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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ANGEL, Benjamin Franklin, diplomatist, born in Burlington, Otsego County, New York, 28 November 1815. C. C. Felton, who afterward became president of Harvard, but did not enter, owing to trouble with his eves, prepared him for College. He taught school until he recovered their use, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and began practice in Geneseo in partnership with his former preceptor, at the same time writing editorials for the democratic county paper. He was appointed surrogate in 1838, and served in that office for four years, after which he was appointed master in chancery and Supreme Court commissioner, a judicial office conferring concurrent jurisdiction with the judges of the Supreme Court sitting in chambers. He was again surrogate from 1844 till 1847. He was a member of the democratic national convention at Baltimore in 1852. In 1853, his health having become impaired, he went to Honolulu, Sandwich Islands, as United States consul. In 1855 he was sent by President Pierce to China as special commissioner to settle a dispute between some American merchants and the Chinese government ill regard to the exaction of export duties. This mission was successful, and he returned to the United States by way of the East Indies, Egypt, and Europe. His letters from Asia were published ill the newspapers at the time. On his return, against his protest, he was placed in nomination for congress, but was derented. On the accession of Mr. Buchanan to the presidency he was appointed minister to Norway and Sweden. He returned to the United States in the autumn of 1862, and, with the exception of being a delegate to the Chicago convention that nominated General McClellan for the presidency in 1864, he did not again take an active part in politics, but devoted himself to agriculture at Geneseo, New York He was president of the state agricultural society in 1873-'74.
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