Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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DIMITRY, Alexander, educator, born in New Orleans, La., 7 February 1805; d° there, 30 January 1883. His father, Andrea Demetrios, a native of the Island of Hydra, on the coast of Greece, went to New Orleans in 1794, and was for many years a merchant there. Alexander was graduated at Georgetown College, D. C., and soon afterward became editor of the New Orleans "Bee." He was a fine pistol shot and an accomplished fencer, and in his early manhood took part in several duels, either as principal or second. He was subsequently a professor in Baton Rouge College, and in 1834 was employed in the general post office department. On his return to Louisiana in 1842 he created and organized the free school system there, and was state superintendent of schools in 1848'51. In 1856 he became translator to the state department in Washington. He was appointed U. S. minister to Costa Rica and Nicaragua in 1858, and served ;till 1861, when he became chief of a bureau in the Confederate post office department. He was made assistant superintendent of the New Orleans public schools in 1868, and in 1870 professor of ancient languages in Christian College, at Pass Christian, La. Professor Dimitry was master of eleven languages, and his favorite study was philology. He wrote many short stories for annuals in 1830'5, under the signature of "Tobias Guarnerius," and subsequently contributed to magazines and delivered many lectures, chiefly on historical subjects. Previous to 1846 he had prepared, after many years of research, a "History of English Names," but a fire at the St. Charles institute, La., of which he was then the principal, destroyed the manuscript.
His son, John Bull Dimitry, born in Washington, D. C., 27 December 1835, was educated at College Hill, near Raymond, Miss., and accompanied his father to Central America as secretary of legation in 1859. He served in the Confederate army of Tennessee in 1861'4, and was dangerously wounded at Shiloh. In 1864'5 he was chief clerk in the Confederate post office department. He traveled in Europe in 1869, and in 1874'6 lived in the United States of Colombia, where he was professor of languages in Colegio Caldas, Barranquilla. He was for seven years dramatic and literary editor of the New Orleans "Times," and has been connected with the press in Washington, Philadelphia, and New York, being for several years with the "Mail and Express." Mr. Dimitry has contributed to current literature, and has published a "History and Geography of Louisiana" (New York, 1877), which has since been used in the public schools of that state. Another son, Charles Patton, journalist, born in Washington, D. C., 31 July 1837, was educated at Georgetown College, D. C., and, although not graduated, received from it the degree of M. A. in 1867. He served in the Confederate army as a private in the Louisiana guard. Since the war he has been connected with the press in Richmond, Virginia, Washington, D. C., Baltimore, New York, and New Orleans. Mr. Dimitry has contributed to current literature, both in prose and verse, sometimes under the pen names of "Tobias Guarnerius, Jr.," and "Braddock Field." His writings include several novels, but the only one issued in book form is "The House in Balfour Street " (New York, 1868).
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