Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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DODGE, David Low, merchant, born in Brooklyn, Connecticut, 14 June 1774; died in New York City, 23 April 1852. He received a common school education, and was for several years a teacher, but in 1802 became a dry goods dealer in Hartford, Connecticut, and in 1807 removed to New York City. At one time Mr. Dodge had charge of the first cotton factory built in his native state, near Norwich. In 1827 he retired from business. He aided in establishing the New York peace society in 1815, being its first president, was one of the founders of the New York Bible society, and of the New York tract society. His wife was a daughter of the Rev. Aaron Cleveland. He published " The Mediator's Kingdom not of this World" (New York, 1809), and "War inconsistent with the Religion of Jesus Christ" (1812). See "Memorial of David Low Dodge" (Boston, 1854).His son, William Earl, merchant, born in Hartford, Connecticut, 4 September 1805; died in New York City, 9 February 1883, received a common school education, and worked for a time in his father's cotton mill. At the age of thirteen he removed to New York City with his family, and entered a wholesale dry goods store, remaining there eight years. Afterward he engaged in the same business on his own account, continuing till 1833, when he married the daughter of Anson G. Phelps, and became a member of the firm of Phelps, Dodge & Co. He continued at the head of this house till 1879. Mr. Dodge was one of the first directors of the Erie railroad, and was interested in other railways and in several insurance corporations. He also owned large tracts of woodland, and had numerous lumber and mill interests, besides being concerned in the development of coal and iron mines. He was elected president of the New York chamber of commerce three times in succession. He was a trustee of the Union theological seminary, one of the founders of the Union league club of New York City, vice president of the American Bible society, president of several temperance associations, and took great interest in the welfare of the freedmen. He was a member of the peace convention of 1861, and in 1866'7, having successfully contested the election of his Democratic opponent, James Brooks, was a representative in congress, serving on the committee on foreign affairs. President Grant appointed him a member of the Indian commission. He left a large fortune, and made several bequests to religious and charitable institutions. A bronze statue of him has been placed at the junction of Broadway and Sixth Avenue, New York City.
His son, William Earl, born in New York City, 15 February 1832, has given his time and attention to the administration of an extensive mercantile business° He has been connected with the allotment and sanitary commissions during the civil war, and is now (1887) president of several religious and benevolent societies.
Another son, Charles Cleveland, soldier, born in Plainfield, New Jersey, 16 September 1841, was commissioned as captain of New York mounted rifles on 6 December 1861, and as major on 30 December was in command of the outposts at Newport News, and a cavalry column of General Wool's army that marched on Norfolk, and received the surrender before the arrival of his superiors. He commanded in successful engagements at Suffolk, Virginia, and Hertford Ford, N. C., was made colonel 14 August 1862, promoted brigadier general 29 November 1862, was in command at Suffolk during Longstreet's siege, and resigned on 12 June 1863.Grace Hoadley, daughter of the second William Earl, has been for some time officially connected with New York City charities, and other organizations for the relief of the poor and the care of needy women. In November 1886, she was appointed by the mayor of New York City one of the board of school commissioners, together with Mrs. Mary Mash Agnew, wife of Dr. Cornelius R. Agnew. Miss Dodge has been a prominent member of the New York state charities association, and is president of the Working girls' society, and vice president of the Industrial education association.
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