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
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ASPINWALL, William H., merchant, born in New York City, 16 December 1807; died there, 18 January 1875. He was trained in the house of G. G. & S. Howland, his uncles, and taken into the firm in 1832. In 1837 the new firm of Howland & Aspinwall was established. This house had the largest Pacific trade of any firm in New York, besides doing an extensive business with the East and West Indies, England, and the Mediterranean. In 1850 he retired from the active management of the firm, and secured the contract for a line of mail steamers from the isthmus of Panama to California, and a concession from the government of New Granada for the construction of a railroad across the isthmus. The road was completed after many difficulties, and opened on 17 February 1855, the eastern terminus being named Aspinwall. Mr. Aspinwall was president of the Pacific mail steamship company until 1856. lie traveled much in the last twenty years of his life, and made an important collection of paintings, which were sold by his family in 1886.*His son, Lloyd, born in New York city in 1830, died in Bristol, Rhode Island, 4 September 1886, commanded the 22d New York militia in its three months' service before Gettysburg, had charge of the purchase of vessels for the Newbern expedition, was president of a board to revise army regulations, was General Burnside's aide at Fredericksburg, and after the war was a Brigadier-General in the national guard.
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