Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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MATTACKS, John, governor of Vermont, born in Hartford, Connecticut, 4 March, 1777; died in Peacham, Vermont, 14 August, 1847. His father was treasurer of Vermont in 1776-1801. The son began the practice of law in Danville in 1797, but removed to Peacham in 1798. He became eminent at the bar, and served several years in the state legislature and in the militia, of which he was brigadier-general in the war of 1812-'15. He was elected to congress as a Whig in 1820, served in 1821-'3, was defeated at the next election, and returned in 1824, serving in 1825-'7. He was judge of the superior court, of Vermont in 1833-'4. a member of the Constitutional convention of 1835, and in 1841-'3 was for the third time in congress, declining a re-election to accept the office of governor, which he held in 1843-'4.
MATTESON, Joel Aldrich, governor of Illinois, born in Watertown, Jefferson County, New York, 2 August, 1808 ; died in Chicago, Illinois. 31 January, 1888. He received a common-school education, engaged in business in Canada, taught in Brownsville, New York, and in 1831 went to South Carolina, where he was foreman in the construction of the first railroad in that state. He settled in Illinois in 1834, served three terms in the state senate, and became governor in 1852. During his administration he did much to restore the credit of the state and to liquidate its debt. While in office he was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for the United States senate. He took heavy contracts for the construction of the Illinois and Michigan canal, and, on the failure of the state to pay the amount that was due him, he bought all the iron that Illinois had on hand for public improvements, and sold it again with such a profit that it enabled him to pay all his debts. He was active in railroad construction, was for several years president of the Chicago and Alton railroad, and owned a controlling interest in banks in Joliet, Peoria, Quincy, and Shawneetown, Illinois
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