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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 biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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Marshall Jewell

JEWELL, Marshall, postmaster-general, born in Winhester, New Hampshire, 20 October, 1825; died in Hartford, Connecticut, 10 February, 1883. He was descended in the seventh generation from Thomas Jewell, an Englishman, who received a grant of land at North Wollaston, near Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1639. Marshall's father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were tanners. In 1845 his father, Pliny Jewell, who had been an active Whig in New Hampshire and a member of the legislature, removed to Hartford and established the leather-belting business. The son learned the trade of a tanner under his father's supervision, and in 1847 went to Rochester, New York, where he also learned the art of telegraphy, then in its infancy. For three years he followed this calling in Ohio, Tennessee, Mississippi, and the southwestern states. In 1850, his father's business having increased, Mr. Jewell was recalled to Hartford, becoming a partner of his father and brothers, and remaining so until his death. It was very largely through his energy and business capacity that the business grew into its subsequent importance. He was among the earliest members of the Republican party in Connecticut. In 1868 he was a candidate for the state senate, without success, and was also nominated for governor of Connecticut, but was defeated by a small majority. In 1869 he was again nominated, and was elected. In 18'70 he was defeated by James E. English, but he was again elected in 1871 and 1872. Mr. Jewell's administration of the state government was marked by various legislative and executive reforms. Among these were the reorganization of the state militia, a change in the laws concerning the married woman's right to property, the laws of divorce, the government of Yale college, biennial elections, and the erection of the new state house at Hartford. He was appointed minister to Russia in 1873, and during his mission negotiated a convention protecting trade-marks. It was due to the investigations of Mr. Jewell, and the information that came from his knowledge of the leather industry, that the method known as the Russian process of tanning was introduced into the United States. In August, 1874, Mr. Jewell was recalled from his mission and made postmaster-general. He gave Benjamin H. Bristow his warm support in the latter's whiskey ring prosecutions, and was also favorable to Mr. Bristow's aspirations for the presidency. When Mr. Bristow left the cabinet, Mr. Jewell also resigned. It was the policy adopted by Mr. Jewell as postmaster-general, which brought him into antagonism with certain elements in both parties, that led to the star-route trials, and many wholesome reforms in the postal system. Mr. Jewell's return to Connecticut was made the occasion of public demonstrations, especially in Hartford. He gave Mr. Hayes his warm support, and in 1879, when he became a candidate for the senate, was defeated by only two votes in the caucus. In 1880, when General Grant was a candidate for nomination, Mr. Jewell declined to take an active part in the convention, for the reason that while not in favor of General Grant's candidature, he would not, having sat in his cabinet, openly oppose him. General Garfield was nominated, and Mr. Jewell was made chairman of the National Republican committee, conducting the canvass that resulted in Garfield's election. This was Mr. Jewell's last public service. The labors of the canvass made serious inroads upon his health, and, returning to Hartford, he gave his attention to the business which his father had founded, and in which he was associated with his brothers, Pliny, Lyman, and Charles.--His elder brother, Harrey, born in Winchester, N. H., 26 May, 1820; died in Boston, Massachusetts, 8 December, 1881. As a boy Harvey learned the tanning trade with his father, but afterward entered Dartmouth college, where he graduated in 1844. He then taught in Boston, at the same time studied law with Lyman Mason, and was admitted to the bar, 1 October, 1847. Mr. Jewell's special faculty was the drafting of contracts, charters of incorporation, and preparing causes for trial, he gave special attention to maritime law. He took an active part in the polities of Massachusetts as an old Whig, and later as a Republican. He was a member of the municipal councils of Boston in 1851 and 1852, in 1861 was elected to the legislature of Massachusetts and served for several terms, during four of which he was speaker of the house. In 1871 he was a candidate for the governorship of Massachusetts. General Butler was also a formidable candidate, and, for the purpose of defeating the latter, Mr. Jewell withdrew from the canvass. In 1875 President Grant appointed Mr. Jewell judge of the court of commissioners of Alabama claims, which office he held two years, when he returned to Boston and resumed the practice of law. Dartmouth gave him the degree of LL.D. in 1875.

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