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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COFFIN, Roland Folger, sailor, born in Brooklyn, New York, 8 March. 1826; died on Shelter island, New York, 17 July, 1888. He was educated in Nantucket, Massachusetts, and Brooklyn. Much of his youth was passed in the former place, and he went to sea, as most of his family had done for generations. He was captain of the ship "Senator" from 1850 til1 1860, when he became an acting master in the United States navy, and served as such, mostly in the North Atlantic blockading squadron during the civil war, until 1863. In his hours off duty at sea he learned and practiced short-hand writing. He became a reporter for the "World" newspaper in New York in 1869, and soon began to publish a series of short sea-stories entitled "An Old Sailor's Yarns." These attracted attention and gave him a name in literature. He was also the regular reporter of marine news and of yachting, and in this latter department was for many years the most expert writer connected with the New York press.
Two volumes of "An Old Sailor's Yarns" have been published (New York, 1878-'82), and "The America's Cup," giving an account of the international yachting contests (New York, 1885). He has also published a " History of American Yachting" in the monthly magazine "Outing," which was issued in book-form (New York, 1886).C0FFIN, Timothy Gardner, lawyer, born in Nantucket, Massachusetts, 1 November, 1788; died in New Bedford, Massachusetts, 19 September, 1854. He early engaged in a seafaring life, but, receiving severe injuries from a fall, turned his attention to the law. He was graduated at Brown in 1813, was admitted to the Bristol bar in 1816, and obtained the foremost rank in the profession, trying his intellectual strength against such opponents as Webster and Choate. He was judge advocate of Massachusetts militia under General Lincoln. As a nisi prius lawyer he had few equals.
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