Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Heilprin, Phineas Mendel

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HEILPRIN, Phineas Mendel, scholar, b. in Lublin, Russian Poland, in November, 1801; d. in Washington, D. C., 30 Jan., 1863. He early settled in Piotrkow and subsequently in Tomaszow, where he became a manufacturer and merchant, but, in consequence of oppression by the Russian government, he removed in 1842 to Hungary. His sympathy was with the people in 1848, and after the failure of the revolutionary movement he determined to leave the country. In 1859 he came to the United States, where he remained until his death. He was a close student of the Talmud, and also of the Greek and later German philosophers, acquiring a high reputation among Jewish scholars as a conservative reformer. His works, written in Hebrew, include several controversial writings, dealing with the reform movement among the Jews. — His son, Michael, b. in Piotrkow, Poland, in 1823; d. in Summit, N. J., 10 May, 1888. He joined the Hungarians in 1848, and was attached in 1849 to the literary bureau of the department of the interior during Kossuth's brief sway. In 1856 he came to the United States, and soon acquired a reputation for scholarship, both in the oriental and modern languages. He was a frequent contributor to literary journals, and his work in connection with the “American Cyclopædia” shows his industry, breadth of view, and exact scholarly attainments. Mr. Heilprin felt a special interest in the Russian-Jewish emigrants to the United States since 1882, and his intelligent direction and ardent personal sympathy led to the establishment of several successful agricultural colonies in this country. He published “The Historical Poetry of the Ancient Hebrews” (vols. i. and ii., New York, 1879-'80). — Michael's son, Louis, writer, b. in Miskolcz, Hungary, 2 July, 1851, came with his father to the United States in 1856. His education was received from private sources, and he has been associated with his father in literary work. He has published “The Historical Reference-Book” (New York, 1885). — Another son of Michael, Angelo, naturalist, b. in Satoralja-Ujhely, Hungary, 31 March, 1853, came to this country in 1856, but afterward returned to Europe for his education, and studied natural history in London, Geneva, Florence, and Vienna. In 1880 he was appointed professor of invertebrate paleontology at the Academy of natural sciences in Philadelphia, in 1883 was made curator in charge of the museum, and in 1885 became professor of geology at the Wagner free institute of science in Philadelphia. Prof. Heilprin is also an artist of ability, and has exhibited “Autumn's First Whisper” (1880) at the Pennsylvania academy of fine arts, and “Forest Exiles” (1883) at the Boston museum of fine arts. His scientific publications include “Contributions to the Tertiary Geology and Paleontology of the United States” (Philadelphia, 1884); “Town Geology: The Lesson of the Philadelphia Rocks” (1885); “The Geographical and Geological Distribution of Animals” (New York, 1887); and “Explorations on the West Coast of Florida and in the Okeechobee Wilderness” (Philadelphia, 1887).