Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Hiester, Daniel

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HIESTER, Daniel, congressman, b. in Bern township, Berks co., Pa., 25 June, 1747; d. in Washington, D. C., 7 March, 1804. His father, Daniel, emigrated from Silesia in 1737, and settled in Gosenhoppen, Pa., afterward purchasing from the proprietary government a tract of several thousand acres in Berks county. The younger Daniel received a good education and engaged in mercantile pursuits in Montgomery county, where he served during the Revolution as colonel and brigadier-general of militia. In 1784 he was elected to the supreme executive council of Pennsylvania, and in 1787 he was appointed a commissioner of the Connecticut land claims. He was a member of congress from 1789 till 1796, when he resigned and removed to Hagerstown, Md. In 1801 he was again elected to congress, and died during his term of service. He was among the number that voted for the location of the seat of the government on the Potomac. — His brother, John, b. in Bern, Pa., 9 April, 1746; d. 15 Oct., 1821, served in congress from 1807 till 1809. — His cousin, Joseph, governor of Pennsylvania, b. in Bern township, 18 Nov., 1752; d. in Reading, Pa., 10 June, 1832, received a common-school education in the intervals of farm labor, and became clerk in a store in Reading, Pa. At the beginning of the Revolution he raised and equipped in that town a company with which he took part in the battles of Long Island and Germantown. He was promoted colonel, was captured and confined in the “Jersey” prison-ship, where he did much to alleviate the sufferings of his fellow-prisoners. He was a member of the Constitutional convention of 1776, and of the State constitutional convention of 1790, and served five years in the house and four in the senate of Pennsylvania. In 1807 he was appointed one of the two major-generals to command the quota of Pennsylvania militia that was called for by the president. He served in congress from 1797 till 1805, and again from 1815 till 1820, when he resigned. He was governor of Pennsylvania from 1821 till 1823, when he retired from public life. — John's son, Daniel, b. in Berks county, Pa., was a representative in congress from 1809 till 1811. — John's nephew, William, b. in Bern, Pa.; d. in Lancaster county, 14 Oct., 1853, received a public-school education, and settled on a farm in Lancaster county. He was elected to congress as a Whig in 1831, serving until 1837, in which year he was a delegate to the State constitutional convention. — William's son, Isaac Ellmaker, lawyer, b. in Lancaster county, Pa., about 1820; d. there, 6 Feb., 1871, was graduated at Yale in 1842. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1844, and began to practise in Lancaster. In 1848 he was deputy attorney-general for Lancaster county. He was then elected to congress as a Whig, serving from 1853 till 1855, but, as he had expressed opinions on slavery that were not in harmony with those of his constituents, he was defeated in the next election. He then practised law with success till his death.