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Aiken, George David (20 August 1892–19 November 1984), farmer and U.S. senator, was born in Dummerston, Vermont, the son of Edward W. Aiken and Myra Cook, farmers. He attended high school in Brattleboro. In 1914 he married Beatrice M. Howard; they had four children. His first wife died in 1966, and a year later Aiken married one of his Senate aides, Lola Pierotti....

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Alden, John (1599?–12 September 1687), farmer and magistrate, was one of the original settlers of Plymouth Colony, arriving in New England on the Mayflower in 1620. No definite information exists about his birth, parentage, childhood, or education. In 1620 he lived at Southampton, England, where the migrating Pilgrims stopped for provisions on their way from the Netherlands to the New World. There he was hired as the ship’s cooper in charge of its supply of beer and drinking water. Upon landfall, Alden joined in signing the now famous Mayflower Compact. After the colonists’ arrival in Plymouth, Governor ...

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Banneker, Benjamin (09 November 1731–19 October 1806), farmer and astronomer, was born near the Patapsco River in Baltimore County in what became the community of Oella, Maryland, the son of Robert, a freed slave, and Mary Banneky, a daughter of a freed slave named Bannka and Molly Welsh, a freed English indentured servant who had been transported to Maryland. Banneker was taught by his white grandmother to read and write from a Bible. He had no formal education other than a brief attendance at a Quaker one-room school during winter months. He was a voracious reader, informing himself in his spare time in literature, history, religion, and mathematics with whatever books he could borrow. From an early age he demonstrated a talent for mathematics and for creating and solving mathematical puzzles. With his three sisters he grew up on his father’s tobacco farm, and for the rest of his life Banneker continued to live in a log house built by his father....

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Bush, George Washington (1790?–05 April 1863), pioneer, farmer, and cattleman, was born probably in Pennsylvania or Louisiana. His mother was Scotch-Irish, his father perhaps East Indian; little is known of Bush’s birth and ancestry. He may have been born as early as 1770. However, that would have made him seventy-four by the time he came to Oregon in 1844. Oral tradition among the family gives the date as 1779....

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Carpenter, Cyrus Clay (24 November 1829–29 May 1898), politician and farmer, was born in Harford, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, the son of Asahel Carpenter, a farmer, and Amanda Thayer. Orphaned during his early teens and raised by relatives, Carpenter attended public school in Harford. Between 1848 and 1851 he alternated teaching jobs with attendance at Harford Academy. During these early years he developed the temperance and antislavery views that he held during his adult years....

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Laura Clay. Pencil on paper, 1912, by Wallace Morgan. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

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Clay, Laura (09 February 1849–29 June 1941), farm manager and women's rights leader, farm manager and women’s rights leader, was born at “White Hall,” her family’s estate, located between Lexington and Richmond, Kentucky, the daughter of Cassius M. Clay, a notable politician, emancipationist, and diplomat, and Mary Jane Warfield. Clay’s formal education was interrupted by the outbreak of the Civil War, when the family accompanied her father to Russia, where he had been appointed U.S. minister. Returning to Kentucky in 1862, she attended Sayre School in Lexington, graduating in 1865. Aside from a year at a finishing school in New York City and brief stints of study at the Universities of Michigan and Kentucky, this completed her formal education. In 1873 she leased a 300-acre farm from her father and became its owner upon his death in 1903. Describing herself as a “practical farmer,” she skillfully managed this rich Bluegrass land, deriving from it her own livelihood and most of the finances for her long public career....

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Colden, Cadwallader, II (26 May 1722–18 February 1797), farmer, public official, and Loyalist, was born in New York City, the son of Cadwallader Colden, a physician, scientist, and colonial official, and Alice Christie. In 1727 the family moved to the Ulster County, New York, estate of “Coldengham,” where Colden received an informal education from his mother. He also learned surveying, which enabled him to serve later as deputy to his father, the surveyor general of the colony. But Cadwallader neither showed the intellectual brilliance that distinguished his father and younger siblings David and ...

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Cooper, Joseph Alexander (25 November 1823–20 May 1910), farmer and army officer, was born near Cumberland Falls, Whitley County, Kentucky, the son of John Cooper, a farmer. His mother’s name is unknown. While Cooper was still a child, his family moved to a farm on Cove Creek in Campbell County, Tennessee. In 1846 he married Mary J. Hutson; the number of their children, if any, is unknown. The following year he joined the Fourth Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Regiment to fight in the Mexican War. After returning from the war, he took up farming near Jacksboro, Tennessee....

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Corey, Giles (1612?–16 September 1692), farmer, was born in England, probably of a farm family. His parents’ names and occupations are not known. Little is known of Corey’s early life, and he appears in Massachusetts records only in court cases and contemporary accounts of his death. Corey was apparently married twice, the first time to Mary (maiden name unknown), the second time to Martha Rich ( ...