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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HILL, Nathaniel Parker, senator, born in Montgomery, New York, 18 February, 1832. He entered Brown in 1853 as a student, became tutor in chemistry in 1858, and was professor of chemistry applied to the arts from 1859 till 1864. In the latter year he visited Colorado to examine an extensive tract of mining and agricultural lands in the interest of Providence and Boston capitalists. The imperfect methods of treating ores at that time led him into a thorough investigation of the subject, and he spent a part of 1865-'6 in Swansea, Wales, and Freiberg, Germany. Having become satisfied that the refractory ores of Colorado could be treated successfully and economically, in 1867 he organized the Boston and Colorado smelting company, and has been its manager to the present time (1887). Through the success of that enterprise he has acquired a fortune, and, by showing that the gold and silver could be profitably extracted from the ores, he gave a great impetus to the development of the mining industry of Colorado, which at the time of the erection of his works had been nearly abandoned. He was a member of the territorial counsel in 1872-'3, and in 1879 was elected to the United States senate as a Republican, serving until 1885. He was an active member of that body, and in the first years of his term secured the passage of many bills of a local character affecting the interests of his state. Later he devoted himself earnestly to the task of obtaining legislation for a postal telegraph service. During his term he was the chief" advocate of silver coinage, and his speeches and magazine articles on bi-metalism attracted attention both in this country and Europe. His influence has been felt in a marked degree on the interests of Colorado, and much of its present prosperity is due to his exertions.
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