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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PAXTON, Joseph, manufacturer, born near New Hope, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 3 February, 1786; died in Columbia county, Pennsylvania, 21 August, 1861. He was educated at home by his mother, a Quaker, and during the war of 1812 held successively the commissions of major, lieutenant-colonel, and colonel of Pennsylvania troops, he was the principal projector of the Catawissa (now Reading) railroad, and through it did much to develop the mineral and agricultural region between Pottsville and Williamsport. Colonel Paxton was the first to undertake the manufacture of iron on a large scale in the state, and among the first to import short-horn cattle. He was a friend and correspondent of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, and an advocate of a protective tariff. --His son, Joseph Rupert, author, born in Columbia county, Pennsylvania, 2 July, 1827; died in Houston, Texas, 20 August, 1867. He was graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1845, studied law, and in 1848 was admitted to the bar in Philadelphia, where he engaged in practice. In 1854-'5 he edited the "Bizarre" in that city. Shortly after the inauguration of President Lincoln he was offered a diplomatic appointment abroad, but chose to enter the National service, and became captain in the 15th United States infantry, in which he served until the close of the war, resigning on 1 July, 1865. At the battle of Nashville he was on the staff of Gem George H. Thomas, rendering valuable services, and being accompanied in the fight by his only son, then a boy, Alexis R. Paxton, who has since become an officer in the regular army. In 1866 he travelled in Europe, with the view of obtaining matter for future literary work. He was well known in Philadelphia for his various acquirements, and also for his genial nature. He dramatized many of Dickens's stories, translated into English several French plays and into French "Reveries of a Bachelor," and was the author of "Jewelry and the "Precious Stones, by Hipponax Roset," an anagram (Philadelphia, 1856). His mother, a daughter of Leonard Rupert, of Rupert, Pennsylvania, died, 14 November, 1887, in the hundred and first year of her age, preserving her faculties until the last.
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