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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FURMAN, Gabriel, lawyer, born in Brooklyn, New York, 23 January 1800; died there, 11 November 1854. He studied law and early showed a taste for literature, especially in antiquarian lines. In 1827 he was appointed a justice of the Brooklyn municipal court, which office he held for three years. He served as state senator in 1839'42, and in the latter year became the Whig nominee for lieutenant governor, but was not elected. In either politics or law he might have attained eminence, but the fascination of books and study, and the opium habit, quenched all ambition, withdrew him gradually from the activities of political and professional life, and finally brought him to a clouded end in the Brooklyn City hospital. He was a man of pure character and genial nature, an acceptable lecturer, and possessed a cultivated taste and a wide range of information. Later historians of Long Island and of Brooklyn have profited largely by his minute and extensive antiquarian researches, contained in numerous manuscript volumes. His only published work was "Notes, Geographical and Historical relative to the Town of Brooklyn" (1824).
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