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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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HON. HARRY MANNING. The Mannings are of English descent and came to America at various times, some at a very early date. Capt. John Manning, a soldier in the British army, was at Boston as early as 1650. In 1664 he came to New York, where later his government granted him the island in the East river that is now known as Blackwell’s island. Formerly it was known as Manning’s island. A Robert Manning, who was born at Salem, Mass., and died there in 1842, achieved great distinction as a pomologist. He had a sister Elizabeth who became the mother of Nathaniel Hawthorne, who was educated at the expense of Mr. Manning.

A William Manning who was born in England settled at Cambridge, Mass., in 1692. He descended from an ancient family who had their origin in Saxony, Germany, and settled in England in the fourth century. This member of the family was extensively interested in navigation, was prominent in the church and became the founder of a large American posterity. He was one of the selectmen of Cambridge and by appointment of the Colonial government he and Deacon John Cooper directed the erection of Harvard hall, and collected and disbursed the moneys that were raised for its construction.

A James Manning, who was born at Elizabeth, N. J., in 1738, graduated from Princeton with the second honors of his class, became a Baptist minister and figured prominently as a preacher and educator in the colony of Rhode Island during the Revolutionary period. He represented Rhode Island in the Congress of the Confederation after the Revolution and it was largely through his influence that Rhode Island eventually came into the Union.

Randolph Manning, who was born in Plainfield, N. J., became a lawyer in New York City. He afterward settled in Pontiac, Mich., and was a delegate to the first Constitutional Convention of that State; also served as State senator, as secretary of State, as chancellor of the State and as associate justice of the Supreme court of the State. He was a descendant of Jeffrey Manning, who settled in New Jersey as early as 1676.

Richard Irving Manning, who was born in Clarendon, S. C., in 1789, served as a captain in the war of 1812, as a member of the Legislature, and afterward became governor of South Carolina. While governor he entertained at his house Gen. LaFayette on the occasion of his second visit to this country. He afterward was elected Congressman and while holding that position died in Philadelphia in 1836. His wife bore the unusual distinction of being the wife of a governor, the sister of a governor, the niece of a governor, the mother of a governor, and the aunt and foster mother of a governor. Their oldest son married a daughter of Gen. Wade Hampton, served several years in the Assembly and Senate of South Carolina, and was elected governor in 1852. He was a delegate to the convention that nominated Buchanan for the Presidency and a member of the committee that notified him of his nomination. Mr. Buchanan tendered him the mission to St. Petersburg, which he declined. In the Civil war he served on Gen. Beauregard’s staff. In 1865 he was chosen United States senator, but was not permitted to take his seat. Lawrence Manning, the father of Richard Irving Manning, served in the Revolution under “Light Horse Harry” Lee, who mentions him in his “Memoirs.”

Thomas Courtland Manning, born in North Carolina, in 1831, became a lawyer and removed to Louisiana, where he had a distinguished and honorable career. In the Civil war he rose to the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the Confederate service, and later was appointed adjutant-general of the State with the rank of brigadier-general. In 1864 he was appointed an associate justice of the Supreme court of the State and served till the close of the war. In 1876 he was vice president of the National convention that nominated Samuel J. Tilden; in 1877 he was appointed chief justice of the Supreme court, serving until in 1880. In 1882 he was a third time placed on the Supreme Bench and served until in 1886, when President Cleveland appointed him United States minister to Mexico, which post he held until his death, in 1887.

A Jacob Merrill Manning, born at Greenwood, N. Y., in 1824, graduated at Amherst, became a distinguished clergy-man in the Congregational church, and for a long time was pastor of Old South Church in Boston. He was chaplain to the Massachusetts State Senate, chaplain to the 43d Massachusetts Regiment in 1862-63, for six years an overseer of Harvard, for seventeen years a trustee of the State library and for six years a lecturer at Andover Theological Seminary. He died in Portland, Maine, in 1882.

Daniel Manning, born at Albany, N. Y., was educated in the public schools until in his twelfth year, when he entered the office of an Albany newspaper and rose step by step until he reached the position of president of the Company that owned it. He also became director of several banks; president of the National Commercial Bank of Albany, and interested in a railroad. Becoming a leader in Democratic politics he rose to great prominence and influence and in 1885 was appointed secretary of the treasury by President Cleveland.

It is not the purpose of this article to show the relationship of these different branches of this distinguished family; but as it may be within the range of possibility to do so reference is made to them with the view of lending assistance to the genealogist of the future. Besides, it may also add interest to what the writer hereof has to relate about the Pennsylvania family that is the special subject of this sketch.

The American progenitor of the Pennsylvania Mannings settled in Lancaster county some time prior to the war of the Revolution. He married a lady of German ancestry and both lived in that part of the State to the end of their days. Among his children was a son George who was born in Manor township, Lancaster county, sometime between the years 1788 and 1790. He married Mary Kendig, a member of a representative Lancaster county family, and subsequently moved to the vicinity of Middletown, Dauphin county. George and Mary (Kendig) Manning had the following children: John, Christian, Martin and Elizabeth. John, the oldest of these four children, was born in 1813, in Dauphin county. In 1832 he married Lydia Culp, of Lancaster county, whose mother was a Boughter, and the member of a family who rendered valiant service in the war of the Revolution. Soon after his marriage he began farming and farmed upon his father’s farm near Middletown until in 1837, when he moved to Silver Spring township, Cumberland county, and followed farming there. In his latter years he engaged at milling with his son. He died on July 16, 1892; his wife, Lydia (Culp) Manning, died June 26, 1864, in the fifty-second year of her age, and the remains of both are buried in the graveyard of the Silver Spring Church. John and Lydia (Culp) Manning had seven children, viz.: Henry, born Oct. 29, 1834; Samuel, March 25, 1837 (died Jan. 20, 1841); Abraham, in 1839 (married Emma Leeds, of Carlisle); John, in 1842 (married Emma Sanderson, of Newville); Sarah, in 1846 (married William Hauck, of Silver Spring township; died in January, 1904); Lillie, in 1852 (married Levi Baer, of Silver Spring township), and J. Anderson, who married Lucy Clapper. With a single exception all of their children were born in Silver Spring township, Cumberland county. Henry, the oldest child, was born near Middletown, Dauphin county, and nearly all his life was popularly known as Harry Manning. His childhood and youth were spent with his parents upon the farm, doing such work as usually falls to the lot of farmer boys and attending the country district school. When sixteen years of age he went to the milling trade, at which he served a two years’ apprenticeship. He then went to Ohio and there worked at milling a year. Returning to Cumberland county, he worked a year in the mill of Thomas B. Bryson of Hampden township, and then began business on his own account at the Silver Spring Mill, located on the turnpike a short distance east of Hogestown. He then was not yet twenty-one years old, but he applied himself so diligently and tried so hard to please that he from the very start made good progress. In 1862 he formed a partnership with J. H. Singiseo, of Mechanicsburg, and bought the mill at the head of the Big Spring and jointly carried on a milling business there until in 1867, when Mr. Manning sold his interest to his partner and purchased the warehouse property at Oakdale. Here he engaged extensively in the grain and forwarding business, also handled coal and lumber, and achieved a wide reputation as an honorable and successful dealer. In 1891 he sold out at Oakville and a year afterward, with his son, entered upon the same line of business at Newville, where he continued until his death.

Mr. Manning was essentially a business man, delighted in business, directed all his attention and energies upon his business enterprises and in every sense of the word was a successful business man. He was a Democrat both by inheritance and conviction, but up until in his latter years figured in politics only to serve his party and his friends. In the summer of 1896, after much pressure, he consented to stand as a candidate for the Legislature. He was nominated and elected and his official course was so satisfactory that two years afterward he was renominated and re-elected by a large vote. With the experience of his former term he returned to his post more zealous than ever to render to his constituency acceptable service, but just as the avenue was widening before him, beckoning him onward to greater usefulness and higher honors, an unseen hand stretched forth and removed him from earthly scenes forever. He died at his home in Newville on Jan. 27, 1899, of pneumonia, after an illness of less than a week. His remains were interred on Jan. 30th in the cemetery of the Big Spring Presbyterian Church, the church with which he and his family affiliated. Among the large concourse present to pay their last respects were special committees from the Senate and House of Representatives at Harrisburg, besides many other members of both branches of the Legislature. The House subsequently held special memorial services, at which addresses were made and resolutions passed expressive of the high esteem held regarding the deceased. The Democratic Standing Committee of Cumberland county, at the first meeting it held after his death, also gave formal expression of the deceased’s public services and high personal character. In person Mr. Manning was tall and spare, and in manner modest and reserved. He was not a product of the schools, but his long business experience and free intercourse with all classes of people gave him a training which served him well in whatever sphere he was called upon to act. He was not a man of many words, but when he spoke he expressed himself with a dignity and deliberation that gave his words peculiar weight and secured respectful attention.

On Feb. 18, 1862, Mr. Manning was married to Margaret Beistline, at the hands of Rev. William H. Dinsmore, pastor of the Silver Spring Presbyterian Church. Margaret Beistline was a daughter of George and Sarah (Wynkoop) Beistline and a member of an old representative Silver Spring family. To their union two children were born, both sons: George, born Nov. 20. 1862, who died Oct. 20, 1865; and Edgar S., who survives and with his mother comprises all that remains of the family of the late Hon. Harry Manning.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company. 

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