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Innes, James (1754–02 August 1798), lawyer, military officer, and Virginia attorney general, was born in Caroline County, Virginia, the son of Robert Innes, a well-educated Scottish clergyman, and Catherine Richards. After receiving a classical education from his father, Innes attended the renowned school of Donald Robertson in King and Queen County, Virginia, with his older brother Harry. At age sixteen he entered the College of William and Mary, where he excelled in his studies. At the college he also cemented a lifelong friendship with fellow student ...

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Paine, Robert Treat (11 March 1731–11 June 1814), lawyer, Massachusetts attorney general, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Thomas Paine, a merchant, and Eunice Treat. Shortly before Paine’s birth, his father had left the ministry for a mercantile career that soon flourished, providing comfortable circumstances for the family. Paine followed the traditional Boston elite educational path from Boston Public Latin School to Harvard College, where he graduated with the class of 1749. At about the same time, his father lost his fortune; following graduation, Paine was forced to seek his own way without the benefit of a family business....

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Stockton, John Potter (02 August 1826–22 January 1900), lawyer, senator, and New Jersey attorney general, was born in Princeton, New Jersey, the son of Robert Field Stockton, a naval officer, and Harriet Maria Potter. Like the Adamses of Massachusetts and the Jays of New York, the Stocktons of New Jersey were prominent in public affairs for over two centuries. Stockton graduated from the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University) in 1843. He read law in the office of his cousin Richard Stockton Field and was admitted to the bar in 1850. Stockton then practiced law in Princeton and Trenton. He married Sarah Marks, with whom he had three children....

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Tucker, John Randolph (24 December 1823–13 February 1897), attorney general of Virginia, congressman, and legal educator and scholar, was born in Winchester, Virginia, the son of Henry St. George Tucker, the president of the Virginia Court of Appeals, and Anne Evelina Hunter. Tucker spent part of his youth at the Tucker home, “Woodbury,” in Jefferson County and received his early education at a private school in Winchester. He later attended the Richmond Academy and, from 1839 to 1844, the University of Virginia, where his father taught law. In addition to law, Tucker studied moral and political philosophy, mathematics, and physical science. In 1845 he began practicing law in Winchester and soon rose to legal and political prominence. In 1848 he married Laura Holmes Powell; they had seven children. In 1852 and 1856 he was a presidential elector on the Democratic ticket, and in May 1857 he was elected attorney general of Virginia. He was twice reelected, in 1859 and 1863, and served until 1865....

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Wilentz, David Theodore (21 December 1894–06 July 1988), attorney general of New Jersey and prosecutor in the Lindbergh baby kidnapping case, was born in Dwinsk, Latvia, the son of Nathan Wilentz, a tobacco importer, and Bertha Crane. Wilentz was brought to the United States at age two by his parents, who settled in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. His father became a successful tobacco importer, selling leaf to local cigar makers. One of David’s earliest jobs was delivering tobacco leaf by horse-drawn cart. He attended local public schools, graduating from Perth Amboy High School in 1912. Following graduation he worked briefly for the local Baker Asphalt and Paving Co., after which he began the journalistic phase of his career, working first as a copyboy and reporter and then succeeding soon-to-be-governor Harold Hoffman as sports editor for the ...