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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BARNES, Demas, merchant, born in Canandaigua, New York, 4 April 1827. His education consisted only of study in winter at public schools until he was fifteen years of age, when he became a clerk in a country store, and subsequently began business for himself. In 1849 he removed to New York City, where he followed the wholesale drug business, in which he made a large fortune. Mr. Barnes crossed the United States in a wagon, examining the mineral resources of Colorado, Nevada, and California, and described his experiences in a series of letters to the newspapers. Later he was an active advocate of the building of the Union Pacific Railroad. In 1866 he was elected as a democrat to congress, and served from 4 March 1867, till 3 March 1869. During his career in Washington he was a member of the committee on banking and currency, and education and labor, and secured legislation for the construction of the Brooklyn bridge, the New York post-office, and similar important works. In 1870 he retired from mercantile business. He was a member of the Brooklyn Board of Education, one of the founders of the Brooklyn bridge, member of the art association, and director in various institutions. He established and has edited the Brooklyn "Argus," a journal devoted to the interests of municipal reform. Besides numerous contributions to the daily press, he has published "From the Atlantic to the Pacific" (New York, 1865).
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