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  • ID: I10705
  • Name: Henry White Cannon
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 27 SEP 1850 in Delhi, Delaware, NY
  • Note:
    From: A Genealogical History of the Jennings Families in England and
    America Fourth to eighth generation.
    Henry W. Cannon is president of the Chase National Bank, of New York
    city; his business career has brought him to the front rank as President
    of one of the leading banks in the city of New York while a young man not
    forty years of age. At the age of twenty-one he was a successful banker
    in the state of Minnesota. He was appointed Comptroller of rhe Currency
    of the United States and removed to Washington in May, 1884. His line of
    descent is from a long list of honorable and distinguished ancestors,
    prominent in the Indian and Revolutionary wars, traced in the history of
    our country back to the first Puritan settlement in 1620; a more
    particular sketch may be found in "Rhoda's Journal of Banking," for
    March, 1886, and in the "Genealogy of the White Family;" his wife, Jennie
    O. Curtis, is a relative of John J. Knox, President of the National Bank
    of the Republic, of New York City, who was Comptroller of the Currency of
    the U. S. previous to the appointment of Mr. Cannon to that office; she
    was the daughter of Gold J. Curtis, a leading lawyer in Minnesota, who
    died in the civil war, in the service in the 5th Regiment of Minnesota
    Volunteers, in 1862; she is a lady of refinement and cultivation, a
    genial companion to her husband, and much esteemed by their large circle
    of friends and acquaintances in Washington and New York.--From manuscript
    of F. A. White.

    From: The American Banker.
    The subject of this sketch was born at Delhi, N. Y., September 27, 1850.
    His ancestry was Puritan and his line of descent is especially
    distinguished by the circumstance that it springs from Peregrine White,
    "the first white child born in New England." The grandfather, Benjamin
    Cannon, served conspicuously in the war for independence, and died during
    confinement as prisoner of war to the British in the infamous Old Sugar
    House in New York City. His father, George Bliss Cannon, served as
    postmaster of Delhi for a number of years, and was a merchant of good
    repute, a zealous citizen and intimate friend of Horace Greeley. Henry
    White Cannon, who is the elder of two sons, received his elementary
    education in the schools of his native place. He then took a course in
    the Delaware Literary Institute. At the completion of his studies at that
    institution he determined upon the pursuit of banking as his vocation in
    life. In accordance with this purpose he accepted a position in the First
    National Bank of Delhi, and at the age of 20 was teller of the bank.
    Going West, in 1870, an ambition which many energetic and capable young
    men entertained at that period, he became associated with the Second
    National Bank of St. Paul. A year later he removed to Stillwater, Minn.,
    where he had now founded the Lumbermen's National Bank. For thirteen
    years he was the life and soul of this institution, and in that period
    his capacity as a bank manager, though tested severely, was not found
    wanting. The newness of his surroundings, the pioneer character of many
    of the commercial undertakings of the territory, brought into his hands
    many new opportunities for the employment of funds upon credit of a
    character still doubtful as bankable material. To deal successfully with
    new credits which arise in a rapidly growing section requires the wisest
    discrimination and a thorough appreciation of the resources of the new
    country and its possibilities of growth. It likewise requires stability
    of character to resist the allurements which new but untried experments
    in business hold out for rapid gains not founded upon observation and
    experience. Although Mr. Cannon's acquirements as a practical banker were
    perhaps still in the experimental stage when the panic of 1873 broke out,
    the banking structure which he had founded at Stillwater passed through
    that ordeal unharmed. In recognition of his capacity as a financier he
    was employed to negotiate loans for the city of St. Paul. When the
    National debt was refunded he was chosen by many banks in the Northwest
    to conduct the negotiations with the Treasury in which they, as holders
    of government bonds, were especially interested. In pursuit of these
    important undertakings, Mr. Cannon entered upon that series of close
    relations with the financial department of the Government which was
    thereafter to offer him the broadest field for the exercise of his high
    mental and administrative powers. In 1884 he was appointed Comptroller of
    the Currency by President Arthur, succeeding a gentleman (John Jay Knox)
    who had served in that capacity for a number of years with great
    distinction. It was in this service that Mr. Cannon's extensive and
    minute knowledge of the theory and practice of banking in both its legal
    and economic aspects was of great value to the interests which then came
    directly under his supervision. His duties as Comptroller of the Currency
    began almost simultaneously with the banking panic of 1884. But the
    experience which he had acquired in 1873 enabled him to take up the
    extremely delicate responsibilities then attached to this office with
    greater confidence than one usually does at the threshold of new
    problems. The world of finance laboring in the storm of dangerous forces
    looked to the new Comptroller with perfect confidence. That he was
    conspicuously fitted by disposition and knowledge to perform the duties
    of his office was shown especially in his appearance before the Senate
    Finance Committee, where a resolution to investigate certain phases of
    the panic as affecting the banks of New York was in process of being
    favorably reported. The unreasonable inquisitiveness which is displayed
    on such occasions by Congress is one of the menacing factors in our
    banking practice. Mr. Cannon met the committee with a thorough exposition
    of the causes of the panic, the condition of the banks, solidity unless
    the government should do something to disturb confidence. Impressed with
    the admirable judgmen and serious utterance of the man before them, the
    Finance Committee decided to leave tne matter untouched, and the event
    proved not only the wisdom of that course, but also the clearness and
    precision with which Mr. Cannon has estimated the developments of the
    time. Aside from the peculiar responsibilities which the occurrence of
    panic imposes upon the Comptroller of the Currency, the work of
    administering this department was involved with special duties relating
    to the extension of the charters of National banks, during Mr. Cannon's
    term. The law, passed in 1882, provided that no charter should be renewed
    until the Comptroller had made a special examination of the condition of
    the bank applying for an extension of its franchise. Over nine hundred
    associations thus came under his special observation in 1885, and in
    conformity with the conscientious thoroughness with which his
    undertakings have always been guided, Mr. Cannon devoted a good deal of
    personal attention to this work. And here again his knowledge of credit,
    especially that arising in the new territories of the country, was of
    utmost value to the banking interests whose right to continue in business
    was to be determined by him. In 1885 President Cleveland desired to
    reappoint Mr. Cannon Comptroller of the Currency, but the latter
    declined. In 1886 he was elected vice president of the National Bank of
    the Republic of New York city, of which his predecessor as Comptroller,
    Mr. Knox was president. In November of 1886 he retired from the
    vice-presidency of that institution to become president of the Chase
    National Bank, a position which he still holds. The city which he choose
    for his future residence was quick to recognize his power to do it
    eminent service, and he was appointed an aqueduct commissioner by Mayor
    Grant. In 1891 Mr. Cannon served on the Assay Commission and in 1892 was
    a delegate to the International Monetary Conference of Brussels. During
    the panic of 1893 Mr. Cannon was a member of the New York Clearing House
    committee, whose important work in supporting business and public credit
    we are all familiar with.

    Father: George Bliss Cannon
    Mother: Ann Eliza White b: 2 NOV 1825

    Marriage 1 Jenny O. Curtis
    • Married: 20 NOV 1879 in Washington, D.C.
    1. Has No Children George Curtis Cannon b: 23 SEP 1882
    2. Has No Children Henry White Cannon b: 10 SEP 1887
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