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Dad, why are you a Republican?

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 biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor

 



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Samuel Bulkley Ruggles

RUGGLES, Samuel Bulkley, lawyer, born in New Milford, Connecticut, 11 April, 1800; died on Fire island, New York, 28 August, 1881. He removed at an early age to Poughkeepsie, was graduated at Yale in 1814, studied law in the office of his father Philo, who was surrogate and district attorney at Poughkeepsie, and was admitted to the bar in 1821 He was elected a member of the assembly of 1838, and, as chairman of the committee on ways and means, presented a '" Report upon the Finances and Internal Improvements of the State of New York," which led the state to enter upon a new policy in its commercial development. This report proposed to borrow sums of money sufficient to enlarge the Erie canal within five years, and not, as had been at first decided, to rely upon part of the tolls to pay for the enlargement while waiting twenty years. The enlargement was not made at once, but Mr. Ruggles's views, which were much assailed, were amply vindicated by the event, He was a commissioner to determine the route of the Erie railroad, and a director in 1833-'9, a director and promoter of the Bank of commerce in 1839, commissioner of the Croton aqueduct in 1842, delegate from the United States to the International statistical congresses at Berlin in 1863 and the Hague in 1869, United States commissioner to the Paris exposition of 1867, and delegate to the International monetary conference that was held there. He laid out Gramercy park, in the city of New it its name, and presented it to the surrounding property-owners. He also had a considerable influence upon shaping Union square, where he resided, and he selected the name of Lexington avenue. He was for a long term of years a trustee of the Astor library, and he held the same office in Columbia college from 1836 till the end of his life. He was also a member of the Chamber of commerce of the state of New York, and of the General convention of the Protestant Episcopal church. Mr. Ruggles's claim to distinction rests chiefly upon his canal policy, and tile steadfast attention that he continued to give to the Erie canal, both as a private citizen during his life and as canal commissioner, in which office he served from 1840 till 1842, and again in the year 1858. Yale gave him the degree of L L. D. in 1859. Among his numerous printed papers are " Report upon Finances and Internal improvements" (1838); " Vindication of Canal Policy" (1849); "Defence of improvement of Navigable Waters by the General Government" (1852) : "Law of Burial" (1858); "Report on State of Canals in 1858" (1859); reports on the Statistical congress at Berlin (1863), the Monetary conference at Paris (1867), and the Statistical congress at the Hague (1871); " Report to the Chairman of the Committee on Canals" (1875); and a "Consolidated Table of National Progress in Cheapening Food" (1880).--His cousin, Charles Herman, jurist, born in Litchfield county, Connecticut, 10 February, 1789: died in Poughkeepsie, New York, 16 June, 1865, received a good education, studied law, and began practice in Kingston, New York He was a member of the New York legislature in 1820, and was elected immediately afterward to congress, serving in 1821-'3. He then served as a judge of the Dutchess county circuit court, was again in the legislature, and in 1853 became a judge of the court of appeals of the state of New York. but resigned on 30 August, 1855.--Charles Herman's nephew, George David, soldier, born in Newburg, New York, 11 September, 1833, was graduated at the United States military academy in 1855, and assigned to the mounted riflemen. He served on frontier duty, including three Indian expeditions, till the civil war, and in 1858 was acting adjutant-general of the Department of the West, at St. Louis. In July, 1861, he was made assistant adjutant-general, with the staff rank of captain, and assigned to special duty in the war department in the organization of volunteer forces. He became colonel on tile staff on 28 June, 1862, was chief of staff of the Army of Virginia in General John Pope's campaign, and continued to serve as an additional aide-de-camp throughout the war, sometimes with the Army of the Potomac, of which he wa.s adjutant-general from February till June, 1865, and sometimes in Washington. fie took part in the battles of Antietam and South Mountain, and the assault and capture of Petersburg. On 9 April, 1865, he was brevetted brigadier-general of volunteers for services during the operations that resulted in the fall of Richmond and surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee, and he was also given brevet commissions in the regular army to date from 13 March, in-eluding that of brigadier-general. Since the war he has served as adjutant-general of various departments, and on 15 June, 1880, he attained the rank of lieutenant-colonel.

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