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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EASTMAN, Macarthur Eastman, capitalist, born in Gilmanton, N. H., 8 June 1810; died in Manchester, New Hampshire, 3 September 1877. While engaged in the manufacture of woollen goods at Roxbury, Massachusetts, he acquired an interest in a patent spinning jenny, which he introduced into England, and in 1856, after the beginning of the Crimean war, he secured the patent of a breech loading cannon and sold it to the British government. At the beginning of the civil war he contracted for the manufacture of a large number of carbines, and subsequently furnished firearms to the United States and foreign governments. In 1869 he planned the direct ocean cable, an enterprise which required a capital of $6,500,000 in gold, and which was met from the first by a powerful corporate opposition. He secured the needed legislation after nearly five years of effort, and the cable was laid, the American end being landed at Rye Beach in July 1874.
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