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Thaddeus Hyatt · Obituary · New York Times · 1901
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End Came to the New Jersey Inventor and Friend of John Brown on the Isle of Wight.
Thaddeus Hyatt, an inventor, and who at the time of the anti-slavery agitation in this country was an ardent abolitionist and close friend of John Brown, died Thursday, at Sandown, Isle of Wight, England. He was born eighty-five years ago, in Rahway, N.J. Mr. Hyatt invented the bullseye glass lens, used as a means of increasing the light in vaults under street sidewalks, and his invention made him wealthy.
In the fities, when the anti-slavery agitation began to assume definite form, Mr. Hyatt associated himself with the leaders in the movement and gave his means for the advancement of the doctrine of universal freedom. He became a close friend of John Brown, who whenever he came to New York made his headquarters at Mr. Hyatt's Morton Street house. After the execution of John Brown Mr. Hyatt was summoned to appear before the United States Senate to give evidence regarding the movements leading up to the Harper's Ferry demonstration. He refused and was committed to the Old Capitol Prison in Washington. Instead of taking his imprisonment seriously he had his prison room decorated and furnished and then issued invitations to his friends. He never lacked visitors.
During this incarceration he arranged mass meetings at Cooper Union, New York, the first in the series being called the "John Brown meeting." This meeting was addressed by Wendell Phillips and other prominent abolitionist orators. From the prison Mr. Hyatt wrote home to the newspapers and kept up a fearless agitation of the question. Those who were opposed to him saw the error of their course, and on motion of the Senator who had caused his imprisonment he was ordered to leave the prison. He promptly telegraphed to New York: "Have been kicked out. Will be home to-morrow."
When the famine, resulting from the failure of crops, came to Kansas shortly after the election of Abraham Lincoln Mr. Hyatt materially assisted in the organization of the Kansas Relief Committee. He went to Kansas and personally superintended the distribution of money, clothing and food and remained there until the work was complete. —New York Times, July 27, 1901
Thaddeus Hyatt obituary in The New York Times, July 27, 1901