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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GREENHOW, Robert, scholar, born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1800; died in San Francisco, California, in 1854. His father, Robert, was at one time mayor of Richmond. His mother perished at the burning of the Richmond theatre in 1811, and the son barely escaped with his life. He was graduated at William and Mary in 1816, and finished his education in New York, studying medicine with Dr. David Hosack and Dr. John W. Francis, and taking his degree at the College of physicians and surgeons in 1821. He then visited Europe, where he met Byron and other distinguished men, and on his return delivered lectures on chemistry before the New York literary and philosophical society. He became translator to the department of state in Washington in 1828, and in 1850 removed to California, where in 1853 he was associate law-agent to the United States land commission. He published a "History of Tripoli" (1835), and a "Report on the Discovery of the Northwest Coast of North America," prepared by order of Congress in 1837 (New York, 1840), and afterward enlarged into a " History of Oregon and California," a work of high authority (1846). Dr. Greenhow also read before the New York historical society in 1848 a paper in relation to the supposed missionary labors of Archbishop Fenelon (since found to have been those of a brother) among the Iroquois of New York.
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