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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DEMING, Henry Champion, lawyer, born in Middle Haddam, Connecticut, in 1815; died in Hartford, 9 October 1872. He was graduated at Yale in 1836, and at Harvard Law School in 1839. He then opened a law office in New York City, but devoted himself chiefly to literature, being engaged with Park Benjamin in editing the "New World," a literary monthly. He removed to Hartford in 1847, served in the lower house of the legislature in 1849'50 and 1859'61, and in 1851 was a member of the state senate. He was mayor of Hartford in 1854'8 and in 1860'2, having been elected as a democrat. Early in the war he opposed coercion, even after the fall of Sumter, and when asked to preside at a war meeting on 19 April 1861, declined in a letter in which he said that ha would support the Federal government, but would not "sustain it in a war of aggression or invasion of the seceded states." When Washington was threatened, however, he favored the prosecution of the war, and on 9 October 1861, was elected by acclamation speaker pro tempore of the state House of Representatives, the republican majority thus testifying their approval of his course. In September 1861, ha accepted a commission as colonel of the "charter oak" regiment (the 12th Connecticut), recruited especially for General Butler's New Orleans expedition. After the passage of the forts his regiment was the first to reach New Orleans, and was assigned by General Butler the post of honor at the customhouse. Colonel Deming was on detached duty, acting as mayor of the City from October 1862, till February 1863. He then resigned, returned home, and in April 1863, was elected to congress as a republican, and served two terms, being a member of the committee on military affairs, and chairman of that on expenditures in the war department. In 1866 he was a delegate to the Loyalists' convention in Philadelphia, and from 1869 till his death was U. S. collector of internal revenue for his district. Mr. Denting was one of the most eloquent public speakers in New England, a gentleman of fine culture and of refined literary taste. He published translations of Eugene Sue's "Mysteries of Paris " and " Wandering Jew" (1840), a eulogy of Abraham Lincoln, delivered by invitation of the Connecticut legislature in 1865, "Life of Ulysses S. Grant" (Hartford, 1868), and various addresses.
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