John Russell Young With President Grant in Ireland

Born in Dunamanna, County Tyrone, Ireland. John Russell Young (November 20, 1840 – January 17, 1899) was a journalist, author, diplomat, and the seventh Librarian of the United States Congress, serving from 1897 to 1899.

His parents were Scottish, and they came to America in 1841, when Young was less than a year old.  At 15 he entered the newspaper business as a proofreader. In 1861, while with the Philadelphia Press he distinguished himself with his reports on the first Battle of Bull Run, with the first accurate account of the battle.  

He was managing editor of the New York Tribune from 1866 to 1870.  

He accompanied President Ulysses S. Grant on Grant's famous 1877-1879 world tour, the first U.S. president to visit Ireland, a visit chronicled in Young's book Around the World with General Grant.  According to a 2004 article in the Washington Post - Grant’s 5-day Ireland visit was not all clover

By Grant's request, Young was appointed minister to China by President Arthur in 1882, where he distinguished himself as a mediator.  In 1897 President William McKinley appointed him Librarian of Congress, the first Librarian confirmed by Congress. 

In his book 'Men and Memories' he write of his friendship with Charles Dickens, Robert Browning and others of note from all over the world.


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Tags: America's Civil War, Biography, Diplomacy, Journalism, Memoirists, U.S. Presidents, War


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