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Hancock, Winfield Scott (14 February 1824–09 February 1886), soldier and presidential candidate, was born at Montgomery Square, Pennsylvania, the son of Benjamin Franklin Hancock, a schoolteacher and later a lawyer, and Elizabeth Hoxworth, who named him in honor of Winfield Scott, a military hero of the War of 1812. Raised at Norristown, Pennsylvania, he attended the local academy, where he organized a military company before his appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. After graduating in 1844, eighteenth in a class of twenty-five (with fifty-five nongraduates), Hancock was assigned to the Sixth Infantry. He barely arrived in time for the last month of fighting in the Mexican War, winning brevet promotion to first lieutenant. While stationed at St. Louis, in 1850 he married Almira Russell; they had two children....

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Winfield S. Hancock. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1877).

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George B. McClellan. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-62627).

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McClellan, George B. (03 December 1826–29 October 1885), general and presidential candidate, was born George Brinton McClellan in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of George McClellan, a physician, and Elizabeth Steinmetz Brinton. After two years at the University of Pennsylvania, he entered the U.S. Military Academy at age fifteen. Four years later he graduated second in the class of 1846....

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Weaver, James Baird (12 June 1833–06 February 1912), soldier and politician, was born in Dayton, Ohio, the son of Abram Weaver and Susan Imlay, farmers. The son and grandson of pioneer settlers, James Weaver grew up in a frontier setting that later would inform his agrarian politics. He spent most of his early childhood on a farm in Michigan, then moved with his family to the Iowa Territory in 1842. The Weavers settled on newly opened Indian lands in what would become Davis County. In 1847 Abram Weaver was elected clerk of the district court, and the family moved to the county seat of Bloomfield. For three years James Weaver rode a primitive mail delivery route that had been contracted out to his father; then he returned to school and began reading law with a local attorney. In 1853 Weaver accompanied his brother-in-law on a profitable overland cattle drive to California, but after a brief experience with western mining he returned home determined to renew his studies. He entered Cincinnati Law School in 1855, and after graduating the following year he established a legal practice in Bloomfield. He married Clara Vinson, a schoolteacher, in July 1858; the couple had seven children....