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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JACKSON, William, financier, born in Newton, Massachusetts, 2 September, 1783; died there, 26 February, 1855. He received a common school education, and was trained to mercantile life. He was a member of the state house of representatives from 1829 till 1832, and in the latter year was elected to congress as a Whig. He was re-elected for the following term, but declined a second re-nomination. He was one of the earliest promoters of railroads in Massachusetts, delivering an address to the legislature in favor of the new method of locomotion, which was derisively received. Subsequently he delivered the address in various cities of New England, awakening an interest in railroads, and when their construction was begun superintended the works on the Boston and Worcester, Boston and Albany, and other lines. He was a pioneer in the temperance movement and an early opponent of slavery, being one of the founders of the Liberty party, which was afterward merged into the Free-soil party. From 1848 till his death he was the president of the Newton bank.
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