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Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Knox, Thomas Wallace

< Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography

KNOX, Thomas Wallace, traveller, b. in Pembroke, N. H., 26 June, 1835. He was educated at the academies in Pembroke and Pittsfield, N. H., became a teacher, and established an academy in Kingston, N. H. In 1860 he went to Colorado to seek gold, and there became a reporter, and afterward city editor of the Denver “Daily News,” and correspondent for various eastern newspapers. He went in the beginning of the civil war to the southwest, and served as a volunteer aid in two campaigns. He sent letters to the New York “Herald,” and, after receiving a wound in a skirmish in Missouri, went to New York to become a journalist and general writer. His letters from the seat of war were republished under the title of “Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field” (New York, 1865). In 1866 he went on a journey around the world as a newspaper correspondent. In Siberia, where he accompanied an expedition that was sent out by an American company to build a telegraph-line, he travelled 3,600 miles in sledges and 1,400 miles in wagons. The narrative of his journey was republished under the title of “Overland through Asia” (Hartford, 1870). He went to Ireland in 1875, and telegraphed the score of the international rifle-match at Dollymount by means of a device of his invention, indicating, by the use of Morse signals, the spot in which each ball struck the target. This he developed into a system of topographical telegraphy, which he sold to the U. S. government for the transmission of weather-maps. In May, 1877, he set out on a second voyage around the world, arriving at Paris in time to serve as a member of the international jury at the Paris universal exposition of 1878. Besides the works already mentioned, he is the author of “Underground Life” (Hartford, 1873); “Backsheesh” (1875); “The Boy Travellers in China and Japan” (New York, 1879); followed by a similar volume on “Siam and Java,” for which the king of Siam conferred on him the order of the white elephant (1880); “How to Travel” (1880); “The Young Nimrods in North America,” “The Boy Travellers in Ceylon and India,” and “Pocket-Guide for Europe” (1881); “The Young Nimrods in Europe, Asia, and Africa,” “The Boy Travellers in Egypt and the Holy Land,” and “Pocket-Guide around the World” (1882); “The Boy Travellers in Africa” (1883); “The Voyage of the ‘Vivian’ to the North Pole” (1884); “Lives of Blaine and Logan” (Hartford, 1884); “Marco Polo for Boys and Girls” and “The Boy Travellers in South America” (New York, 1885); “Robert Fulton and Steam Navigation” (1886); “Life of Henry Ward Beecher” (Hartford, 1887); “Decisive Battles since Waterloo” (New York, 1887); “Dog Stories and Dog Lore”; and “The Boy Travellers on the Congo (1887).