Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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ROSS, Alexander Coffman, merchant, born in Zanesville, Ohio, 31 May, 1812; died there, 25 February, 1883. He became a merchant in his native place, sang in a church choir, and in the presidential canvass of 1840 was a member of a Whig glee-club. A friend having suggested that the tune "Little Pigs" would be a suitable chorus for a political song, Ross set himself to compose the song, and one Sunday during sermon-time produced "Tippecanoe and Tyler too." This was sung by his glee-club at a mass-meeting in Zanesvilie, and at once became popular. When he went to New York in September, to buy goods, he sang it at a great meeting in Lafayette hall, the audience took up the chorus, after the meeting it was repeated by crowds in the streets and about the hotels, and thenceforth it was the most successful song of a canvass in which General Harrison was said to have been sung into the White House. From a boy Mr. Ross was interested in scientific inventions, and lie is said to have produced the first daguerreotype ever made in this country. He was one of the most enterprising business men in Zanesville, and accumulated a large property. See "Our Familiar Songs, and Those who Made Them," by Helen K. Johnson (New York, 1881).
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