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Devens, Charles, Jr. (04 April 1820–07 January 1891), soldier, jurist, and politician, was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the son of Charles Devens, Sr., a hardware merchant and town clerk, and Mary Lithgow. Charles Devens attended the Boston Latin School before being admitted to Harvard University. He graduated in 1838 and went on to Harvard Law School. He was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1840 and practiced from 1841 to 1849 in Franklin County, Massachusetts. From 1848 to 1849 he served in the state senate, and from 1849 to 1853 he held the post of U.S. marshal for the District of Massachusetts. While serving as marshal he became involved in a runaway slave dispute. After a U.S. Commissioner ruled that the slave was to be returned to his owner, Devens, as U.S. marshal, was required to carry out the order. This duty was most repugnant to him, and for several years he worked unsuccessfully for the release of the slave by offering to pay for his freedom. Eventually the slave gained his freedom during the Civil War, and Devens was able to find him a position in the federal government during the ...

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Manning F. Force. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-90941).

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Force, Manning Ferguson (17 December 1824–08 May 1899), soldier, jurist, and writer, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Peter Force and Hannah Evans. His father was later mayor of Washington and was most famous as compiler of the “American Archives,” a vast collection of rare books, pamphlets, newspapers, maps, and other documents dealing with the history of the American colonies. Manning Force attended Benjamin Hallowell’s preparatory school in his mother’s hometown, Alexandria, Virginia, preparing himself for appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Instead, he went to Harvard, entering as a sophomore and graduating in 1845. He received a law degree after three years of further study, and in 1849 he moved to Cincinnati to practice law. He passed his bar examination in 1850, and the law firm he worked for made him a partner, changing its name to Walker, Kebler, and Force....

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Howe, John Homer (12 September 1822–03 April 1873), jurist and soldier, was born in Riga, New York, the son of Joseph Howe and Eunice Smith, farmers. After working for a time on the Erie Canal, Howe migrated along the lakefront to Kingsville, Ohio, where he completed his legal studies. He was admitted to the Ohio bar and in 1845 married Julia Anna Castle in Ashtabula, Ohio. They had four children....