Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Tiffin, Edward

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TIFFIN, Edward, statesman, b. in Carlisle, England, 19 June, 1766; d. in Chillicothe, Ohio, 9 Aug., 1829. After receiving an ordinary English education, he began the study of medicine, and continued it after his removal to Charlestown, Va., in 1784, receiving his degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 1789. In the same year he married Mary, sister of Gov. Thomas Worthington. In 1790, he united with the Methodist church, and soon afterward he became a local preacher, being ordained deacon by Bishop Asbury, on 19 Nov., 1792. In 1796 he removed to Chillicothe, Ohio, where he continued both to preach and to practise medicine. At Deer Creek, twelve miles distant, he organized a flourishing congregation, long before that part of the country was visited by travelling preachers. In 1799 he was chosen to the legislature of the Northwest territory, of which he was elected speaker, and in 1802 he was president of the convention that formed the constitution of the state of Ohio. He was elected first governor of the state in 1803, and re-elected two years later. During his second term he arrested the expedition of Aaron Burr, near Marietta, Ohio. After the expiration of his service he was chosen U.S. senator, to succeed his brother-in-law, Thomas Worthington, and took his seat in December, 1807, but early in the following year his wife died, and on 3 March, 1809, he resigned from the senate and retired to private life. Shortly afterward he married again, and was elected to the legislature, serving two terms as speaker. In the autumn of 1810 he resumed the practice of medicine at Chillicothe, and in 1812, on the creation by act of congress of a commissionership of the general land-office, he was appointed by president Madison as its first incumbent. He removed to Washington, organized the system that has continued in the land-office till the present time, and in 1814 was active in the removal of his papers to Virginia, whereby the entire contents of his office were saved from destruction by the British. Wishing to return to the west, he proposed to Josiah Meigs, surveyor-general of public lands northwest of Ohio river, that they should exchange offices, which was done, after the consent of the president and senate had been obtained. This post he held till 1 July, 1829, when he received, on his death-bed, an order from President Jackson to deliver the office to a successor. Dr. Tiffin continued to preach occasionally in his later years. Three of his sermons were published in the “Ohio Conference Offering” in 1851. In a letter of introduction to Gen. Arthur St. Clair, Gen. Washington speaks of Dr. Tiffin as being “very familiar with the law.”