Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Stetson, Charles Augustus

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STETSON, Charles Augustus, hotel-proprietor, b. in Newburyport, Mass., 1 April, 1810; d. in Reading, Pa., 29 March, 1888. His father was proprietor of a hotel in Newburyport. The son adopted the same calling, and after taking charge of the Tremont house, Boston, in 1830, and Barnum's hotel, Baltimore, in 1833, became proprietor of the Astor house, New York, in 1837, and kept it till 1875, for the first twenty years of this period in partnership with Robert B. Coleman. In 1851 he was quartermaster-general of New York, and he was usually known by his military title. Gen. Stetson acquired a wide reputation as a hotel-keeper in the days when the Astor house was almost the only large hotel in New York, and became intimate with many eminent men, including Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, Rufus Choate, and William H. Seward. The Astor house was the scene of all the great public dinners of those times, and the regular resting-place of congressmen from the eastern states in going to and returning from Washington. During the civil war Gen. Stetson showed many acts of kindness to soldiers on their way through New York, and he was publicly thanked by Gov. John A. Andrew, of Massachusetts.