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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R0BB, James, banker, born in Brownville, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, 2 April, 1814; died near Cincinnati, Ohio, 30 July, 1881. Ills father died in 1819, and, after receiving a common-school education, the son left his home at the age of thirteen to seek his fortune, walking in the snow to Morgantown, Virginia, where he was employed in a bank and became its cashier. In 1837 he went to the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, where he remained for twenty-one years, during which time he made six visits to Europe and fifteen to the island of Cuba. He built the first gas-works in the city of Havana in 1840 and was president of the Spanish gaslight company, sharing the capital with Maria Christina, the queen-mother of Spain. He was active in establishing eight banking-houses and commercial firms and agencies in New Orleans, Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco, and Liverpool, four of which were in existence in 1857. He was president of the railroad convention that met in New Orleans in 1851, and built the first railroad that connected New Orleans with the north. Mr. Robb was a member of the Louisiana senate. In 1859 he removed to Chicago, where he was interested in railroad matters, declined the military governorship of Louisiana which was offered by President Lincoln, and the post of secretary of the treasury, to which Andrew Johnson wished to appoint him. Afterward he established in New Orleans the Louisiana national bank, of which he was president in 1866-'9. His residence, standing in the centre of a block, was the finest in that city. In 1871 he retired from business, and from 1873 until his death he resided in " Hampden Place," near Cincinnati, Ohio. He was a regent of the University of Louisiana, and was the author of several reports, essays, and pamphlets on politics and political economy. --His son, James Hampden, banker, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 27 October, 1846, was graduated at Harvard in 1866, and studied also in Switzerland, after which he engaged in banking and in the cotton business. He was a member of the legislature of New York in 1882 and state senator in 1884-'5, where he was active in securing the State reservation at Niagara, of which he was a commissioner from 1883 till 1887. He was also appointed commissioner of the parks of New York city, and is now (1888) president of the board.
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