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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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Marsh, John (05 June 1799–24 September 1856), California ranchero and physician, was born in Danvers, Massachusetts, the son of John Marsh and Mary “Polly” Brown, farmers. After graduating from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, in 1819, Marsh received his B.A. from Harvard in 1823. That year he accepted an appointment as a tutor at Fort St. Anthony (later Fort Snelling), in Michigan Territory. For two years Marsh taught school and studied medicine under the guidance of Edward Purcell, the post surgeon. Purcell died without giving his apprentice a certificate, but this did not prevent Marsh from successfully practicing medicine years later in California....