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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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Dexter Arnold Hawkins

HAWKINS, Dexter Arnold, lawyer, born in Camden, Maine, 23 June, 1825; died in New York city, 24 July, 1886. He was graduated at Bowdoin in1848, and for the next four years was lecturer on public instruction before the teachers' institutes of Maine. In 1849 he was principal of Topsham academy. After studying law at Harvard, and at the Ecole des droits at Paris, France, he travelled for two years, examining European methods of instruction, under a commission from the governor of Maine. He began the practice of law in 1854 in New York city, where he lived during the remainder of his life, and was a frequent speaker and writer in favor of free education, protection, hard money, bi-metallism, and political and municipal reform. The national bureau of education was established largely through his efforts. His reports on "Sectarian Appropriations of Public Moneys and Property," and on the "Duty of the State to protect the Free Common Schools by Organic Law" (1869 and 1871), caused the repeal of obnoxious statutes in New York and the adoption of a constitutional amendment forbidding such legislation. In 1875 he delivered an address before the Lowell institute on "The Educational Problem in the Cotton States." His report on the "Extravagance of the Tammany Ring" (1871) led to the exposure of its fraudulent accounts and to its downfall. His pamphlet on the "Donations of Public Property to Private Corporations, and the Illegal Exemption of the Same from Taxation" (New York, 1873), brought about an amendment to the constitution of New York prohibiting such donations. Among his other publications are "Traditions of Overlook Mountain" (1873); "The Roman Catholic Church in New York City and the Public Land and Public Money" (1880); "Free Trade and Protection" (1883); "The Redemption of the Trade Dollar" (1886); and "The Silver Problem," an address that was delivered at the request of the committee on coinage, etc., of the house of representatives (1886).--His cousin, Rush Christopher, soldier, born in Pomfret, Vermont, 14 September, 1831, left home at an early age and enlisted in the 2d United States dragoons, but after a brief term of service in Mexico was discharged for disability contracted in the field. He settled in New York in 1851, studied law, and in 1856 began the practice of his profession. At the beginning of the civil war he raised the 9th regiment of New York volunteers and the Hawkins zouaves, of which he was elected colonel. He commanded a successful expedition against Winston, North Carolina, on l6 February, and on 19 April his brigade took part in the action at South Mills, where he was wounded, he served with his regiment in Virginia and elsewhere, and with it was mustered out of the service on 30 May, 1863. Since the war he has been active in movements for political reform. His collection of books from the first 15th century presses was the most comprehensive in the country, and was sold at auction in New York in 1887. Colonel Hawkins has contributed to periodical literature and has published "The First Books and Printers of the 15th Century" (New York, 1884).

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