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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KENNEDY, John Alexander, superintendent of police, born in Baltimore, Maryland, 9 August, 1803; died in New York city, 20 June, 1873. His father was a native of the north of Ireland, and had been for many years a teacher in Baltimore. The son received a good education, and while still young removed to New York city and began business with his brother. In 1849 he was appointed a commissioner of emigration, and in 1854 he was elected a member of the common council. Subsequently he was appointed superintendent of Castle Garden, and did much to protect emigrants against swindlers. In 1860 he became superintendent of the Metropolitan police. During the draft riots he was severely beaten by a mob, while protecting the office of the provost-marshal at Third avenue and Forty-sixth street, on the morning of 14 July, 1863, an, 1 never fully recovered from his wounds. Upon returning to duty he was appointed provost-marshal of New York city, as well as superintendent of police, and continued to serve in this double capacity during the civil war. He made many enemies through his efforts to enforce the metropolitan excise law. He resigned on 11 April, 1870, was president of a street-railroad company for about two years, and then held the office of collector of assessments till his death.
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