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Hemphill, John (18 December 1803–04 January 1862), jurist and U.S. senator, was born in Chester District, South Carolina, the son of the Reverend John Hemphill and Jane Lind, both of Scotch-Irish descent and of the Presbyterian faith. Raised primarily by his father after his mother’s death, and by his stepmother Mary Nixon after 1811, young John attended local schools before enrolling at Jefferson College (now Washington and Jefferson College) in Pennsylvania. In 1825 he graduated second in his class and returned to South Carolina, where he taught in various classical academies. After a few years he abandoned teaching to take up the study of law and in 1828 entered the office of D. J. McCord, a prominent attorney in Columbia. A year later the two of them established their own practice in Sumterville....

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Hughes, Robert William (6 or 16 June 1821–10 December 1901), writer and judge, was born in Powhatan County, Virginia, the son of Jesse Hughes, a farmer, and Elizabeth Woodson Morton. In 1822 Hughes’s parents died and the infant was taken in and reared by General Edward C. Carrington and his wife. At the age of twelve Hughes was apprenticed to a carpenter in New Jersey but later attended the Caldwell Institute in Greensboro, North Carolina, and in the early 1840s taught school in Hillsboro (now Hillsborough), North Carolina. In the mid-1840s he read law in Fincastle, Virginia, and began his law practice in Richmond in 1846. In 1850 he married Eliza M. Johnston, daughter of Charles C. Johnston, a U.S. congressman; the couple had two children....

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Jackson, John George (22 September 1777–28 March 1825), congressman and federal judge, was born near Buckhannon, Virginia (now W. Va.), the son of George Jackson, congressman and farmer, and Elizabeth Brake. Details of his formal education are obscure, but he read avidly in the classics and practical subjects, gained proficiency in Latin and Greek, and associated intellectually with the learned men of Clarksburg, where he lived most of his life....

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Pryor, Roger Atkinson (19 July 1828–14 March 1919), journalist, Confederate soldier and jurist, was born in Dinwiddie County, Virginia, the son of Theodorick Bland Pryor, a lawyer, and Lucy Eppes Atkinson. His mother died before Pryor was two years old, so he was raised by his father, who had become a Presbyterian minister. Pryor attended the Classical Academy in Petersburg before entering Hampden-Sidney College in 1843, where he graduated as class valedictorian in 1845. He went on to study law at the University of Virginia for two years, taking his degree in 1847....

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Terry, David Smith (08 March 1823–14 August 1889), jurist, was born in Todd County, Kentucky, the son of Joseph R. Terry and Sarah Smith, planters. Terry’s father abandoned his family in Mississippi, and in 1833 or 1834 Terry’s mother went to Texas. Orphaned at the age of thirteen, Terry dropped out of school, but as he claimed later, he “played a man’s part in the struggle which secured the independence of Texas.” What form this service took is unclear, but the Texas revolution impressed the young teenager. He studied law in an uncle’s office and in 1845 passed the bar examination. During the Mexican War, Terry served with the Texas Rangers and participated in the battle of Monterrey....