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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PATTISON, Robert Emory, governor of Pennsylvania, born in Quantico, Somerset County, Maryland, 8 December, 1850. His father, Reverend Robert H. Pattison, D. D., a Methodist clergyman, was sent to Philadelphia when the son had reached his sixth year. There the latter was graduated at the Central high-school in 1870, became a law-student in 1869, and in 1872 began to practise law. In 187'7 and 1880 he was elected comptroller of the city of Philadelphia. His fearless administration of this office secured his nomination for governor by the Democrats. He was elected in November, 1882, and shortly afterward he sent a message to the legislature, in which he recommended a policy of retrenchment and reform, urging the modification or repeal of laws, under which needless offices were created. A controversy followed, which resulted in the success of Governor Pattison's policy as it related to commissions and special legislation. His term expired in 1886, and in 1887 he was appointed a member of the United States Pacific railway commission.
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