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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PUTNAM, John Phelps, jurist, born in Hartford, Connecticut, 21 March, 1817 ; died in Boston, 5 January, 1882. His father, a native of Hartford, was a merchant there and mayor of the city, and was descended from the same family to which General Israel Putnam belonged. The son was graduated at Yale in 1837 and at Harvard law-school in 1839, and was admitted to the bar in 1840. He began practice in Boston, and prosecuted his profession for many years in that city with success. In 1851-'2 he served in the legislature, and in 1859, when the superior court was established, he was appointed one of the judges. He was a trustee of the Boston music-hall, and one of the chief promoters of the enterprise that resulted in placing the great organ in that building. He was also a trustee of the Protestant Episcopal theological school in Cambridge. Between 1847 and 1848 he edited fifteen volumes of the " Annual Digest" of the decisions of all the courts of the United States (Boston, 1852).
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