Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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KNOX, John J., merchant, born in Canajoharie, New York, 18 March, 1791; died in Knoxboro, New York, 31 January, 1876. He settled at Augusta, Oneida County, New York, in 1811, and the village which was his residence was subsequently named for him Knoxboro. He was the principal contractor in 1.837 for a section of the Erie canal at Little Falls, and in 1839 was chosen president of the bank of Vernon, and served for twenty-four years. Governor De Witt Clinton appointed him brigadier-general of militia in 1826. General Knox was a presidential elector on the Harrison ticket in 1840 and on the Lincoln ticket in 1860. For forty-seven years he was a member of the board of trustees of Hamilton college, and for thirty years its chairman.--His brother, James, lawyer, born in Canajoharie, New York, 4 July, 1807; died in Knoxville, Ilk, 8 October, 1876, was graduated at Yale in 18;30, studied law in Utica, New York, and was admitted to the bar in 1833. In 1836 he removed to Knoxville, 111., and engaged in commercial and agricultural pursuits. He was a member of the State constitutional convention in 1847, and a representative in congress from 5 December, 1853, till 3 March, 1857. He gave $50,000 to Hamilton college, in part for an additional endowment of the professorship of political economy, and in part for a hall of natural history, and a like sum to Yale college.--John J.'s son, John Jay, comptroller of the currency, born in Knoxboro, New York, 19 March, 1828, was graduated at Hamilton in 1849, and trained to business in the bank of Vernon. From 1857 to 1862 he was a private banker in St. Paul, Minnesota In January, 1862, he contributed a paper to "Hunt's Merchant's Magazine," in which he advocated the establishment of a national banking system, with circulation guaranteed by the government. Secretary Chase's attention was attracted to its author, who was given an appointment under the government in the same year, and did important work in San Francisco and New Orleans. In 1866 he was placed in charge of the mint and coinage correspondence of the treasury department at Washington, was appointed deputy comptroller of the currency on 10 October, 1867, by Secretary McCulloch, and advanced to the comptrollership on 24 April, 1872, by President Grant. His report on the mint service, containing a codification of the coinage laws with amendments, was printed by order of congress in 1870. The bill which he prepared was passed, with a few modifications, under the title of " The Coinage Act of 1873," and an amendment to the bill, in recognition of his services, made the comptroller of the currency a member of the assay commission. The bill provided for the discontinuance of the coinage of the silver dollar and the accompanying report gave reasons therefore. He was continued in the office of comptroller by President Hayes in 1877, and tool; an active part in the arrangements for making the assistant treasurer a member of the New York clearing-house, and for the resumption of specie payments on 1 January, 1879, and in the negotiations with bankers relative to the plan for the issue of 31/2 per cent. bonds in 1882. He was again appointed comptroller by President Arthur, but resigned in 1884, and became president of the National bank of the republic in New York city. His twelve annual reports constitute a standard authority on financial questions that have arisen out of the civil war. He has delivered addresses before the American bankers' association and similar bodies, lectured to the students of Johns Hopkins university, contributed articles on financial subjects to cyclopaedias, published a monograph on " United States Notes, or a History of the Various Issues of Paper Money by the Government of the United States" (New York, 1884; revised ed., 1887), and collected material for a history of banking in the United States.--John J.'s grandson, George William, missionary, born in Rome, New York 11 August, 1853, was graduated at Hamilton in 1874, and at Auburn seminary in 1877. Immediately after completing his theological studies he sailed for Japan, and engaged in missionary work. He became professor of homiletics in the Union theological seminary of Tokio, and in 18813 professor of ethics in the Imperial university of Japan. He has published in the Japanese language "A Brief System of Theology," "Outlines of Homiletics" (Tokio, 1884); "Christ the Son of God," and "The Basis of Ethics" (1885); and in English a work on "The Japanese Systems of Ethics" (1886).
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