Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HOWELL, Richard, statesman, born in Newark, Delaware, in 1753; died in Trenton, New Jersey, 28 April, 1802. He was a lawyer, commanded a company of grenadiers before the war, and was one of the young men who were prosecuted for being concerned in the burning of the cargo of tea at Greenwich, New Jersey, 22 November, 1774. In 1775 he was appointed captain in the 2d New Jersey regiment, and was present at Quebec. He was promoted to major in 1776, commanded his regiment until 1779, and was appointed judge-advocate of the army in 1782, but declined. Resuming practice, he was clerk of the state supreme court from 1778 till 3 June, 1793, and governor of New Jersey from 1794 till October, 1801. He composed an ode welcoming General Washington to Trenton, New Jersey, while On his way to New York to be inaugurated president.--His brother, Rednap, poet, taught in Deep River, North Carolina, and composed many patriotic songs. He was the author of a pamphlet entitled "A Fan for Fanning, and a Touch for Tryon" (Boston, 1771).--Richard's son, Richard Lewis, born in Stockton, New Jersey, was a captain in the United States army; took part in the actions at Chrysler's Farm and at Fort George, where he received General Pike into his arms, when he was mortally wounded; and was in many minor actions on the Canada border.--Richard Lewis's son, John Cumming, naval officer, born in Philadelphia, 24 November, 1819, was educated at Crawford's classical school in that city, and at Washington college, Pennsylvania, entering the navy as an acting midshipman, 9 June, 1836. He became lieutenant in August, 1849; commander, 16 July, 1862; and captain, 25 July, 1866. He served in the. "Minnesota," of the North Atlantic blockading squadron, in 1861, and was her executive officer at the battle of Hatteras Inlet. He commanded the steamer "Tahamo," Eastern Gulf blockading squadron, in 1862-'3, and the "Nereus," of the North Atlantic squadron, in 1864-'5, and participated in the two actions at Fort Fisher in 1864-'5. For his cool performance of duty he was recommended for promotion by Rear-Admiral Porter, 28 January, 1865. From 1868 till 1870 he was fleet-captain of the European squadron, and from 1870 till 1872 commandant of the navy yard at League island, Philadelphia. He was commissioned commodore, 29 January, 1872, had command of the navy yard at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, till 1874, and from that year till 1878 was chief of the bureau of yards and docks. He became a rear-admiral, 25 April, 1877, commanded the North Atlantic and European squadrons in 1878-'81, and was acting secretary of the navy at various times from 1874 till 1878.
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