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Anderson, Joseph Inslee (05 November 1757–17 April 1837), jurist, U.S. senator, and Treasury official, was born near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of William Anderson and Elizabeth Inslee (occupations unknown). When not yet twenty, Anderson enlisted in the Continental army as a private and rose to the rank of major by the war’s end. He was regimental paymaster during much of the war, and his experience in that capacity served him well in positions he held later. He was with ...

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Ashe, Thomas Samuel (19 July 1812–04 February 1887), jurist and congressman, was born at “the Hawfields,” Orange County, North Carolina, the home of his maternal grandfather, where his parents regularly spent the summer. He was the son of Pasquale Paoli Ashe, the owner of a plantation in coastal New Hanover County, North Carolina, and a coal mine in Alabama, and Elizabeth Jane Strudwick. His father lost his entire fortune about 1829 as surety for the debts of a friend....

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Barry, William Taylor (05 February 1784–30 August 1835), politician, jurist, and postmaster general, was born in Lunenburg County, Virginia, the son of John Barry, a revolutionary war veteran and farmer, and Susannah Dozier. The family moved to Kentucky, apparently in 1796, and settled in Fayette County. Following a course of study in law at William and Mary College, Barry was admitted to the Kentucky bar and set up practice in Lexington in 1805. That same year he married Lucy Waller Overton, with whom he would have two children before her premature death....

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Biddle, Francis Beverley (09 May 1886–04 October 1968), lawyer, judge, and U.S. attorney general, was born in Paris, France, the son of Algernon Sydney Biddle, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and Frances Robinson. Biddle attended Haverford Academy (1895–1899); Groton Academy (1899–1905), where he excelled at boxing and gymnastics; and Harvard University, from which he graduated with a B.A. cum laude in 1909 and an LL.B. in 1911. His first job upon graduating was as personal secretary to Associate Justice ...

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Bourne, Benjamin (09 December 1755–17 September 1808), U.S. congressman and jurist, was born in Bristol, Rhode Island, the son of Shearjashub Bourne and Ruth Bosworth Church. Bourne began a career in law and public service after graduating from Harvard with an A.B. in law in 1775. In January 1776 he became the quartermaster for the Second Regiment of Rhode Island. He left military service in January 1777 and returned to Bristol. In 1778 Bourne married Hope Child Diman, the widow of Captain Benjamin Diman of Bristol; they had four children....

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Boyle, John (28 October 1774–28 January 1834), congressman and state and federal judge, was born at “Castle Woods,” near Tazewell, Botetourt County, Virginia, the son of John Boyle, a farmer, and Jane (maiden name unknown). An 1878 encyclopedia describes Boyle as “descended from a sound but humble stock, he was the carver of his own fortune, and the ennobler of his own name” ( ...

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Bradbury, Theophilus (13 November 1739–06 September 1803), lawyer, jurist, and congressman, was born in Newbury (now Newburyport), Massachusetts, the son of Theophilus Bradbury, a wealthy sea captain, and Ann Woodman. Graduated from Harvard College in 1757, he moved to Falmouth (now in Maine but a part of Massachusetts until 1820), where he briefly taught school. When courts were organized in Cumberland and Lincoln counties in 1761, Bradbury was the first man admitted to the bar. Bradbury’s knowledge of the law and effective, dignified courtroom manner led to his appointment as collector of the excise on liquor, tea, coffee, and china in Maine for the province. In 1762 he married Sarah Jones; they had seven children....

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Bradley, Stephen Row (20 February 1754–09 December 1830), jurist and senator, was born in Wallingford (now Cheshire), Connecticut, the son of Moses Bradley and Mary Row. Moses Bradley’s occupation is not known, but he may have been a silversmith like his father. He had the means, at any rate, to send his son Stephen to Yale College for an education. After receiving his baccalaureate degree in July 1775, Stephen Bradley became captain of the Cheshire Volunteers, a militia unit that joined the Continental army in January 1776. Enlistment periods were brief, typically for ninety days, and Bradley served intermittently from 1775 through 1779. He was an aide-de-camp to General ...

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Burke, Aedanus (16 June 1743–30 March 1802), congressman and judge, was born in County Galway, Ireland. His parentage is unknown, although he acknowledged that his grandfather served in the Irish army of James II. Burke attended a Jesuit seminary in St. Omer, France, and had he completed his studies there would have been destined for the priesthood. Never renouncing Catholicism or affiliating with any religious denomination in America, Burke, in order to be eligible to hold public office in South Carolina, became a nominal Protestant. After a brief stay in Bermuda, Burke showed up in 1766 at ...

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Burnet, Jacob (22 February 1770–10 May 1853), Ohio lawmaker and U.S. senator, was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of William Burnet, a doctor and farmer, and Mary Camp. His father was the son of Scottish Presbyterian immigrants and served in the Continental Congress and as surgeon general in the Continental army. Jacob Burnet graduated from Nassau Hall in September 1791, studied law, and gained admittance to the New Jersey bar in spring 1796. He promptly moved to Cincinnati in the Northwest Territory, where he married Rebecca Wallace, daughter of a former pastor of the Presbyterian church, in 1800. They had seven children....

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Butler, Andrew Pickens (18 November 1796–25 May 1857), judge and senator, was born in Edgefield, South Carolina, the son of William Butler, a soldier and politician, and Behethland Foote Moore. Butler attended the well-known Dr. Moses Waddel’s Academy at Willington in neighboring Abbeville County, which also produced Senators ...

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Campbell, James (01 September 1812–27 January 1893), jurist and U.S. postmaster general, was born in the Southwark section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Anthony Campbell, an affluent shopkeeper, and Catherine McGarvey. James, an Irish-Catholic by birth and upbringing, was educated privately, studied law in the Philadelphia law offices of Edward D. Ingraham, and was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar on 14 September 1833. He then opened a legal practice that grew rapidly and brought him increasing prominence. As a result, he was appointed to various local political positions and gradually emerged as the spokesman for Philadelphia’s Catholics....

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Campbell, John Wilson (23 February 1782–24 September 1833), Ohio congressman and judge, was born in Augusta County, Virginia, the son of William Campbell and Elizabeth Wilson, pioneer farmers. His parents, immigrants from northern Ireland, moved to Kentucky in about 1791. Disliking farm work, young Campbell left home and became an apprentice carpenter in Cincinnati, but this so distressed his mother that he returned home and later moved to southern Ohio with the family. He paid for his schooling by clearing land and teaching school, becoming an excellent Latin scholar, although he had no college education. After studying law in Morgantown, Virginia, with his uncle, Thomas Wilson, he was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1808 and took up practice in West Union. Appointed prosecuting attorney for Adams and Highland counties, he built a profitable practice dealing mainly with disputed land titles in Ohio’s Virginia Military District, where he also acted as land agent for nonresident proprietors. In 1811 he married Eleanor W. Doak. They adopted one child....

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Chipman, Nathaniel (15 November 1752–15 February 1843), jurist, U.S. senator, and conservative political leader, was born in Salisbury, Connecticut, the son of Samuel Chipman, a blacksmith and farmer, and Hannah Austin. Chipman entered Yale University in 1773. He joined the Continental army as an ensign during his senior year, in spring 1777, receiving his degree in absentia. Chipman was promoted to lieutenant during the winter at Valley Forge and was present at the battle of Monmouth in June 1778. In October Chipman resigned his commission to study law, complaining that an officer’s salary was insufficient to “support the character of a gentleman” (Chipman, p. 32). One of the first graduates of ...

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Christiancy, Isaac Peckham (12 March 1812–08 September 1890), lawyer, judge, and senator, was born in Johnstown, Fulton County, New York, the son of Thomas Christiancy, a blacksmith, edge tool maker, and farmer, and Zilpha Peckham. When Isaac was twelve, his father was injured, leaving Isaac responsible for helping to support his family by tending their small farm. At age eighteen Christiancy began to teach school while attending academies at Johnstown, Kingsborough, and Ovid, New York. In 1834 he undertook legal studies with the help of John Maynard. Via an Erie Canal packet boat and a Great Lakes steamer, he journeyed to Monroe County, Michigan, in May 1836. There he soon entered the law office of ...

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Clark, Bennett Champ (08 January 1890–13 July 1954), senator and federal judge, was born Joel Bennett Clark in Bowling Green, Missouri, the son of James Beauchamp “Champ” Clark, a congressman, and Genevieve Bennett. As the son of a long-time Democratic congressman from Missouri and Speaker of the House of Representatives, young Clark was reared largely in the political environment of Washington, D.C. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Missouri in 1913 and received a law degree from George Washington University in 1914. From 1913 to 1917 he served as parliamentarian in the House of Representatives and even wrote a manual on parliamentary procedures....

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Clark, Daniel (24 October 1809–02 January 1891), politician and jurist, was born in Stratham, New Hampshire, the son of Benjamin Clark, a farmer and blacksmith, and Elizabeth Wiggin. He began his education at the district school near his farm home, but preferring books to farm labor, Daniel went to Hampton Academy intermittently, which qualified him to enter Dartmouth College. Because his family had limited means, Clark had to pay for his advanced education by teaching during vacations from his own studies. After graduating from college in 1834 with the highest honors of his class, he studied law in Exeter, New Hampshire, first with ...

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Clayton, Henry De Lamar (10 February 1857–21 December 1929), congressman and judge, was born in Barbour County, Alabama, the son of Henry De Lamar Clayton and Victoria Virginia Hunter. His father was a lawyer, a major general in the Confederate army, and president of the University of Alabama from 1886 to 1889. His mother was also devoted to the Confederate cause and was the author of ...

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Cross, Edward (11 November 1798–06 April 1887), U.S. congressman and jurist, was born in Hawkins City, Tennessee, the son of Robert Cross, a revolutionary war soldier and a farmer of Welsh stock from Virginia. (His mother’s name is unrecorded.) Cross grew up on a farm in Cumberland County, Kentucky, and received an education in the local schools. He moved to Overton County, Tennessee, in 1820 to read law with Adam Huntsman. Admitted to the bar in 1822, Cross practiced law in Tennessee until 1826, when he moved to Washington, Arkansas Territory, to practice law in partnership with Daniel Ringo, later chief justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. Cross also became involved in Democratic politics and in 1828 joined Governor ...

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Dickerson, Philemon (26 June 1788–10 December 1862), politician and jurist, was born in Succasunna, New Jersey, the son of Jonathan Dickerson, a landowner and owner of an iron mine, and Mary Coe. Philemon Dickerson graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1808 and immediately began studying law in Philadelphia at the instigation of his elder brother ...