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Gibbons, Thomas (15 December 1757–16 May 1826), planter, lawyer, and steamship owner, was born near Savannah, Georgia, the son of Joseph Gibbons and Hannah Martin, planters. Gibbons was schooled at home and in Charleston, South Carolina, where he also read law. He married Ann Heyword, but the date of the marriage is unknown. They had three children. Throughout his life Gibbons demonstrated a determined spirit. Contemporaries described him as a “high liver,” possessing a “strong mind, strong passions, strong prejudices, and strong self-will” (Halsted, pp. 16–17)....

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King, Richard (10 July 1825–14 April 1885), rancher, the son of unknown Irish immigrants, was born in New York City. Poor relatives apprenticed him at age eight or nine to a jeweler, who abused him. At age eleven King fled, stowing away on a ship bound for Mobile, Alabama, but he was discovered when four days at sea. The captain took pity on the lad, putting him ashore at Mobile, where King found work as a cabin boy on steamers plying the Alabama River. One ship’s master taught him to read and sent him to Connecticut to live with his sisters, where he received eight months’ schooling, all the education he ever acquired....