[Cincinnati Enquirer, May
GEORGE MANOR DAVIS BLOSS was born at
Irisburg, Bennington County, Vermont, on the second day of May, 1827,
and was therefore a few weeks over forty-nine years of age at the time
of his death. He was of Revolutionary stock, his grandfathers, on both
his father's and mother's side, having been soldiers in the war for
independence. His mother's father was named Manor Davis, and from
him the subject of our sketch got his name. The general belief that he
was named after George Mifflin Dallis, the Vice-President under Polk's
Administration, is incorrect. When he was only three years of age his
father, who had been in government employ during and since the War of
1812, removed to Watertown, N. Y., and at eight years later to the city
of Oswego. It was during the earlier years of his residence in
Oswego, while he was yet a lad of fifteen or sixteen, that he laid the
foundation for his future life of devotion to literature and
politics.* While a pupil in the Academy of Oswego—an
institution, by-the-by, which has had for its principal Hiram H. Barney,
afterward a well-known educator here in Ohio, and our first State School
Commissioner—he made the study. of history his specialty, spending
most of his school hours, and all of his spare time out of school, in
its careful perusal. At the time he left the academy, in 1846, he was
reckoned by his teachers and fellow-scholars the best-read pupil in
history that had ever gone out from the portals of that institution.
.During all his subsequent life he never gave up his historical studies.
At the age of nineteen he commenced. the
study of law in the office of Grant & Allen. Judge Allen was
then one of the prominent members of the New York bar, and shortly after
became Attorney-general of the State, afterward being elevated to a seat
in the Court of Appeals. In 1850, young Bloss, then barely twenty-three
years of age, was admitted to the bar, though he, at that time, held a
position in the Oswego post-office. Shortly after this he removed to
Syracuse, where he had his initiation into his future life-work, in
helping to edit the Palladium, a daily Democratic journal.
Here, while waiting for the practice
which so tardily comes to a young lawyer, he was frequently called upon
to manage the paper in the absence of the. editor, and here he early
imbibed the peculiarly terse style and forcible diction which has
characterized his editorial writings ever since.
In the, year 1852 he removed to
Cincinnati, with the intention of practicing law. Almost the day
of his arrival, he secured, through the friendly office of his cousin,
Mr. G. B. Aspinwall, of this city, an introduction to Messrs. Faran
& Robinson, the then proprietors of the Enquirer, and having
already had some experience in editorial writing, he volunteered to
furnish matter occasionally for their columns. They were not long
in discovering his abilities, and he soon had an offer from them to a
place on their editorial star. The engagement of Mr. Bloss, made
twenty-four years ago, was not terminated until yesterday, when it was
ended by his sudden death.
In 1854 he was married to Miss Lizzie
McCormick, a dlaughter of General McCormick, one of the earliest of the
Methodist preachers in Ohio. By this marriage he became the father of
four children, three sons and a daughter, who, with their afflicted
mother, survive him. He removed to Branch Hill, Clermont County, some
ten years since, where he bought and built his delightful home, and from
whence he has made his daily ride ever since.
In the year 1868, at the 8th of January
State Convention, which presented the name of the Hon. George H.
Pendleton for President, Mr. Bloss prepared the platform ; and
afterward, when Mr. Pendleton's name became a household word in
connection with the nomination, he prepared a biography of him, which
has since passed into the domain of political classics. In 1872, at the
Cleveland Convention, which instructed for Greeley, he was chairman of
the Committee on Resolutions, and reported the platform on which the
Ohio campaign was made:
Two years ago he was a candidate for
Congress in the Fourth District, and would have received the nomination
had his friends been as devoted to him as his deserts were great. Less
than a year ago he prepared a volume of his literary productions, most
of which had appeared at one time or another in the Enquirer, and
which had an unexpectedly large circulation.
At the time of his death he had in
preparation a second edition of this work considerably enlarged.
In his peculiar field of political and biographical research, it is
doubtful whether he had his equal in America.
Source: In Memoriam
Cincinnati 1881, Cincinnati, A. E. Jones, Publisher, 1881.