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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OLIPHANT, Laurence, English author, born in 1829. After receiving his education in England, he took part in the Italian revolution, went to Ceylon, where his father was chief justice, there met Jung Bahadoor, the Nepaulese ambassador, accompanied him to Katmandu, and on his return published a narrative of the journey (London, 1852). He prepared himself for the bar at the University of Edinburgh, then travelled in Russia in 1852, publishing an account of the tour (1853), and soon afterward became private secretary to Lord Elgin, governor-general of Canada. He was made civil secretary and superintendent of Indian affairs, and secured an important compact with the Indians. He accompanied Lord Elgin to Washington, assisted in the negotiation of the reciprocity of trade and fisheries treaty of 5 June, 11854, travelled through the southern states, where he made many friends, and at the instance of Pierre Soule joined an expedition to re-enforce William Walkerin Nicaragua, but was arrested at the mouth of the San Juan river by the English and taken on board their fleet, the commander of which was his cousin. He returned to Europe, published an anonymous pamphlet recommending a campaign against Russia in the Trans-Caucasus, and accompanied Omer Pasha's army as a correspondent, describing the operations in a volume entitled " The Trans-Caucasian Campaign of Omer Pasha" (1856). in 18,57 he went with Lord Elgin, as his private secretary, to China, and on his return published a narrative of the mission (London, 1860). He was charge d'affaires in Japan in 1861, and while there was attacked and severely wounded by persons that were hosthe to the Europeans. He was a member of parliament in 1865-'8, but resigned in order to join the spiritualistic society called the Brotherhood of the New Life, at Portland, Chautauqua County, New York he was a member of that community for many years, and after the departure of Thomas L. Harris he was its leader and the proprietor of its lands. In 1873-'5 he was the American manager of the interests of the direct cable company. He afterward returned to England and interested himself in planting Hebrew colonies in Palestine. Among his published works are " Minnesota, or the Far West," a narrative of his travels in Canada and the United States (London, 1855);"Patriots and Fillibusters, or Incidents of Political and Exploratory Travel" (1861); " The Land of Gilead" (1881) ; and "Episodes in a Life of Adventure, or Moss from a Rolling Stone" (1886). He is the reputed author of " The Tender Recollections of Irene Macgillicuddy," a satire on American society, originally published in " Blackwood's Magazine," and afterward in book-form (New York, 1878).
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