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Axtell, Samuel Beach (14 October 1819–06 August 1891), politician, lawyer, and jurist, was born near Columbus, Ohio, the son of Samuel Loree Axtell and Nancy Sanders, farmers. Axtell graduated from Western Reserve College in Hudson, Ohio, and, after studying law, was admitted to the bar. He married Adaline S. Williams in 1840, and in 1843 they moved to Mount Clemens, Michigan, where Axtell established a law practice. The couple had at least one child. In 1851 Axtell migrated to California, where he invested in the booming mining industry and practiced law. Politically active as a Democrat, he helped organize Amador County east of Sacramento in 1854 and was elected as the new county’s first district attorney, a post to which he was reelected in 1856 and 1858....

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Ball, George (21 December 1909–26 May 1994), lawyer and statesman, was born George Wildman Ball in Des Moines, Iowa, the son of Amos Ball, Jr., a businessman, and Jessie Edna Wildman, a schoolteacher. Amos Ball, who was largely self-educated and worked his way up the ranks to become a director of Standard Oil, encouraged nightly debates at the dinner table and weekly outings to the public library. In 1922 he moved the family to Evanston, Illinois. In 1926 George enrolled at nearby Northwestern University, where he came under the influence of ...

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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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Bartlett, Ichabod (24 July 1786–19 October 1853), lawyer and politician, was born in Salisbury, New Hampshire, the son of Joseph Bartlett, a doctor, and Hannah Colcord. Following the death of his father in 1800, Bartlett studied at Salisbury Academy, taught school, and then enrolled in Dartmouth College. After graduating in 1808, he studied law in Salisbury until 1811, when he opened a law practice in Durham, New Hampshire. He soon became a member of the Rockingham County bar, noted for such eminent lawyers as ...

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Bartlett, Joseph (10 June 1762–20 October 1827), lawyer, politician, and writer, was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the son of Sylvanus Bartlett and Martha Wait, whose occupations are unknown. A brilliant graduate of Harvard, class of 1782, he was one of three original members of the college’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter. After graduation he briefly studied law and taught school in Salem before moving to London in 1783. From then until 1786 Bartlett’s life in the British Isles was turbulent. He quickly became famous in society by shouting out from the audience at an anti-American play written by British general ...

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Bayard, James Asheton (28 July 1767–06 August 1815), attorney and politician, was born probably in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of James Asheton Bayard, a physician, and Agnes Hodge. Following his father’s and mother’s deaths in 1770 and 1774 respectively, Bayard became the ward of his uncle ...

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Berle, Adolf Augustus (29 January 1895–17 February 1971), lawyer and statesman, was born in Brighton, Massachusetts, the son of Adolf Augustus Berle, a Congregational minister, and Mary Augusta Wright. His parents began his schooling at home, and he and his three siblings won acclaim as child prodigies. Berle graduated from Harvard College at age eighteen and Harvard Law School at age twenty-one. His parents were active in the Social Gospel wing of progressive reform, providing him with beneficial political acquaintances. His first legal position was with the firm of reform lawyer and Supreme Court justice ...

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Berrien, John Macpherson (23 August 1781–01 January 1856), politician and lawyer, was born in Rocky Hill, New Jersey, the son of John Berrien, a soldier, politician, and planter, and Margaret Macpherson. In 1783 the family moved to eastern Georgia, where Berrien’s father started a plantation and pursued political office. He sent his five-year-old son to New York and later to New Jersey for his education, which culminated in graduation from Princeton in 1796 with a bachelor’s degree....

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Bibb, George Mortimer (30 October 1776–14 April 1859), jurist and politician, was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia, the son of Richard Bibb, a clergyman, and Lucy Booker. George attended Hampden-Sydney College in 1790–1791 and graduated in 1792 from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). He later attended the College of William and Mary, probably to study law, and apparently he also read law with Richard Venable and practiced briefly in Williamsburg. He moved to Lexington, Kentucky, in 1798, and in 1799 he married Martha Tabb, the daughter of ...

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John A. Bingham. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-96304).