Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Longworth, Nicolas

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LONGWORTH, Nicolas, horticulturist, b. in Newark, N. J., 16 Jan., 1782; d. in Cincinnati, Ohio, 10 Feb., 1863. The large property of his father, who was a Tory, was confiscated during the Revolution, and the son passed his youth in comparative poverty. He was a clerk in his elder brother's store in South Carolina in his youth, and in 1803 removed to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he studied law, and purchased large tracts of land. After twenty-five years' practice he retired from law in order to devote himself to the cultivation of the grape with a view to manufacturing wine; but, using foreign vines exclusively, was unsuccessful until 1828, when he introduced native vines or their seedlings and produced, from the Catawba and the Isabella grape, wine of a high marketable value. He had 200 acres of vineyards, and a large wine-house in the vicinity of Cincinnati, and was also favorably known by his experiments on the strawberry. He was kindly but eccentric, and gave much money to those that he called the “Devil's poor.” At his death his property was estimated at from $10,000,000 to $15,000,000. He published “Buchanan's Treatise on the Grape, with an Appendix on Strawberry Culture” (Cincinnati, 1856).