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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COX, Henry Hamilton, author, born in Ireland about 1750; died there in 1822. His name was originally Henry Hamilton, and he is said to have served in the British army in India. He assumed the name of Cox on inheriting a landed estate from his grandfather, Sir Michael Cox. The estate was heavily encumbered, and he came to America with a view of living in obscurity until it could be cleared by the income arising from it. He settled in York county, Pennsylvania, and subsequently in Chester county, assumed the garb and manners of a Quaker, and was admitted into their society. At times, however, his eccentric manner excited the suspicion that his new life was not the result of sincere conviction, and that something in his former life remained concealed. His estate became disencumbered in 1817, and he at once returned to Ireland. Although he bore certificates from the Quaker society in Chester county to that of Dublin, it is said that on his voyage home he doffed his plain clothes and threw his broad-brimmed hat overboard. He was the original of "The Strange Friend," a story by Bayard Taylor, published in the "Atlantic Monthly." Soon after he arrived in Philadelphia he presented to the Library company of that City several bound volumes of manuscript correspondence between the military and civil departments of the British government during the reign of William and Mary. It was subsequently discovered by William Hepworth Dixon that these manuscripts filled a hiatus in a series of volumes belonging to the British government, which had been deposited in a public library in Dublin, and, upon application, the Library company restored them to their proper place. It was supposed that they had come into the possession of Mr. Cox through some of his ancestors, who had held public office. In America Mr. Cox was known as Henry Cox. He published "The Pennsylvania Georgics."
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