Page:Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography (1900, volume 5).djvu/61

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
PLATT
39
PLEASONTON

its president. He was appointed commissioner of quarantine of New York city in 1880, became president of the hoard, and held office till 14 Jan., 1888, when he was removed by proceedings instituted on account of his alleged non-residence in New York city. He was a member of the National Republican conventions in 1876. 1880-'4, and 1892-'6, and for several years of the Republican national committee. He was again elected to the senate for the term ending March, 1903.

PLATT, William Henry, clergyman, b. in Amenia, Dutchess co., N. Y., 16 April, 1821. He received a good education, was admitted to the bar in 1840, and for four years practised in Alabama. He was ordained deacon in the Protestant Episcopal church in 1851, and priest in 1852, held rectorships in Selma, Ala., Petersburg, Va., Louisville, Ky., and San Francisco, Cal., and became rector of St. Paul's church, Rochester. N. Y., in 1882. William and Mary gave him the degree of D. D. in 1878, and also that of LL. D. Dr. Platt's publications include “Art Culture” (New York, 1873); “Influence of Religion in the Development of Jurisprudence” (1877); “After Death, what?” (San Francisco, 1878); “Unity of Law or Legal Morality” (1879); “God out, and Man in,” a reply to Robert G. Ingersoll (Rochester, 1883); and “The Philosophy of the Supernatural.”

PLATT, Zephaniah, member of the Continental congress, b. in Dutchess county. N. Y., in 1740; d. in Plattsburg, N. Y., 12 Sept., 1807. He received a classical education, studied law, and practised. He was a delegate from New York to the Continental congress in 1784-'6, and was judge of the circuit court for many years. He was one of the originators of the Erie canal, and founded the town of Plattsburg. — His son, Jonas, jurist, b. in Poughkeepsie, N. Y., 30 June, 1769; d. in Peru, Clinton co., N. Y., 22 Feb., 1834, was educated in the public schools, admitted to the bar in 1790. and the next year settled in Whitesboro, N. Y. He was a member of the assembly in 1796, of congress in 1796-1801, and of the state senate in 1810-'13. He was an unsuccessful candidate for governor in 1810, a member of the council in 1813, and in 1814-'23 a justice of the New York supreme court. He then engaged in practice in Utica, and subsequently in New York city. — Another son, Zephaniah, jurist, b. in Plattsburg, N. Y., in 1796: d. in Aiken, S. C., 20 April, 1871, removed to Michigan in early life, studied and subsequently practised law, and was appointed by the U. S. government its attorney to settle its claims on the Pacific coast. He was state attorney-general for several years, and took high rank at the bar. He removed to South Carolina at the close of the civil war, and from 1868 until his death was judge of the 2d circuit.

PLAZA, Manuel (plah'-thah), Peruvian missionary, b. in Riobamba. 1 Jan., 1772; d. in Lima about 1845. He entered the Franciscan convent of Quito, was ordained priest at the age of twenty-three years, and immediately afterward set out as a missionary for the river Napo. After a year he went to the missions of Ucayali and settled in Sarayacu, where he soon gained the esteem of the Indians and founded two new villages. There he remained till 1814, when the viceroy, Jose de Abascal, fearing the success of the revolution, appointed him to open another outlet to Europe by way of Comas and Chanchamayo. He explored the country three months, and, after giving an account of his commission to the viceroy, returned to Sarayacu and continued his missions till 1821, when the Spanish missionaries fled to Brazil, and he was left alone among the savages. He suffered greatly till 1828, when he found his way to Quito, and was well received by the bishop and Gen. Bolivar, who provided him with abundant means, and ordered him to return to his missions. After an exploration of the rivers of the interior by a Peruvian commission, the government resolved to assist the efforts of Father Plaza, and the latter came to Lima in 1845. Congress, on 24 May, passed an act that provided a yearly subvention for the missions, and Plaza planned to return in 1846, but died before he could make the journey, and his manuscripts were lost.

PLAZA, Nicanor (plah'-thah). Chilian sculptor, b. in Santiago in 1844. He entered the academy of sculpture of the University of Chili in 1858, and in 1863 the government sent him to Europe to study. In 1866 he opened a studio in Paris, where he exhibited his “Susannah,” “Hercules,” and “Caupolican” in 1867. In 1871 he was appointed director of the Academy of sculpture of Santiago. In that city he executed many works that relate to the history of his country, some of which are erected in the public places of Santiago. In 1872, at the exposition of Santiago, he received a gold medal. In 1874 he was sent to Europe on an artistic mission, and during the first months of his stay there he executed a statue of Andres Bello, which was erected in 1882 in Santiago, in the square of the national congress. He also made a statue of Domingo Eyzaguirre.

PLEASANTS, James, senator, b. in Goochland county, Va., 24 Oct., 1769; d. at his residence, “Contention,” Goochland county. Va., 9 Nov., 1839. He was a first cousin of Thomas Jefferson. He was educated by private tutors, studied law, was admitted to the bar of his native county, and enjoyed an extensive practice, especially as an advocate. He was a member of the legislature in 1796, having been elected as a Republican, clerk of the house in 1803-'ll, and from the latter date till 1819 was in congress. He then became U. S. senator, served in 1819-'22, when he resigned, and was governor of Virginia for the succeeding three years. During his term of office, in 1824, Lafayette visited Virginia. He was a delegate to the Virginia constitutional convention in 1829-'30, and subsequently declined the appointment of judge of the circuit court and of the Virginia court of appeals. The county of Pleasants, now W. Va., is named in his honor. John Randolph of Roanoke said of him: “James Pleasants never made an enemy nor lust a friend.”—His son, John Hampden, journalist, b. in Goochland county, Va., 4 Jan., 1797; d. in Richmond, Va., 27 Feb., 1846, was educated at William and Mary college, and was admitted to the bar at an early age, but abandoned law for journalism, and founded and became editor of the Lynchburg “Virginian.” He subsequently removed to Richmond, Va., and in 1824 founded the “Constitutional Whig and Public Advertiser,” and was its chief editor for twenty-two years. He was killed in a duel with Thomas Ritchie. Jr., of the “Richmond Enquirer,” a Democratic organ. Mr. Pleasants was a brilliant editor and paragraphist, and his journal was the principal exponent of the Whig party in Virginia. His brother Whigs erected a monument to his memory, on which his gallant and self-sacrificing patriotism is recorded.

PLEASONTON, Augustus James, soldier, b. in Washington, 18 Aug., 1808; d. in Philadelphia, 26 July, 1894. He was graduated at the U. S. military academy, and then served on garrison duty at the Artillery school in Fort Monroe, and on topographical duty until 1830, when he resigned from the army. After studying law, he was admitted to