Dictionary of American Biography, Vol IX

George, Henry(2), John, John Hamilton
and Samuel Martin Inman

INMAN, GEORGE (Dec. 3, 1755-c. February 1789), Loyalist soldier, was the son of Ralph and Susanna (Speakman) Inman. Born in Boston, Mass., he grew to manhood at his father's opulent and generously hospitable home in Cambridge. The family was closely allied with many of the provincial leaders who later espoused the Loyalist cause. Inman took a degree from Harvard in 1772, spent three years in the Boston counting-house of the brothers Brimmer; then, against the wishes of his father and his Tory friends, served with the British troops who stormed Bunker Hill. His father clung to Boston, but in January 1776, in company with his brother-in-law, an officer in the Royal Navy, George Inman sailed from the city never to return. Associating himself with the King's Own, a regiment of light infantry, he was present at the battle of Long Island, where, on the morning of Aug. 27, 1776, he took part in the capture of a patrol of American officers to whom Putnam and Sullivan were looking for intelligence of the British advance through Jamaica Pass (S. M. Gozzaldi in Cambridge Historical Society Publications, XIX, 1927, 46-79). It has been asserted that this incident, small though it was, turned the scales of battle against the Americans (Johnston, post, pp. 176-78). Inman served on this detail as one of the subordinates of Capt. W. G. Evelyn, to whom, it seems, most of the credit ought to go (Scull, post, pp. 129, 199, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, VII, 238-39), but Inman's share in the capture did not go unrecognized, for soon Sir William Howe made him ensign in the 17th Regiment, his commission bearing the date of the encounter on Long Island. He was slightly wounded at Princeton, served at Brandywine and Germantown acceptably, and fought at Monmouth, after which battle Sir Henry Clinton appointed him lieutenant in the 26th Regiment. At Philadelphia on Apr. 23, 1778, he was married to Mary Badger and when the officers of his regiment were ordered home, he sailed with his wife for England where he landed in February 1780.

As an exile in England, Inman fretted away the next eight years. A convivial man, fond of the officers' mess and outdoor sports, he was the father of an increasing family which he had to do his best to maintain on a recruiting officer's small pay. Life at Bristol among the other American emigrés was dull, and with all his heart he longed to be able to purchase a captain's commission and see active service again. His father had bred him up to be a rich man's son, but now grumbled at his extravagances, and did but little for him. Inman often had to keep an eye out for the aproaching bailif. In May 1758, Ralph Inman died, and his fortune devolved upon George as one of the co-heirs. The news found him at St. George, Grenada, whither he had gone with his wife and children to take an unimportant post in the army in April 1788. It was now too late to mend matters, for Inman's young son died of a fever, and he himself expired of the same disease, early in February 1789. His widow and her four small daughters returned to Cambridge, and claimed their share of the estate.

[Journal (four vols., MS.), in possession of Cambridge (Mass.) Hist. Sec., on deposit in Harvard College Library; Harvard Univ. Quin. Cat. (1925); Pa. Mag. of Hist. and Biog., vols. II (1878), VII (1883), XLIV (1920) ; Letters and Diary of John Rowe (1903), ed. by A. R. Cunningham; H. P. Johnston, The Campaign of 1776 around New York and Brooklyn (1878); The Evelyns in American, 1608-1805 (1881), ed. by G. D. Scull ; Letters of James Murray, Loyalist (1901), ed. by N. M. Tiffany and S. I. Lesley; E. A. Jones, The Loyalists of Mass. (1930); L. R. Paige, Hist. of Cambridge, Mass . . . . Suppl. to Index by M. I. Cozzaldi (1930).] F.M-d.

INMAN, HENRY (Oct. 28, 1801-Jan. 17, 1846), portrait and genre painter, was born at Utica, N.Y., the son of William and Sarah Inman. His father, born in England, 1762, came to American 1792, settled at Whitestown, near Utica, where he had a brewery and speculated in real estate. In 1812 he moved to New York City and became a merchant, but, meeting with reverses, went to Leyden, Lewis County, N. Y., where he died in 1843. His wife, born in 1773, died in 1829, bore four sons, three of whom made their mark in the world -William, the eldest, a naval officer who rose to the rank of commodore; Henry, the artist; and John [q.v.], who was editor of the New York Mirror, the Commercial Advertiser, and the Columbian Lady's and Gentleman's Magazine. Henry as a boy in Utica had received some elementary instruction in drawing, and soon after the family moved to New York City he was preparing to enter the United States Military Academy at West Point, to which he had received an appointment, but at that time he chanced to meet John Wesley Jarvis, the portrait painter, who, being struck by the boy's promise as a draftsman, offered to take him on as a pupil. The result was that the West Point project was abandoned and Henry was bound as an apprentice to Jarvis for a term of seven years.

The experience thus gained gave the young man an unusually good training in art. He was soon allowed to do some of the work on his master's canvases. With Jarvis he traveled far and wide, wherever there were portraits to be painted - to Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New Orleans. The apprentice, beginning by putting in the drapery and background, shortly began to paint portraits on his own account. At the age of twenty-two, his probationary period being over, Inman took a studio in Vesey Street, New York, and there began his career as a painter of portraits, miniatures, and genre pieces. The early years were prosperous and happy; but later there were sharp fluctuations of favor and neglect. Many eminent sitters came to him. Few American portraitists since Stuart have to their credit a more imposing list of distinguished patrons. At the top tide of Inman's vogue he was earning about $9,000 a year, at that period a handsome income. He commanded good prices and would make no reductions. Once when he had painted a group for a rich client, who paid the fee of $500 with some reluctance, he requested his customer to return the picture, and then he "cut off all the legs and sent it back with $200."

In 1826 Inman was elected vice-president of the newly established National Academy of Design, of which he was one of the founders. He served in this office from 1826 to 1830, and again from 1838 to 1844. In 1832 he married Jane Riker O'Brien, and moved to Philadelphia, where he became a director of the Pennsylvania Academy and was associated with Col. C. G. Childs in a lithographic business. His home until 1835 was at Mount Holly, N. J., near Philadelphia, where he bought a country house in pleasant surroundings. He was fond of the country, liked to paint landscapes when he had the time, and complained because his patrons would buy nothing but portraits. He had a taste for natural history, Buffon being one of his favorite authors. After 1835 he returned to New York. For several years thereafter he was kept busy, but about 1830 the tide turned against him, and to add to his troubles the asthma, from which he had suffered periodically for years, became more severe, and he was deeply depressed.

In 1844, he was commissioned by three generous friends -- James Lenox, Edward L. Carey, and Henry Reed -- to go to England for the purpose of painting the portraits of Wordsworth, Macaulay, and Dr. Chalmers. This proved a fortunate venture, and for a time resulted in Inman's improved health, renewed courage, and freedom from economic care. He had a very happy sojourn at Rydal Mount as the guest of Wordsworth whose portrait, now belonging to the University of Pennsylvania, was notably successful. Wordsworth spoke of him as the most decided man of genius he had ever seen from America, (Dunn, post p. 250). Inman's daughter Mary, who accompanied him on this trip, won all hearts by her beauty and gracious manners. While at Rydal, Inman made some landscape studies, including a view of Rydall Falls, and he made a drawing of the poet's house and garden from which later he painted a picture, now at the University of Pennsylvania, in which he introduced two small figures, one of Wordsworth and the other of himself. Going up from the Lake District to London, he was received with open arms by Leslie, Maclise, Mulready, and Stanfield, and his portraits of Macaulay and Chalmers were considered among his best. He also painted the portrait of Lord Chancellor Cottenham. He was urged to remain in London, but domestic duties and the precarious state of his health obliged him to return to New York in 1845. He then began the execution of a commission from Congress to furnish a series of historical paintings for the Capitol at Washington; and he was at work on the first of these, depicting the cabin of Daniel Boone in the wilds of Kentucky, when he died of heart disease at the age of forty-five. An important memorial exhibition of 126 of his works was held soon after his death in New York. It contained many of his best pictures.

Among his sitters were Chief Justice Marshall, President Van Buren, William H. Seward, DeWitt Clinton, John James Audubon, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Fitz-Greene Halleck, Charles Fenno Hoffman, George P. Morris, Peggy O'Neill Eaton, Clara Barton, and Mrs. Elizabeth Oakes Smith, advocate of woman's rights. He also painted portraits of Lafayette and William Penn. His genre pictures and landscapes were popular. "Mumble-the-Peg" (in the Pennsylvania Academy) was engraved for The Gift for 1844. "The Boyhood of Washington" was based upon episodes recounted by Sparks in his biography. Of other works of this nature may be mentioned "Picnic in the Catskills" (Brooklyn Museum), "The Young Fisherman" (Metropolitan Museum), "Rip Van Winkle's Awakening," and the "Bride of Lammermoor." His "View of Rydal Water" (Brooklyn Museum) was painted at the suggestion of Wordsworth, who was with him while he made the sketch. His last painting, "An October afternoon," a landscape with figures, shows a rustic schoolhouse on the edge of a wood, with children at play. Inman's work was facile and exact in drawing, and it was often likened to that of Sir Thomas Lawrence. He was unequal, however, and at times meretricious. Isham calls him competent but commonplace, and finds "more likeness than character" in his heads. As a man Inman was likable and socially gifted. He was a good talker, wrote a little in prose and verse, and could hold up his end of an argument. His likeness shows him to have been a rugged person, with a thick wavy mane of hair, keen serious eyes, a large mouth, strong nose, broad brow, and determined jaw. He left five children, one of whom was Henry Inman, 1837-1899 [q.v.].

[C. E. Lester, The Artists of America (1846) : F. B. Hough, A Hist. of Lewis County, in the State of N. Y. (1860); Esther C. Dunn, "Inman's Portrait of Wordsworth," Scribner's Mag., Feb. 1920; Wm. Dunlap, A Hist. of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design in the U. S. (3vols., 1918); H. T. Tuckerman, Book of the Artists (1867); Samuel Isham, The Hist. of Am. Painting (1907); C. H. Caffin, Story of Am. Painting (1905); Ehrich Galleries, N. Y., One Hundred Early Am. Paintngs (1918); N. Y. Tribune, Jan. 19, 1846.]


INMAN, HENRY (July 30, 1837-Nov. 13, 1899), Union soldier, author, was born in New York City, the son of Henry Inman [q.v.l, a painter, and his wife, Jane Riker (O'Brien) Inman. When Henry was yet a boy his father died and his mother moved to a small farm near Hempstead, L. I. The youth for a time attended the Athenian Academy at Rahway, N. J., and had further instruction from private tutors. At twenty he enlisted in the army, and as a private (later a corporal) in the 9th Infantry served for four years in the Indian disturbances in California and Oregon. On the outbreak of the Civil War he was transferred to the 17th Infantry, Army of the Potomac, becoming a first lieutenant in October 1862. In the Peninsular campaign he served on the staff of Gen. George Sykes, and for gallant conduct at Gaines's Mills, June 27, 1862, was breveted a captain. During the next two years he served in the Quartermaster's Department. At the end of the war he was sent to Kansas, where he distinguished himself in the Indian campaigns, attaining the brevet of lieutenant-colonel in February 1869. On July 24, 1872, he was cashiered from the army.

In 1878 Inman took charge of a newspaper, the Larned Enterprise. In 1882 he became manager of the Kansas News Agency at Topeka and was subsequently employed on various newspapers in the state. His interest in the frontier prompted the writing of a number of sketches of adventure which in 1881 were published in book form under the title Stories of the Old Santa Fé Trail, another collection, In the Van of Empire, followed in 1889. The wide circulation of these sketches, due in part to the printing of a selection oi them by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fé Railway Company as an advertisement, induced Inman to plan a larger and more comprehensive work on the subject. With the financial aid of his friend, W. F. Cody (Buffalo Bill), he completed the volume, which was published in November 1897 under the title, The Old Santa Fé Trail, The Story of a Great Highway. It scored an immediate success, bringing him money and fame. During the next year he produced Tales of the Trail, The Ranche on the Oxhide, and A Pioneer from Kentucky, and in collaboration with Cody, The Great Salt Lake Trail. In 1899 he published The Delahoyd's and a compilation of the frontier experiences of the Hon. Charles J. Jones under the title, Buffalo Jones' Forty Years of Adventure.

Inman was married in Portland, Me., Oct. 22, 1862, to Eunice C. Dyer, the daughter of a prominent shipbuilder. In his later years he separated from his family, living in a small hotel in Topeka. He was a man of many eccentricities. He lived frugally but spent money lavishly on a blind boy whom he had met in a hospital. The large royalties received during his last two years were squandered, and at the time of his death he was in debt. His writings, though popular, have little historical value. He died in Topeka.

[F. B. Heitman, Hist. Reg. and Dict. of the U. S. Army (1903); Appletons' Ann. Cyc., 1899; Who's Who in America, 1899-1900; Kansas City Star, Nov. 13, 1899; Topeka Daily Capitol and Kansas City Jour., Nov. 14, 1899.] W.J.G.

INMAN, JOHN (1805-Mar. 30, 1850), journalist and editor, the son of William and Sarah Inman, was born in Utica, N. Y. (F. B. Hough, A History of Lewis County, 1860, p. 124). About 1812 William Inman removed with his family to New York City. Although without an adequate formal education, John, toward the close of 1823, went to North Carolina, where he taught school for two years. After spending a year in Europe, he returned to New York and from 1829 to 1833 practiced law, but owing either to a small clientele or to a love of literature, inherited, perhaps, from his father, who was a gentleman of education and culture, he gradually drifted into journalistic work. From 1828 to 1831, and later in 1835 and 1836, Inman served on the editorial staff of the New York Mirror, a literary magazine founded in 1823 by George P. Morris. For a short time in 1828 he seems also to have had an editorial charge in the New York Standard. About 1837 he accepted a more important appointment as an assistant editor of the Commercial Advertiser, and with the death of William L. Stone, the editor-in-chief, in 1844, assumed its complete editorial control, which he retained until shortly before his death. With the establishment in 1844 of the Columbian Lady's and Gentelman's Magazine, Inman was appointed editor of the periodical, later having as an associate Robert A. West. This periodical was fortunate in numbering among its contributors such writers as H. T. Tuckerman, Mrs. Lydia Sigourney, and Edgar Allan Poe. Duyckinck asserts that Inman himself on one occasion wrote an entire number of the periodical. Inman's connection with the magazine ceased in 1838. He was also for a time a contributor to the Spirit of the Times and the New York Review.

Thus Inman's life was largely spent in the obscurity of editorial offices, where he passed an anonymous literary existence. Still, the periodicals and miscellanies of his day reveal a number of signed articles which aid us in estimating the man's literary ability. These prose tales vary much in subject matter and artistic value. "Old Graham the Beggar," in The Christian Souvenir (Boston, 1843) is a feeble, sentimental effusion in a purely didactic vein. Of slightly greater artistic merit is "The Sudden and Sharp Doom," a story published in The Gift for 1843 (Philadelphia, 1842), which also included the first printing of Poe's "Pit and the Pendulum." In "Early Love and Constancy" (New York Mirror, Apr. 2, 1831)Inman presents a sentimental tale, tempered, in the early Knickerbocker manner, by elements of burlesque. A quaint little sketch, in places worthy of Irving himself, whose style Inman has obviously sought to imitate, is "The Little Old Man of Coblentz," contributed anonymously to The Talisman for MDCCCXXIX (New York, 1828). Inman also wrote for an edition of Samuel Maunder's Treasury of History, published in New York in 1845, a sketch of American history.

In 1833 Inman married Miss Fisher, the sister of several comedians of that name popular at the Park Theatre. Although greatly overshadowed in reputation by his more accomplished brother, Henry Inman, 1801-1846 [q.v.], the painter, he yet seems to have been liked by his contemporaries. He belonged to the "Sketch Club," which included among its members Bryant, Halleck, and Verplanck. "Halleck," says J. G. Wilson, "esteemed him highly as a genial companion and an accomplished littérateur."

[Brief Sketches of Inman's life are to be found in E. A. and G. L. Duyckinck, Cyc. of Am. Lit. (ed. 1875), II, 244, the Internat. Miscellany (Internat. Monthly Mag.), Oct. 1850, and J. G. Wilson, Bryant and His Friends (1886), pp. 408-09. Facts regarding some of his editorial connections are included in F. L. Mott, A Hist. of Am. Magazines, 1741-1850 (1930).]


INMAN, JOHN HAMILTON (Oct. 6, 1844-Nov. 5, 1896), merchant and financier, was born at Dandridge, Jefferson County, Tenn., the brother of Samuel Martin Inman [q.v.]. Both his parents, Shadrach W. and Jane Martin (Hamilton) Inman, were of Revolutionary stock, the former of English descent, the latter of north-of-Ireland ancestry. The boy spent his early life upon his father's plantation, and in his general store. After attending a neighborhood academy, he refused to go to college and worked for a year in a bank in Georgia, where he began to show the financial ability displayed in later life. From 1862 to 1865 he was in the Confederate army, though the sentiment of his section of East Tennessee was strongly Unionist and he was threatened with physical violence on his discharge from the army. In the fall of 1865 he went to New York with only a few dollars, since his father had been ruined by the war, and secured employment in a cotton house. Soon he became a partner, but in 1870, organized the new firm of Inman, Swann & Company. He was one of the organizers of the New York Cotton Exchange and until the end of his life was a prominent figure in the cotton trade of the world.

As he accumulated capital he turned toward the industrial development of the Southern states. He was one of the organizers, and long a director, of the Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company, later to be absorbed by the United States Steel Corporation. He was also interested in the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, in the Central Railroad & Banking Company of Georgia, and became influential in the Richmond & Danville Railroad and in the Richmond & West Point Terminal Railway & Warehouse Company, which was organized first as an adjunct to the Richmond & Danville, but later controlled the parent corporation and all its leased and subsidiary lines. Inman served as president of both these corporations, which were later to be the backbone of the Southern Railway system. He had interests in various other Southern enterprises (though he was a promoter rather than a builder), and claimed that he had been instrumental in the investment of at least $100,000,000 of Northern capital in the South. He was also a director in various important banks and insurance companies in New York, and from its organization to his death was a member of the New York Rapid Transit Commission which was charged with the duty of finding a solution of the traffic problems of New York City.

The financial depression culminating in the panic of 1893 precipitated the bankruptcy of most Southern railroads and seriously crippled him. His attempts to recoup by speculating in cotton were disastrous, and his losses led to a nervous collapse in 1896. He died at a sanitarium at New Canaan, Conn., to which he had been secretly removed, and not at a hotel in the Berkshires, as is stated in most accounts. Inman was a man of abounding energy, undoubted financial ability, and considerable personal charm. His enthusiastic belief in the possibilities of Southern industrial development had its influence at a time when most financiers were skeptical, and his attempts to combine Southern railways laid a foundation upon which stronger hands were later able to build. He married, in 1870, Margaret McKinney Coffin of Monroe County, Tenn.

(Material upon Inman's life is fragmentary and is to be found chiefly in the newspapers and in the reports of the various enterprises with which he was connected. The New York papers at the time of his death contained sketches of him, see especially N. Y. Tribune, Nov. 7, 1896; N. Y. Times, Nov. 6, 1896. See also T. H. Martin, Atlanta and its Builders (1902),and Knoxville Jour., Nov. 6, 1896.] H.T--n.

INMAN, SAMUEL MARTIN (Feb. 19, 1843-Jan. 12, 1915), merchant and philanthropist, was born in Jefferson County, Tenn.; he was the son of Shadrach W. And Jane Martin (Hamilton) Inman, and the brother of John Hamilton Inman [q.v.]. His father was a prosperous merchant and planter, while his mother seems to have been a woman of unusual strength of character. Young Inman's early life was spent upon his father's plantation until he entered Maryville College. In the autumn of 1860 he entered the sophomore class at Princeton, but left the following April to join the Confederate army, enlisting as a private in the 1st Tennessee Cavalry, and ending as a lieutenant on staff duty. In 1886 he received the honorary degree of A.M. from Princeton. After the close of the war he worked in Augusta, Ga., for a year or more, and, in 1867, with his father, opened a cotton office in Atlanta, which was to be his home until his death. The father returned to Tennessee in 1870, but the business was continued as S. M. Inman & Company. The firm prospered and became one of the largest dealers in cotton in the world, with several branch offices in different parts of the South. In 1896 Inman retired from active direction of the business, but he continued to give some attention to various financial and industrial enterprises. He was one of the organizers and was also a director of the Southern Railway, the yards of which in Atlanta are named for him. He was a director of the Equitable Life Assurance Society, of the Atlanta Constitution, and of several banks. He was a close friend and trusted adviser of President Samuel Spencer of the Southern Railway, and of Henry W. Grady [q.v.], the gifted editor of the Constitution. Earlier he had been financially interested in some of the enterprises of his brother, John Hamilton Inman, to whom his sound judgment had been valuable.

While still engaged in active business, he found time to work for the welfare of his city and section. He was treasurer of the International Cotton Exposition held in Atlanta in 1881, and backed it when failure seemed certain. He also made possible the opening of the Cotton States and International Exposition at Atlanta in 1895. After his retirement he gave more and more of his time to civic duties, and, though from choice he never held any public office, he was universally acclaimed the "first citizen of Atlanta." He was influential in founding the Georgia School of Technology, to which he contributed largely in money and time, serving as president of the board of trustees; he gave liberally to Agnes Scott Institute (now Agnes Scott College) and through his example interested others. He made donations to Oglethorpe and Emery universities, and was a member of the committee to choose Rhodes scholars for Georgia. He was prominent in the agitation which led to increased appropriations for public schools and the establishment of agricultural high schools. In fact, he allowed hardly an appeal for any educational, religious, or benevolent object to go unheeded. He is known to have given away more than a million dollars in his lifetime, and the total of his benefactions was probably much greater. He was for many years an elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta. The Samuel M. Inman School in that city, erected in 1893-94, was named in his honor. On the day of his funeral courts and schools were closed and business was almost suspended. His sister, Jane W. Inman, left her property, amounting to about $150,000, to Agnes Scott College as a memorial to her brother. Inman was twice married: first, Feb. 19, 1868, to Jennie Dick of Rome, Ga., who died in 1890; and, second, Dec. 12, 1892, to Mildred McPheeters, daughter of Alexander M. McPheeters of Raleigh, N. C., who, with three children of the first marriage, survived him.

[W. P. Reed, Hist. of Atlanta (1889) ; T. H. Martin, Atlanta and its Builders (2 vols., 1902); Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta Journal, Jan. 13, 1915; information from the secretary of Princeton University. l H.T--n

Taken from Dictionary of American Biography, Vol IX, American Council of Learned Societies, 1943