Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HARNEY, John Hopkins, journalist, born in Bourbon county, Kentucky, 20 February, 1806; died in Jefferson county, Kentucky, 27 January, 1867. Being left by the death of his parents in straitened circumstances, he was compelled to educate himself, and developed a talent for mathematics. At the age of seventeen he successfully solved a problem in surveying that had been referred to him by two rivals, which attracted so much attention that he was soon made principal of the Paris, Kentucky, academy. The money thus earned he devoted to the purchase of a scholarship in the University of Oxford, Ohio, where he was graduated in 1827 in belles lettres and theology. He was appointed professor of mathematics in the University of Indiana in 1828, and in 1833 accepted the corresponding chair at Hanover college, Indiana, and began the preparation of his "Algebra." In 1839 he was made president of Louisville college. This office he retained until 1843, when the college was closed. The year following, Mr. Harney began the publication of the Louisville "Democrat," which he continued to edit until his death. He was elected trustee of the Louisville school board in 1850, and afterward president, and established many reforms. In 1861-'2 he was elected to the legislature, and as chairman of the committee on Federal relations, when Kentucky was invaded by the Confederate army, he drafted the famous resolution, "Resolved, That Kentucky expects the Confederate, or Tennessee, troops to be withdrawn from the soil unconditionally." Mr. Harney declined a re-election and devoted himself to protesting in the "Democrat" against the arbitrary arrest and deportation of citizens, opposing the grant of "another man or another dollar" until the liberties of the citizen were assured. This led to his arrest, but General Burnside, after looking into the matter, disapproved the action of his subordinates, and the journalist was released. At the close of the war Mr. Harney urged the repeal of the severe laws against self-expatriated Confederates, and succeeded in carrying a measure of full restoration; but in 1868 he opposed the nomination of such rehabilitated citizens for high office, on the ground that it would provoke further arbitrary arrests. His "Algebra" (Louisville, 1840) ranks high as a text book for advanced pupils.--His son, William Wallace, journalist, born in Bloomington, Indiana, 20 June, 1831, was educated at Louisville college and at home, and graduated at the law department of Louisville university in 1855. He was principal of a ward school in the latter city in 1852-'6, and afterward became the first principal of the Louisville high school. During the two years succeeding he occupied the chair of English and ancient languages in the State university at Lexington, Kentucky He then became associate editor of the Louisville "Democrat," and in 1869 its editor-in-chief. In the latter year he removed to Florida, where he planted an orange grove. From September, 1883, till March, 1885, he edited "The Bitter Sweet" at Kissimmee, Florida Besides his labors as a journalist, Mr. Harney has been a freciuent contributor to periodicals, and has written several essays on orange culture. His fugitive poems and his sketches of southern life are popular.
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