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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HALSTED, Nathaniel Norris, merchant, born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, 13 August, 1816; died in Newark, New Jersey, 6 May, 1884. At a very early age he was adopted by his uncle, Caleb O. Halsted, a merchant of New York, who educated him in the schools of that city and in the Boys' seminary at Woodbridge, New Jersey Entering the dry-goods establishment of his uncle, he became at the age of twenty-nine years a partner in the house, and so continued until 1855, when he retired with a fortune. Soon afterward he removed to Newark, New Jersey, having purchased stock in the New Jersey rubber company, of which he became a director and finally president. In the early part of the civil war he received an appointment on the staff of Gov. Olden, of New Jersey, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and when recruiting camps were established at Trenton he was brevetted brigadier-general and placed in command. Princeton is indebted to him for the astronomical observatory which bears his name, and in the erection of which he expended $55,000. He had been a trustee of this institution for many years at the time of his death. He also gave largely for the establishment and successful conduct of the New Jersey state agricultural society, of which he was the first president. The New Jersey historical society, in its "Proceedings," makes mention of him not only as one of its benefactors, but as an earnest laborer in every worthy cause.
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