Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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BIGELOW, John, journalist, born in Malden, New York, 25 November 1817. He was graduated at Union College in 1835, was admitted to the bar in 1839, and practiced law in New York for several years, but gradually became identified with journalism to an extent that led him to abandon the law. He was editor of "The Plebeian" and the " Democratic Review," and prepared for the press Gregg's "Commerce of the Prairies" and other books of travel. In 1845-'8 he was an inspector of Sing Sing state prison. He became a partner of William Cullen Bryant in 1849 as joint owner of the "Evening Post," and was managing editor of that journal until 1861, when, after the accession of President Lincoln, he went to Paris as United States consul. After the death of Mr. Dayton in 1865 he became United States minister to France, where he remained until 1867. During 1867 and 1868 he was secretary of state for New York. In the spring of 1886 he was designated by the New York chamber of commerce to inspect so much of the Panama canal as was then under construction, and on the receipt of his report he was unanimously elected an honorary member of the chamber. The same year he received the honorary degree of LL.D. from Racine College, Wisconsin. By the will of Samuel J. Tilden (August 1886) he was appointed a trustee of several million dollars, to be applied to the establishment and maintenance of a public library in New York City, and he is the testator's authorized biographer, His published writings are "Jamaica in 1850; or, The Effect of Sixteen Years of Freedom on a Slave Colony," and "Life of Promont " (1856) and " Les Etats-Unis d'Ame-rique en 1863" (Paris). He edited the autobiography of Franklin from the original manuscript, which he found in France (1868), and in 1869 published " Some Recollections of the late Antoine Pierre Berryer." " The Wit and Wisdom of the Haytiens" was published in 1876, and a monograph on "Molinos the Quietist " in 1882. In 1886 he edited a life of William Cullen Bryant ; a two-volume edition of the speeches of Mr. Tilden, and "The Complete Works of Benjamin Franklin." *His eldest son, John, is an officer in the 10th regiment United States cavalry and author of sketches of army life in the west.*His second son, Poultney, is editor of "Outing," an illustrated magazine for the encouragement of out-of-door recreations. His daughter Grace translated Count Moltke's "Letters from Russia" (New York, 1877).
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