Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Kemble, Gouverneur

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KEMBLE, Gouverneur, manufacturer, b. in New York city, 25 Jan., 1786; d. in Cold Spring, N. Y., 16 Sept., 1875. He was a son of Peter Kemble, of New Jersey, and a nephew of Gen. Gage, of the British army, was graduated at Columbia in 1803, engaged in commerce, and during the administration of President Monroe was appointed consul to Cadiz. He subsequently visited the Mediterranean ports, and transacted business for the U. S. government in connection with the supply of the squadron during the Algerian war in 1815. On his return he established at Cold Spring, N. Y., opposite West Point, the first foundry in the United States where cannon were cast with any approach to perfection. He served in congress in 1837-'41, having been chosen as a Democrat, was a member of the New York state constitutional convention of 1846, and a promoter of the Hudson river and Panama railroads. Mr. Kemble was a lover and patron of art, and made a valuable collection of paintings. He was the life-long friend of Washington Irving and his brother-in-law, James K. Paulding, was the owner of the house near Newark, N. J.. described by those writers in “Salmagundi” as “Cockloft Hall,” and was celebrated for his hospitality at his beautiful bachelor establishment at Cold Spring, designated by Irving as the “Bachelor's Elysium.” Some of the letters preserved by Mr. Irving contain pleasant allusions to the hall, and show how fondly it was remembered. Mr. Kemble writes to Irving in 1842: “I still look forward to the time when you, Paulding, Brevoort, the Doctor [Peter Irving], and myself shall assemble there, recount the stories of our various lives, and have another game at leap-frog.” At their last meeting, shortly before Mr. Irving's death, he said of Mr. Kemble: “That is my friend of early life, always unchanged, always like a brother; one of the noblest beings that ever was created. His heart is pure gold.” Gen. Winfield Scott pronounced the glowing eulogium on Kemble that he was “the most perfect gentleman in the United States.”