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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GERARD, James Watson, lawyer, born in New York City in 1794; died there, 7 February, 1874. He was graduated at Columbia in 1811, and soon after leaving College became enrolled in a volunteer company called "The Iron Greys," which was raised for the defense of the harbor during the war with Great Britain. He then studied law with George Griffin, and practiced in New York till 1869, becoming distinguished in his profession. Mr. Gerard early turned his attention to schemes of philanthropy. In 1823 he became a member of the "Society for the prevention of pauperism," and outlined and urged on the public mind a plan for the establishment of the institution now known as the "House of refuge for juvenile delinquents," the incorporation of which he, in connection with others, procured in March, 1824. This was the first institution of the kind in the United States. He was the first person in this country to advocate a uniformed police. By letters, addresses, and persistent action, he so impressed the importance of the change on the community that the uniformed system was adopted, and has since been generally employed in the various cities of the United States. During the last twenty years of his life he was actively engaged in the cause of public education, and held the office of trustee or school-inspector for most of that period. Mr. Gerard invariably declined to be a candidate for any other office.--His son, James Watson, lawyer, born in New York City, about 1822, was graduated at Columbia in 1843. He was active in the profession of the law until 1880, and successively occupied the offices of trustee and inspector of public schools. He was subsequently a state senator in 1876-'7. He is the author of several minor satirical works, including " The Pelican Papers" (New York, 1879), and of two legal works, "Title of the Corporation and others to the Streets, Wharves, Lands, and Franchises in the City of New York" (1872), and " Titles to Real Estate in the State of New York" (1873). Ire has also published an historical work called "The Peace of Utrecht" (1885), and has written many historical papers and delivered addresses chiefly relating to the early colonial history of the state of New York.
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