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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KNIGHT, Edward Ceilings, merchant, born in Camden county, New Jersey, 8 December, 1813. His ancestor was among the early Quakers that came to Pennsylvania, he became clerk in a country store in 1831, and in 1834 established himself in business in Philadelphia. In 1849 his firm was largely interested in the California trade, and a steamer sent out by them was the first to ply on the waters above Sacramento city. He has long been identified with large commercial interests, and has served as director in numerous financial institutions and railroad companies. He has been president of the Bound Brook road since 1874, was president of the Central railroad of New Jersey from 1876 till 1880, and is now (1887) acting president of the North Pennsylvania road. It was largely through Mr. Knight's instrumentality, as chairman of a committee of the Pennsylvania railroad, that the American steamship line between Philadelphia and Europe was established, and he was chosen its president. In 1856 he was nominated by the American, Whig, and Reform parties for congress, but failed of an election, he was an elector on the Republican presidential ticket in 186o, in 1873 a member of the State constitutional convention, and in 1882 president of the Bi-centennial association, and one of the most active promoters of the celebration that was held that year in commemoration of the founding of Pennsylvania by William Penn.
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