Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BIDDLE, James Stokes, naval officer, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 15 January, 1818. He was appointed a midshipman in the United States navy, 18 October, 1833, and became lieutenant, 20 Aug'., 1844. He was engaged in the Florida war with a fleet of boats, and during the Mexican war he was in command of a gun-boat and served with the naval batteries in the siege of Vera Cruz and the capture of Tobasco. In 1856 he resigned from the navy and was elected president of the Shamokin Valley railroad. In 1861, at the opening of the civil war, he offered his services to the secretary of the navy, agreeing to retire at the close of the war, but no formal action was taken in regard to it. In 1871 he was the Democratic candidate for mayor of Philadelphia, but was not elected.--His kinsman, Craig, jurist, born in Philadelphia, 10 January, 1823, is a son of Nicholas Biddle (1786-1844), was graduated at Princeton in 1841, and was admitted to the bar of Philadelphia in 1844. He represented Philadelphia in the legislature in 1849-'50. In April, 1861, he was made a major on the staff of General Robert Patterson, and served in the Shenandoah valley. He was then appointed on the staff of Governor Andrew G. Curtin, and was detailed to organize new regiments. On the invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania by the Confederate army in 1863, he joined a regiment of Philadelphia militia as a private, and marched to the front. In January, 1875, he was appointed a judge of the court of common pleas of Philadelphia, and in the following autumn was elected to the same office, as a Republican, by a large majority. In 1885 he was re-elected, having been renominated as well by the Democratic party as by his own. He has been president of the Philadelphia agricultural society, and has written on agriculture and on a variety of other subjects. He is a member of the Historical society of Pennsylvania, and has been one of its vice-presidents. -Another kinsman, Chapman, lawyer, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 22 January, 1822 ; died there, 9 December, 1880, was the son of Clement C. Biddle (1784-1855), who organized and was first captain of the State fencibles, and had command of the 1st volunteer light infantry in the war of 1812. The son was educated at St. Mary's college in Baltimore, and was admitted to the Philadelphia bar in 1848. He soon attained a lucrative practice, and was solicitor of the Pennsylvania railroad company, and subsequently counsel for that corporation. In April, 1861, he formed a company of artillery to aid in protecting Philadelphia, and was made its captain. During the summer of 1862 he undertook the raising of a regiment of infantry, which on 1 September, 1862, as the 121st Pennsylvania volunteers, took the field with him as its colonel. He took part in the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, and at Gettysburg had command of a brigade in the 1st corps. In December, 1863, he resigned from the army and resumed the practice of his profession, which he continued until shortly before his death. Colonel Biddle was connected with the Fairmount park art association, and, through his counsel, beautiful fountains and groups were placed in the park.
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