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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VAN VALKENBURG, Robert Bruce, congressman, born in Steuben county, New York, 4 September, 1821; died at Suwanee Springs, Florida, 2 August, 1888. He received an academic education, adopted the profession of law, and served three terms in the New York assembly. When the civil war opened he was placed in command of the state recruiting depot at Elmira, New York, and organized seventeen regiments for the field. He served in congress in 1861-'5, having been chosen as a Republican, and took the field in 1862 as colonel of the 107th regiment of New York volunteers, which he commanded at Antietam. In the 38th congress he was chairman of the committees on the militia, and expenditures in the state department. He was appointed by President Johnson in 1865 acting commissioner of Indian affairs, during the absence of the commissioner, and in 1866-'9 was United States minister to Japan. He became a resident of Florida when he returned from that mission, and was chosen associate justice of the state supreme court, which place he held at his death. Judge Van Valkenburg was an able politician and jurist.
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