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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GALES, Joseph, journalist, born in England in 1760; died in Raleigh, North Carolina, 24 August, 1841. He was originally a printer and bookseller at Sheffield, where he established and published the" Register." His democratic principles having involved him in difficulty with the government, he sold his journal in 1793 to James Montgomery, the poet, who had been brought up in his family, and emigrated to the United States, settling in Philadelphia. There he edited the "Independent Gazetteer," in which, being a proficient stenographer, he first printed short-hand reports of the debates in congress. In 1799 he sold the paper to Samuel Harrison Smith and removed to Raleigh, North Carolina, where he founded a new "Register," the publication of which he continued until he had reached an advanced age, when he transferred it to his third son, Weston, and went to Washington to spend the remainder of his life with his eldest son, Joseph. Here he became interested in African colonization, and was an active member of the American colonization society almost to the day of his death.--His son, Joseph, journalist, born in Eckington, near Sheffield, England, 10 April, 1786; died in Washington, D. C., 21 July, 1860, was educated at the University of North Carolina, learned printing in Philadelphia, and in 1807 became the assistant, and afterward the partner, of Samuel Harrison Smith, who had removed the "Independent Gazetteer" to Washington and changed its name to the " National Intelligencer." In 1810 he succeeded to the sole proprietorship of the journal, which was then published tri-weekly. In 1812 he formed a partnership with his brother-in-law, William Winston Seaton, and in January, 1813, began the daily issue of the " Intelligencer," which was finally suspended, after the death of both partners, in 1869. From the time of their coming together up to 1820, Gales and Seaton were the exclusive reporters as well as the editors of their journal, one devoting himself to the house, the other to the senate. As a rule they only published running reports, but on special occasions the proceedings were given entire. But for their industry, a most important part of our national record would now be lost. Notably was this true in the case of the memorable debate between Hayne and Webster. The original notes of the latter's speech form a volume of several hundred pages, and, corrected and interlined by the statesman's own hand, were carefully treasured by Mr. Gales. At this period he had abandoned the practice of reporting, and the full reproduction of that particular oration was an exception to the custom of the office. The "Intelligencer" was a strong advocate of the war of 1812, and when the British under Admiral Cockburn entered Washington, the anger of that officer seemed to be especially aroused against the journal, one of whose editors was English by birth. He at first proposed burning the office, but being dissuaded by occupants of the adjoining houses, wreaked his revenge upon the printing materials and other property. He ordered the valuable library to be taken into the Street and burned, himself assisting in the work of destruction, the type thrown from the upper windows, and the presses broken, thus causing the proprietors a loss of several thousand dollars.--Another son, Seaton, journalist, born in Raleigh. N. C., 17 May, 1828 ; died in Washington; D. C., 29 November, 1878, was graduated at the University of North Carolina in 1848. A month later, on the death of his father, he took editorial charge of the Raleigh "Register." At the beginning of the war he entered the Confederate army and served four years as adjutant general of a brigade in northern Virginia, being present at nearly all the battles fought in that locality. After the war he returned to journalism, and from 1866 till 1869 was connected with the Raleigh "Sentinel." At the time of his sudden death he was superintendent of the document- room of the United States House of Representatives, having been appointed at the opening of the 45th congress.
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