Alexander Dimitry, U.S. Minister to Costa Rica

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Alexander Dimitry, U.S. Minister to Costa Rica's Geni Profile

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Alexander Dimitry

Also Known As: "Tobias", "Guarneriius"
Birthplace: New Orleans, LA, United States
Death: January 30, 1883 (77)
Place of Burial: St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans, La.
Immediate Family:

Son of Andrea Drussakis Dimitry and Marie Celeste Dimitry
Husband of Mary Powell Dimitry
Father of John Bull Smith Dimitry; Elizabeth Virginia Ruth and Thomas Dabney Dimitry
Brother of Miguel Dragon Dimitry and Marie Francoise Athenaise Buel

Managed by: Private User
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About Alexander Dimitry, U.S. Minister to Costa Rica

Alexander Dimitry (1805-1883) — also known as Tobias Guarneriius — of New Orleans, Orleans Parish, La. Born in New Orleans, Orleans Parish, La., February 7, 1805. Newspaper editor; college professor; linguist; as a young man, took part in several duels; Louisiana superintendent of public instruction, 1848-51; U.S. Minister to Costa Rica, 1859-61; Nicaragua, 1859-61. Greek and Alabama Indian ancestry. Died in New Orleans, Orleans Parish, La., January 30, 1883 (age 77 years, 357 days). Interment at St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans, La.

 		Relatives: Son of Andrea Drussakis Dimitry (1775-1852) and Marie Celeste (Dragon) Dimitry (1777-1856); married to Mary Powell Mills (1816-1894; daughter of Robert Mills (1781-1855; architect of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.)); second great-grandfather and great-granduncle of Dracos Alexander Dimitry, Jr. (1922-1973).

United States Minister to Costa Rica and Nicaragua, 1859-1861.

Alexander received his early education at home through private tutors. He attended the New Orleans Classical Academy and graduated at Georgetown University, District of Columbia. Returning to Louisiana, he taught for two years in Baton Rouge College and then became the first English editor of L'Abeille (The New Orleans Bee), a newspaper published in French. He spent some years in the preparation of an elaborate "History of English Names," the manuscript of which was destroyed in a fire.

In 1834, Alexander accepted an appointment as clerk in the post office department in Washington, serving in that capacity for eight years. He was an active member of the Union Literary Society while in Washington, and was in public demand as a lecturer on literature and history.

Alexander established the St. Charles Institute in St. Charles Parish in 1842, which he conducted until 1847 when Governor Isaac Johnson appointed him the first state superintendent of education for Louisiana. Pioneering in this new field for four years, he organized and initiated the state's free school system.

Called to Washington D.C. in 1854, he served as head translator of foreign diplomatic correspondence in the state department, from which position James Buchanon appointed him United States Minister to the Republic of Costa Rica and Nicaragua in 1859. When the Civil War broke out and Louisiana seceded from the Union, Alexander promptly resigned his office and returned to New Orleans. President Jefferson Davis of the Confederacy appointed him chief of the bureau of finance of the post office department, with the rank of assistant postmaster general.

At the close of the War, Alexander took up his residence in New York City where he pursued his literary work until 1867, returning to New Orleans to serve as assistant superintendent of the city's public schools. In 1870 he was elected professor of ancient history in Christian Brothers College, Pass Christian, Mississippi.

Alexander was one of Louisiana's great scholars. He was familiar with eleven languages, ancient and modern, and his studies covered a wide range in literary and philological research. As a young man, he had faced and definitely conquered the temptation to write books, but could not control his passion for accumulating them. His excellent private library contained 15,000 volumes. The Alexander Dimitry School in New Orleans bears his name as a memorial to his services in the cause of education and literature.

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Alexander Dimitry, U.S. Minister to Costa Rica's Timeline

February 7, 1805
New Orleans, LA, United States
December 27, 1835
Washington, DC, United States
January 30, 1883
Age 77
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans, La.