Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FARMAN, Elbert Eli, jurist, born in New Haven, Oswego County, New York, 23 April 1831. He was educated at Lima, New York, and at Amherst, where he was graduated in 1855. He studied law in Warsaw, New York, and was admitted to the bar in 1858. He went abroad in 1865, and spent two years in travel and study. On returning home he was appointed district attorney of Wyoming County, New York, to fill a vacancy, and was elected to two terms thereafter as his own successor. He was appointed consul general at Cairo, Egypt, in March 1876, and was designated by President Hayes as a member of the International commission to revise the international codes. He was appointed by President Garfield as judge of the international courts of Egypt, and by President Arthur as a member of the International commission that examined the claims of the citizens of Alexandria for damages arising from the bombardment, burning, and pillage of that City in the war of 1882. Mr. Farman was chiefly instrumental in securing from Egypt the granite obelisk known as " Cleopatra's needle," which stood so long in front of the temple of Caesar in Alexandria, and is now in Central Park, New York. On leaving Egypt, Mr. Farman received from the khedive the decoration of " Grand Officer of the Imperial Order of the Medjidich," a distinction rarely conferred upon foreigners.
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