A. Homer Byington

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Aaron Homer Byington
A. Homer Byington.jpg
Member of the Connecticut Senate
from the 12th District
In office
1861 – 1863[1]
Preceded by Julius Curtis
Succeeded by Morgan Morgans
Member of the Connecticut House of Representatives from Norwalk
In office
1858–1860
Serving with Daniel K. Nash, William T. Craw
Preceded by Josiah Carter, William T. Craw
Succeeded by William T. Craw, Samuel E. Olmstead
Personal details
Born (1826-07-26)July 26, 1826[2]
Herkimer, New York[2]
Died December 29, 1910(1910-12-29) (aged 84)[2][3]
Flushing, Queens, New York[2]
Resting place Riverside Cemetery, Norwalk, Connecticut
Political party Republican,[3] Union Party
Spouse(s) Harriet Sophia Richmond (m. November 8, 1849)[2]
Children William Homer Byington, George Richmond Byington, and Stuart Woodford Byington, Henry Sumpter Byington (d. 1887), Harriet Eloise Byington (d. in infancy)[2]
Residence Norwalk, Connecticut
Alma mater Amos Smith Collegiate School[2]
Occupation Newspaper editor[3][4]

Aaron Homer Byington (July 23, 1826 – December 29, 1910) was the U.S. Consul in Naples from 1897 to 1907. He was a newspaper publisher and editor. He also represented Norwalk in the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1858 to 1860, and was a member of the Connecticut Senate representing the 12th District from 1861 to 1863.

Early life and family[edit]

He was born in Herkimer, New York, on July 23, 1826, the son of Aaron Byington and Sarah Waterbury. He attended the Amos Smith Collegiate School for boys, but was unable to attend college. On November 8, 1849, he married Harriet Sophia Richmond.[2]

Career[edit]

Upon completion of his studies, he went to work as an office boy at the Norwalk Gazette.[2] When the New Haven Morning Chronicle began publication with Thomas G. Woodward as editor, Byington became business manager.[2] He remained in this capacity until 1848, when he bought the Norwalk Gazette.[2] In the Gazette, Byington editorialized for giving blacks the vote, a distinctly minority position at the time.[4]

He was hired by Horace Greeley of the New-York Tribune as the newspaper's congressional correspondent in Washington. He later was named head of the paper's corps of army correspondents.[2]

At the outbreak of the American Civil War, and before regiments of Northern troops had arrived to defend Washington, there was a report of a plot to burn the capital. On April 18, 1861, this report mobilized loyal citizens, including Byington, and former congressman Orris S. Ferry, also of Norwalk to form a militia. This militia was led by Cassius Marcellus Clay, and came to be known as the Cassius Clay Guard.[4]

Byington gained a reputation as a war correspondent when he became the first to deliver news of the outcomes of the battles of Bull Run[disambiguation needed] and Gettysburg.[2]

During the war, Byington worked as a lobbyist for Connecticut's arms manufacturers.[4] Byington was a raconteur who eventually got to know Abraham Lincoln and swapped tall tales and jokes with him.[4]

After the war Byington co-founded the New York Sun, along with Edmund C. Stedman and Charles A. Dana. However, he sold his interest in the paper after a dispute arose between Dana and Ulysses S. Grant.[2]

He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention from Connecticut in 1868 and an alternate in 1880.[3]

In 1897, he suspended operations of the Norwalk Gazette when he was appointed by President William McKinley U.S. Consul in Naples. He served until 1907.[3]

Byington died on December 29, 1910 in Flushing, New York.[2]

References[edit]

Connecticut Senate
Preceded by
Julius Curtis
Member of the
Connecticut Senate
from the 12th District

1861–1863
Succeeded by
Morgan Morgans
Connecticut House of Representatives
Preceded by
Josiah Carter,
William T. Craw
Member of the
Connecticut House of Representatives
from Norwalk

1858–1860
With: Daniel K. Nash,
William T. Craw
Succeeded by
William T. Craw,
Samuel E. Olmstead