Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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PEYTON, John Howe, lawyer, born in Stafford county, Virginia, 3 April, 1778; died in Staunton, Virginia, 3 April, 1847. His ancestor, John, emigrated to this country in 1644, and settled in Westmoreland county, Virginia John Howe was graduated at Princeton in 1797, and admitted to the bar in 1799, establishing a reputation as a criminal lawyer. He served many years in the legislature, and was the author of a series of resolutions upon the attitude of the state of Pennsylvania with reference to an amendment of the Constitution of the United States that provided a tribunal for settling disputes between the state and the federal judiciary Of these resolutions Daniel Webster said:" They are so conclusive of the question that they admit of no further discussion." he was prosecuting attorney for the Augusta district in 1808-'9. During the war of 1812 he was commissioned major of militia, and served till 1815. He then became deputy United States attorney for the western district of Virginia, and declined a nomination to congress in 1820 and a judgeship in 1824. He was in the state senate in 1836-'44, at which date he fell from his horse and received an injury that compelled his retirement from public life. In 1840 he was appointed a visitor to the United States military academy, and he wrote the report of that year. For ten years he was president of the board of directors of the Western Virginia lunatic asylum. Mr. Peyton was an active member of the Whig party, opposed nullification and secession, and favored all schemes for internal improvements and public education. He won a brilliant reputation at the bar. See a sketch of his life by John T. L. Preston (Boston, Massachusetts, 1881). --His son, John Lewis, author, born in Staunton, Virginia, 15 September, 1824, was graduated at the law department of the University of Virginia in 1845. He declined the office of district attorney for Utah in 1855, and settled in Chicago about that time. In 1861 he was appointed an agent in Europe for the southern Confederacy, and ran the blockade of Charleston, South Carolina He remained abroad many years, engaged in literary pursuits, and returned in 1880. His publications include " A Statistical View of the State of Illinois" (Chicago, 1854); " Pacific Railway Communication, and the Trade of China" (1854);" The American Crisis" (London, 1866); " Over the Alleghanies, and Across the Prairies " (1870) ; "The Adventures of my Grandfather" (1871); "Memoir of William M. Peyton " (1872) ; " Memorials of Nature and Art" (1881); and " History of Augusta County, Virginia" (Staunton, Virginia, 1882). He also edited, with an introduction, the "Glasse of Time" (New York, 1886).
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