Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CROSBY, Ebenezer, physician, born in Brain-tree, Massachusetts, 30 September 1753; died 16 July 1788. He was a son of Judge Joseph Crosby, and was graduated at Harvard in 1777, and at the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania in 1780. He served through the Revolutionary war as surgeon of General Washington's guards, and was one of the original members of the Society of the Cincinnati. At the close of the war he married Catharine, daughter of William Bedlow, and niece of Colonel Henry Rutgers, of New York, and became a physician in that City. He was also professor of obstetrics at Columbia College, and one of the trustees of that institution until his death.
--His son, William Bedlow Crosby, philanthropist, born in New York City, 7 February 1786; died there, 18 March 1865. His parents died when he was two years old, and Colonel Henry Rutgers, his mother's uncle, from whom he received a large part of the old Rutgers estate, comprising most of the present seventh ward of New York City, adopted him. He never engaged in business, but gave his time and attention to the care of his property and to works of benevolence. He was connected with many societies, and spent a large part of his income in private charities. By virtue of his father's service in the war of the Revolution. he was made a member of the Society of the Cincinnati.
--William Bedlow's son, Howard Crosby, born in New York, 27 February 1826, was graduated at the University of the City of New York in 1844, and became professor of Greek there in 1851. In 1859 he was called to the chair of Greek at Rutgers. Two years later he entered the ministry of the Presbyterian Church, and united the duties of pastor of the first Church of New Brunswick with those of his professorship. In 1863 he gave up his work at New Brunswick to become pastor of the Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City, which place he still holds. He also held the office of chancellor of the University of New York from 1870 till 1881, and has been since 1864 a member of its council. In 1859 he received the degree of D.D. from Harvard, and in 1871 that of LL.D. from Columbia. He was chosen moderator of the general assembly of the Presbyterian Church of the United States in 1873, and has often been a delegate to that body. In 1877 he was a delegate to the first Presbyterian general council at Edinburgh.
In to his work as an educator and clergyman, Dr. Crosby has taken a lively interest and exerted a beneficent influence in public affairs, particularly in advocating temperance as distinguished from total abstinence, in 1877 he took the principal part in founding the Society for the Prevention of Crime, whose chief object is the reduction of the number of saloons and the restriction of the liquor traffic. Through this society, of which he has been president since its foundation, and apart from it, he has done much in this great work, influencing legislation and the municipal government of his own City in so far as it has relation to the regulation of intemperance and crime. He has also been actively interested in the welfare of the Indians, and in the procurement of an international copyright law. His published works include "Lands of the Moslem," written after a tour in the east (New York, 1851); "(Edipus Tyrannus of Sophocles," edited with notes (1851); "Scholia on the New Testament" (1861); "Social Hints " (1866); "Life of Jesus'" (1870); " Bible Companion " (1870); " Healthy Christian" (1871); "Thoughts on the Pentateuch" (1873); "Notes on Joshua" (1875); "Commentary on Nehemiah" (1876); "The Christian Preacher" (1879); " The Humanity of Christ" (1880); and " Commentary on the New Testament " (1885). He has also written largely for periodicals, and was a member of the American committee to revise the New Testament.
--Howard's nephew, John Schuyler Crosby, soldier, born in Albany, New York, 19 September 1839. He was educated in the New York schools and at the University, but before graduation made a tour of the world. At the beginning of the civil war he entered the regular army as second lieutenant of artillery, served with his battery under McClellan in the Army of the Potomac, and in the Florida campaign of 1862 was transferred to the Department of the Gulf under General Banks, and brevetted captain after the Teche campaign. He carried the first dispatches from the Red River to Farragut, for which he was brevetted major, and also brevetted major and lieutenant colonel in the regular army for his services at Sabine Cross-Roads and Pleasant Hill. In August 1864, he was commissioned colonel of the 7th New York heavy artillery, but declined the appointment, becoming assistant adjutant general on the staff of General Canby in the Department of the Gulf, and being afterward transferred to Sheridan's staff. In 1866 he served in the campaigns of Sheridan and Custer against the Indians. He resigned in 1872, and was appointed consul to Florence, Italy, in 1876. He became governor of Montana on 4 August 1882, took an active part in preventing the Yellowstone park from falling into the hands of a cattle syndicate, and in November 1884, was appointed first assistant postmaster-general, but resigned 4 March 1886.
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