Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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H0RNBLOWER, Josiah, engineer, born in Staffordshitre, England, 23 February, 1729; died in Newark, New Jersey, 21 January, 1809. He early studied mathematics and the mechanical sciences, and adopted the profession of civil engineering while associated with his elder brother, then eminent as an engineer, whom he accompanied to Cornwall in 1745 to assist in erecting steam pumping engines. Subsequently he became proficient in all that pertained to mining and machinery, and especially fire engines. In 1753 he came to the United States at the request of Colonel John Schuyler, settled near Belleville, New Jersey, and built a steam engine for the neighboring copper mines, which was the first one ever constructed in this country. He continued in the successful management of these mines for five years. During the French and Indian war he received the commission of captain, and aided in the local defences of New Jersey. In 1760 he opened a store, and acquired considerable property by trading. At the beginning of the Revolutionary war he sided with the Americans, and was sent to the lower house of the New Jersey legislature, where he was extremely active in securing the adoption of measures favorable to the colonial forces, also serving as speaker in 1780. An unsuccessful attempt was made to abduct him by the British troops in 1781, and during the same year he was elected to the council or upper branch of the legislature. He continued a member of this body until 1784, when he was selected to represent the colony in the Continental congress. After two years' service he withdrew, and in 1793 was again called to the supervision of the New Jersey coppermine association, but a year later retired from this office. In 1790 he was appointed judge of the Essex common pleas, and he continued on the bench by reappointment until failing health compelled his retirement. See "Josiah Hornblower and the First Steam Engine in America," by William Nelson (Newark, New Jersey, 1883). --His son, Joseph Coerten, lawyer, born in Belleville, New Jersey, 6 May, 1777; died in Newark, New Jersey, 11 June, 1864. He was well instructed at home in the classics and in mathematics, but on account of feeble health did not enjoy the advantages of a collegiate education. He studied law in the office of David B. Ogden in Newark, and on admission to the bar in 1803 became associated with his preceptor in business As early as 1820 he was one of the presidential electors, and cast his vote for James Monroe. He was elected by the joint meeting of the legislature of New Jersey chief justice of that state in 1832, and re-elected in 1839, making his full term on the bench fourteen years. In 1844 he was a member of the convention to frame a constitution for the state. Soon after he had retired from the bench, he was appointed, in 1847, professor of law in Princeton. He was a member and vice president of the Philadelphia Republican convention that in 1856 nominated John C. Fremont for the presidency. In 1860 he was president of the electoral college of New Jersey. which cast the vote of that state for Lincoln and Hamlin. He was one of the original members of the American Bible society, and was the president of the New Jersey historical society from its foundation in 1845 until his death.--Joseph Coerten's son, William Henry, clergyman, born in Newark, New Jersey, 1 March, 1820; died in Allegheny, Pc., 16 July, 1883, was graduated at Princeton in 1838, and at the theological seminary in 1843. He labored for five months as a missionary, was ordained to the Presbyterian ministry in 1844, and after holding a pastorate in Paterson, New Jersey, for twenty-seven years, was professor of sacred rhetoric, church government, and pastoral theology in Allegheny theological seminary from 1871 till his death. Rutgers gave him the degree of D. D. in 1860.
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