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The handy dictionary of biography online

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DICTIONARIES of biography, as a rule, are bulky volumes, which
seek to be exhaustive and in so doing introduce hundreds of names
which not one person in a thousand is likely to look for, and in
many of these cases give little more information than the dates of
birth and death.

Such a work has its uses, but it is not adapted to ordinary family
purposes or the convenience of students who wish quickly to gain
information about some famous man. It is for this class of in-
quirers that the present work has been prepared. It is confined in
its scope to notable persons, those who have made their mark in
some field of the world's work, and w 7 hose names are likely to be
frequently met with in reading, its sketches being sufficiently long
to srive an intelligent idea of their careers. The aim has been to


combine accuracy of information with convenience in use and prac-
tical value for everyday purposes.

Special attention has been given to the names of individuals of
recent date, those who have won reputation in our own day, and
information concerning whom is not to be found in the older works.
This volume, we trust, will prove strictly up to date in this par-
ticular, and we oifer it to the public with the hope that it may
prove an acceptable addition to the list of handy books of ready


PHILADELPHIA, January 20, 1901.






Abbas, an uncle of Mohammed,
was born at Mecca about 566. At
first hostile to his nephew, he after-
ward became the leading defender
of his doctrines. He was the an-
cestor of the Abbasides, Caliphs at
Bagdad from 750 to 946. Died 652.

Abbas I., a sultan of Persia,
born in 1557, succeeded to the throne
in 1582. He was so successful in his
wars with the Turks as to gain the
title of Abbas the Great. He en-
forced peace among his unruly sub-
jects and was looked upon as a wise
and magnanimous sovereign. Died

Abbas Pasha, a viceroy of
Egypt, was born in 1831, and in 1841
was active in the Syrian wars of his
grandfather, Mehemet Ali. He suc-
ceeded his uncle, Ibrahim Pasha, in
1848, and proved a bigoted and sen-
sual ruler, and an obstacle to Egyp-
tian progress. Died 1854.

Abbe, Cleveland, an Ameri-
can meteorologist, was born at New
York, December 3, 1858. He studied
astronomy at Ann Arbor and Har-
vard, and was director of the Cincin-
nati Observatory 1868-73, inaugurat-
ing there daily weather reports, which
induced the United States Govern-
ment to undertake similar work. He
was meteorologist of the Signal Ser-
vice 1871-79, and subsequently of
the Weather Bureau, and in 1889
became professor of meteorology in
Columbian University, Washington.

Abbey, Edwin Austin, an
American artist, born at Philadel-

phia in 1852. He settled in England
in 1878, and became a member of
the Royal Academy. He illustrated
Herrick's Poems and other works.

Abbot, Ezra, an American
Biblical scholar, was born at Jackson,
Maine, in 1819. He graduated at
l Bowdoin College in 1840, became as-
sistant librarian at Harvard Univer-
sity in 1856, and professor of New
Testament criticism in 1872. His
most important work is The Author-
ship of the Fourth Gospel (1880),
which is very highly regarded by
Biblical students.

Abbot, George, Archbishop
of Canterbury, was born at Guilford,
England, in 1562. He was the son
of a cloth-worker, but was entered at
Balliol College, obtained a fellowship,
and, through the influence of Lord
! Buckhurst, rose to be Master of Uni-
versity College, Dean of Winchester,
and Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Uni-
versity. The Earl of Dunbar, a later
patron, raised him successively to
the sees of Lichfield, London, and
Canterbury. He was a narrow-
minded Calvin ist, and opposed alike
to Catholics and heretics, burning
two Arians and consenting to the tor-
ture of a clergyman. During his
later years he was almost superseded
in authority by Laud. He was one
of the translators of the Gospels and
of the book of Acts for King James'
version of the Bible. Died 1633.

Abbott, Charles, LORD TEN-
TERDEX, an eminent English judge,
was born at Canterbury in 1762. He




became a judge of theCom-t of Com-

mon Pleas in lSl(i ;mtl Lord Chief
Justice in ISIS, and was raised (o the
peerage in ISLV. His Treatise on the

/.in/ 1 of Mi-irhuiil .S'/(//>.< /;// Niv/mc// is
the standard authority on inaritiiue
law. hied 1S;>L'.

Abbott, Charles Conrad,
an American archffilogist and natti-
ralist, was horn at Trenton, Ncw.ler
sey, in 1S|:>. lie studied medicine,
became a professor at I he I'niversity
of Pennsylvania, and made a large
collection of Indian relics, some of
them claimed to he of primitive man
in America. lie wrote many vivid
sketches of natural scenery and sev-
eral novels.

Abbott, IMwin Abbott, an
Lnglish critical author, was horn at
London in ISoS. lie was head-mas-
ter of the City of London School,
18t)f>-Si). His works include his \\ ell-
known Shakesperian (inonnntr, /><<)/<
<tn<l /'.'s,sr.r, /'/( i /ic/.s' Inn'on, and a num-
ber of theological treatises.

Abbott, Jacob, an American
clergyman and author, \vas horn at
Ilallowell. Maine, in Iso.",. II.- he-
came a voluminous writer of books
for the oung, liis Ho/'o />V</.-x com-

prising 'JS volumes and 1 I
Boo&S .'>(' volumes. He wrote also
works of juvenile science and historv.
l>ied 1S7;V

Abbott, flobu Stcpbcns
Cabot, a brother of Jacob, was
born at r.runswick. Maine, in ISO").
He studied divinity, was a minister
in Worcester and Koxhurv. and wrote
various works of biography and his-
tory, most of which had a wide cir-
culation. His I/i.<toru <>f _Y< tjtolt'on
Bonaparte became popular for its ani-
mated style. hut is vitiated by extrav-
agant eulogy. The same mav lie said
of his tfapoh on III. 1 )ie,l 1877.

Abbott, L\ IMU1I, an American
clergyman, son of Jacob \hhott. was
horii at Ko\hnr\, Massachusetts, in
IS" lie was first a lawyer, but

became a CoimTe^ational minister in

IStio. and in 1888 succeeded Henry

M'ard I'eeeher as pa-tor of Plymouth

Church, Brooklyn. He became editor
of the C/irittiuii I'nioii in 1881, and
was the author of several religious

Abd-cl-K;ulcr, an Al^ei-iau
pati'iot, was born lit Mascara in 1807,
the descendant of a distinguished
family. After the invasion of Al-
geria by the I'Yeneh in 1S;>0 lie was
chosen as Lmir by the Arab tribes of
that country, and fought with such
skill and energy that the I'Yeneh were
obliged to make a treaty with him in
18)11, and he defeated a large army
at Makta in 18IJ.">. 1 1 is vigorous op-
position to the invaders continued

until 1817, when, in spite of his hero-
ism, valor, and strategic skill, he was
overwhelmed by numbers and forced
to surrender. He lived in honorable
captivity in France until IStVJ, when
he was released by order of Napoleon
111. He afterward resided, under
pension, in Turkey, and in iStiO was
etleetive in saving thousands of the
Christian population of Syria from
massacre by the Turks. He spent
his later years in composing religious
and philosophical works; hied May
IN;. iss:i.

Abd-cl-Malek, a Mohamme-
dan scholar of great celebrity, usually
called AI.ASM vi'K, was born at
sora about 710. His memory was so
extraordinary that he is said to have
known by heart more than 1 It, 000
poems. ETaroun-al-Raschid invited
him to Uag'hid ;md made him his

chief instructor. He died about 721.

The famous romance of A afar has
been ascribed to him.

Abd-cl-Moomon, the second
sultan of the line of Almohades, in
Africa, v\as born about 1100. He
was elected to tin- throne in lli'O,
fought many wars, in mo-t of which
he was highly successful, subdued all
his enemies in Western Africa, and

assumed the title of Caliph. He was

about to cross into Spain, to oppose
Alphonso \ HI. in his victorious
career, when he was taken sick, and
died in 11 (">.

Abd-cl-\Vabab, an Arabian



religious reformer, was born in the
province of Nejd in 1691. He pro-
posed to reform Mohammedanism,
which he claimed had become thor-
oughly corrupted. lie proclaimed
the equality of all men before God
and declared that it was a sin to pray
to departed saints or to honor their
relics. His teachings gave rise to
the sect known as \Yahabites. Died

Abd-er-Kaliiiiiiii III., sur-
named AN NASIK, the lirst Caliph of
< onlova, Spain, began to reign in
912, and brought the Mohammedan
empire in Spain to its highest glory.
He was distinguished both as a
warrior and a patron of art and learn-
ing, and one of his palaces near Cor-
dova was decorated with unexampled
magnificence. Died 9(51.

Abd - er - Rahman- Algha-
f'ekee, an Arab governor in Spain,
who in 732 invaded France with a
large army. Charles Martel met him
at Tours and defeated him, he being
killed in the battle. This victory
saved Europe from danger'of Moham-
medan conquest.

Abd-iil-Aziz, a Turkish sultan,
was born in 1830, and in 1861 suc-
ceeded his brother, Abd-ul-Medjid
(1823-61). His reign was greatly
disturbed by insurrections, and he
was deposed in 1876 by the Sheikh -
ul-lslam, and five days later was
found dead, the viclim probably of

Abd-ul-Hamid I., a sultan of

Turkey, was born in 1725, and suc-
ceeded his brother, Mustapha III., in
1774. He was twice defeated in wars
with Russia. Died 1789.

\ixl-nl-l iaini<i II., Sultan of
Turkey, son of Abd-ul-Medjid, was
born September 22, 1842. He suc-
ceeded his imlieeile brother, Moorad
V., in 1876, the country being then in-
volved in civil wars and insurrections,
which were followed by the Russian
war of 1877-78. As a' result of de-
feat in this war, Turkey lost largely
in territory. Other events of his
reign were; the Armenian massaeres

of 1894-96, the rising in Crete, 1895-
96, and the successful war with Greece
in 1897.

Al)d - ur - Rahman Khan,
Ameer of Afghanistan, nephew of the
late Ameer Shere Ali, was born about
1830, and in the civil war of 1864
won important victories against the
Ameer. In 1868 he was defeated and
forced to ily to Russian territory,
where he was pensioned by Russia
and given residence in Samarcand.
He returned in 1879, was chosen
Ameer by the leaders in Cabul, and
was acknowledged as such by the
British Government in India. He
strengthened his position by a firm
and vigorous administration. The
British Government won his favor by
an annual subsidy and large presents
of military stores.

Abelard, Pierre, a celebrated
French orator and writer, was born at
Le Pallet, near Nantes, in 1079.
After a period of study of the classi-
cal languages, he removed to Paris,
where he studied under William de
Champeaux, soon excelling his in-
structor as a debater and rhetorician.
He founded a school at Melun in
1101 which attracted scholars in large
numbers, and he afterward conducted a

j very successful school at Paris. About

; 1113 he began the study of theology
under Anselm at Laon. His brill-
iant reputation, joined with his arro-
gance and vanity, made him bitter
enemies, whose persecution drove him
from the town. Opening a school
again in Paris, he became more fa-
mous than ever ; but an unfortunate

1 attachment to one of his pupils, the
beautiful Heloise, led to his down-
fall. His marriage with Heloise,
after she had borne him a son, did
not end the persecution of his ene-

| rnies, and in the end he was driven to
become a monk, while Heloise took
the veil as a nun. Pupils soon fol-
lowed him to the hermitage to which
lie retired, and it became a monastic
school known as Paraclete. He sub-
sequently became abbot of St.. Gildas-
de-Rhuys in Brittany, but after leu



years of struggle with unruly monks
he fled to Clugny, where he became
a model of asceticism. The school
at Paraclete was given to Heloise and
a sisterhood. Still pursued by his
enemies, Abelard was accused of
heresies, and was found guilty by a
council at Sens and by the Pope.
While on his way to Rome to defend
himself, he died, April 21, 1142.
He was buried at Paraclete by Helo-
ise, whose remains were afterward
laid beside his. In 1800 their ashes
were taken to Paris, and in 1817 were
buried in a sepulchre at Pere la
Chaise. Abelard left many writings,
mainly dialectical or theological, ex-
cept his Letters to Heloise and his
History of (his) Misfortunes. His
works seem to show that he was
greatly overrated as a thinker ; but,
as Hallam says, he ' ' was almost the
first who awakened man, in the age
of darkness, to a sympathy with intel-
lectual excellence." Much of his re-
nown is due to his romantic history.

Abercorn, James Hamil-
ton, K. G., DUKE OF, Duke of Cha-
telherault, in France, the head of the
Scottish house of Hamilton, was born
in London, January 21, 1811, and was
educated at Christ Church, Oxford.
He was created a Knight of the Gar-
ter in 1844, and in 1866, being then
the Marquis of Abercorn, was ap-
pointed Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland,
and two years later, in recognition of
his very able administration, was
created Duke of Abercorn in the
peerage of Ireland. He retired from
the office of Lord-Lieutenant during
the same year, but was reappointed in
1874. He was in 1878 sent by the
Queen on a special mission to Rome,
to present King Humbert Avith the
Order of the Garter. Three of his
sons were elected members of the
House of Commons. In politics he
was a Conservative. Died 1885.

Abercrombie, James, an
English officer appointed in 1756,
with the rank of major-general, to
command against the French in
America. Two years later, with an

army amounting to 50,000 men, he
attempted to recover possession of
several important fortresses which
had been lost by the British ; but he
was defeated by the French, under
Montcalm, at Ticonderoga, in July,

[ 1758, and was soon after succeeded by
Lord Amherst.

Abercromby, Sir John, a
British general ; served in Egypt under
his father, Sir Ralph Abercromby,
and in 1810, while Governor of
Madras, captured Mauritius from the
French. Died about 1817.

Abercromby, Sir Ralph, a
British general ; born in Scotland in
1734 ; studied at the Universities of
Edinburgh and Leipsic ; entered the
army, and in 1773 became a member
of Parliament. He gained distinc-
tion in Holland under the Duke of
York as an able commander in the
various campaigns against the French
from 1793 to 1799, and for his ser-
vices was created, in 1795, Knight of
the Bath. In 1800 he was appointed
commander-in-chief of the British
forces in "Egypt, where, in 1801, he
was mortally wounded in battle against
the French, and expired soon after.
He possessed great bravery, military
talents of a high order, generosity,
and a fine sense of honor. He left
four sons, the first Lord Abercromby,
Sir John (mentioned above), Lord
Dunfermline, and Lieutenant-Colonel
Alexander Abercromby.

Abercromby, Sir Robert,
brother of the preceding, was ap-

| pointed commander-in-chief in British
India in 1792. He was successful in
subduing the Rohillas, and after
holding the office for about five years
returned to England, and was chosen a
member of Parliament. Died about

Aberdeen, George Hamil-
ton Gordon, EARL OF, a states-
man and diplomat; born in 1784; suc-
ceeded to the Scottish earldom of
Aberdeen at the age of eighteen. At
twenty he was chosen one of the rep-
resentative peers of Scotland. He
espoused the politics of the Tory



party, and was sent as an envoy to
Vienna in 1813. In the year follow-
ing he was created Viscount Gordon
in the peerage of the United King-
dom. He was Secretary of State for
Foreign Affairs in the Cabinets of the
Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert
Peel. He became Prime Minister of
England in 1852 ; was opposed to the
war with Russia, and for that reason
lost his popularity, and resigned his
office in 1855. Lord Palmerston suc-
ceeded him as Prime Minister. Died
December, 1860.

Abemetliy, John, a physi-
cian, surgeon, and anatomist ; born
in London, England, in 1764. He
studied medicine under the celebrated
John Hunter. He became chief sur-
geon of St. Bartholomew's Hospital,
London, and was very successful as a
lecturer on anatomy and surgery. By
his lectures, writings, and practice he
effected very beneficial and important
changes in the system of surgery. He
was also distinguished for his shrewd-
ness and eccentricity. Died 1831.

Aboo-Bekr, Abu-Bekr, or
Abou-Bekr, a Moslem leader and
Caliph ; born of the celebrated tribe
of Koreish in Arabia in 571 A. D.
He was one of the earliest and most
ardent of the converts of Moham-
med. Ayeshah, the daughter of Aboo-
Bekr, became the favorite Avife of that
prophet. Upon the death of Moham-
med, in 632 A. D., Aboo-Bekr was
elected his successor. Died 634.

Aboo - 1 - Abbas - Abclallah,
surnamed AS-SEFFAH, " The Shedder
of Blood," the twenty-second Caliph
of the Moslems and the first of the
Abbasside dynasty, was born at Damas-
cus about 720. As a descendant of
Abbas (before mentioned), he, with
his family, regarded the Caliphs of
the line of Ommeyyah as usurpers
and themselves as the only legitimate
princes. A revolt in favor of the
Abbassides occurred in the reign of
Merwan II., who had Ibraheem, the
brother of Aboo-1-Abbas-Abdallah,
put to death at Damascus. Aboo-1-
Abbas-Abdallah escaped to Koofah,

! where in 749 he was proclaimed Ca-
liph, and soon after gained a decis-
ive victory over Merwan, who fled to
Egypt, where he was slain. Although
the new Caliph was accused of hav-
ing put to death at least one hundred
members of the house of Ommeyyah,
against whom he had long cherished
a bitter hatred, he was otherwise re-

1 garded, by his subjects as well as by
historians, as a wise and generous
ruler. He was noted for his great per-
sonal beauty. Died 754.

Aboolfazl, a statesman and his-
torian, became Prime Minister to the
illustrious Akbar, Emperor of the
Moguls, in 1572. He held that posi-
tion until about the year 1600, when
he was assassinated. He was the
author of manv historical works of


great value, relating chiefly to the
reign and times of Akbar. As a
minister he was wise, liberal, and en-

Aboolfecla, an Arabian Prince
and military commander, the author
of several valuable Avorks on history
and science, \vas born of royal lineage
at Damascus about 1273. He was de-
prived of the crown of Hamah, the
heritage of his family, by Nasir, the
Sultan of Egypt and Syria, but was
subsequently created Prince of Hamah
by the same sovereign as a reward for
' distinguished military services. He
Avas esteemed by his contemporaries,
as Avell as by the writers of a later
period, as a man endowed with rare
genius, Avisdom, and courage. His
works exhibit extensive research and
careful study. Died 1331.

Aboo, Abu, or Abou, Mos-
lem, or Muslim, a Mohammedan
general; born about 720; rendered
conspicuous service in establishing
the Abbasside dynasty of Caliphs.
After subduing a powerful rebellion
against that house, he Avas treacher-
ously assassinated, in 755, by order of
Aboo-Jaafar, Avhose jealousy he had

Aboo, Abou, or Abu, So-
fiaii, Sopliiaii, or Sophyan, an
Arabian chief of the tribe of Koreish,



was for a long time a bitter opponent
rf Mohammed and his teachings, l>ut
finally embraced the laith of Islmn.
His son Moaweeyeh founded the dy-
nasty Ommeyyah and reigned ;is
Caliph at Damascus.

Aboo-Talib, or Aim Talif,
uncle of Mohammed and I'mlicr of
Ali, who was a distinguished Moslem
leader and the husband of Fat i ma.
only daughter of the Prophet. He
belonged to the tribe of Koreish.
Died about 620.

Ab o o -Y o o s u f- Ya k o ob,
Abu-Yusuf-Yakub, or Abou-
Yousouf-Yakoub, surnamed
ALMANSOOR,, "The Yitorious," was
born at Morocco in 1160, and suc-
ceeded his father, Aboo-Yakoob-Yoo-
suf, as Sultan of Africa and Spain, of
the Almohade dynasty, in 1184. After
subduing a number of insurrections in
Africa, he made three expeditions
into Spain and Portugal to avenge
his father's death, captured 40,000
prisoners of war, whom he sent to
Africa, reduced many important
towns and fortresses, and in 1195
gained a great and decisive victory
over the Christian forces, under King
Alfonso III., near Valencia. Died

About, Eclmoiitl-Fraiieois-
Valeiltin, a French author ; born at
Dieuze, February 14, 1828. He stud-
ied at the Lycee Charlemagne and
at the French School of Athens. He
contributed numerous articles to the
leading journals of Paris, and was the
author of a large number of works,
including novels, political treatises,
and general literary articles. In 1868
he became one of the contributors to
the Gaulois newspaper, and in 1872,
while on a visit to Strasburg, was ar-
rested by the Germans. He became
in 1873 the Paris correspondent of the
London Athenaeum.. Died 1885.

Aboville, cl% Francois Ma-
rie, COUNT, born at Brest, France,
in 1730 ; served as colonel with great
credit in the French army in America.
In 1781, at Yorktown, Ya., he gained
distinction as commander of the artil-

lery, and was promoted to the rank
of general about 1790. Under the
First KM i pi re he became Senator and
Inspector-General of Artillery. Died

Abrabanel, Abarbaiiel, or
Abrabaniel, Jsaae, a rabbi of
givni eminence, supposed i<> be a
direct descendant of David, King of
Israel, was born of a wealthy family
in Lisbon in 1437. He was the author
of several commentaries on the Scrip-
uires. His works evince a profound
knowledge of Hebrew theology, and
are admired for elegance of style.
Though at one period Abrabanel was
treated with great distinction at the
courts of Portugal and Spain, he suf-
fered severely from persecution in
those countries, and in 1492, after the
edict of banishment against the Jews
was promulgated by Ferdinand and
Isabella, went to Italy. Died in Yen-
ice, 1508.

an eccentric but popular Augustinian
monk, born in Swabia in 1644. His
sermons were marked by sharp and
homely satire, rude puns, and odd
freaks of humor; but there were
sound sense and reason under his ec-
centricities. His collected writings
embrace 21 volumes. Died 1709.

Abraiiclies, cle, Alvaro, a
patriot and nobleman of Portugal,
was a leader in the revolution of
1640, by which the Spaniards were
expelled from that country.

Abrantes, MARQUESS or, a poli-
tician of Portugal in the early part of
the nineteenth century. Implicated
in 1824 in the murder of the Marquess
of Louie, he was sentenced to banish-
ment. Died in England in 1827.

Abraiites, DUKE OF. See JUNOT.

Abrial, Joseph Andre, a
lawyer; born at Annonay, France, in
1750. In 1800 he was empowered by
the French authorities to form a re-
' publican government at Naples. He
performed the duties assigned to him
with great ability and success. He
held the rank of* Senator and Count
under Napoleon I., and was made a



peer of France by Louis XVIII.
Died 1828.

Abruzzi, Prince Ijiiigi
Amadeo, DUKE OF, an Italian
explorer, born in 1873, son of Ama-
deus, Duke of Aosta, and King of
Spain 1870-73. In 1897 he ascended
Mount St. Elias in Alaska, being the
first to reach its summit. In 1900 he
conducted an expedition to the Arctic
Ocean, and reached the latitude of
86 33' N., surpassing Nansen by 19'
of latitude.

Acevedo, or Azevedo, Felix
Alvarez, a Spanish commander
and leader of the revolutionists, in
1820 gained a victory over the royal-
ist forces near Minho. He was soon
after killed by the enemy, whom he

Online LibraryCharles MorrisThe handy dictionary of biography → online text (page 1 of 92)