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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FARNSWORTH, John Franklin, legislator, born in Eatton, Quebec, Canada, 27 March 1820. He removed with his parents to Michigan in 1834, received an academic education, studied and practiced law, and afterward went to Chicago, Ill. He was elected to congress as a Republican, and served from 1857 till 1861, when he became colonel of the 8th Illinois cavalry. He subsequently raised the 17th Illinois regiment, by order of the war department, and was commissioned brigadier general, 29 November 1862, but was compelled to resign from the army in March 1863, owing to injuries received in the field. He then removed to St. Charles, Illinois, and from 1863 till 1873 was again a member of congress. Since 1873 he has been engaged in the practice of his profession in Washington, D. C. His nephew, Elon John, soldier, born in Green Oak, Livingston County, Michigan, in 1837; died in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 3 July 1863, was educated in the public schools, and spent a year at the University of Michigan. Leaving College in 1858, he served in the quartermaster's department of the army during the Utah expedition of that year. He then engaged in buffalo hunting, and in carrying freight to the then newly discovered mines at Pike's Peak. In 1861 he became assistant quartermaster of the 8th Illinois cavalry, which his uncle was then organizing. He was soon promoted to captain, and took part in all the battles of the Peninsula, and in those of Pope's campaign. He was appointed aide to General Pleasonton in May 1863, promoted to brigadier general on the 29th of the following month, and was killed four days afterward while leading a charge during the battle of Gettysburg.
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