Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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COX, James, soldier, born in Monmouth, New Jersey, 14 June, 1753; died there, 12 September, 1810. His early education was received in the public schools. At the age of twenty-four he commanded a company of militia, and afterward served at the battles of Germantown and Monmouth, attaining to the rank of brigadier-general. He was for many years a member of the state assembly, and one year its speaker. He was also a representative from New Jersey in the 10th congress, serving from 22 May, 1809, until his death.--His grandson, Samuel Sullivan, statesman, born in Zanesville, Ohio, 30 September, 1824. He is a son of Ezekiel Taylor Cox, a member of the Ohio senate in 1832-'3. He attended the Ohio University at Athens, and was graduated at Brown in 1846. During his stay in College he maintained himself by literary work, and obtained the prizes in classics, history, literary criticism, and political economy. Adopting the profession of the law, he returned to Ohio to begin practice, but soon laid it aside, and went to Europe. On his return he became, in 1853, editor of the Columbus, Ohio, "Statesman," and from that time turned his attention to political issues. While editing this journal he published a gorgeous description in sophomoric strain, which procured for him the sobriquet of" Sunset" Cox. Mr. Cox was offered, in 1855, the secretaryship of legation in London, but declined it. The opportunity was given not long after of going to Lima, Peru, in a similar capacity, and he accepted. He remained in Peru one year, and on his return was elected to congress, and re-elected three times, serving continuously from 7 December, 1857, till 3 March, 1865. During three terms he was chairman of the committee on Revolutionary claims. Mr. Cox was a delegate to the Chicago, New York, and St. Louis democratic conventions of 1864,1868, and 1876. During the civil war he sustained the government by voting money and men, although he took a prominent part in opposing certain policies of the administration. In 1866 he took up his residence in New York City, and was elected as a representative to congress in 1868, and re-elected three times. He served on the committees on foreign affairs, banking, the centennial exhibition, and rules. At the opening of the first session of the 45th congress, in 1877, he was one of three candidates for the speakership. Although not elected, he served frequently as speaker pro tern. In this session he took upon himself, by a special resolution of his own, the work of the new census law. He was the author also of the plan of apportionment adopted by the house. He was the introducer and champion for many years of the bill concerning the life-saying service, and finally witnessed its passage. Mr. Cox's work in congress included the raising of the salaries of letter-carriers, and granting them a vacation without loss of pay. This latter measure involved an appropriation of $96,000, but its results justified the action. He was on the committee to investigate the doings of Black Friday, Federal elections in cities, the New York post-office, and the Ku-klux troubles. He was also for many years one of the regents of the Smithsonian institution, his term closing in 1865. in 1869 he visited Europe and northern Africa, journeying through Italy, Corsica, Algeria, and Spain. In 1872 he was defeated as candidate at large for the state, but the death of his successful competitor necessitated another election, which resulted in Mr. Cox's return to his seat. He was re-elected in 1874, 1876, 1878, and 1880, serving twelve consecutive years, making a total congressional service on his part of twenty years. The last effort of Mr. Cox, and for which the Chamber of commerce of New York City thanked him, was the passage of a law uniting all jurisdictions in the Federal jurisdiction, so as to preserve New York harbor and its tributaries from destruction. This had passed in the house, but it was defeated on a point of order in the senate. In the summer of 1882 Mr. Cox visited Sweden, Norway, Russia, Turkey, and Greece. In 1885 he was appointed minister to Turkey, but returned to the United States in October 1886 after a year's absence, and in November was re-elected to congress. He has a reputation as an effective and humorous speaker, writer, and lecturer. In addition to a large amount of newspaper and magazine work, he has published " The Buckeye Abroad" (New. York, 1851) ", "Puritanism in Politics" (1863, ); " Eight Years in Congress" (1865); "A Search for Winter Sunbeams" (1870); " Why We Laugh" (1876); "Free Land and Free Trade" (1876); "Arctic Sunbeams" (1882); "Orient Sunbeams" (1882); and " The Three Decades of Federal Legislation" (1885).
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