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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 Eustis

EUSTIS, William, governor of Massachusetts, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 10 June 1753; died in Boston, Massachusetts, 6 February 1825. He was graduated at Harvard in 1772, studied medicine under Dr. Joseph Warren, and entered the Revolutionary army as a regimental surgeon, serving throughout the war in that capacity, and also as hospital surgeon. For some years he was stationed opposite West Point, at the house of Colonel Beverly Robinson, where Arnold had his headquarters. After the close of the war he practiced his profession in Boston, and was a surgeon in the expedition against the insurgents in Shays's rebellion in 1786'7.

From 1788 till 1794 he was a member of the Massachusetts legislature, and was for two years councilor under Governor Sulliwm. In 1801'5 he was a representative in congress, having been chosen as a Democrat, and in 1807 was appointed secretary of war, which office he retained till 19 January 1813. In 1814 he was appointed minister to Holland, where he remained till 1818. After his return to the United States he was again elected to congress to fill a vacancy, and served from 1820 till 1823, when he was chosen governor of Massachusetts, and held that office till his death. The degree of LL.D. was conferred on him by Harvard in 1823.

His nephew, George Eustis, jurist, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 20 October 1796; died in New Orleans, La., 23 December 1858, was graduated at Harvard in 1815. He became private secretary to his uncle, Governor Eustis, then minister to the Hague, where he began his legal studies. He went to New Orleans in 1817, was admitted to the bar there in 1822, and served several terms in the state legislature. He was afterward secretary of the state, and, as a commissioner of the board of currency, instituted reforms that gave stability to the currency of the state. He was also attorney general of Louisiana, a member of the Constitutional convention of 1845, and chief justice of the Supreme Court till 1852. He received the degree of LL.D. from Harvard in 1859.

Another nephew, Abraham Eustis, soldier, born in Petersburg, Virginia, 28 March !786 ; died in Portland, Maine, 27 June 1843, was graduated at Harvard in 1804, studied law in the office of his relative, Chief Justice Parker, was admitted to the bar in 1807, and began practice in Boston. In 1808 he entered the army as captain of artillery, and became major in 1810. During the war of 1812 he served with distinction, and commanded a regiment in the capture of York, Upper Canada, in 1813. He was brevetted lieutenant colonel for meritorious services in 1813, became lieutenant colonel of the 4th artillery in 1822, brigadier general in 1834, and a few months later colonel of the 1st artillery.

George's son, George Eustis, congressman, born in New Orleans, La., 28 September 1828; died in Cannes, France, 15 March 1872, was educated at Jefferson College, La., and at Harvard Law School. He was elected to Congress as an American, and served from 1855 till 1859. He went to France as secretary of the Confederate legation, and remained there after the civil war. During the Franco Prussian war he voluntarily gave his services to the U. S. delegation in Paris.

Another son, James Biddle Eustis, senator, born in New Orleans, 27 August 1834. He received a classical education, was graduated at Harvard Law School in 1854, admitted to the bar in 1856, and practiced in New Orleans. When the civil war began he entered the Confederate army, and, after one year's service as judge advocate on the staff of General Magruder, was transferred to the staff of General Joseph Johnston, with whom he served till the close of the war. He then resumed practice in New Orleans, was elected a member of the legislature prior to the reconstruction acts, and was one of the committee sent to Washington to confer with President Johnson on Louisiana affairs. He was a member of the state House of Representatives in 1872, and was elected a member of the state senate for four years in 1874. He was chosen to the U. S. Senate as a Democrat in January 1876, to fill the vacancy, which, it was claimed, existed by failure of the senate to give the seat to P. B. S. Pinchback, who had been elected in 1873. Only three Republicans took part in the election, on the ground that no vacancy existed, and Mr. Eustis was not given his seat till late in 1877, serving till 1879. He then became professor of civil law in the University of Louisiana, but in 1884 was again elected to the U. S. Senate for the full term of six years.

Abraham's son, Henry Lawrence Eustis, engineer, born at Fort Independence, Boston, Massachusetts, 1 February 1819; died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 11 January 1885, was graduated at Harvard in 1838, and in that year was appointed to the U. S. military academy, where he was graduated at the head of his class in 1842. He was then assigned to the engineer corps, and ordered to Washington as assistant to the chief engineer. He assisted in the construction of Fort Warren and Lovell's Island seawall, in Boston harbor, in 1843'5, and during the following two years was connected with engineering operations in Newport harbor. In 1847 he was made the principal assistant professor of engineering at West Point, but resigned in 1849 in order to become professor of engineering in Harvard, and organized that department in the Lawrence scientific school there, and held this office until his death. He was dean of the scientific faculty from 1871 till 1885. In the civil war he was colonel of the 10th Massachusetts volunteers, and served at Williamsport, Fredericksburg, Mary Heights, Salem, Gettysburg, Rappahannock Station, Mine Run, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, and many minor actions. He was brevetted brigadier general of volunteers on 12 September 1868, and resigned on 27 June 1864, owing to impaired health. He returned to his College duties in Cambridge in 1864. He was a member of various learned societies, to whose transactions he contributed papers, and also wrote reports and technical articles.

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