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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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William Duane

DUANE, William, journalist, born near Lake Champlain, New York, in 1760; died in Philadelphia, 24 November 1835. He was educated in Ireland, learned the business of printing, and in 1784 went to India, where he amassed property rapidly, and became editor of a journal entitled " The World." Having taken sides against the local government in a dispute with some of its troops, he was invited by the governor, Sir John Shaw, to breakfast, and while on the way to meet the appointment was seized by Sepoys, put on board a vessel, carried to England, and his large fortune confiscated. After vainly petitioning parliament and the East India Company for redress, he became editor of the "General Advertiser" (which was subsequently merged in the " London Times ").

In 1795 he returned to this country and became editor of the Philadelphia "Aurora," making it the leading organ of the Democratic Party. Jefferson attributed his election to the presidency to its vigorous support, and appointed Mr. Duane a lieutenant colonel in July 1805. He served in the war of 1812'15 as adjutant general, his commission dating in March 1813. The change of the seat of government to Washington diminished the political importance of the "Aurora," and Mr. l)uane retired from its editorship in 1822, traveled through the republics of South America, and on his return he published "A Visit to Columbia in 1822'3" (Philadelphia, 1826). He was appointed prothonotary of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania for the eastern district, an office which he retained until his death. He published "The Mississippi Question " (Philadelphia, 1803); a "Military Dictionary" (1810); "An Epitome of the Arts and Sciences" (1811); a "tIandBook for Riflemen" (1813); " Hand Book for Infantry" (1813); and "American Military Library" (1819).

His son, William John Duane, born in Calomel, Ireland, in 1780; died in Philadelphia, 27 September 1865, was originally a printer, afterward a paper dealer. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1815, and often represented Philadelphia in the legislature. He became a distinguished lawyer, took a deep interest in schools, and was a trustee and subsequently a director in Girard College. During his father's editorship of the "Aurora" he was his assistant, became secretary of the U. S. treasury in 1833, and was removed by President Jackson for declining to order the removal of the deposits from the U. S. bank. He published "The Law of Nations Investigated " (Philadelphia, 1809);" Letters on Internal Improvements" (1811); and " Narrative and Correspondence concerning the Removal of the Deposits "(1838).

William Duane, son of William John Duane, born in Philadelphia in 1807, has published "Christopher Marshall's Diary," edited (1839; new ed., 1849); "A View of the Relation of Landlord and Tenant in Pennsylvania " (1844); "Coffee, Tea, and Chocolate," translated from the French (1846); "Law of Roads, Highways, Bridges, and Ferries in Pennsylvania" (1848); and " Canada and the Continental Congress" (1850).

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