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Charles Davies

DAVIES, Charles, mathematician, born in Washington, Litchfield County, Connecticut, 22 January 1798; died in Fishkill Landing, New York, 17 September 1876. When a boy he removed with his father to a farm in St. Lawrence County, New York, then an unsettled part of the state. He entered the U. S. military academy in December 1813, graduating in December 1815, and was assigned to the light artillery. After brief service in New England garrisons, he was transferred to the engineer corps in 1816, and ordered to duty at West Point, but resigned on 1 December 1816, and became principal assistant professor of mathematics and natural and experimental philosophy. He was made full professor of mathematics on 1 May 1823, and held the office till 31 Mary, 1837, when he was forced to resign by illness consequent upon overwork in preparing his mathematical Textbooks.

A trip to Europe restored his health, and he accepted the chair of mathematics in Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, holding it from 1839 till 1841, when he wars again forced to resign by threatened illness, and was appointed paymaster in the U. S. army, with the staff rank of major. He served as treasurer of the U. S. military academy from 1841 till 1846, and in 1848 became professor of mathematics and philosophy in the University of New York. In the following year he retired to Fishkill Landing, on the Hudson, that he might have leisure to complete his series of Textbooks. After teaching in the Normal school at Albany, he was made professor of higher mathematics in Columbia College, 18 May 1857, and in June 1865, emeritus professor. His works, which are distinguished by plainness and close logical arrangement, include an entire series of mathematical Textbooks (183'7-'67), extending from a primary arithmetic to the higher mathematics, and including editions of Legendre's "Geometry" (1840) and Bourdon's "Algebra" (1851). Among his more advanced works are "Descriptive Geometry" (New York, 1826); " Surveying and Navigation" (1830); "Shades. Shadows, and Perspective" (1832); "Differential and Integral Calculus" (1836): "Logic and Utility of Mathematics" (1850); and a "Mathematical Dictionary," written in conjunction with his son-in-law, Professor William G. Peck, of Columbia (1855). His last work was a treatise on " The Metric System " (1870).

--His brother, Henry Eugene Davies, born in Black Lake, near Ogdensburg, New York, 8 February 1805; died in New York City, 17 December 1881, spent his early years upon his father's farm, and. after receiving a common-school education, began in 1819 the study of law with Judge Alfred Conkling, living, as was then the custom, in the family of his preceptor. He was admitted to the bar at Utica, New York, in 1826, and began to practice in Buffalo, where he soon became prominent in politics as a Whig. He removed to New York in 1830, and formed a partnership with Judge Samuel A. Foot, which was dissolved in 1848, and Mr. Davies entered into a new one with Judge William Kent, son of Chancellor Kent. In 1850 he was chosen corporation counsel, and was elected justice of the state Supreme Court in 1855, but was obliged to establish his right to the office by litigation, as no notice of a vacancy had been filed with the sheriff.

In the summer of that year he accompanied ex-President Fillmore to Europe, having been his confidential adviser during his term of office as chief magistrate. In the autumn of 1859 Judge Davies was elected to the court of appeals, where he served from 1 January 1860, till 1869, being the chief justice for several years. He then entered into partnership with Judge Noah Davis, with whom he practiced until the latter was elevated to the bench. After that time Judge Davies was conspicuous only in his practice as counsel and trustee of the Mutual life insurance company, receiver of the Erie railway, counsel for the American exchange bank, and member of the commission to determine the advisability of constructing an underground railroad in Broadway. The day before his last illness he sat for many hours listening to testimony on that subject. For several years before his death he took no part in politics, but served often as referee or chamber-counsel in important legal cases.

--Another brother, Thomas Alfred Davies, soldier, born in St. Lawrence County, New York, in December 1809, was graduated at the U. S. military academy in 1829, and assigned to the 1st infantry. After serving on frontier duty, he resigned on 31 October 1831, and was employed on the Croton aqueduct as a civil engineer till 1833, when he became a merchant in New York City, but was again employed on the aqueduct in 1840-'1. He re-entered the national service on 15 May 1861, as colonel of the 16th New York regiment, was at the battle of Bull Run, and in the defenses of Alexandria from November 1861, till 7 March 1862, when he was made brigadier-general of volunteers. He was engaged in the siege of Corinth in April and May 1862, the battle of Corinth on 3-4 October and commanded the district of Columbus, Kentucky, in 1862-'3, that of Rolla, Maine, in 1863-'4, that of North Kansas in 1864-'5, and that of Wisconsin from April till June 1865. He was brevetted major general of volunteers on 11 July 1865, and shortly afterward returned to New York City. He has published "Cosmogony: or Mysteries of Creation," an analysis of the natural facts stated in the Ilebraic account of creation (New York, 1858);" Adam and Ha-Adam" (1859); "Genesis Disclosed" (1860); "Answer to Hugh Miller and Theoretical Geologists" (1861); "tIow to make Money, and How to keel-) It" (1866); and "Appeal of a Layman to the Committee on the Revision of the English Version of the Holy Scriptures, to have Adam and Ha-Adam restored to the English Genesis where left out by former Translators" (1875).

--Henry Eugene's son, Henry Eugene Davies, lawyer, born in New York City, 2 July 1836, was educated at Harvard, Williams, and Columbia, where he was graduated in 1857. He then studied law, was admitted to the bar, and began practice. He entered the army in April 1861, as a captain in the 5th New York volunteers, became major in the 2d New York cavalry in July and subsequently its colonel. He was made a brigadier-general of volunteers on 16 September 186;/, and served with distinction in the tawdry corps of the Army of the Potomac till the close of the war. He was brevetted major general of volunteers, 1 October 1864, given his full commission on 4 May 1865, and commanded the middle district of Alabama till his resignation on 1 January 1866. He was public administrator of New York City from 1866-'9, assistant district attorney of the southern district of New York in 1870-'2, and since 1873 has been engaged in law practice.

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