Page:Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography (1900, volume 5).djvu/60

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boisterous performer, who never rose to prominence. His best parts were servants and footmen. In voice, look, and action the brothers were much alike, but as artists they were widely distinct. This was strongly manifested when they appeared as the two Dromios in the “Comedy of Errors.”

PLAISTED, Harris Merrill, soldier, b. in Jefferson, N. H., 2 Nov., 1828; d. in Bangor, Me., 30 Jan., 1898. He worked on a farm and taught, and was graduated at Waterville college (now Colby university) in 1853, and at Albany law-school in 1855. He was then admitted to the bar and began practice in Bangor, Me., in 1856. He entered the National volunteer service in 1861 as lieutenant-colonel, was commissioned colonel in 1862, participated in McClellan's peninsular campaign, commanded a brigade before Charleston, and served with Grant before Richmond. He received the brevet of brigadier-general of volunteers in February, 1865, and that of major-general of volunteers in March of the same year. He resumed his profession after the peace, was a delegate to the National Republican convention in 1868, and attorney-general of Maine in 1873-'5. He went to congress as a Republican in 1874 to fill a vacancy, served one term, declined re-election, and was governor of Maine in 1881-'3. After 1884 he had edited and published “The New Age,” in Augusta, Me.

PLASSMANN, Ernst, artist, b. in Sondern, Westphalia, 14 June, 1823; d. in New York city, 28 Nov., 1877. At the age of twenty he began to study art under Münstermann, and he continued his studies at Aix-la-Chapelle, Cologne, and Paris. In the last-named place he remained about four years, being employed most of the time in the studio of Michel Liénard. In 1853 he went to New York, where, the following year, he opened “Plassmann's School of Art,” which he carried on until his death. The “Verein für Kunst und Wissenschaft” was founded by him in 1858. His principal works in sculpture, all in New York city, are the figure of Tammany on Tammany hall (1869); the group on the freight-depot of the New York Central railroad (1870); the statue of Benjamin Franklin in Printing-House square (1870-'1); and the figures of Franklin and Guttenberg on the “Staats-Zeitung” building, modelled about 1873. He executed also many models for statuettes and ornamental metal-work, and gained several medals at the American institute for his work in woodcarving and plaster models. He published “Modern Gothic Ornaments,” with 33 plates (New York, 1875), and “Designs for Furniture” (1877). Of the latter, only three parts were published.

PLATER, George, statesman, b. in St. Mary's county, Md., in 1736; d. in Annapolis, Md., 10 Feb., 1792. He was graduated at William and Mary in 1753, studied law, and won reputation at the bar of Maryland. When the troubles with the mother country began he took an early and active part in resisting the encroachments of the British government upon the rights of the colonies. He was chosen a member of the Maryland convention that assembled at Annapolis, 8 May, 1776, and one of whose first public acts was the election of a committee, on 24 May, for the purpose of inviting Robert Eden, the royal governor, to vacate. On 26 May Plater was appointed one of the council of safety, a body created for the express purpose of preparing the state for the conflict that was every day growing more imminent. He represented St. Mary's county in the Maryland convention at Annapolis, 14 Aug., 1776, and on the 17th of the same month was chosen one of the committee “to prepare a declaration and charter of rights and a form of government” for the state of Maryland. From 1778 till 1781 he was a member of the Continental congress from Maryland, and he was president of the Maryland convention that, on 28 April, 1788, ratified the constitution of the United States. In 1791 he was elected governor of Maryland.

PLATT, Charles Adams, artist, b. in New York city, 16 Oct., 1861. He studied at the Art league and the National academy, New York, during 1878-'80, and in 1884-'5 under Boulanger and Lefebvre in Paris. He has given much attention to etching, in which branch of art he has been very successful. His works include “Interior of Fish-houses,” “Fishing Boats,” and “Provincial Fishing Village” (1882); “Old Houses near Bruges” (1883); “Deventer, Holland” (1885); “Quai des Orfèvres, Paris” (1886); and “Dieppe” (1887). He paints also in oil and in water-color, and has exhibited at the Salon, the National academy, New York, and the American water-color society.

PLATT, Franklin, geologist, b. in Philadelphia, Pa., 19 Nov., 1844. He was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, but left in 1862, before graduation, and in 1863 served in the 32d Pennsylvania Gray reserve regiment. In 1864 he was appointed to the U. S. coast survey, and assigned to surveying work with the North Atlantic squadron during that year. He then was appointed on the staff of Gen. Orlando M. Poe, chief engineer of the military division of the Mississippi, and was engaged in this duty until the surrender of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's army in April, 1865. Subsequently, in July, 1874, he was appointed assistant geologist of Pennsylvania, which post he held until May, 1881, after which he became president of the Rochester and Pittsburg coal and iron company. Mr. Platt is a member of scientific societies, to whose transactions he has contributed frequent papers on geology and kindred subjects. He prepared nine volumes of the reports of the geological survey of Pennsylvania. Those that were his exclusive work are “On Clearfield and Jefferson Counties” (Harrisburg, 1875); “Coke Manufacture” (1876); “On Blair County” (1880); and “The Causes, Kinds, and Amount of Waste in Mining Anthracite” (1881).

PLATT, Orville Hitchcock, senator, b. in Washington, Conn., 19 July, 1827. He was educated in the public schools, was admitted to the bar in 1849, and began practice in Meriden, Conn. He was clerk of the state senate in 1855-'6. secretary of state in 1857, state senator in 1861-'2, and a member of the legislature in 1864-'9, serving as speaker in the latter year. He was elected to the U.S. senate as a Republican in 1878, and has since been re-elected. His present term expires in March, 1903. Mr. Platt has been an earnest advocate of the abolition of secret executive sessions of the senate. Yale gave him the degree of LL. D. in 1887.

PLATT, Thomas Collier, senator, b. in Owego, N. Y., 15 July, 1833. He left Yale in his sophomore year in 1853 on account of failing health, but received the honorary degree of M. A. in 1876 from that college. He entered mercantile life, became president of the Tioga, N. Y., National bank, and engaged in the lumber business in Michigan. He was elected to congress as a Republican in 1872, re-elected in 1874, and on 18 Jan., 1881, was chosen U.S. senator to succeed Francis Kernan, but resigned, 16 May of the same year, with his colleague, Roscoe Conkling (q. v.) on account of a disagreement with the executive regarding New York appointments. He returned home, was a candidate for re-election, and after an exciting canvass was defeated. He became secretary and a director of the United States express company in 1879, and since 1880 has been