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Dodge, Henry (12 October 1782–19 June 1867), soldier, governor of Wisconsin Territory, and U.S. senator, was born at Post Vincennes (now Vincennes), Indiana, the son of Israel Dodge, a farmer and businessman, and Nancy Ann Hunter. His father moved the family to Kentucky and then to Ste. Genevieve on the Missouri frontier in 1796. By the time Henry was born his father had become a wealthy landowner. Henry had little formal education, but worked on his father’s farms and in his mills, distilleries, and mines. In 1800 Henry Dodge married Christina McDonald; they had thirteen children, but only nine survived infancy. He succeeded his father as sheriff of the Ste. Genevieve district in 1805....

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Howard, Benjamin (1770?–18 September 1814), soldier and territorial governor, was born in Virginia, the son of John Howard, a farmer and land speculator, and Mary Preston. Howard’s birth is often dated 1760; however, the fact that he was the fourth child of a 1764 marriage along with his letters from college offer convincing evidence that 1760 is at least a decade too early. Howard’s father, by living to be 103 years old, eventually became a celebrated Kentucky figure. His mother belonged to a powerful western Virginia clan. Benjamin Howard had an unsettled and difficult childhood. A disastrous manager and a sometimes violent husband, John Howard in 1779 was judged, in a court controlled by his wife’s connections, to have been “for some time past in a State of Insanity.” Throughout Benjamin’s boyhood and youth, his father spent long periods in Kentucky, where adventure and military bounty lands drew him, while his mother, often calling on her kin for help, struggled in Virginia to fix the family’s tangled affairs so that they could migrate to Kentucky. The fact that Benjamin Howard so often found himself under the care and tutelage of his maternal kin was formative....

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Izard, George (21 October 1776–22 November 1828), army officer and territorial governor of Arkansas, was born in the Richmond district of London, England, the son of Ralph Izard, a planter and diplomat, and Alice DeLancey. His parents were members of influential families in both South Carolina and New York. Izard spent his early years abroad, received his initial education at the Collège de Navarre in Paris, and accompanied his mother back to Charleston in 1783. When his father was elected senator in 1789, the family relocated to New York City. There Izard attended King’s College (now Columbia University) and graduated in 1792 at the age of fifteen. He then accompanied Minister to Great Britain ...

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Jackson, Andrew (15 March 1767–08 June 1845), soldier and seventh president of the United States, was born in the Waxhaw Settlement, South Carolina, the son of Andrew Jackson and Elizabeth Hutchinson, farmers. Like many other Scotch-Irish at the time, Andrew and Elizabeth Jackson migrated to this country from the port of Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland in 1765, landing most probably in Philadelphia and then journeying southward to join relatives living in the Waxhaw Settlement along the northwestern boundary separating North and South Carolina. They settled with their two sons, Hugh and Robert, on a stretch of land on the south side of Twelve Mile Creek, a branch of the Catawba River, and for two years tried to scratch a living from this acid soil. Then, early in March 1767, Andrew died suddenly. Approximately two weeks later, on 15 March, Elizabeth gave birth to her third son and named him after her deceased husband. Later a dispute arose over the exact location of the birthplace of the future president—whether he was born in North or South Carolina—but Jackson himself always believed and repeatedly stated that he was born in South Carolina....

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Andrew Jackson. From an engraving by James Barton Longacre. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-117120).

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Miller, James (25 April 1776–07 July 1851), army officer, territorial governor, and customs official, was born at Petersborough, New Hampshire, the son of James Miller and Catharine Gregg. He entered the Andover Academy in 1794, obtained a common education, and briefly attended Williams College in Massachusetts. Miller returned to New Hampshire, studied law under ...

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Sargent, Winthrop (01 May 1753–03 January 1820), soldier, territorial administrator, and author, was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, the son of Winthrop Sargent, a shipping trade merchant, and Judith Sanders. Winthrop attended Harvard, from which he was nearly expelled for his part in the violent student disorders of 1770. Upon his graduation in 1771, he served as naval merchant at Gloucester until the outbreak of armed hostilities with Britain in 1775. He joined General ...