Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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GATES, Seth Merrill, lawyer, born in Winfield, Herkimer County, New York, 16 October, 1800; died in Warsaw, New York, 24 August, 1877. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1827, and began practice in Le Roy. He was elected to the state legislature in 1832, but declined a re-election. During this session he was instrumental in procuring a charter for the first railroad in western New York, being a portion of the present New York Central. In 1838 he purchased the "Le Roy Gazette," which he edited for several years. He was elected to congress in 1838, and re-elected in 1840. Oil the expiration of his congressional service, he removed to Warsaw, and continued his law-practice. On account of his hostility to slavery, a reward of $500 was offered by a southern planter for his "delivery in Savannah, dead or alive." In 1848 he was the Free-soil candidate for lieutenant governor of New York, but was defeated. He drew up the protest of the Whig members of congress in 1843 against the annexation of Texas, erroneously attributed in several histories to Mr. Adams's pen; and the correspondence between Mr. Gates and ex-President John Quincy Adams, who signed the protest, is still in the possession of his son.--His son, Merrill Edwards, educator, born in Warsaw, New York, 6 April, 1848, was graduated at the University of Rochester in 1870. He became principal of the Albany academy in 1870, president of Rutgers College (shown in the engraving), New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1882, and in 1884 a member of the United States board of Indian commissioners. He has lectured in the cities of New Jersey and New York on educational topics. The degree of Ph. D. was conferred upon him by the University of New York in 1880, and LL. D. by Princeton in 1882.
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