Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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COLDEN, Cadwallader, physician, born in Dunse, Scotland, 17 February, 1688; died on Long Island, 28 September, 1776. His father, Rev. Alexander Colden, prepared him for the University of Edinburgh, where he was graduated in 1705. He then spent three years in studying medicine and mathematics, and in 1708 came to this country and practiced successfully as a physician in Philadelphia till 1715, He then visited London, and met Halley, the astronomer, who was so pleased with a paper or, "Animal Secretions," written by Colden some years before, that he read it before the Royal society. Colden also became acquainted at this time with other noted literary and scientific men. He returned to Philadelphia in 1716, but, at the request of his friend, Governor Hunter, settled in New York in 1718, and in 1719 became the first survey-or-general of the colony, and master in chancery. Governor Burnet gave him a seat in the provincial council in 1720. About 1755 he retired with his family to a tract of land, for which he had received a patent, about nine miles from Newburg, on the Hudson. Here, in the midst of a wilderness, exposed to attacks from hostile Indians, he gave his attention to farming and to scientific pursuits, without neglecting the duties of the surveyor-general's office. Colden was an earnest royalist and advocate of the taxation of the colonies by the home government. He administered the affairs of the province as president of the council in 1760, and in 1761 Lord Halifax, in return for his "zeal for the rights of the crown," appointed him lieutenant governor. He held this office till his death, and was repeatedly placed at the head of affairs by the absence or death of the various governors. He was acting governor when the paper intended for distribution under the stamp-act arrived in New York, and it was put under his care in Fort George, which stood on Battery point. On the evening of 1 November, 1765, "a torch-light procession," says Bancroft, "carrying a scaffold and two images, one of the governor, the other of the devil, came from the Fields, now the Park, down Broadway, to within eight or ten feet of the fort, knocked at its gate, broke open the governor's coach-house, took out his chariot, carried the images upon it through the town, and returned to burn them, with his own carriages and sleighs, before his eyes on the Bowling Green." He would have fired on the people, but was menaced with being hanged on a sign-post if he did so. The next day he yielded, and consented to give the stamps into the custody of the New York common council.
They were taken to the city-hall, and the municipal government then restored order. Colden's claim for indemnification was rejected by the assembly in 1766. He continued to be a firm friend of the crown, and in 1775 advised the assembly to "supplicate the throne, and our most gracious sovereign will hear and relieve you with paternal tenderness." Colden's administration was marked by the incorporation of several benevolent societies. On the return of Governor Tryon in 1775, he retired to his house on Long Island. Dr. Colden corresponded from 1710 till his death with the most prominent scientific men of his time. He took special interest in botany, and was the first to introduce the Linnwan system into America. He furnished to Linnaeus an account of between 300 and 400 American plants, about 200 of which were described in the "Acta Upsaliensia."
The celebrated Swedish botanist afterward gave the name Coldenia to a plant of the tetandrous class, in honor of his correspondent. One of Col-den's most constant correspondents was Benjamin Franklin. The two philosophers regularly communicated their discoveries to each other, and in a letter to Franklin, dated October, 1743, Colden first mentions his invention of the art of stereotyping, afterward practically carried out by Her-ban in Paris in the beginning of this century. Though he early gave up the practice of medicine, he was always interested in it. He was one of the first to recommend the cooling regimen in fevers, and in 1742 showed, in a tract, how an epidemic that had visited New York was aggravated by the filth and foul air in portions of the city. For this he was thanked by the corporation, who adopted many of his suggestions. Dr. Colden took an active part in founding the American philosophical society. He published a "History of the Five Indian Nations depending upon New York," calling attention to the relation of Indian affairs to commerce (New York, 1727" reprinted, with introduction and notes by John G. Shea, 1866; enlarged ed., London, 1747), and "Cause of Gravi-tat ion" (New York, 1745" enlarged ed., entitled. "Principles of Action in Matter," with a treatise on Fluxions, London, 1752). He prepared, just before his death, a new edition of the last-named work, with copious additions, and placed the manuscript in the hands of Prof. Whittle, of Edinburgh, but it never appeared, and its fate is unknown. Among Dr. Colden's medical papers are an "Essay on the Virtues of the Bortanice or Great Water-Dock," which led to his acquaintance with Linnaeus, and "Observations on Exidemical Sore Throat" (1753). Among iris manuscripts are an inquiry into the operation of intellect in ani-reals, an essay on vital motion, and "Observations on Smith's History of New York," complaining of the author's partiality and incorrectness. These and other papers are in the possession of the New York historical society, and the historian Bancroft derived from them valuable data for his History of the United States.--His grandson, Cadwallader David, lawyer, born in Springhill, near Flushing, L. I., 4 April, 1769; died in Jersey City, New Jersey, 7 February, 1834, began his studies in Jamaica, L. I., and continued them in London, England. He returned to the United States in 1785, studied law, and began practice in New York in 1791. He removed to Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1793, but returned in 1796 to New York City, where he became district attorney in 1810, and stood at the head of his profession as a commercial lawyer. He was colonel of a volunteer regiment in 1812, a member of the legislature in 1818, and in the same year succeeded De Wit t Clinton as mayor of New York. In 1821 he successfully contested the election of Peter Sharpe to congress, and served one term, and from 1824 till 1827 was a member of the state senate. With De Witt Clinton he was among the earliest promoters of the system of internal improvements, and also gave much attention to public education and the reformation of juvenile criminals, he was for many years one of the governors of the New York hospital. Nr. Colden married a daughter of Samuel Provoost, first Episcopal bishop of the diocese of New York. He published a "Life of Robert Fulton," whose intimate friend he was (New York, 1817)" "Memoir of the Celebration of the Completion of the New York Canals" (1825); and " Vindication of the Steamboat Right granted by the State of New York" (1819). COLEMAN 685 COLE, Azel Dow, educator, born in Sterling, Connecticut, 1 December, 1818; died in Nashotah, Wisconsin, 15 October, 1885. He was graduated at Brown in 1838, and at the General theological seminary, in New York, in 1841, and was ordained by Bishop Griswold. In November of the same year he became rector of St. James's parish in Woonsocket, Rhode Island After nearly four years' service in this parish, he went in 1845 to Kalamazoo, Michigan, where also he remained four years. In December, 1849, he removed to Racine, Wisconsin, and in May, 1850, was elected president of Nashotah theological seminary. In this place he labored until his death, a period of thirty-five years, being also rector of St. Sylvanus's parish, and making regular visitations to the stations in the neighboring villages and country districts, where services were regularly maintained by the students. In several of these places the results of his efforts culminated in the erection of substantial churches. He was nominated to the vacancy in the bishopric made by the death of Bishop Armitage in 1873, and, although not elected, wielded an influence in the affairs of the diocese unequalled by that of any other churchman. In 1852 the degree of D. D. was conferred on him by Norwich University, Vermont
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