success ; and 
before he had been ten years in this country he became a 
partner in an extensive paper mill. In the year 1860 he sold 
out his business in Massachusetts, and seeing a favorable 
opening at Ballston Spa, removed thither. How well time 
has demonstrated the wisdom of his venture is shown by the 
fact that he is now sole proprietor of five large paper mills, 
all of which are run exclusively on manilla paper, used in 
the manufacture of grocers' bags, and also a paper bag manu- 
factory, which turns out fi-om eighty to one hundred million 
of those bags per year, transacting in connection therewith 
a business which averages about $65,000 monthly. He is 
also an equal partner in the firm of Gair & West, a principal 
depot for the sale of paper, paper bags and twine, located at 
No. 143 Eeade street. New York, as well as director in the 
First National Bank of Ballston Spa, and the largest indi- 
vidual stockholder in the Bank. 

In personal appearance, Mr. West is a good specimen of 
the sturdy Briton. Though short of stature, his robust form 
and broad shoulders seem well able to carry the massive and 
well-developed head, which seems a fit repository for a brain 
of more than ordinary activity. He bears with him, however, 
the air and manner of one who has earned the right to take 
the world easy, and the geniality characterizing his inter- 
course with others strengthens such an impression in the 
mind of one who judges men by first impressions. He is a 
man of much earnestness of character, and is still a hard 
worker, carrying much of his energy and thoroughness in 

Elisha S. Whale n. 329 

the committee rooms, though he very rarely attempts to 
make more than a brief and pointed off-hand speech on the 
floor of the House. 

Mr. West has always been an ardent Republican, and 
enjoys a large degree of popularity in his own district, as is 
evidenced by the fact that he was elected to the last Assem- 
bly by the large majority of 1,166 over Wm. T. Odell, his 
Democratic competitor. Last fall he was re-elected without 
opposition, no other candidate being nominated, and is the 
only member of the Assembly having no vote against him. 


Mr. Whalen was born in the town of Milton, Saratoga 
county, N. Y., March 24, 1817. He had common school ad- 
vantages until the age of thirteen years, when his business life 
commenced as clerk in a country store at Rock City Falls, 
where he remained about two years ; thence he went to West 
Milton in the same capacity, remaining there until November, 
1836, when he left for western New York, spending the fol- 
lowing winter with his father's family in Monroe county, 
whither they had preceded him by two or three years. He 
went to the village of Medina, in March, 1837, poor and 
unknown, but armed with a letter signed by the then prom- 
inent men of Milton and Ballston Spa, " commending him 
to the respect and confidence of all with whom he might 
make either acquaintance or business." Securing a situation 
at once with a prominent firm, carrying on a large country 
store, post-oflBce, grain warehouse and a potash factory, he 
commenced a new business career at $10 per month on 
trial; after two months' service he was promoted to the 
situation of book-keeper, confidential clerk and $400 per 
annum, then the largest salary paid in the village. He has 
been in active business life since as subordinate or principal. 

330 Life Sketches. 

having been engaged in merchandising, merchant, milling, 
and as produce dealer since 1841, retiring last September (on 
account of impaired health) on a moderate com} etency. He 
is a director of the Union Bank of Medina, ani I was one of 
the original directors of the projected Niagara Eiver and 
New York Air Line Eailroad, organized during the present 
year. He was a Democrat up to the organization of the 
American party ; joined the Eepublican party on the Kansas 
question, and has acted with that pai'ty since ; was Super- 
visor in 1851 and 1852, and again in 1871 and 1872, and is 
Chairman of the present Board; was chosen Member of 
Assembly by the American party at a special election, held 
December 26, 1854, in place of Alexis Ward, deceased, over 
BoEDEN H. Mills, Whig and Democrat, by over 1,000 
majority; was Presidential Elector in 1861, casting his vote 
in the electoral college for Lincoln and Hamlin, and was 
chosen to the Assembly at the late general election, by 1,385 
majority, over Dr. Thomas Gushing, Liberal, nominated in 
place of E. Kieke Hart, Liberal, who declined. 

On the 6th of August, 1844, Mr. Whalen was married to 
Miss Cathaeine Geoff, who has contributed largely to his 
life success. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, of which he is trustee, treasurer and district steward, 
and was lay delegate to the last annual conference of the 
Genesee district. 

His father was American born, of Irish descent, and a 
farmer in comfortable circumstances; his mother is of 
German descent, American born, and both are deceased. 

Nicholas A. White. 331 


The First district of Oneida county, embracing the larger 
portion of the city of TJtica, is represented in the Assembly 
this year by Nicholas A. White, one of the most respected 
business men of that city. Mr. White was born in Thet- 
ford, Vermont, February 26, 1819, and the son of Noah 
White, a native of New Hampshire, who died about six 
years ago in Utica, where he had resided about forty years. 
Young White was educated in the common schools, and 
eai"ly entered business life, for which he was well adapted. He 
is known throughout Central New York in connection with 
the old established firm of N. A. White & Son, manufac- 
turers of stone-ware and fire-brick. 

Though Mr. White has always felt a warm interest in politi- 
cal movements, having since early youth acted either with the 
Whig or the Republican organization, he has never troubled 
himself much with the details of party management, and is, 
therefore, not a politician in the popular sense of the term. 
His influence in the business circles of Utica is, however, 
very large, and it is invariably exercised in behalf of Republi- 
can principles and candidates. During several terms he haa 
been a member of the board of Supervisors of Oneida county, 
and has also served in the Utica board of Aldermen, of which 
he is now a member. In these positions his business capacity 
and stei'iing honesty have been of great value In the late 
general election he was pitted again Lewis H. Babcock, a 
very popular candidate of the Democrats and Liberal Repub- 
licans, and was elected by a majority of 135, the Republican 
majority of the previous year being something over 500. 

Mr. White is one of the quiet members, having little 
talent for speech-making. But he is capable and eflScient, 
and is making an honorable record. He has been married 
since the year 1840. 

332 Life Sketches. 


No portion of the State is more ably represented in the 
Assembly than Westchester county. Her three members are 
each of them of marked character and superior ability. 
It would be invidious to draw a comparison between them, 
but we cannot certainly transgress the bounds of propriety 
in observing that, if such comparison were made, Mr. Wight 
would not suffer thereby. Able, dignified and candid in 
debate, and pleasant and courteous in his more familiar inter- 
course with fellow members, he is respected by both friends 
and opponents, while his decided ability inspires genuine 
admiration. He is not, perhaps, a brilliant orator, but his 
speeches are invariably full of sound sense, expressed in well- 
chosen language. He shows upon the floor much less of the 
politician than of the lawyer, while he brings to the discus- 
sion of the important legal topics of the present session 
extensive learning fortified by large experience and exhaust- 
ive reading. 

Mr. Wight was born in New York city, August 15, 1828, 
and has therefore passed his forty-fourth year. He is the son 
of Amherst Wight, Sr., a native of Bellingham, Mass., who 
is still living at the age of eighty-two years, having been a 
prominent member of the bar of this State for more than 
half a century. Mr. Wight's mother was Johan^na G. 
Sanderson previous to her marriage, and it is worthy of 
note that she was born in the historic Hasbrouck house at 
Newburgh, which was occupied in revolutionary times by 
General Washington as his headquarters. Mr. Wight's 
education is mainly self-acquired. Previous to his thirteenth 
year he attended a private school in New York city, where, 
of course, his studies were almost entirely rudimentary. 
When he had reached that age, he left school and applied 
himself diligently to study, being especially enamored of the 

Amherst Wight, Jr. 333 

classics, with wliich he became quite familiar. Finally he 
began the study of law, which he prosecuted until he reached 
his majority. He was then admitted to the bar, and since 
that time he has practiced in the courts of New York city 
and Westchester, devoting his talents principally to that 
branch of the profession relating to real estate. He resided 
in the metropolis until 1859, when he removed to Portchester, 
where, with the exception of a brief period spent in New 
York, he has resided up to the present date. 

Mr. Wight's political creed is unmistakably Kepublican. 
He has belonged to the party since its first organization, at 
which time he aided in forming the first Kepublican com- 
mittee in New York city, being then a resident of the Ninth 
ward where the committee was organized. Though not, 
properly speaking, a politician, he has always felt deep 
interest in the fortunes of the Kepublican party, and, when 
occasion required, has not only assumed his share of active 
campaign work, but has often stepped into the breach, and 
acted as the party standard bearer in exciting local contests. 
His town is Democratic by about 150 majority, but we find 
him, in 1871, triumphantly chosen to a seat in the Board of 
Supervisors, to which he was also chosen in the following 
year. Last fall he received a spontaneous nomination for the 
Assembly from the Second district of his county, where 
the Democratic majority is usually about 800. The opposing 
candidate, Elias Dusenburt, possessed undoubted strength, 
but Mr. Wight was successful by a small majority, running 
several hundred votes ahead of the Presidential ticket. 

He was married in 1856 ; became a widower in 1864, and 
married again in 1867. Although formerly connected with 
Dr. Osgood's Unitarian church in New York city, he has 
during late years belonged to the Episcopal denomination. 
An amiable, unpretending gentleman in every respect, Mr. 
Wight has gained much popularity during the present 
session, and is doing excellent service for the people of West- 
chester county. He is Chairman of the Committee on Priv- 

334 Life Sketches. 

ileges and Elections, a member of the Insurance Committee^ 
and serves also on the special Erie Committee. 


Mr. Woods was the opponent, in the late canvass, of ex- 
Assemblyman James Irving, the candidate of Tammany, in 
the 16th metropolitan district, defeating him by a majority 
of 865. He was born in the county of Monahan, Ireland, 
December 15, 1832, and is therefore forty-one years of age. 
At the age of seventeen, he came to this country, and located 
in New York city, where he has resided ever since. He was 
educated in the .common schools in Ireland and in New 
York, and learned the trade of a painter. He has been in 
business for about fifteen years, and is now quite comfortably 
off. Except his present service in the Assembly, he has never 
held any public position. He served his time in the New 
York Volunteer Fire Department, and has taken an active 
part in local politics for a number of years, belonging to 
what is known as the Young Democracy, and for nine years 
past has persistently fought the Tammany ring. 

Mr. Woods is a man of considei"able business energy and 
sagacity, and represents his district very eflBciently. He is a 
member of the Roman Catholic Church, and has been twice 
married, first to Ann Bruneb, in 1858, and the second time 
to Elizabeth Lecompt, in 1869, his first Avife dying in 

Jacob Worth. 335 


Mr. WoKTH is a resident of the Sixteenth ward of 
Brooklyn, and represents the Sixth district of Kings county 
in the Assembly. His parents emigrated from South Ger- 
many in the year 1837, locating in New York city; five 
years later they removed to Brooklyn, and there the family 
have since resided. Mr. Worth was born in N"ew York soon 
after his parents arrived in that city, and therefore he is now 
about thirty-five years <3f age. His father died when he was 
bnt seven years of age, and from that time he was practically 
obliged to depend upon his own efforts to earn a living, as well 
as to provide for his widowed mother. He thus had very little 
opportunity to obtain an education. In point of fact, the 
first time he ever saw the inside of a school-house was in 
1863, when he was first a candidate for legislative honors. 
He is therefore self-made, as the phrase goes, and self-edu- 

His life has been quite eventful. At the age of fifteen 
he went to sea, and, during an absence of three years, made 
the circuit of the globe. Soon after his return he entered 
the political arena, and at the early age of nineteen was 
elected to represent his ward in the Democratic General 
Committee. When the war broke out in 1861, he was 
enthusiastic in championing the Union cause, and since that 
time he has been a firm and consistent Eepublican, devoting 
much time and efiFort in spreading a knowledge of the prin- 
ciples of his party among his fellow-counti-ymen. It is 
probably due to him more than to any other man that, in 
spite of adverse influences arising from excise laws and other 
issues, the Germans of the Eastern District of Brooklyn, 
comprising a large portion of the population of that section, 
have been kept true to Republicanism. 

In September, 1863, Mr. Woeth was commissioned a First 

336 Life Sketches. 

Lieutenant in Col. Conk's regiment, the 139tli New York, 
and went with his regiment to the front. Shortly after he 
was promoted to a Captaincy, and was given a command in 
the 84th New York regiment. He participated with credit 
in all the battles and skirmishes of the regiment until the 
latter part of 1863, when he resigned because of ill-health. 

In the fall of the same year he was placed in the field as 
the Eepnblican candidate for Assembly in the district com- 
prising the 7th, 15th, 16th and 19th wards of Brooklyn, and 
succeeded in defeating Frank Swift, the Democratic can- 
didate, by over one thousand majority. In 1864 he was 
re-elected by about 700 majority over John Hanson, the 
district giving the Democratic State ticket at the same time 
500 majority. In 1865 he was once more chosen to the 
Assembly, receiving about 1,200 majority. Judge Eames, a 
very popular man on the Democratic side, being his oppo- 
nent. In 1866 he was a candidate for Street Commissioner 
against Robert Fury, and was defeated by 1,400 votes, in a 
poll of more than 48,000, running 8,800 votes ahead of the 
Republican State ticket. In the fall of 1867 he was elected 
to the Assembly from the district composed of the 16th and 
19th wards of Brooklyn, by 30 majority, the Democratic 
State Ticket receiving over 1,100 majority. In 1868 he rep- 
resented the 3d Congressional district of this State in the 
Electoral College which gave Gen. Grant the thirty-four 
votes of the Empire State. He ran again for Assembly in 
1869, but was defeated by Bernard Haver, a Democrat, by 
58 votes, owing to the fact that an Independent Republican 
was in the field, and polled some 458 votes. He is now com- 
pleting bis fifth term in the State Legislature, to which he 
was elected by a majority of 555 over August Merrinqee. 

It is almost impossible to overcome his popularity in the 
16th ward. He has suffered much detraction at the hands 
of political opponents, but he is ever ready to meet his 
assailants face to face on any issue, and his manly course of 
action invariably compels respect and admiration. His 

LuciEN T. Yeomans. 337 

energy and perseverance are distinguishing traits in his 
character, and the Committee of One Hundred showed 
obvious appreciation of his merit by requesting him to 
champion their Reform Charter through the Assembly. It 
is conceded that he ■worthily performed the task allotted to 
him, not hesitating to measure lances with the ablest debaters 
in the House. Mr. Wokth has been elected to represent the 
16th ward in the Republican General Committee every year 
for the past twelve years, and during the past ten years has 
been the elected representative of his Assembly district to 
all the State Conventions of the Republican party. He is a 
gentleman of good presence and commanding figure, stand- 
ing six feet in height. If he lives to the usual age allotted to 
man, he bids fair to become as popular in the State as he is 
now in Brooklyn. He was married in 1861, and has two 
interesting children. 


One of the most active young Republicans of the House 
is the Hon. Lu(3iek T. Yeomans, of Wayne, who is now 
serving his second term. Mr. Yeomans was born in Wal- 
worth, Wayne county, December 1st, 1840, and is a son of 
Thbbon G. Yeomans, who was a member of Assembly in 
1851, '52. The subject of our sketch is still a resident of 
that pleasant village, where he owns and supervises a well- 
managed and productive fruit farm. He is, in fact, well 
known throughout the State as a nurseryman and fruit 
grower. Those who manage State and county fairs are 
aware that he has a habit of manifesting a lively interest in 
whatever tends to the advancement of his favorite pursuit, 
and there are probably very few men who have, at his age, 
succeeded in accomplishing as much for the horticultural 
interests of the commonwealth. Mr. Yeomans is thoroughly 

338 Ltfe Sketches. 

qualified for a business career, haying mastered a full course 
of study at Walworth Academy, and at Eastman's Commer- 
cial College in Poughkeepsie. Since he cast his first vote he 
has been an active and thorough-going Kepublican, and being 
also a man of clear convictions and enlarged views, he has 
attained a prominent position in the local councils of his party, 
in which his shrewdness and energy are felt and acknowl- 
edged. He was never a seeker after political preferment, and 
never held office in the party until last year, when he served 
his constituents honorably in the Assembly. His course, 
indeed, gave such complete satisfaction to those he repre- 
sented, that he was returned to the present House by a largely- 
increased majority over two competitors, Oklando W. 
Powers, a " Liberal " Republican, and Amasa Hall, an 
" Independent " Republican. His majority at the last elec- 
tion was 1,635 against 1,300 in the fall of 1871. In the 
Assembly of 1852 he was appropriately given the Chairman- 
ship of the Committee on Agriculture. As a member of the 
Committees on Claims and Expenditures of the Executive 
Department, and also of the Sub-committee of the Whole, 
he labored industriously and with credit throughout the pro- 
longed session of last year. In the present session he is 
Chairman of Joint Library, and member of Commerce and 
Navigation, and Sub-committee of the Whole. 

Mr. Y. is not conspicuous as a debater, though he occasion- 
ally takes the floor ; but he possesses qualities which are far 
more essential to good legislation, namely, unwearied indus- 
try, keen discrimination, sound sense, and sterling integrity. 
Though yet a young man, he has already made his mark, and 
has evidently entered upon an honorable career. 

Russell A. Young. 339 


Mr. Young is a resident of Norwich, Chenango county, 
where he owns a valuable farm, and is accounted one of the 
most successful agriculturists in that section. His parents, 
Martin and Mart Youkg, were natives of Otsego county, 
and he was born in Pittsfield, in that county, on the 
30th of October, 1835. His father and mother are, we 
believe, both living. Removing to Chenango CDunty at an 
early age, Mr. Young received an education in the ordinary 
English branches at New Berlin Academy, and subsequently 
served an apprenticeship at carriage-making. After working 
about twelve years at that business, he purchased a farm, 
and, since 1862, his time has mainly been occupied in its 
cultivation. His probity of character and sterling worth 
have secured him the esteem and regard of all tlie citizens 
of Norwich, without regard to party. In 1866, he was 
elected Commissioner of Highways, and has held the oflBce 
continuously up to the present time. He has also been 
Secretary of the County Agricultural Society since the year 
1869. Mr. Young cast his first vote for John C. Fremont, 
and in all the elections since then he has invariably voted 
the Eepublican ticket. He was chosen to the Assembly in 
the canvass of last fall by a majority of 813, his opponent 
beiri^ David H. Knapp. Though he is not conspicuous in 
the debates of the House, he is an able and eflScient mem- 
ber, and efifectively represents the interests of his constitu- 
ents, with due regard to the welfare of the State at large. 
In religion he is an Episcopalian, and is one of the leading 
members of that denomination in Norwich. He was mar- 
ried, on the 6th of September, 1859, to Miss Fannie E. 

340 Life Sketches, 



Though he assumed the position without previous experi- 
ence in the desk, the duties of Clerk of the Assembly 
have very rarely been better performed than by ex-Senator 
O'DoNNELL. The position is one of great labor and lespon- 
sibility, and requires a peculiar order of talent in the incum- 
bent ; but he has shown that he possesses in large degree the 
special qualifications required, being, as all will admit who 
have watched him during the session, industrious, prompt, 
methodical, a good reader, a clear-headed man of business, 
and a pleasant, courteous gentleman. For the admirable 
and orderly manner in which the legislative business has 
been transacted, great credit is primarily due to Speaker 
Cornell, but his efibrts would be useless to a great extent 
were they not aided and seconded, as they certainly have 
been, by the tact and intelligence of the Clerk. Mr.O'DoN- 
nell's ability is universally recognized, and he enjoys the 
confidence and esteem of all the members of the House. 

John O'Donnell is a native of Fort Ann, Washington 
county, where he was born in 1827. His father was born in 
Ireland and his mother in America. In early life he removed 
to Lyme, Jefierson county, and in 1849 he settled in Lowville, 
Lewis county, where he now resides. In that place he com- 
menced trade as a general merchant, and by earnest and 
careful attention to business gradually extended his means 
and acquired the confidence and respect of his fellow citizens. 
He subsequently purchased largely of real estate, in central 
and eligible business localities, and erected commodious 
blocks of buildings, extending along both the main streets 
of Lowville, which have added greatly to the commercial 
facilities of the place. His investments proved successful to 
that extent that he, several years ago, withdrew from trade, 

John O'Donnell. 341 

the leisiu'e thus secured enabling him to render valuable 
service to the people of the State and the Eepublicau party, 
as well as to the temperance cause, with which he has long 
been closely identified. 

He has had a long and honorable political career. In 1864 
he was a member of the Republican State Committee, and 
was also a Delegate to the Baltimore Convention which 
renominated President Liucoln. In the same year he was 
a Member of Assembly from Lewis county, serving in that 
body as Chairman of the Committee on the Internal Affairs 
of Towns and Counties, and bestowing diligent attention 
upon the interests of his constituents and such measures 
as were for the public welfare. During the session he 
secured the passage of laws appropriating about fifty thou- 
sand dollars for improvements in Lewis county, and was 
the author of an important bill to protect the butter and 
cheese interests of the State. In 1865 he was elected Senator 
for the eighteenth district (Lewis and Jefferson), in place 
of Hon. James A. Bell, defeating, by a large majority, 
Andbew Cornwall, his Democratic opponent. During 
his first senatorial term he was Chairman of the Internal 
Affairs Committee, and a member of the Committees on Insur- 
ance and Public Expenditures. In his first session he reported 
and advocated the New York Excise Bill, and was the author 
of acts to protect political primaries, caucuses and conven- 
tions, and to divide a safety fund of $80,000 in the Bank 
Department among the bill-holders of Yates and Lewis 
counties and reciprocity banks. 

In 1867 he distinguished himself by introducing a measure, 
noted for its originality and success, and known as the 
" O'Donnell Railroad Bill." It provided, in place of State 
aid to individual roads, a general plan by which the State 
should aid any steam railroad in the State, outside of New 
York city and county, that should build and complete in 
good running order, where a parallel road was not already 
built or in process of building, within an average distance of 

342 Ljfe Sketches. 

ten miles thereof, to the amount of $5,000 per mile for 
every twenty miles of. road. It was with difficulty that a 
report, even for consideration, could be obtained from the 
Senate Eailroad Committee in reference to the bill. At its 
first appearance in Committee of the Whole but two Sena- 
tors were in favor of it, but a long discussion of its merits 
changed the current of opinion, arid it finally passed by a 
large vote. Afterward it passed the Assembly, but it was 
vetoed by Governor Fenton. He also secured the passage 
in the Senate of bills to extend the New York excise law to 
the State at large, to suppress obscene literature, and to pro- 
hibit the employment of railroad employees who use liquors 
as a beverage, but they were all defeated in the Assembly. 

In 1867 he was again elected to the Senate, defeating Lewis 
H. Brown by 1,647 majority. In the ensuing session, as a 
reward for his fidelity to the interests of the State, and for 
his unbending integrity and honesty, he was made Chairman 
of the Finance Committee, a position which constituted him 
the premier of the Senate. He was besides a member of the 
Committees on Printing, Privileges and Elections, and Pub- 
lic Health. 

During this session he devoted himself to the revision of 
the assessment laws of the State, and introduced a bill which 
provided for the taxing and assessing of corporations at the 
Comptroller's office in Albany. In pursuance of the order 
of the Senate in connection with his bill, for the first time 
in the history of the State, all the corporations made sworn 
statements of the amount of their capital, surplus and net 
earnings for the preceding five years. These returns were 
embodied in a report from the Comptroller, and, in an elabo- 
orate speech upon his bill. Senator O'Donnell claimed that 
there was $870,989,672.39 of coi-porate property alone liable 
to taxation, and that of this vast amount only $235,855,172 
was assessed for taxation. In 1869, without his knowledge, 
he was selected as Supervisor of Internal Kevenue for the 
Northern District of New York, which office he held until 

John 0' Donne ll. 343 

August, when, by law of Congress, the two districts in the 
State were consolidated into one. In the late Presidential 
canvass Senator O'Donkell took the stump for General 
Grant, and held upward of fifty meetings in behalf of the 
cause. After the close of the canvass, at the organization of 
the Assembly, and in obedience to the unanimous wish of 
the party in the State, who desired to carry the reforms 
promised into the Clerk's desk, he was chosen Clerk of the 
Assembly, without solicitation on his part. 

Mr. O'DoKNELL has been the recognized champion of the 
temperance interest in the Legislature and elsewhere, for a 
number of years past, and he has given his best efforts in 
behalf of that cause. He is, in fact, one of the most promi- 
nent temperance men in the entire State, and frequently 
takes occasion to deliver lectures and addresses on the sub- 
ject. So far as honorably lay in his power, he has been active 
in endeavoring to secure the passage of the several temper- 
ance bills before the present Legislature. As a public speaker 
he is fluent and argumentative, seldom failing to fix the 
attention of an audience, and always leaving the impression 
that he is correct and conscientious in his views. He is 
known as a man of great energy and perseverance, and he 
seldom undertakes an enterprise without carrying it through. 
Genial in disposition, gentlemanly and courteous in manners, 
and a man of fine intellectual attainments, John O'Donnell 
is -in every way an ornament to the Clerk's desk, and an 
honor to the State he serves. 

344 Life Sketches. 



[The following autobiographical sketch was found among 
the papers in the hands of the editors of this work. As a 
bit of pleasantry, it is deemed worthy of publication. It 
was written by a well-known member of the present Assem- 
bly, who is serving his second term :] 

Editors of Life Sketches : — Your circular soliciting bio- 
graphical data of members of Assembly and other distin- 
guished persons was duly received. I shall be very happy to 
assist you as far as lies in my power. 

At present I will only briefly allude to some of the most 
important events of my past life and ancestral connections. 

My ancestors were of the Simon pure thoroughbred Puri- 
tan stock, and came to this country on the Plymouth Bock, 
about twenty-five years before the Sunflower landed with 
the Beecher family — consequently they enjoyed all the 
hardships and privations of the early settlers. My great- 
grandfather, Hanable Smart, was a deacon in the church 
and fought in the Indian wars under Pocahontas and 
Captain John Smith. He finally settled in an unsettled 
part of the State, and started the village of Smartville. My 
grandfather was a shoemaker. I don't know what my grand- 
mother was, but probably she was of the same persuasion. 
They pegged out before my remembrance, and left a right 
smart family of children, eleven boys and nine girls, some 
of whom emigrated to Pike county, Pennsylvania, and have 
never been heard from since. Probably they joined the 
Liberals or Bourbon Democracy and perished in the lato 
Presidential campaign. My father, John Haxcock Smart, 
was a distinguished military oflBcer, and served eighteen years 
as captain in the Connecticut militia. My mother weighed 
240 pounds. They fought in the battle of " Tippecanoe and 

John Smart, M. A. 345 

Tyler too ;" also, in the Young Hickory and White Ash cam- 

As to my own nativity, I have not a very distinct i-ecollec- 
tion, but think it occurred about forty years ago. At a 
very early age I set out to paddle my own canoe, and the 
first notable event that I distinctly recollect was being 
placed in charge of the motive power of a canal boat, on 
the Erie canal. Since then many memorable events have 
occurred which I should prefer to forget, notwithstand- 
ing the loss it would be to the world not to have them 
recorded. Probably if I had remained on the canal instead 
of paddling my canoe into the dirty waters of politics, I 
might to-day write the biography of a much better man. My 
early education was chiefly obtained from the common schools 
(very common ones they were), except about six months 
which I spent with a circus. I don't recollect whether I 
graduated from either institution. 

The public positions which I have held in civil life have 
been somewhat varied and attended with responsibility and 
profit, if not with honor. At the age of twenty-two I was 
appointed Superintendent of a light-house on the Jersey 
Flats. This was considered a very dangerous service, as the 
mosquitoes had taken oflF those previously appointed to that 
office ; but by the exercise of a little strategy, instead of 
being taken off by the varmints, I managed to take them in 
and make it pay, to boot. By leaving the lamp open on a 
warm night, they would fly in and get thoroughly singed, 
the remains could then be gathered up and sold very readily 
in Catharine Market for baked shrimps — an excellent article 
of food for a light diet. I next received an appointment in 
the Internal Revenue Department as Whisky Inspector, after 
a competitive examination with twenty-five other candidates, 
my success being due to the possession of the greatest capacity 
to sample the goods. I was compelled to resign after. six 
months' service in the Jersey lightning- district, my constitu- 
tion not being strong enough to endure that sei"vice. 

346 Life Sketches. 

After occupying several other important positions in civil 
life, and taking a very active part in primaries and political 
clubs, having been President of the Strikers' Club for the 
last ten years, and in connection therewith, having been 
instrumental in electing several men of great financial 
ability to the Legislature and to Congress, I was myself elected 
last year to the Assembly, and took an active part in the 
■work of the session. I served on the Committee on Fixed 
Bills, and also on the Committee on Expenditures of the 
Lobby. Owing to the last Legislature being so strongly in 
favor of reform, and the many reform measures introduced, 
the labors of these Committees were very arduous and 

As a mark of appreciation for my past services, and an 
indorsement of my course in the cause of reform, my con- 
stituents re-elected me to the Legislature of 1873. 

Before closing this hasty sketch, I would briefly allude to 
my military service during the late war. Soon after the 
commencement of difficulties, I enlisted in the Sutlers* 
Department with the Pennsylvania Reserves, and was in the 
front or rear (don't exactly remember which) of Gen. 
Pope's army, at the second Bull Run fight. When the run 
commenced I outran them all, and was the first man in 
except a newspaper correspondent, who stole a commissary 
muJe, and rode bare-back. His paper always got the news 
from the rear in advance of any other. Soon thereafter, 
and, as a reward for hard service, I received an appointment 
as captain in the Home Guard, and was detailed for recruit- 
ing service ; the difficulties and dangers of this service I did 
not shrink from, but, owing to a trifling misunderstanding 
with the Department on account of some irregularity in the 
transactions of the bounty-broker-jnmpers, I tendered my 
resignation, and did not again engage in any military ser- 
vice until last winter, when I joined the " Black Horse Cav- 
alry " at Albany, and performed active service in that com- 
mand until its colonel resigned, when I accepted a commis- 

John Smart, M. A. 34? 

sion in the bone brigade, and became a leader of some note 
in the skirmishes and battles fought during the latter part 
of the campaign. It is my intention, after the close of the 
present session, when I will have served through two Eeform 
Legislatures, to deliver lectures as a reformed member, 
believing they can be made as entertaining and profitable as 
the "Reformed Drunkard" or "Reformed Gambler" lec- 
tures which were so popular some years ago. 
Yours truly, 


Member from Smartville. 

Members of the Senate. 349 



DUt. Counties and Wards. Senators. 

1. CouDtleBofSufToUc, Queens and Blchmond Townsend D. Coox. 

2. First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh. Eleventh, 

Thirteenth, Fifteenth, Nineteenth and Twentieth wards 

of the ctty of Brooklynt In the county of Kings John C. Pebrt. 

3. Sixth, Eighth, NVitb, Tenth, Twelfth, Fourteenth. Six- 

teenth, Seventeenth and Eighteenth wards of th6 city of 
Brooklyn, and the towns of Flatbush, Flatlands, Grave- 
send, New Lote and New Utrecht, of the county of 
Kings Henry C. Musfht. 

4. First, Second. Third, Fourth. Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Thir- 

teenth and Fouf teenth wards of the city and county of 

New York - Vacant, 

5. Eighth, Ninth, Fifteenth and Sixteenth wards of the city 

and county of New Tork ~ Erastub C. Benedict. 

6. Tenth, Eleventh and Seventeenth wards of the city and 

county of New Tork « AuonsTua Weismann. 

7. Eighteenth, Twentieth and Twenty-first wards of the city 

and county of New Tork Jabces O^Brien. 

8. Twelfth, Nineteenth and Twenty-second wards of the city 

and county of New Tork - - Daniel F. Tzemann. 

9. Counties of Westchester* Putnam and Bockland William H. Bobertson. 

10. Cotmtles of Orange andSnlUvan Eswabd M. Madden. 

11. Counties of Dutchess and Columbia .- Abiah W. Palmer. 

12. Coantles of Bensselaer and Washington Isaac V. Baker. Jr. 

13. County of Albany Charles H. Adams. 

H. Counties of Greene and Ulster William F. Scorebbt. 

15. Counties of Saratoga, Montgomery, Fulton, Hamilton and 

Schenectady. Webster Wagner. 

16. Counties of Warren. Essex and Clinton Samuel Ames. 

17. Counties of St. Lawrence and Franklin Wells S. Dickinson. 

18. Counties of Jefferson and Lewis Nobrib W^^slow. 

19. County of Oneida Samuel S. Lowebt. 

350 Life Sketches. 

Dlst. Counties and Wards. Senators. 

20. Counties of Herkimer and Otsego - Archibald C. McGowah. 

21. Counties of Oswego and MadJson William Fobter. 

22. Counties of Onondaga and Cortland Daniel P. Wood. 

23. OouDtles of Chenango, Delaware and Schoharie Jaues H. Graham. 

24. Counties of Broome.Tloga and Tompkins Thohab J. Chatfiels. 

25. Counties of Cayuga and Wajrae William B. Woodin. 

26. Counties of Ontario, Tates and Seneca «. William Johnbon. 

27. Counties of Chemung, Schuyler and Steuhen Gabriel T. Harroweb. 

28. County of Monroe „ Jakvis Lord. 

29. Counties of Niagara, Orleans and Genesee George Bowen. 

30. Counties of Wyoming, Livingston and Allegany Jaheb Wood. 

31. County of Erie Loran L. Lewis. 

32. Counties of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Noeman M. Allen. 

Members of the Senate. 351 



Lieut.-Gov. John C. Robinson, President of the Senate. 



Fo3tH3fflce address. 


Adams, Charles H. 

Allen, Norman M 

Ames, Samuel 

Baker, Isaac V., Jr 

Benedict. Erastus C 

Bowen, Georg* 

Cock, Townsend D 

Chatfleld, Thomas J 

Dickinson, Wells S 

Foster, William 

Graham, James H 

narrower, Gabriel T 

Johnson, WtUlam 

Iiewls, Loran L 

Lord, Jarvls 

Lowery, Samael S 

Maiden, Edward M 

>J 111, Archibald C. 

Murphy, Henry C 

O^Brten, James 

Palmer, Ablah W 

Perry, John C 

Bobertson, WllHam H..... 

Scoresby, WUllam F 

Tlemann, Daniel F 

Wagner, Webster 

Weismann, Augustus 

Wlnslow, Norris 

Woodin, William B 

Wood, Daniel P 

Wood, James 




New York 















New York 



Westchester .. 

Ulster „... 

New York , 


New York , 

Jefferson , 

Cayuga — 

Onondaga , 

Livingston , 


Day ton , 


Comstock's Landing... 

New York « 


Locust Valley 






Seneca Falls 




Mlddletown , 



New York „ 

Amenla , 




New York , 

Palatine Bridge , 

New York 





































LiFF, Skstches. 



Hon. ALONZO B. CORNELL, Speaker. 



Post-oflQce address. 


Abbott, Frank 

Alberger, Franklin A.. 

Babcock, Isaac U 

Badger, John P 

Baltz, George 

Batctaeller, Geo. S 

Beebe, George M 

BlgUn, Bernard 

Blackle, Charles 

Blessing, Andrew 

Blumenthal, Joseph ... 

Brewer, Francis B 

Brown, ElUah E 

Brown. James H 

Bulkley, Justus L 

Burns, Dennis 

Burri.t, Leonard 

Campbell, Tiuiothy J.. 

Carpenter, Jacob H 

Clapp, Wm. S 

Clarke, Geo. W 

Cleary.Wm. V 

Cocheu, Frederick 

Coggeshall, Henry J 

Cook,Wm. "W 

Cope, John 

Cornell, Chas. G 

Costello, Patrick H 

Couchmsn, Peter 








New York.... 
New York.... 
New York.... 
New York..., 




New York.... 


New York.... 
Dutchess .... 


New York.... 
Kensselaer .. 



New York.... 


New York.... 


Schoharie .... 

Port Jervis ^-. 

Buffalo -, 




Saratoga Springs., 


New York city...., 
New York city..... 
New York city...., 

New York city 


New Hope 


Sandy Creek 

New York city 

Spencerport ». 

New York city 



New York city 


Brooklyn, E. D..,. 


New York city 


New York city 
































Members of the Assembly. 



Fost-offlce address. 


Crandall, Wm. W „ 

Gru-y, Charles ....„ 

Crawford, Joseph F 

Cummings, Mtchael A 

Davidson, John N 

Deenng, James A 

Dennlston, Augnstus - 

Dexter, Seymour _ ;. 

Donohue, James F 

Elting, Daniel D 

Fish, Henry L 

Fllnn, Morris B 

Ford, Wm. L 

Fort, Daniel G „ 

Fowler, Thomas M 

Furbeck, John I 

Gere.Wm. H. H 

Gilbert, Stephen F 

Gosa, George A 

Griffln, Matthew 

Hardy, Leonard F « 

Hayes, James 

Heacock, Wlllard J « 

Healey, James „„.. 

Hendee, HoratJo S » 

HeiTick, Castle W « . 

Herring, WllUam « 

HIgglns, Albion P 

Hill, Augustus .„.,.., 

HlUyer, John Blake 

mwec John D. ..„ 

HollL»ter, Edmund W 

Hasted. James W. 

Jacobs, John G ..i 

Johnson, Willard ..» 

Jones, Eleazer* „ 


New York.. 




New York 





Monroe ...^ 

Yates „ 




Onondaga , 






New York 

Fulton ft Ham.. 

New York 

JefTerson. — .... 


Westchester . ... 






Westchester .... 




* Deceased ; William U. Tefft elected to fill vacancy. 



New York city 




New York city 

Blooming Grove... 













Griffin's Comers ... 

Weedsport „ 

New York city 


New York city 




New York city 


New Springvllle .... 

Smith's Mills. 





Middle Granville..., 



Republican . 



































Life Sketches. 



Fost-offlce address. 

. Politics. 

Kennedy, Archibald 

Enettles, Anson W 

Landfleld, Jerome B 

Lewis, William, Jr 

Lincoln, Cyrlllo S -... 

Lynde, Dolphns S 

Mackln, James » 

Manley, John » , 

Harcy, John S » 

HcGulre, Jeremiah 

UcQueen. Daniel P 

Hoore, Darlna A ». 

Mosher. George D 

Nice, John - 

Norton, Ulchael 

Oakley, James M 

O'Brian, John 

Opdyke, WUUam S 

Patterson, Jacob M., Jr... 

Pell, Stephen 

Persons, Elam 

Phillips, George W 

Phllpot, Edward C , 

Plerson, Henry B 

Porteous, James G 

Prince, L. Bradford. 

Bay. Bei>Jamln 

Baynor, George 

Bice. Xleazer 0. ~ 

Boche, Domlnlck H 

Bose, Parker W. ».. 

Byan, James 

Schoonmaker, Peter 

Smith, Solon B „ 

Snyder, John L 

Stewart, James »... 

Saydam, Adrian H ^... 






St. Lawrence . 


Cattarangns .. 

Suffolk , 


Schenectady ... 
St. Lawrence .. 



New York. 


Erie » 

New York. 

New York. 

New York 










Kings „ 

St. Lawrence.... 
New York.... 


New York.... 
Bensselaer . . 




South Lansing , 

Newark Valley 





Little Valley 





West Troy 

Grand Island. 

New York city 



New York city 

New York city 

New York city 


Homer .... 

Pratt's Hollow 

Albany » 





Fairfield;. -... 


ParishTlUe „ 

New York city - 

Knox , 

New York city , 


South Worcester.... 
Brooklyn, S. D 






































Members of the Assembly. 



PoBt-offlce address. 


Swain, George M ^ 

Sylvester, Sidney - , 

Tefft, Wllllain H » 

Tobey, rranklln W - 

Tompkins. Milton M -,„, 

Townaend, Blbert. 

Van Cott, David C 

Van Demark, WllUam W 

Van Dusen, Ambrose L 

Van Dusen, William J 

Van Valkenburgb, John W 

Vedder, Commodore P 

Voorhlfl. William - 

Walker. Daniel - -.... 

Watt, James - 

Weed, Smith BL „..., 

Wells, Bdward B , 

West, George ;. «... 

Whalen, ElishaS ............. 

White, Nicholas A 

Wight, Amherst, Jr 

Woods, Peter ».. 

Worth. Jacob 

Teomans, Laclen T. ..».« 

Tonng. Rnsaell A..»...»....... 


Lewis -...., 


Colambla ..... 







Cattaraugns , 




Clinton - 




Oneida „ 

Westchester .... 

New York. 

Kings - 



Somerset -. 



Port Henry -., 

Chatham Village.. 
Pavilion Centre .. 





Albany , 



North Gage 




Ballston Spa 


mica -.. 

Port Chester 

New York city 

Brooklyn, B. D 

Walworth - 



























The Old Capitol and the New. 357 


We present on another page the engraved counterpart of 
the new Capitol. A few words concerning that magnificent 
coming edifice and its predecessor, still in possession, the old 
Capitol, will not be out of place in this volume. 

The Capitol building in which the laws of New York are 
now made, owed its origin to the Mayor, Aldermen and Com- 
monalty of the City of Albany. In 1803, the Legislature 
of the State, then holding its sessions in Albany's Court- 
house — a plain, substantial four-story building, situated on 
what is now the corner of Broadway (then Court street) and 
Hudson street — was respectfully petitioned by said Mayor, 
etc. Their petition set forth that the Court-house then in 
use, "as well from local situation as from its not having a 
sufficient number of apartments for the accommodation of 
the Legislature, has become inconvenient for the transaction 
of public business ; that the continual passage of carts and 
wagons at particular seasons renders it difficult if not im- 
practicable from the noise occasioned thereby to attend with 
accuracy to the debates and proceedings of the diflTerent 
bodies assembled in the Court-house ; that for these and 
other inconveniences the petitioners are desirous that a State 
and Court-house be erected in said city, sufficiently spacious 
and commodious for the sessions and deliberations of the 
different branches of goveiuiment." 'J^he petitioners offered 
to appropriate an eligible site for such a building, in the 
public square of the city, and to cause the Court-house a)id 
lot on which it stood to be sold, and apply proceeds toward 
defraying the expenses of the new building; and they prtiyed 
for legislative aid in order that such a building as they 
desired might be erected, "and that such appropriation be 
made as is necessary for finishing said new building and pro- 

358 Life Sketgbjss. 

Tiding suitable apartments for the use of Senate and Assem- 

Mr. Lush, from the Senate committee to whom this peti- 
tion was referred, reported thereon, March 19th, 1803. The 
committee was of opinion that it Avould be expedient for the 
Legislature to grant $10,000 in aid of the undertaking, and, 
in case the proceeds arising from the sale of bhe old Court- 
house and lots, together with the said $10,000, proved insuf- 
ficient to complete said building, to allow a further sum of 
$6,000, to be raised by tax equally divided between the city 
and county of Albany. The report having been made, the 
Senate granted the petitioners leave to present a bill. In 
the Assembly, Tuesday, February 31st, 1804, a similar peti- 
tion was presented with a like result. 

The petitioners lost no time in having a bill drawn up to 
meet the object set forth in the petition. It was introduced, 
read, and put on its final passage without delay — the Senate 
disposing of it April 3d, 1804, and the Assembly March 31st. 

The Commissioners appointed to erect the new building 
were JoHisr Tatlok, Daniel Hale, Philip S. Van Eens- 
SELAK, Simeon De Witt, Nicholas Quaokenbush. 

By the terms of the law, Albany was to proceed imme- 
diately to sell its old Court-house, and pay over the money 
arising from such sale to the Commissioners, the purchaser 
not to have possession until the completion of the State 
House. It was further enacted that the Supervisors of the 
city and county should raise, by tax on the freeholders arid 
inhabitants of the county, exclusive of the city, $3,000, and 
in the city the same amoiint, i^aying over the entire sum to 
the Commissioners. A further enactment of the law reads 
strangely in the light of these better days, when mild rafiies, 
at innocent and charitable-minded fairs, ai-e protested against 
by a large and influential portion of the community as tend- 
ing to " debauch the public conscience." Tlie enactment in 
question provides that certain managers of lotteries in the 
State shall cause to be raised the sum of $12,000 by lottery, 

Tme Old Oapitol and the New. 359 

the same to be paid over to the Commissioners. Said Com- 
missioners were severally to give bonds in the sum of $30,000, 
and required to account twice a year for all moneys received 
by them. 

They at once qualified and entered upon their duties. 
The old Court-house, on Court street, was soon sold by 
the Corporation, and the money paid over as provided by 
law. It brought $17,200. On the 23d of April, 1866, the 
corner-stone of the new State House was laid. 

The Albany Daily Advertiser chronicles the important 
event thus concisely : 

" On "Wednesday, the ;J3d of April, the corner-stone of the 
State House was laid by Hon. Philip S. Van Eensselabb, 
in presence of the Chancellor, Judges of the Supreme Court, 
members of the Corporaiiion, State House Commissioners 
and other citizens. The site on which this edifice is to be 
erected is at the head of State street, on the west side of the 
public square. It is to be built of stone, one hundred feet 
by eighty, on an improved plan embracing much elegance, 
with great convenience and durability." 

In Assembly Journal of 1807, appears the first report of 
the Commissioners. The following is an extract from the 
minutes : 

" To the Honoralle the Legislature : The Commissioners 
for erecting a building for public purposes, in the city of 
Albany, report : That, in prosecuting the duties of their 
appointment, they have expended $33,200, and have on 
hand, of the materials purchased with moneys out of that 
sum, to the amount of $8,750. The architect estimates that 
to enclose the building will still require about $16,000. To 
complete the interior $30,000. The portico, witli steps of 
freestone, columns of marble and pediment of wood, $6,800. 
Total, $42,800. This estimate contemplates a wooden cor- 
nice around the building, and a shingle roof; if the cornice 
be made of stone and the roof of slate, $10,000 more will be 

360 Life Sketcbes. 

" In determining on the dimensions of the building, the 
Commissioners have been governed by the purposes for 
which it is intended, as particularly specified in the law ; 
and it will be found that a more contracted plan could not 
well have been adapted. The expenses would have been 
somewhat less if the walls had been constructed of brick ; 
but the Commissioners would have considered themselves 
erring in their duty had they not conformed to the opinions 
and practices of the best architects in every age, in prefer- 
ring more substantial materials for such an edifice. Every 
attention has been paid to have the work conducted with 
the strictest economy, and the Commissioners trust that the 
plan they have adopted, and their proceedings thus far, will 
meet with the approbation of the Legislature. Eespectfully 
submitted, John Taylok, P. S. Van Ebnsselaee, Simeon 
De Witt, Daniel Hale, Commissioners. Dated 5 th 
March, 1807." 

The Legislature of 1807 appropriated $20,000 in aid of the 
erection, with the understanding that the amount should be 
made good to them by the lotteries. On the 10th of March, 

1808, the Commissioners made another report, showing that 
the total amount received from all sources for the work they 
had in hand was $69,600, of which amount $67,688 had been 
expended. They further reported, that $35,000 more was 
needed, in their opinion, to finish the building. On the 8th 
of April, in the same year, a law was passed appropriating 
the additional $25,000 asked for. 

In 1809, the supply bill contained an appropriation of 
$5,000 for the new State House, the same to be devoted to 
defraying the expenses incurred in procuring necessary fur- 
niture for the rooms occupied by the Legislature, and for 
furnishing said building. Up to this time the new building 
had been known as the " State House ; " but in this year, 

1809, in making an additional appropriation of $500, the 
law reads : " for the completion of the public building in the 

The Old Capitol and the New. ,S61 

city of Albany, which building shall hereafter be kuowu as 
the Capitol." 

In 1810, $4,000 was appropriated toward finishing the 
building. In 1811 tlie same amount was appropriated, and 
in 1814 the Commissioners were ready to make their final 
accounting. It is provided, in section 48 of the supply bill, 
for 1814, that on the final settlement of the accounts of 
the Commissioners, the Comptroller shall allow them one 
per cent out of the moneys expended, as a compensation for 
their services. 

In May, 1839, Albany sold out her interest in the Capitol. 
By act of May 5th, 1829, $17,500 was authorized to be paid 
to the city, on condition that all Iser right and interest in the 
Capitol and the park in front should be released to the State 
by the Corporation of Albany and the Supervisors of tho 
city and county, before June 1st, 1829. The city accepted 
the terms of this ofifer, and so the Capitol passed from under 
its rule. 

The expenses of erecting the Capitol are given in some 
papers accompanying a message of the Governor to the Leg- 
i.'dature in 1819. The cost of the building is thus set forth : 

Paid by the State $73,485 42 

Paid by the City 34,200 00 

Paid by the County 3,000 00 

Total $110,685 42 

362 Life Sketcbbs. 


In the latter part of January, 1865, the Senate passed a 
resolution appointing a committee of three to ascertain from 
the different municipalities of the State, " on what terms 
the grounds and buildings necessary for a new Capitol and 
public offices can be obtained." The committee appointed, 
in accordance with this resolution, at once proceeded to in- 
quire by circular, of all the leading cities and towns of the 
State, what they were willing to do in the way of " eligible 
offers." The responses were numerous from all parts of the 
State. Albany was among the cities that made overtures. 
She offered what was known as the Congress Hall property 
for the site of the proposed buildings. The committee 
reported to the Senate that, in the event of the Capitol's 
removal, they thought it ought to be located in New York 
city ; but, doubting the wisdom of making a change, they 
recommended a bill providing for the erection of a new 
Capitol at Albany. 

On May 1st, 1865, a law was passed providing that, when- 
ever, within three years from the passage of the bill, the city 
of Albany should convey to the State the Congress Hall 
block, the Governor should appoint a board of three Com- 
missionere, to be known as " The New Capitol Commission- 
ers," for the purpose of erecting a new Capitol. Ten 
thousand dollars was appropriated for the commencement of 
the work. In the year following, the city of Albany, having 
complied with the requirements of the bill, the Governor 
appointed Hamilton Hauris, Jno. V. L. Peutn, and 0. 
B, Latham, Commissioners, and on the 14th of April, an 
act confirming the location of the Capitol at Albany, was 
passed in these words : 

" The city of Albany having fully complied with the pro- 
visions of chapter six hundred and forty-eight of the laws 

The Old Capitol and the New. 363 

of eighteen hundred and sixty-five, the location of the Capi- 
tol and the site of the Capitol building at Albany, are hereby 
ratified and confirmed." 

In 1867, $250,000 was appropriated toward the erection 
of the new Capitol by the Legislature. In 1868, the number 
of Commissioners was increased, Hamilton Habkis, John 
V. L. Pkuyn, Gbadiah B. Latham, James S. Thatek, 
Alonzo B. Cornell, William A. Eice, James Terwilli- 
GEB, John T. Hudson, constituting the then board. In 
1869, $125,000 was appropriated; in 1870, $1,300,000. In 
1871 the Commission was changed, and Hamilton Harris, 
William C. Kingsley, William A. Eice, Chaunoet M. 
Depew, Delos DeWolf and Edwin A. Merritt appointed 
as the new board. The appropriation for 1871 was $650,000, 
and for 1872, $1,000,000. 

On the ninth day of December, 1867, the work of excava- 
tion was commenced, and on the seventh day of July, 1869, 
the first stone in the foundation was laid. The work has 
steadily gone on ever since. The cost of the building is 
restricted by the statute of 1867, and also that of 1868, to 
" four million of dollars." It will probably not be built with- 
out considerable addition to those figures, but, as the Commis- 
sioners remark in their Annual Eeport for 1870, the matter 
is under the control of the Legislature, and any amount 
appropriated will be disbursed in any way the Legislature 
may direct. 

The new Capitol will be a fair memorial of the advance- 
ment of our Commonwealth in architectural knowledge and 
taste. It is designed in the Renaissance, or modern French 
style of architecture, a style which will at once be recognized 
by those conversant with the subject, as the prevailing mode 
of modern Europe. Derived originally from Italian sources, 
and partially from the later edifices of the Venitian repub- 
lic, this beautiful style has now been so successfully natural- 
ized in other countries as to have become, in fact, the pre- 
vailing manner for most of those secular edifices of a digni- 

364 Life Sketches. 

fied and permanent character which the -wants of our times 
have called forth. It holds this prominent place in the pub- 
lic regard, too, as a style which supplies the greatest amount 
of convenience attainable in our modern buildings, com- 
bined with the most dignified and appropriate elegance in 
■their adornment. In the present instance, from the great 
variety of outline of which it admits, and- from the multi- 
plicity of parts required, it will be found to be a style admira- 
bly suited to the wants and uses of a great public building. 

In the exterior composition of the design, there is a gen- 
eral adherence to the style of the pavilions of the New 
Louvre, of the Hotel de Ville of Paris, and the elegant hall or 
Maison de Commerce recently erected in tlie city of Lyons. 
Without servile imitation of any particular example, the 
architects have produced a composition in the bold and 
effective spirit which marks tlie most admired specimens of 
modern civil architecture. The terrace, which forms the 
grand approach to the east or principal front, will form an 
item of striking architectural detail, nowhere else attempted 
on such an extensive scale, at least in America. The exte- 
rior is two hundred and ninety feet north and south, and 
three hundred east and west. 

One of the peculiar features will be the open court in the 
center. This is one hundred by one hundred and fifty feet 
in extent, and hence will contain more than one-third of an 
aci'e. It will be open to the 'sky, and the rain which may 
fall will be carried off by drains. The object of this large 
vacancy is to afford light to the interior of the building. 

The floor immediately above the level of the plateau of 
the terrace will be entered through the porticoes on AVashing- 
ton avenue and State street, and through a carriage entrance 
under the portico of the east front. The first, or main 
entrance floor, will be reached by a bold flight of steps on 
the east front and also on the west, leading through the por- 
ticoes to the halls of entrance, each having an area of sixty 
by seventy-four feet, and twenty-five feet in height. Com- 

Tme Old Capitol aad^ the Mew. 365 

municating directly with tliese halls will be two grand stair- 
cases, forming the principal means of communication with 
the second floor. On the left of the east entrance hall 
are a suite of rooms for the use of the Governor and his 
secretaries and military staif. On the right are rooms for 
the Secretary of State and Attorney-General, with a corridor 
leading to the rooms apportioned for the Court of Appeals, 
which is seventy by seventy-seven feet. 

On the second or principal floor are the chambers for the 
Senate and Assembly, and for the State Library, all of which 
(in elevation) will occupy two stories, making forty-eight 
feet of height. Rooms for the committees and other pur- 
poses will occupy the remainder of these floors. The Senate 
Chamber will be seventy-five by fifty-five feet on the floor, 
with a gallery on three sides of eighteen feet width. 
The Assembly Chamber will be ninety-two by seventy-five 
feet on the floor, and surrounded by a gallery similar to that 
of the Senate Chamber. 

The Library will occupy the whole of the east front of 
these stories, and will be two hundred and eighty-three feet 
long and fifty-four feet wide. These chambers will all be 
lighted from the roof as well as from side windows. Ample 
provision is made for the Board of Regents, for packing and 
store-rooms required by the two Houses, and for a spacious 
and comfortable refreshment-room for the use of the mem- 
bers. In order to sustain the immense weight imposed upon it, 
the outer wall is twenty-five feet thick, and the division wall is 
only four feet less. The crypt exhibits immense arches based 
on the concrete floor, and also the heavy foundation walls 
made of Essex limestone, which is the sti'ongest material 
found in this country. The arches referred to are seventeen 
feet high, and support the entire main floor. They are of 
brick, and are finished in a style of great beauty as well as 
strength. Hence it is interesting to descend to the crypt in 
order to get an idea of the importance of a foundation. It 
■will be used for the ventilating machines, and also will afibrd 

366 Life . Sketches. 

storage-room for the archives of the State sufficient for 
many centuries to come. 

When the building is completed the old Capitol, Library 
and Congress Hall will be removed, leaving a park. on the 
east four hundred and seventy-two feet long, and three 
hundred and thirty feet wide, or a little more than two and 
one-half acres. It is worthy of notice, that so skillfully has 
the design and adaptation of each of the requisitions been 
studied by the architects, that in nearly every important 
part of the building the area of accommodation provided 
will be found slightly to exceed rather than fall short of 
the amount called for in the circular of the Commissioners. 

Unless something unforeseen happens, it is expected that 
the new Capitol will be in readiness for the roof by the close 
of the season of 1875.