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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LY0N, Caleb, congressman, born in Lyonsdale, New York, 7 December, 1822; died near Rossville, Staten island. New York, 8 September, 1875. He was graduated at Norwich university, Vermont, in 1841, travelled in Europe for several years, and in 1847 was appointed consul to Shanghai, China. On his return he travelled through Central and South America. arrived in California in 1849. and was secretary of the convention that was called to frame a state constitution. While there he designed the state coat of arms. After another journey in Europe and the East he returned to his native state, and was elected to the assembly in 1850, but resigned on the question of enlarging the Erie canal, of which he was an advocate, and was in the same year elected to the state senate. At the close of his term he again went abroad, and as a friend of Captain Duncan N. Ingraham (q. v.) was concerned in the rescue of Martin Koszta from an Austrian brig in the port of Smyrna. When he returned he was elected as an Independent to congress, and served from 5 December, 1853, till 3 March, 1855. After the burning of the family mansion at Lyonsdale he removed to Staten island, and occupied and restored the country-seat known as Ross castle. In 1864 he was appointed by President Lincoln governor of Idaho, which post he held till December, 1866. He was a ready orator, whose memory and knowledge of statistics rendered him formidable in debate. As a connoisseur of the fine arts his opinion was esteemed. He published poems, which have never been collected, and lectured on his travels. Norwich university gave him the degree of LL. D. in 1851.
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