John Howard Brown.

Lamb's biographical dictionary of the United States; online

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Democratic state organization led by Silas
Wright, Edwin Croswell, Peter Cagger, Dean
Richmond and others. The defeat of the party
in 1840 terminated his official life for the time
and he engaged as editor-in-chief of The Northern
Light, 1841-43. He was elected to the state
assembly in 1841 and spent 1843-44 in Madeira,
Spain and Italy. In 1845 the Democratic legisla-
ture of New York elected him U.S. senator for
the unexpired term of Senator Silas Wright, who
had been elected governor of New York. Upon
the resignation of Senator Wright, Governor
Bouck, on Dec. 1, 1844, had appointed Henry
Allen Foster to fill the vacancy, and in January,
1845, Dix took the seat, completing the term
March 8, 1849. In the U.S. senate he advocated
holding the territory of Mexico until the govern-
ment of that country would make a satisfactory
treaty of peace and fix an acceptable boundary,
and was chairman of the committee on science.
In 1848 he became the Free-soil Democratic can-
didate for governor of New York and was de-
feated in the election by Hamilton Fish. He
was the first choice of President Pierce for secre-
tary of state, but political pressure prevented the
nomination and he was made assistant treasurer
of the United States at New York in 1853, with
the understanding that he should be appointed
U.S. minister to France. This promise was not,
however, carried out by the President and Mr.
Dix resigned the treasurership and visited Europe
with his family. He supported Buchanan and
Breckenridge in the presidential campaign of
1856 and Breckenridge and Lane in 1860. Presi-



dent Buchanan appointed him postmastei* of
New York in place of Isaac V. Fowler, defaulter,
in 1860. He declined the portfolio of war and
accepted that of the treasury, Jan. 9, 1861, suc-
ceeding Philip F. Thomas of Maryland, whom
the President had appointed on the resignation
of Howell Cobb, and he served till the close of
the Democratic administration. It was while at
the head of the treasury department that he sent
his historic message to Lieutenant Caldwell at
New Orleans, La., to arrest the commander of
the revenue cutter, adding to the message : " If
any one attempts to haul down the American
flag, shoot him on the spot." He was president
of the Union defence committee of New York
city from its formation in 1861 and on April 34,
1861, he presided over the great meeting in
Union Square, New York, which determined the
attitude of that municipality and of the entire
north in reference to supporting the new admin-
istration. He organized and sent to the field
seventeen regiments of state militia and was
appointed by Governor Morgan one of the four
major-generals to command the state troops.
He was commissioned major-general, U.S. volun-
teers, by President Lincoln in June, 1861, and
General Scott ordered him to the command of
the department of Arlington and Alexandria,
Va. , but political favoritism succeeded in trans-
ferring him, July 20, 1861, to the less important
post of the department of Maryland, which, after
the battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861, became the
base of operations on the Potomac and the key
to the military situation. General Dix's energy
and military judgment stamped out secession
sentiment in Baltimore and all of Maryland. In
May, 1862, he was transferred to the command
of Fort Monroe, Va. He declined the nomination
for governor of New York, offered him by the
Federal Union central committee, Oct. 20, 1862.
He was in command of the 7th army corps
of 10,000 men, in the movement up the York
river to the White House, in June, 1863, where
he succeeded in cutting off Lee's line of commu-
nication with the Confederate capitol and in
destroying bridges, capturing Confederate troops,
including Gen. W. H. F. Lee, and obtaining con-
trol of the whole country between the Pamunkey
and the Rappahannock rivers. At this juncture,
when the city of Richmond was almost within
his grasp, General Dix was ordered to fall back
and send all his available troops to the defence of
Washington and the Pennsylvania borders, then
threatened by the combined Confederate forces.
This order from General Halleck was dated July
3, 1863, and was promptly complied with. At
the same time a draft was ordered in New York
and the draft riots, made possible by the with-
drawal of the state militia to prevent the inva-

sion of the northern states by the Confederate
army, had taken place. General Dix was ordered
to supersede Gen. J. E. Wool as commander of
the department of the east, and his energetic
action prevented further disturbance and re-
stored business confidence in the metropolis. He
continued in command till the close of the war,
when he accepted the presidency of the Union
Pacific railroad company. In 1866 he was ap-
pointed by President Johnson U.S. naval officer
at New York and the same year U.S. minister to
France to relieve John Hay, charg§ d'affaires at
that court. He returned to America on the
accession of President Grant in 1869. In 1872 he
was elected by the Republican party governor of
the state of New York. He was defeated of re-
election in 1874, largely through political intrigue
in the party. He was married. May 29, 1826, to
Catherine, niece and adopted daughter of John
Jordan Morgan of New York, and two of their
seven children survived him, one of these being
the Rev. Morgan Dix, rector of Trinity church.
His civil offices include: vestryman of Trinity
church, comptroller of Trinity corporation, dep-
uty of the general convention of the Protestant
Episcopal church, an original trustee of the
Astor library by appointment of John Jacob
Astor, president of the Mississippi & Missouri
railway company (1853), first president of the
Union Pacific railroad company (1863-68), and
president of the Erie railway company (1872).
He received the honorary degree of LL.D. from
Union in 1873, and was honorary chancellor of
the coUege in 1874. His published works include :
Besources of the City of New Toi^k (1827) ; Decisions
of the Superintendents of Common Schools (1837);
A Winter in Madeira and a Summer in Spain and
Florence (1850, 5th ed., 1853); Speeches and Occa-
sional Addresses (2 vols., 1864) ; Dies Irce, transla-
tion (1863, rev. ed., 1875); and Stahat Mater,
translation (1868). His memoir written by his
son, the Rev. Morgan Dix, was published in
1883. He died in New York city, April 21, 1879.
DIX, Morgan, clergyman, was born in New
York city, Nov. 1, 1827 ; son of John Adams and
Catharine (Morgan) Dix. On the father's side
the family is of English stock and on his mother's,
of Welsh. He attended the schools of Albany,
N.Y., but did not prepare for college until his
return from a tour of Italy, Madeira and Spain
in 1844. He was graduated at Columbia college
in 1848 and studied law, but deciding to enter
the ministry he was graduated at the General
theological seminary in 1852. He was ordained a
deacon in 1852 and admitted to the priesthood in
1854. He served as assistant to the Rev. Joseph
Wilmer at St. Mark's, Philadelphia, 1853-54,
visited Europe in 1854-55 for study and travel,
and returning to New York became assistant




minister in Trinity parish in September, 1855.
In 1859 he was made assistant rector of Trinity-
church and on the death of the Rev. Dr. Berrien
was chosen rector of the parish, the largest in
America, Nov. 10, 1862. He was a delegate to
the several general conventions of the P.E.

church and was pres-
ident of the liouse of
deputies at the gen-
eral convention after
the convention in
Chicago in October,
1886; was a member
of the Choral society
under Doctor Hodges
that introduced the
first choral service
ever held in New
York ; was a trustee of
Columbia college and
university from 1862,
of the General theo-
logical seminary from 1863, and chairman of its
standing committee, and a trustee of Hobart
college from 1862. He became a trustee ex officio
of Sailor's Snug Harbor and of the Leake and
Watt's orphan asylum; also a trustee of the
House of Mercy, of the Society for promoting
religion and learning, and of the Church orphan
home ; vice-president of the New York Protestant

Episcopal pub-
lic school, and
of the society
for the preven-
tion of cruelty
to animals. He
received from
Columbia the
degree of A.M.
in 1851 and that
of S.T.D. in
1862; from the
University of
the South that
of D.C.L. in
1885, and from
Princeton that
of S.T.D. in
1896. His pub-
lished works in-
clude: Commentaries on St. Paul's Epistle to the
Romans (1864), to the Galatians and Colossians
(1865); Lectures on Pantheism (1865); Lectures on
the Two Estates, The Wedded in the Lord and the
Single for the Lord's Sake (1872) ; Sermons, Doc-
trinal and Practical (1878) ; Memoirs of John A. Dix
(2 vols., 1883) ; The First Prayer Book of King Ed-
ward VI. (1881.4th ed., 1885); The Calling of a
Christian Woman and Her Training to Fulfill It


(1883, 6th ed., 1885) ; Gospel and Philosophy (1886) ;
The Sacramental System (1893); History of the
Parish of Trinity Church in the City of New York

DIXON, Archibald, senator, was born in Cas-
well county, N.C., April 2, 1802; son of Wynn
Dixon and grandson of Col. Henry Dixon, both
Revolutionary soldiers. He was removed with
his father's family to Henderson county, Ky. , in
1805, where he was admitted to the bar in 1824.
He was elected a representative in the state legis.
lature in 1830, a state senator in 1836, and again
a state representative in 1841. In 1843 he was
elected lieutenant-governor of Kentucky and in
1848 was the Whig candidate for governor, but
withdrew in favor of John J. Crittenden. He
was a delegate to the Constitutional convention
of 1849 and was named by the faction of the
Whig party opposed to gradual emancipation, as
candidate for governor in 1851. The emancipa-
tionists nominated Cassius M. Clay, and Lazarus
W. Powell, the Democratic candidate, secured
the election. In 1852 he was elected U.S. senator
to fill the unexpired term of Henry Clay, de-
ceased, and he completed his term, March 4, 1855.
He was a delegate to the peace convention in
1863 held at Frankfort, Ky. He died at Hender-
son, Ky., April 23, 1876.

DIXON, Brandt Van Blarcom, educator, was
born at Paterson, N.J., Feb. 27, 1850. His
father's family removed in 1858 to St. Louis,
Mo., where he was prepared for college at the
public and private schools. He entered Amherst
college in 1866, and Cornell university in 1869,
and was graduated from the latter in 1870. He
was principal of the Bellevue collegiate institute,
Caledonia, Mo., in 1870; principal of St. Louis
grammar school, 1870-73; assistant principal of
St. Louis Central high school, 1873-85, and prin-
cipal, 1885-87. He was called to New Orleans
by the administrators of the Tulane educational
fund in 1887, directed the establishment of the
H. Sophie Newcomb memorial college, and be-
came its president. He was at the same time
appointed to the chair of metaphysics in Tulane

DIXON, Charles Edward, educator, was born
in Port Byron, N. Y., April 8, 1864; son of Edward
J. and Eleanor Elizabeth (Southworth) Dixon.
He was graduated at De Pauw university in
1888 ; was an instructor in Latin in the prepara-
tory school of De Pauw university, 1886-91, and
in the summers of 1890 and 1891 took charge of
the Latin department in the Summer school at
Bay View, Mich. In the fall of the latter year
he accepted the chair of Latin in Olivet college,
Mich., which he held till 1895. He was fellow in
the University of Chicago, 1895-98, but spent the
first year of this period in study at the American



school for classical studies in Rome, travelling
also in Greece, and most of the year following in
study at the libraries of France and Italy. He
was married in 1893 to Alma Dahl.

DIXON, James, senator, was born in Enfield,
Conn., Aug. 5, 1814; son of Judge William Dixon.
He was graduated from Williams college in 1834,
studied law in his father's office in Enfield and
practised with him until 1837, when he removed
to Hartford and formed a partnership with E. E.
Ellsworth. He was married in 1840 to Eliza-
beth L., daughter of the Rev. Jonathan Cogswell.
He represented his town in the state legislature
in 1837, 1838 and 1844, and his district in the 29th
and 30th congresses, 1845-49, as a Whig; and
was a state senator, 1849-54. He was president
of the Whig state convention in 1854, and was
elected a U.S. senator in 1857 and re-elected in
1863, serving, 1857-69. He supported the adminis-
trations of Presidents LincoLu and Johnson with
equal loyalty, and refused to join the majority
of his party in the movement to impeach Presi-
dent Johnson. He withdrew from public life in
1869, having refused the mission to Russia offered
him by President Johnson. He travelled exten-
sively in Europe chiefly for recreation and de-
voted himself to literary work and study. He
■ received the degree of A.M. from Williams in
1837 and that of LL.D. from Trinity in 1863.
His poems are included in Poets of Connecticut and
in Leigh Hunt's Book of the Sonnet., and he was a
contributor both in prose and verse to the New
England and other magazines and periodicals.
He died in Hartford, Conn., March 37, 1873.

DIXON, Joseph, inventor, was born in Marble-
head, Mass., Jan. 18, 1799. He was self-educated
and early displayed remarkable mechanical in-
genuity. His first invention, a machine for
cutting files, was made in 1820. He learned the
trade of printer, lithographer and wood engraver,
and later studied medicine and became an expert
chemist. He also studied photography and in
1839 followed up the experiments of Daguerre
and succeeded in taking portraits by the camera,
applying a reflector to the camera to prevent the
reversed position before obtained, which Prof.
S. F. B. Morse undertook to have patented for
him in England. He built the first double-crank
engine and applied it to the locomotion of the
engine itself. He first used the process of trans-
ferring on stone, used in lithography. He also
invented photo-lithography long before it was
believed to be of any particular value, and when
he found that by it banknotes could readily be
counterfeited, he invented and patented the use
of colored inks in printing banknotes so as to
prevent counterfeiting. His process was used
by all the banks, but without compensation to
himself. He perfected the process of making

collodion for use in photography and claimed to
have first discovered anti-friction metal, after-
ward known as "Babbitt metal." He first
demonstrated the practicability of melting steel.
He invented the plumbago or graphite crucible
and established a factory for its manufacture at
Salem, Mass. , in 1827, removing it to Jersey City,
N.J., in 1847, where it grew to be the largest of
the kind in the world. He also used graphite in
the making of lead pencils. He died in Jersey
City, N.J., June 17, 1869.

DIXON, Nathan Fellows, senator, was born in
Plainfield, Conn., Dec. 13, 1774; son of William
and Priscilla (Denison) Dixon. He was gradu-
ated from Brown university in 1799, was admitted
to the bar and settled in Rhode Island, beginning
practice at Westerly in 1803. He was a member
of the general assembly of the state, 1813-30, and
a senator in congress, 1839^3, and died while in
office, at Washington, D.C., Jan. 39, 1843.

DIXON, Nathan Fellows, representative, was
born in Westerly, R.I., May 1, 1813; son of
Nathan Fellows and Elizabeth (Palmer) Dixon;
and grandson of William and Priscilla (Denison)
Dixon. He was graduated from Brown univer-
sity in 1833; was admitted to the bar in 1837,
and w^as elected a representative in the 31st con-
gress in 1848, serving 1849-51 and having a place
on several important committees. In 1843 he
was chosen a member of the governor's council
and was a presidential elector in 1844. He served
as a member of the general assembly of the state,
1840-49, 1851-53, 1855-63, and 1872-77. He again
represented his state in congress, 1863-71, serving
in the 38th, 39th, 40th and 41st congresses. He
was married to Harriet Swan. He died in West-
erly, R.I., April 11, 1881.

DIXON, Nathan Fellows, senator, was born
in Westerly, R.I., Aug. 28, 1847; son of Nathan
Fellows and Harriet (Swan) Dixon. He was
graduated from Brown university in 1869, from
the Albany law school in 1871, was admitted to
the bar in the latter year, and practised in
Westerly, R.I. He was appointed by President
Grant United States district attorney for Rhode
Island in 1877, and was reappointed in 1881 by
President Garfield, serving till 1885, when he
was elected representative in the 48th congress
to fill the unexpired term of Jonathan Chase,
who liad been elected a United States senator.
He was a state senator, 1885-89, and a candidate
for nomination as representative in the 49th con-
gress, but withdrew when upon the first ballot
there was no choice. He was elected, April 10,
1889, United States senator, to succeed Jonathan
Chase, resigned. He took his seat, Dec. 3, 1889,
and on the completion of his term of service,
March 3, 1895, he resumed the practice of the law
at Westerly, R.I., where he died, Nov. 8, 1897.




DIXON, Samuel Gibson, scientist, was born
in Philadelphia, Pa., March 23, 1851; son of Isaac
and Ann (Gibson) Dixon; grandson of Isaac and
Margaret (Roberts) Dixon, and of John and
Sarah (Jones) Gibson, and a descendant of
Nathan Dixon, who settled in 1721 at the home-
stead in Philadelphia,
and also a descendant
of Paul Jones. He
was educated at the
Friends school in his
native city, by pri-
vate tutors, and by
European study and
travel. In 1877 he
was admitted to the
bar, but was subse-
quently compelled to
abandon his profes-
sion because of ill
health. In 1886 he
was graduated from
the medical department of the University of
Pennsylvania, spent the years 1886-87 in Europe,
and in 1888 was elected professor of hygiene in
the medical department and dean of the auxiliary
department of medicine in the University of
Pennsylvania. He returned to Europe in 1889 to
pui'sue special studies, spending the greater part
of his time in the laboratories of King's college,
London, and in Pettenkoffer's laboratory, Mu-
nich. He withdrew from the University of
Pennsylvania to accept the charge of the advance
work in bacteriology in the Academy of natural
sciences of Philadelphia and was elected ex-
ecutive curator in 1892 and president of that in-
stitution in 1895. He was also made professor of
histology and microscopic technology in the
academj', a member of the board of public
education of Philadelphia, vice-president of the
Pennsylvania society for the prevention of
tuberculosis, vice-president of the Ludwick in-
stitute, Philadelphia, a director of the Philadel-
phia zoological society, and a member of the
American philosophical society, the Pennsyl-
vania medical society, the Pennsylvania histori-
cal society, the American archaeological and
Asiatic association, the College of physicians,
the Pennsylvania hospital, and other scientiiic
and social organizations. In the Medical News of
Oct. 19, 1889, he published his discovery on the
establishing of immunity against tuberculosis.
He is the author of other learned contributions
to medical and hygienic science published in
leading periodicals.

DIXON, William Wirt, representative, was
born in Brooklyn, N.Y., June 3, 1838. He was
taken by his parents to lUmois in 1843 and to
Keokuk, Iowa, in 1849, and was admitted to the


bar in the latter place in 1858. After brief periods
spent in Tennessee and Arkansas he went to
California in 1862 and thence in the same year to
Humboldt county, Nevada. In 1866 he removed
to Montana, residing in Helena, Deer Lodge, and
finally Butte City. He was a member of the leg-
islative assembly of Montana Territory, 1871-
72 ; of the constitutional conventions of Montana
of 1884 and 1889, and a Democratic represent-
ative at large from Montana in the 52d congress,

DIXSON, Zella Allen, librarian, was born in
Zanesville, Ohio, Aug. 10, 1858; daughter of
Josiah Buffett and Mary Caroline (Blandy)
Allen. She completed the course in the Zanes-
ville high school, studied at Putnam seminary,
and was graduated at Mt. Holyoke college, Mass.,
in 1880. She was mar-
ried in 1881 to Joseph
Ehrman Dixson of
Dayton, Ohio. Mr.
Dixson died in 1885.
She then determined
to make the care of
libraries her life
work, and studied un-
der Melvil Dewey at
Columbia coUege, be-
coming his private
secretary and subse-
quently assistant li-
brarian of Columbia
college. After one
year at this post she
adopted the profes-
sion of library expert
and made it her business to classify and rear-
range chaotic matter in public libraries- In
this work she travelled extensively, and over
thirty large and influential libraries were rear-
ranged, including that of Denison university, the
City of Duluth, Kenyon college, and the Baptist
theological seminary. She established a training
school for librarians in which many pupils have
been equipped with the best methods for library
work. In 1887 she became librarian of Denison
university, going from there to the Baptist theo-
logical seminary in 1890 and to the University of
Chicago in 1892. In 1892 she received the de-
gree of M.A. from Shepardson college for two
years' non-resident graduate work. Mrs. Dixson
became a director of the Chicago woman's club,
a member of the College alumnae of Mt. Holyoke
and president of Mt. Holyoke association of the
northwest. In 1894 she was made lecturer in
the University Extension department and before
summer schools. Her library at " Wisteria Cot-
tage " Granville, Ohio, is mentioned in " Private
Libraries of the United States and Canada " pub

QjJUU, OdhXA^^MfAjr^



lished in Leipzig in 1896. She is the author of
Library Science (1894); Cataloger's Manual of
Authors' Names (1895) ; A Comprehensive Subject
Index to Universal Prose Fiction (1897), and con-
tributions to periodicals.

DOAK, Archibald Alexander, educator, was
born in Washington county, Tenn., July 13. 1815;
son of the Rev. Dr. John Whitefield and Jane
(Alexander) Doak. He was graduated from
Washington college, Term., in 1833, and from
Princeton theological seminary in 1839. In 1840
he was elected president of Washington college
succeeding his father, John W. Doak, and held
the office ten years. He was again appointed to
the presidency in 1853, but financial embarrass-
ment necessitated the closing of the institution
and in 1856 he resigned. He held the chair of
classical literature in Stewart college, Clarks-
viUe, Term., from 1859 to 1861. He was married
in 1839 to Sarah Cowan of Leesburg, Tenn. He
died at Clarksville, Tenn., May 26, 1866.

DOAK, Henry Melvil, journalist, was born
in Washington county, Tenn., Aug. 3, 1841; son
of the Rev. Dr. Archibald Alexander and Sarah
(Cowan) Doak; grandson of the Rev. Dr. John
Whitefield Doak, president of Washington col-
lege, and great grandson of the Rev. Dl-. Samuel
Doak, its founder and first president. He was
educated at Washington and Stewart colleges,
enlisted in the Confederate service in 1861, served
in the army of the west and was wounded at
Shiloh. He then served in the Confederate navy
at sea and on the Atlantic coast, was wounded
at Fort Fisher, N.C., in 1864, and surrendered at
Appomattox in 1865. He then studied law but
relinquished its practice to engage in journalism.
He edited the Clarksville Tobacco Leaf, 1869-76,
Nashville American, 1876-83, Nashville Banner,
1883, Cincinnati News-Journal, 1883-84, Memphis
Avalanche, 1884-86, and in 1886 was appointed by
U.S. Circuit Judge Howell E. Jackson, clerk of
the Federal court at Nashville, Tenn.

DOAK, Samuel, educator, was born in Au-
gusta county, Va., in 1749; son of Samuel and
Jane (Mitchell) Doak, who emigrated from the
North of Ireland and settled in Chester county,
Pa., removing after their marriage to Augusta
county, Va. The son studied under Robert Alex-
ander and John Brown in the celebrated Augusta
academy and Liberty hall. After his graduation
at the College of New Jersey in 1775 he returned
to Virginia and there was married to Esther
Montgomery, sister of the Rev. John Montgom-
ery, assistant rector of Augusta academy. He
then engaged as tutor in Hampden-Sidney col-
lege and pursued a course in divinity under the
president, the Rev. John Blair Smith. He began
to preach in Washington county, Va., where he

Online LibraryJohn Howard BrownLamb's biographical dictionary of the United States; → online text (page 99 of 142)