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Conrad, Robert Taylor (10 June 1810–27 June 1858), dramatist and mayor of Philadelphia, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of John Conrad, a publisher, and Eliza (maiden name unknown). Urged by his father, in 1831 Conrad became an attorney. But he found himself attracted more to journalism and literature than to the legal profession, and from 1831 to 1834 he worked for the ...

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A. Oakey Hall. Daguerreotype from the studio of Mathew B. Brady. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-109931).

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Hall, Abraham Oakey (26 July 1826–07 October 1898), politician and journalist, was born in Albany, New York, the son of Morgan James Hall, a wholesale merchant whose business was in New Orleans, and Elsie Lansing Oakey. In 1830 his father died of yellow fever and his mother moved to New York City, where she ran a boardinghouse. Relatives helped his mother finance his education, and Oakey (as he preferred to be called) graduated from New York University in 1844. He attended Harvard Law School for one term but decided that study in a law office would allow him to practice law sooner. Living with an uncle in New Orleans, he studied under noted states’ rights Democrats ...

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McClellan, George Brinton (23 November 1865–30 November 1940), educator, author, and mayor of New York City, was born in Dresden, Saxony, the son of Civil War general George Brinton McClellan and Mary Ellen Marcy. McClellan attended St. John’s Boarding School in Sing Sing, New York. He then entered Princeton University in 1882. Upon graduating with an A.B. in 1886, he spent two years traveling in Europe. Afterward, he reported for New York daily newspapers, including the ...

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John Wentworth. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-51923).

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Wentworth, John (05 March 1815–16 October 1888), editor, congressman, and mayor of Chicago, was born in Sandwich, New Hampshire, the son of Paul Wentworth, a storekeeper, and Lydia Cogswell. His grandfather John Wentworth served in the Continental Congress and signed the Articles of Confederation. Young Wentworth attended first local public schools and then a series of private academies before entering Dartmouth College. After graduating from Dartmouth in 1836 he moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he gained employment as an agent for the ...

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Whitlock, Brand (04 March 1869–24 May 1934), novelist, reform mayor, and diplomat, was born Joseph Brand Whitlock in Urbana, Ohio, the son of Elias D. Whitlock, a Methodist clergyman, and Mallie Lavinia Brand. Known by his middle name from childhood, Whitlock grew up in a number of western Ohio communities where his father held pastorates. He graduated from high school in Toledo and accepted a job in 1887 as a reporter for the ...