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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INMAN, John Hamilton, financier, born in Jefferson county, Tennessee, 23 October, 1844. His father was a banker and farmer. John left school at fifteen years of age, and became a clerk in a Georgia bank, of which his uncle was president. At the beginning of the civil war he enlisted in the Confederate army. His relatives were impoverished by the war, and in September, 1865, he went to New York city to seek his fortune. He obtained employment in a cotton house, was admitted to a full partnership in the firm in 1868, and in 1870 founded the house of Inman, Swann and Co., in which he associated himself with his former partners. The business increased rapidly, and in a few years he amassed a fortune of several million dollars in the cotton trade, which was attracted to New York city largely through his activity. He turned his attention to the development of southern resources, and, in association with other capitalists who relied on his judgment, invested over $5,000,000 in the enterprises of the Tennessee coal, iron, and railroad company, including the bituminous coal-mines at Birmingham, Alabama, the blast-furnaces in that city, and Bessemer steel works at Ensley City, near there. He induced the investment of over $100,000,000 in southern enterprises, and became a director in companies that possessed more than 10,000 miles of railroad.
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