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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BEARDSLEY, John, clergyman, born in 1730; died in Kingston, New Brunswick, in 1810. During the revolutionary war he was chaplain of Colonel Beverley Robinson's regiment of New York loyalists. He immigrated with the loyalists to New Brunswick, received a lot in Parr Town, now St. John's, became rector of Maugerville in 1784, and resided in Kingston after 1802, receiving a pension from the British government.*His grand-nephew, Levi, lawyer, born in Hoosic, Rensselaer County, New York, 13 November 1785; died in New York, 19 March 1857. He received a common-school education, studied law, and in 1812 was admitted to practice. In 1825 he was elected to the state assembly that passed the first railroad charter in the United States. He was elected to the state senate in 1829, reelected in 1834, and was president of the senate in 1838, and for many years judge of the court of errors of New York. He removed to Oswego, New York, in 1839, to Columbus, Ohio, in 1842, and returned to New York in 1846. Mr. Beardsley's influence was always on the side of liberal legislation. Besides his legal opinions, he published an autobiographical volume entitled "Reminiscences" (New York, 1852).*Samuel, jurist, brother of Levi, born in Hoosic, Rensselaer County, New York, 9 February 1790; died in Utica, 6 May 1860. He received a common-school education, and began to study medicine, but soon relinquished it and studied law. In 1813 he joined the militia that went to the defense of Sackett's Harbor. He was admitted to the bar in 1815, made judge-advocate of the militia, and began the practice of law in Watertown, but at the end of a year returned to Rome. In February 1821, he was appointed district attorney of Oneida County At the first election held under the constitution of 1822 he was chosen senator from the fifth district, but in the arrangement of classes by lot his term of service was limited to the single year of 1823. During this year he transferred his residence to Utica. President Jackson appointed him United States attorney for the northern district of New York, which office he held till 1830, when he was elected as a democrat to congress, and reelected in 1832 and 1834, and again elected in 1842. In April 1834, during the United States Bank excitement, he delivered a speech on the currency question, which by its vehemence attracted attention throughout the country. About the same time he opposed successfully a measure to restrain the freedom of the reporters of congress. A vacancy occurring in the judgeship of the fifth New York circuit, Mr. Beardsley was nominated by Governor Marcy, and signified his intention of resigning his seat in congress and accepting the place; but, as President Jackson sent for him, and in the presence of his cabinet and various eminent members of both houses urged him to decline, he decided to remain in congress. In 1836, on the expiration of his congressional term, he accepted the office of attorney general of the state of New York, his term closing with the year 1838, when he resumed his legal practice. He was again elected to congress in 1842, but withdrew in February 1844, to become an associate judge of the Supreme Court of New York, and in June 1847, was appointed chief justice on the retirement of Judge Bronson. The degree of LL. died was conferred on him in 1849 by Hamilton College. Returning to private life he devoted himself to his profession, but still remained a political power and carried the delegation that, in the Cincinnati convention of 1856, controlled the choice of that body and made James Buchanan the candidate.*Samuel Raymond, lawyer, eldest son of Levi, born in Cherry Valley, Otsego County, New York, 31 December 1814; died in Stevens-burg, Virginia, 28 December 1863. He was graduated at Union in 1836, studied law, and practiced in Albany and in Oswego, New York He afterward engaged in milling, owning the Premium Mills in Oswego. He was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the 48th New York militia in 1851, and colonel in 1854. He was elected mayor of Oswego in 1852; appointed postmaster in 1853, and was defeated as a candidate for the assembly in 1858. He was commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel of the 24th :New York volunteers in 1861, was wounded at Chancellorsville, and was promoted to the colonelcy in 1863. When the regiment was mustered out in 1863, he was appointed adjutant-general on General Meade's staff. He died of disease contracted in the service.
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