Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HALSTED, Oliver Spencer, jurist, born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, 22 September, 1792; died in Lyons Farms, New Jersey, 29 August, 1877. He was graduated at Princeton in 1810, studied law in the Litchfield law school and in his native town, was admitted to the bar in 1814, and settled in Newark, New Jersey In 1820 he removed to Huntsville, Alabama, and devoted two years and a half to the practice of law. He returned to Elizabeth in 1823, and in 1827 was elected to the legislature. He was appointed surrogate of Essex county in 1828, was again elected to the legislature in 1834, and in 1840 became mayor of Newark. In 1844 he was a member of the convention for the revision of the constitution of the state. In February, 1845, he was appointed chancellor under the new constitution, and became ex-officio president of the court of errors and appeals. His term of office expired in February, 1852, and he then gave all his time to the pursuit and application of his life-long studies in philology, he published, beside several legal works, "The Theology of the Bible" (Newark, 1866): and "The Book called Job" (1875).--His son, Oliver Spencer, lawyer, born in Elizabeth, N.I., in 1827; died in Newark, New Jersey, 9 July, 1871. He was known as "Pet" Halsted. He was active in politics during the war, and was a warm friend of General Philip Kearny and President Lincoln. His address, persistency, and assurance made him potent in Washington during the war and for a year or two afterward in regard to appointments and removals, especially in New Jersey.--His son, George Bruce, mathematician, born in "Newark, New Jersey, 25 November, 1853, was graduated at Princeton in 1875, held fellowships there and in Johns Hopkins, where he received the degree of Ph. D. in 1879, and then studied in Berlin, Germany. He became instructor in post-graduate mathematics in Princeton, and afterward accepted the chair of mathematics in the University of Texas, which he still holds (1887). He was the first to give the received treatment of solid angles, originated "Halsted's prismoidal formula," and has published " Metrical Geometry" (3d ed., Boston, 1883); "Elements of Geometry" (New York, 1885); and a "Bibliography of Hyper-Space and Non-Euclidean Geometry" (Baltimore), besides papers in scientific journals.
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