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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McMICHAEL, Morton, journalist, born in Burlington, New Jersey, 2 October, 1807; died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 6 January, 1879. He was educated in the schools of his native town and at the University of Pennsylvania, read law, and in 1827 was admitted to the Philadelphia bar. He became editor of the " Saturday Evening Post" in 1826, from 1831 to 1836 was editor-in-chief of the " Saturday Courier," and during the latter year, with others, began the publication of the "Saturday News." In 1844 he associated himself with Joseph C. Neal in the editorship of the "Saturday Gazette," and in 1847 he acquired an interest in the "North American," which journal was, during that year, consolidated with the " United States Gazette," and under this union the publication was thereafter known as the "North American and United States Gazette." He was sole proprietor of this journal from 1854 till his death, and under his management and editorship it grew to be one of the best-known journals in the country. While a young man he served several years as an alderman of Philadelphia, from 1843 till 1846 he was sheriff of the county, from 1866 till 1869 mayor of the city, in 186% on the organization of the park commission, was chosen president of that body, which post he held till his death, and in 1878 he was appointed a delegate at large to the fourth Constitutional convention of Pennsylvania. He was frequently invited to address public audiences on great occasions, and achieved note as an orator. Of his speeches a critic has written" Prepared or unprepared, they were always finished models." A bronze statue of him in Fairmount park, bears the inscription, " An honored and beloved citizen of Philadelphia." -His third son, William, lawyer, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 4 March, 1841, was graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1859, and had begun law studies when, in April, 1861, he enlisted as a private under President Lincoln's first call for troops. He was afterward promoted to captain and aide-de-camp, then major, and later brevetted colonel, acting under General Grant, General Rosecrans, and General Thomas. After serving through the war he resumed his law studies, and was admitted to the Philadelphia bar in 1865. He was appointed solicitor of internal revenue of the treasury department soon after General Grant's first election to the presidency, and resigned the office in 1871 to become United States assistant attorney-general. That office he held until 1877, when he was appointed United States district attorney for the eastern district of Pennsylvania, but he resigned in 1875 to enter into private practice. He was appointed by President Garfield a member of the United States board of Indian commissioners. In 1882 he was a candidate for congress-man-at-large on the Independent Republican ticket. He has always been an active participant in public affairs, he is now (1888) a member of the bar of New York city. He inherited in a large degree the oratorical gifts of his father. Among his addresses is a eulogy on General George H. Thomas at a memorial meeting at the Academy of Music, and an oration at the unveiling of the Lincoln monument in Fairmount park.--Morton's fourth son, Clayton, journalist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 30 June, 1844, was educated in private schools, enlisted in the army in April, 1861, and was commissioned 2d lieutenant in the United States army on 5 August He resigned, 27 September, 1865, with the brevet rank of major in the regular army. After leaving the army he began journalistic work in connection with his father's newspaper, and a few years before the latter's death succeeded him in its editorship, in which post he has since continued. In 1872 he was appointed commissioner to the International exposition at Vienna, and in December, 1882, became United States marshal for the District of Columbia. He resigned, 4 March, 1885, but his resignation was not accepted by President Cleveland until 3 December.
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