Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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GRANGER, Gideon, statesman, born in Suffield, Connecticut, 19 July, 1767; died in Canandaigua, New York, 31 December, 1822. He was graduated at Yale in 1787, became a lawyer, and served for several years in the legislature of Connecticut, where he took a leading part in the establishment of the school fund, of which he has sometimes been called the father. He became postmaster-general of the United States in 1801, and held that office for thirteen years, discharging its arduous duties during the whole of Mr. Jefferson's and during a large part of Mr. Madison's administration. On leaving Washington, in 1814, he established himself at Canandaigua, N.Y., and a few years afterward became a member of the New York senate. He was conspicuous for his advocacy of the great system of internal improvements, with which the name of his illustrious friend, DeWitt Clinton, is identified. In 1821 failing health compelled him to withdraw from public service. He delivered a 4th of July oration at Suffield in 1797, which is in print, and his " Political Essays," under the signature of Algernon Sidney and Epaminondas, were published in pamphlet-form.--His son, Francis, statesman, born in Suffield, Connecticut, 1 December, 1792 ; died in Canandaigua, New York, 28 August, 1868. He was graduated at Yale in 1811, was educated as a lawyer, and, on his father's removal to Canandaigua in 1814, became a member of the Ontario bar. For many years he represented Ontario County in the legislature of New York, and was twice an unsuccessful candidate of his party for governor, being defeated by a small Democratic majority. In 1836 he was the candidate of the National Republicans, or Whigs, for vice-president of the United States, on the ticket with William H. Harrison. Two years afterward he was elected to congress. On the accession of General Harrison to the presidency in 1841,Mr. Granger was called to a place in the cabinet, and discharged the duties of postmaster-general with efficiency until the dissolution of the cabinet under President Tyler. He declined the offer of a foreign mission, and was once more elected a representative in congress, of which he had been a member for several previous terms. At the close of the 27th congress he declined re-election, and retired to private life. But he still occasionally attended meetings of his old Whig friends, and his silver-gray hair gave the name to a party that originated in a convention of which he was president. He was also, by appointment of the governor of New York, a member of the peace convention in Washington in February, 1861. He was a man of great intelligence, of quick wit, of warm heart, of popular manners, of imposing appearance, and of impressive speech, singularly happy in temperament, and making everybody happy around him. Webster and Clay, Preston and Crittenden, Edward Everett and Abbott Lawrence, and many others of all sections and parties were on terms of intimacy with him. He married in 1817 Cornelia Rutson Van Rensselaer, of Utica., New York, who died in 1823, leaving two children, one of whom became the wife of the late John Eliot Thayer, of Boston, and is now Mrs. Robert C. Winthrop. The other was Gideon Granger, a graduate of Yale in 1843, educated to the law, who died at, Canandaigna live days after his father, 3 September, 1868.--Amos Phelps, cousin of Francis, politician, born in Suffield, Connecticut, 3 June, 1789; died in Syracuse, New York, 20 August, 1866, settled in Manlius,' Onondaga County, New York, in 1811, and engaged in mercantile business. He raised and commanded a company of militia that served at Sackett's Harbor in the war of 1812-'15. He removed to Syracuse in 1820, and acquired a fortune through real-estate investments. He was chairman of the Whig delegation from New York in the National convention of 1852 that nominated Winfield Scott for the presidency. In the Auburn convention of 1853 he wrote and offered the resolutions which, it is claimed, originated the Republican party. He was elected to congress in 1854 and in 1856.
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