Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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SCAMMON, Jonathan Young, lawyer, born in Whitefield, Maine, 27 July, 1812. He studied at Waterville college (now Colby university), from which he received the degree of EL. D. in 1869, studied law in Hallowell, Maine, was admitted to the bar, and removed in 1835 to Chicago, where he began the practice of his profession. He prepared a new edition of the laws of Illinois (" Gale's Statutes"), was appointed reporter of the supreme court, and published "Seammon's Reports" (4 vols., 1832-'43). He associated Ezra B. McCagg with him in 1847, and subsequently Samuel W. Fuller, in the firm of Scammon, McCagg, and Fuller. He took an important part in pioneer enterprises, was one of the main organizers and directors of the first railroad west of Lake Michigan, the Galena and Chi-ca, go (now the Northwestern), laid the foundation of the first successful public-school system in Chicago, and actively identified himself with many societies. He was one of the founders of the Chicago astronomical society and its first president, and built and maintained at his own expense for many years Dearborn observatory, in which was placed the first grand refractor that was manufactured by Alvan Clark and Sons, of Cambridge, Massachusetts The observatory cost $30,000. He acquired wealth, most of which was lost in the great fire of 1871 and the panic of 1873, and he was at the head of several large and successful financial institutions. Mr. Scammon was a Whig, and is a Republican in politics. He was one of several gentlemen that established the " Chicago American " in 1844 to aid in the election of Henry Clay, and when, in 1872, the Chicago "Tribune" favored the election of Horace Greeley, he established the "Inter-Ocean " as a Republican paper. He is a Swedenborgian, was the first of that belief in Chicago, instituted the Chicago society of the New Jerusalem and the Illinois association of that church, and was for ten years vice-president of the general convention of his denomination in the United States. He was the first lawman to introduce the homoeopathic system of medicine in Chicago, and founded the Hahnemann hospital, of which and the Hahnemann medical college he has been for many years a trustee. Many acts of the legislature have originated with him, especially those reforming the circulating medium and driving out of circulation the depreciated currency that inundated Illinois and the northwest. He has been officially connected with the city, county, and state government, and a member of the legislature, and of the Republican national conventions of 1864 and 1872. Mr. Scammon has contributed largely to the periodical press.--His brother, Eliakim Parker, soldier, born in Whitefield, Maine, 27 December, 1816, was graduated at the United States military academy in 1837, and promoted 2d lieutenant of artillery. In 1838 he was appointed 2d lieutenant of topographical engineers, and he was assistant professor of mathematics at West Point from 1837 till 1838, arid of ethics from 1841 till 1846. He was aide-de-camp to General Winfield Scott in Mexico in 1846-'7, engaged on the survey of the northern lakes in 1847-54, in 1853 became captain. In 1856 he was dismissed the army for " disobedience of orders." He was then professor in Mount St. Mary's college, Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1856-'8, and president of the polytechnic college in that city from 1859-'61. He became colonel of the 23d Ohio regiment in June, 1861, served in western Virginia and Maryland, and was promoted brigadier-general of volunteers, 15, October, 1862, for gallant conduct at the battle of South Mountain, Maryland He commanded the district of Kanawha from November, 1862, till 3 February, 1864, was a prisoner of war from the latter date till 3 August, and then led a separate brigade at Morris island, South Carolina From November, 1864, till April, 1865, he was in charge of the district of Florida. He was United States consul in Prince Edward island from 1866 till 1870, and afterward professor of mathematics and history in Seton Hall college, Orange, New Jersey--Another brother, Charles Mellville, navigator, born in Pittston, Maine, 28 May, 1825, became a ship-captain and sailed to California in 1850. He engaged in the whale-fishery and discovered the habitat of the gray whale in a bay on the coast of California, which was named Scammon lagoon. At the beginning of the civil war in 1861 he became commander of a United States revenue cutter in San Francisco, and he was subsequently appointed captain in that branch of the service, in which he still remains. He is the author of a work on "The Marine Mammals of the Northwestern Coast of America and the American Whale Fishery " (San Francisco, 1874).
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