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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HUNT, Washington, governor of New York, born in Windham, New York, 5 August, 181l; died in New York city, 2 February, 1867. He received a common school education, began to study law at the age of eighteen, and was admitted to the bar in 1834 at Lockport, New York, where he began practice. In 1836 he was appointed first judge of Niagara county. He was elected to congress as a Whig in 1842, and twice re-elected, serving from 4 December, 1843, to 3 March, 1849. In 1849 he was elected comptroller of the state, and in 1850 was chosen governor, defeating Horatio Seymour, the Democratic candidate. In 1852 he was again a candidate for the governorship, but was beaten by Seymour. He then retired to his farm near Lockport. In 1856 he was temporary chairman of the Whig national convention, which was the last one ever held. After the dissolution of the party he became a Democrat, and in 1860 was tendered the Democratic nomination for vice president of the United States, but declined. He was a delegate to the Chicago convention in 1864, and to the National union convention of 1866. Mr. Hunt was prominent in the counsels of the Protestant Episcopal church, and a frequent delegate to its conventions. -His brother, Edward Bissell, military engineer, born in Livingston county, New York, 15 June, 1822, died in Brooklyn, New York, 2 October, 1863, was graduated at the United States military academy in 1845, entered the corps of engineers, was commissioned as 2d lieutenant in December, 1845, and was employed as assistant professor of civil and military engineering at West Point in 1846-'9, afterward in the coast survey, and in the construction of fortifications and lighthouses. He became a captain on 1 July, 1859, while engaged in the construction of defensive works at Key West, and was instrumental in preventing the forts of southern Florida from falling into the hands of the Confederates at the beginning of the civil war. In 1862 he served as chief engineer of the department of the Shenandoah. He was subsequently employed in erecting fortifications on Long Island sound, and in April, 1862, was detailed to perfect and construct a battery for firing under water, which was invented by him, and which he called the "sea miner." He was promoted major on 3 March, 1863. While making experiments with his submarine battery, he was suffocated by the escaping gases, and killed by falling into the hold of the vessel. He married a daughter of Professor Nathan W. Fiske. (See JACKSON, HELEN MARIA FISKE.) He contributed papers to the "Transactions" of the American association for the advancement of science, and to several literary and scientific periodicals.
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