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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KINNEY, William Burnet, journalist, born in Speedwell, Morris County, New Jersey, 4 September, 1799; died in New York city, 21 October, 1880. His grandfather, Sir Thomas Kinney, came to this country before the Revolution to explore the mineral resources of New Jersey. William Burnet received a good education, and subsequently studied law under Joseph C. Hornblower. In 1820 he began the life of an editor in Newark, New Jersey, which, with one or two interruptions, he continued to lead until his appointment, in 1851, as United States minister to Sardinia. Prior to this event he had been conspicuous in various public capacities, and among them as a delegate, in 1844, to the Baltimore Whig convention, where he was largely instrumental in securing the nomination of his friend, Theodore Frelinghuysen, for the vice presidency, with Henry Clay. While minister at Turin he discussed with Count Cavour and other eminent men of the kingdom of Sardinia the movement for the unification of Italy. He rendered also, at the same time, important services to Great Britain, for which he received an acknowledgment in a special despatch from Lord Palmerston. When the United States government offered to transport Kossuth to the United States in a national ship, detached from the Mediterranean squadron, Mr. Kinney made himself acquainted with the aims and purposes of the Hungarian exile, and gave prompt instructions to the commander, and information to his own government, of the objects of the fugitive. Daniel Webster, who was at that time secretary of state, thwarted Kossuth's philanthropic but impracticable efforts to enlist the United States in a foreign complication. On the expiration of his term of office he removed from Turin to Florence, where he devoted much of his time to making additions to the new information, which his post had enabled him to acquire, relative to the Medici family, with a view to producing a historical work, which promised to be of great importance, but he did not live to accomplish it.--His wife, Elizabeth Clementine, poet, born in New York city, 18 December, 1810, is the daughter of David L. Dodge, of New York city. Her first husband was Edmund B. Stedman, a merchant of Hartford, Connecticut She has contributed to periodical literature, and has published "Felicita, a Metrical Romance" (New York, 1855); " Poems" (1867); and "Bianca Cappello," a tragedy founded on Italian history, and written during her residence abroad (1873).
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