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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ROGERS, James Webb, lawyer, born in Hills-borough, North Carolina, 11 July, 1822. He was graduated at Princeton in 1841, and then studied for the ministry. After taking orders in the Protestant Episcopal church, he became pastor of St. Paul's parish in Franklin, Tennessee, and while in that state was instrumental in building six churches. He was a partisan of the south at the beginning of the civil war, and served in the Confederate army under General Leonidas Polk. Subsequently he went to England, remaining there for some time, and in 1878 he became a Roman Catholic, but could not be admitted to the priesthood on account of his being married. On his return to the United States he settled at first in New York city, afterward in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he edited "The Central Catholic," and then removed to Washington, where he studied law. After being admitted to practice, he became associated with his son as attorney in the protection and sale of the latter's inventions. His publications include "Lafitte, or the Greek Slave" (Boston, 1870) ; "Madame Surratt, a Drama in Five Acts" (Washington, 1879); "Arlington, and other Poems" (1883); and "Parthenon" (Baltimore, 1887).--His son, James Harris, electrician, born in Franklin, Tennessee, 13 July, 1850, was educated in this country and abroad. In 1877 he was appointed electrician at the United States capitol in Washington, D. C., and he continued in that office until 1883. He was the inventor of the secret telephone that was sold in New York for $80,000, also of the national improved telephone, and of the pan-electric system, comprising patents on electric motors, lights, telegraphs, telephones and telemorphs, which attracted greater attention from the circumstance that General Joseph E. Johnston, Senator Augustus H. Garland, Senator Isham G. Harris, and other government officials capitalized the inventions at $15,000,000, and secured, it was alleged at the time, the interposition of the government to defend some of the patents. He has lately devised what he calls "visual synchronism."
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