Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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QUITMAN, Frederick Henry, clergyman, born in Westphalia, 7 August, 1760; died in Rhinebeck, New York, 26 June, 1832. The small island in the Rhine on which he was born was subsequently swept away by an extraordinary freshet. He received his classical and theological training at the University of Halle, and after its completion he spent two years as private tutor in the family of the Prince of Waldeck. In the year 1781 he was ordained to the ministry by the Lutheran consistory of Amsterdam, and was sent as pastor of the Lutheran congregation on the island of Curagoa in the West Indies. Here he remained until 1795, when the political disturbances, caused by the revolution of the negroes in the West Indies, influenced him to take his family to New York, with the intention of returning to Holland, where a life-pension awaited him. But during his stay in New York he ascertained the distressing needs of the Lutheran church in this country, and determined to remain. During the same year, therefore, he accepted a call from the united congregations at Schoharie and Cobleskill, New York, where he remained about two years. In 1798 he accepted a call from four congregations near Rhinebeck, New York In 1815 he resigned as pastor of the last two, and in 1825 as pastor of all the congregations except Rhine-beck, to which he now devoted all his time. In 1828 he was compelled to retire from all public duties. In 1814 he received from Harvard the degree of D.D. He held high offices in his church, and from 1816, the date of the founding of Hart-wick seminary, he was at the head of its board of trustees as long as the condition of his health permitted. He published a "Treatise on Magic" (Albany, New York, 1810)" "Evangelical Catechism" (Hudson, New York, 1814); and " Sermons on the Reformation" (1817); and edited the "Hymn-Book of the Ministerium of New York" (1817).--His son, John Anthony, soldier, born in Rhinebeck, New York, 1 September, 1799; died in Natchez, Mississippi, 17 July, 1858, was designed by his father for the Lutheran ministry, and, on the completion of his studies at Hart-wick seminary in 1816, was appointed tutor in its classical department. In 1818 he accepted a professorship in Mount Airy college, Germantown, Pennsylvania His inclination always had been for the legal profession rather than the ministry, and during his stay here he decided in favor of the former. He went to Ohio in 1819 at the invitation of Platt Brush, a member of congress, in whose family he became a tutor, and with whom he studied law. In 1821 he settled in Natchez, Mississippi, where he soon became well known. He served as a trustee of the academy and of the state university, was president of an anti-gambling society, an anti-duelling society, and of numerous other associations that were established to ameliorate the condition of his fellowmen. In 1825 he was elected to the legislature of Mississippi, in 1828-'34 he was chancellor of the state, and he afterward became president of the state senate. In 1832 he convention to frame a new constitution for the state. While a member of the state senate in 1835, he was chosen its president, and charged with the functions of governor, that office having become vacant. In 1836 he raised a body of men to aid the Texans against the incursions of the Mexicans, and after the capture of Santa-Anna returned to his home in Natchez, where he became major-general of the state militia. In 1846 he was appointed brigadier-general in the United States army, and ordered to report to General Taylor at Camargo. He distinguished himself at the battle of Monterey by his successful assault on Fort Tenerice and by his daring advance into the heart of the city. He led the assault at the siege of Vera Cruz, and subsequently led an expedition against Alvarado, in conjunction with the naval forces under Commander Matthew C. Perry. He was with the advance under General Worth in taking possession of the city of Puebla, for which he was brevetted major-general, and presented by congress with a sword. He stormed the formidable works at Chapultepee, carried the Belen gate by assault, and was appointed by General Winfield Scott governor of the city of Mexico. He administered the affairs of the city with moderation and success, and not only elicited the commendation of his own country, but secured the respect of the conquered people. On his return he was almost by acclamation elected governor of Mississippi. In 1848 and in 1856 he was named in the National Democratic conventions for the vice-presidency, but he was not nominated. General Quitman favored the annexation of Cuba to the United States, and, while he held the office of governor of his state, a prosecution was instituted against him by the United States government for alleged complicity in Lopez's filibustering expedition. He resigned the governorship, but the jury was unable to agree, and he was released. He was nominated again for governor, but withdrew from the canvass. In 1854 he was elected to congress, and in 1856 he was re-elected without opposition. During his entire term in congress he was at the head of the military committee. Throughout life he was an avowed advocate of the doctrine of state-rights and the leader of the extreme southern party. As early as 1851 he claimed for the states the right of secession and the inability of the Federal government to demand or force the return of a seceding state, and suggested the propriety of organizing a southern confederacy. See "Life and Correspondence of John A. Quitman, Major-General, United States A., and Governor of the State of Mississippi," by J. F. H. Claiborne (New York, 1860). "
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