Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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LARNED, William Augustus, educator, born in Thompson, Connecticut, 23 June, 1806; died in New Haven, Connecticut, 3 February, 1862. He was graduated at Yale in 1826, taught for two years in Salisbury, North Carolina, was a tutor at Yale for the next three years, and then pursued the theological course. He was settled in 8 pastoral charge at Millbury, Massachusetts, in May, 1834, but resigned in the autumn of 1835, on account of failing health, and associated himself with the Reverend Dr. Nathaniel S. S. Beman in a theological school that was established in Troy, New York, teaching Hebrew and Greek until the institution was discontinued in 1839. In that year he succeeded Chauncey A. Goodrich in the professorship of rhetoric and English literature at Yale, which post he held till his death. He was a constant contributor to the "New Englander," and in 1854 and 1.855 acted as its editor. In the later years of his life he prepared and printed, but did not publish, a valuable edition of the "Oration of Demosthenes on the Crown," with philological and rhetorical notes.--His sister. Ellen Douglas, born in Thompson, Connecticut. 13 July, 1825, has assisted in compiling several genealogies, family histories, and historical sketches, is the author of a "History of Windham County, Connecticut" (Worcester, 1874; new ed., 1880), and of a "History of the Town of Woodstock, Connecticut" (1887).--His half-brother, Joseph Gay Eaton, lawyer, born in Thompson, Connecticut, 29 April, 1819; died in New York city, 3 June, 1870, was graduated at Yale in 1839, taught in Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina, for a year and a half, studied law, taught in Waterloo, New York, and in 1842 became a tutor at Yale. In 1847 he resigned the tutorship, was admitted to the bar, and began practice in New Haven. In 1852 he removed to New York city. He was especially familiar with the law of patents, and became interested in the development of certain inventions. In 1855 he engaged in the manufacture of steam fire-engines of a design that was invented mainly by himself, and was the first used in New York city. In introducing them he overcame strong opposition. In 1863 he was appointed by the United States government assistant inspector of iron-clads, and until the end of the war supervised the work in the Brooklyn navy yard. He subsequently resumed legal practice. He was one of the founders of the Free-soil party in Connecticut, and in 1845 contributed to the " New Englander" a series of articles on " Massachusetts vs. South Carolina." During the later years of his life he interested himself in genealogical subjects, and compiled records of his ancestors which formed the basis of "The Learned Family," by William L. Learned (Albany, 1882).
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