Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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VAN BUREN, John Dash, merchant, born in New York city, 18 March, 1811: died in Newburg, New York, 1 December, 1885. He was graduated at Columbia in 1829, studied and practised law, afterward engaged in mercantile pursuits, and became the head of the importing-house of Benjamin Aymar and Co.. New York city, retiring about 1850. He aided See. Salmon P. Chase in drafting tax and other financial bills, was a member of the legislature in 1863, and acted as Governor John T. Hoffman's private secretary in 1868-'72. Mr. Van Buren was a frequent writer for the press on questions of financial legislation, and a strong advocate of a metallic currency.--His son, John Dash, civil engineer, born in New York city, 8 August, 1838, studied at the Lawrence scientific school of Harvard, and in Rensselaer polytechnic institute, where he was graduated in 1860. After serving for a year as assistant engineer of the Croton aqueduct in New York city, he entered the engineer corps of the United States navy, took part in the operations on James river, and was for four years assistant professor of natural philosophy and of engineering in the United States naval academy, being promoted first assistant engineer on 1 January, 1865. He resigned his commission on 22 September, 1868, was admitted to the bar in 1869, and practised law for a short time in New York city, then returned to the profession of engineering, was in charge for construction in the department of docks in New York city, was appointed on a commission to investigate canals in 1875, and in 1876-'7 was state engineer and surveyor. Besides papers in the "Journal of the Franklin Institute" and the " Transactions" of the American society of civil engineers, he has published "Investigation of Formulas for Iron Parts of Steam Machinery" (New York, 1869).
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