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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POORE, Benjamin Perley, journalist, born near Newburyport, Massachusetts, 2 November, 1820; died in Washington, D. C., 30 May, 1887. He was descended from John Poore, an English yeoman, who came to this country and, in 1650, purchased "Indian Hill Farm," the homestead, which still remains in the family. When Perley was eleven years of age he was taken by his father to England, and there saw Sir Walter Scott, Lafayette, and other notable people. ]heaving school after his return, he served an apprenticeship in a printing-office at Worcester, Massachusetts, and had edited the Athens, Georgia, " Southern Whig," which his father purchased for him, for two years before he was twenty. In 1841 he visited Europe again as attache of the American legation at Brussels, remaining abroad until 1848. During this period he acted in 1844-'8 as the historical agent of Massachusetts in France, in which capacity he filled ten folio volumes with copies of important documents, bearing date 1492-1780, illustrating them by engraved maps and water-color sketches. He was also the foreign correspondent of the Boston "Atlas" during his entire stay abroad. After editing the Boston "Bee" and "Sunday Sentinel," Mr. Poore finally entered in 1854 upon his lifework, that of Washington correspondent. His letters to the Boston "Journal" over the signature of "Perley," and to other papers, gained him a national reputation by their trustworthy character. For several years he also served as clerk of the committee of the United States senate on printing records. He was interested in military matters, had studied tactics, and during his editorial career in Boston held several staff appointments. About the same time he organized a battalion of riflemen at New-bury that formed the nucleus of a company in the 8th Massachusetts volunteers, of which organization Mr. Poore served as major for a short time during the civil war. He was also in 1874 commander of the Ancient and honorable artillery company of Boston, and had made a collection of materials for its projected history. Major Poore's vacations were spent at Indian Hill, where the farm-house contained sixty rooms filled with historical material, of which its owner was an industrious collector. During thirty years of Washington life he made the acquaintance of many eminent men, and his fund of reminiscences was large and entertaining. He told good stories, spoke well after dinner, and was much admired in society. Among his publications were "Campaign Life of General Zachary Taylor," of which 800,000 copies were circulated, and "Rise and Fall of Louis Philippe " (Boston, 1848); "Early Life of Napoleon Bonaparte" (1851) ; "Agricultural History of Essex County, Massachusetts"; "The Conspiracy Trial for the Murder of Abraham Lincoln" (1865); "Federal and State Charters" (2 vols., 1877); " The Political Register and Congressional Directory" (1878); "Life of Burnside" (1882); and "Perley's Reminiscences of Sixty Years in the National Metropolis" (Philadelphia, 1886). As secretary of the United States agricultural society, he became the editor of its "Journal" in 1857. He began to edit the Congressional directory in 1867, supervised the indices to the "Congressional Record," and brought out the annual abridgment of the public documents of the United States for many years. By order of congress he compiled "A Descriptive Catalogue of the Government Publications of the United States, 1774-1881 " (Washington, 1885), and also made a compilation of the various treaties negotiated by the United States government with different countries.
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