Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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DALTON, Tristram, senator, born in the part of the town of Newbury that afterward became Newburyport, Massachusetts, 28 May 1738 ; died in Boston, Massachusetts, 30 May 1817. He was prepared for College in Dummer academy, Byfield, under Samuel Moody, and graduated at Harvard in 1755. He then studied law, but engaged in mercantile pursuits with his father-in-law, Robert Hooper, and attend- ed to his large estate, called Spring Hill, in West Newbury. He was an ardent patriot, and a leader of the Whigs of Essex County, among whom were many notable men. He was distinguished for his elegance of manners and scholarly accomplishments, and entertained Washington, Adams, Talleyrand, and other famous persons at Spring Hill. He was a delegate from Massachusetts to the convention of committees of the New England provinces that met in Providence, R. I., 25 December 1776, speaker of the House of Representatives, and a member of the senate of Massachusetts, and was chosen a senator in the 1st congress, and drew the lot for the short term, serving from 14 April 1789, till 3 March 1791. Following the advice of his friend, President Washington, he sold his property in Massachusetts to invest in real estate in Washington; but through the mismanagement of his agent he lost a great part of the sum thus invested, and commercial losses that occurred at the same time reduced him to poverty. In 1815 he obtained the post of surveyor of the port of Boston, which he held until his death.
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