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This biography is from Landmarks of Albany County, New York, edited by Amasa J. Parker of Albany, N. Y., Syracuse, N. Y.; D. Mason & Co. Publishers, 1897.

Howard N. Fuller

Howard N. Fuller was born in New Baltimore, Greene county, N. Y., October 29, 1853. His lineage is most honorable, notable and interesting. The blood of the patriots and founders of our country flows unsullied through his veins. His ancestors, in both lines, made much of our nation's history, and contributed largely to the permanent establishment of those essential principles of civil and religious liberty upon which our government is founded and thereby secured to us the proud enjoyment of their beneficences.

Mr. Fuller is the son of William Fuller and Lydia Allen Swezey. On the paternal side he is a direct lineal descendant of Thomas Fuller, one of the immortal Mayflower band of 1620, whose descendants achieved wide distinction in the realms of theology, medicine and law. On the maternal side he is the great-great-grandson of Jonathan Dickinson, the founder and first president of Princeton College, and through Jonathan Dickinson's wife, his great-great-grandmother, Joanna Melyn, he is a lineal descendant of Cornells Melyn, the powerful and humane patroon of Staten Island, who resisted so effectually the selfish and unwarrantable tyrannies of Governors Kieft and Stuyvesant. Jonathan Dickinson's father was Hezekiah Dickinson, born February 27, 1636, and his grandfather was Nathaniel Dickinson, born in England near the close of the sixteenth century. The lives and deeds of the Dickinsons are inseparably interwoven with the colonial period of our republic. Many of them were killed in the Indian warfares, but the progeny was numerous, and those who survived became distinguished in statecraft, literature, art and science. Gen. Horace Dickinson, Hon. Daniel S. Dickinson, Hon, Don M. Dickinson, belong to the same line. Mr. Fuller is a great-grandnephew of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry and Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, and is immediately related to the Bigelows, Belmonts, Sergeants (Phila.), Burnetts (N. J.), Runyons (N. J.), and Greens, (N. J.), one of whom, John C. Green, has made munificent gifts to Princeton College in memory of his great-grandfather. Judith, the sister of Eastman Johnson, the celebrated artist, is Mr. Fuller's great-aunt. Mr. Fuller's great-grandfathers, Josiah Wilson and John Anderson, served in the Revolutionary war and in the war of 1812.

Mr. Fuller received his earliest education in the primary school of New Baltimore and at the Coeymans Academy. When fifteen he entered Rutgers College Grammar School at New Brunswick, N. J., with his brother Perry J., who is now a prominent lawyer in New York city. A year later he matriculated at Rutgers College, and after a regular course of four years was graduated from that institution in 1874. While in college he acquired no little fame in literary work. In 1873 he won the junior Philoclean literary prize and in 1874 secured the senior prize for English composition. He not only was a great lover of classical and English literature, but also of athletic sports, and in 1873 was delegated to meet representatives of Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, and the University of Pennsylvania, at New York, to make rules and regulations to govern collegiate football playing, and the rules then adopted still govern this sport in American colleges. At college Mr. Fuller also exercised his poetical genius, writing among other pieces a song entitled "On the Banks of the Old Raritan," which has ever since been the standard college song of old Rutgers, and in which his name will live so long as the stones of that time-honored institution stand one above another.

Returning from college Mr. Fuller began in 1875 the publication of the New Baltimore Sun, which he continued about a year. In 1876 he came to Albany and with his father and two brothers, under the firm name of William Fuller & Sons, engaged in government contracting and dealing in building materials. While following this business he also pursued for one year a course in both law and medicine, and for another year thereafter, or until the death of its proprietor, managed and edited the Greenbush Gazette. Since then he has been successfully engaged in business.

It is in the literary field, however, that he has won fame and honor. Acknowledged as a clever writer, and possessing a genius unlimited in style and scope, he is equally happy in serious and humorous composition. For two years he wrote the column of witty paragraphs for the Yonkers Gazette and at the same time contributed to the leading humorous periodicals of the country. Among his lyric poems is that of "God Bless the Little Woman," the sentiments of which were suggested by Mrs. Garfield's tender watchfulness over her husband after he had fallen by the assassin's bullet. Afterward, in a personal note, she gracefully expressed her thanks to him for the song which had not only touched her own heart but that of the nation. His touching tribute to the martyred president, "The Heart of the Nation is Sad To-day," and his poem on the death of General Grant found wide pubhcity and achieved for him added fame. He is also the author of "The Dear Old Home," a popular sentimental song sung by Thatcher, Primrose & West's minstrels, and the "Bi-Centennial Hymn," which was written by request of the committee on arrangements and sung by thousands of school children and in the city churches during the memorable celebration in Albany a few years ago. He has also done considerable literary work of a serious and religious character. His poetical efforts are mainly lyrical and pastoral, and reveal the true poetic instinct. In all he displays a sympathetic impulse, a pure religious fervor, or an inspiring patriotism. His versified and prose writings are characterized by that simple diction, that pleasing imagery, that original thought and graceful style which appeal to the hearts of his readers and inspire noble actions.

Mr. Fuller has always taken an active part in politics, and in nearly every campaign since 1876 has addressed political meetings in behalf of the Republican ticket. In 1885 he was elected alderman of the Eleventh ward and served a term of two years, refusing a renomination. For three terms he was president of the Albany Unconditional Republican Club, being at that time the only man re-elected to this office during the club's permanent existence. He was one of the originators and chief promoters of the National League of Republican Clubs, and in 1890 was his party's candidate for mayor of the city. His successful opponent, the Hon. James H. Manning, very gracefully appointed him commissioner of public instruction, which office he held until forced to resign by the increased exactions of business occasioned by the death of his father and his brother, De Witt A. , who were associated with him. He is prominently connected with several social and literary organizations, is a Free Mason, and a member of the Society of the Sons of the Revolution.

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