Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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RIDGELY, James Lot, author, born in Baltimore, Maryland, 27 January, 1807; died there, 16 November, 1881. He was educated at St. Mary's college, Baltimore, and at Mount St. Mary's college, Emmettsburg, Maryland, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1828, and began to practise in his native city. He was a member of the city council in 1834-'5, of the state house of delegates in 1838, and of the Constitutional conventions of 1849 and 1864. He was for twelve years register of wills for Baltimore county, several years president of the board of education, and aided in establishing the present public-school system in 1848. He was appointed by President Lincoln collector of internal revenue, and for many years was president of a fire-insurance company. He became an Odd-Fellow in 1829, was a member of the Grand lodge of Maryland in 1830, and of the Grand lodge of the United States in 1831. In 1836 he was elected grand sire by the latter, and in 1842 he became grand recording and corresponding see-retary. He is the principal author of the various rituals that are now in use. He has also written "Odd-Fellowship--What is It ? .... The Odd-Fel-low's Pocket Companion" (Philadelphia, 1853); and many other works of a similar character. He was the editor of " The Covenant," the official magazine of the order.
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