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Alioto, Joseph L. (12 February 1916–29 January 1998), businessman and mayor, was born Joseph Lawrence Alioto in San Francisco, California, the son of Giuseppe Alioto, a businessman, and Domenica Lazio Alioto. After receiving his early education in local parochial schools, he earned a B.A. from St. Mary's College in Moraga, California, in 1937. An excellent student, he entered the law school at Catholic University on a scholarship and received his J.D. in 1940. Although he gained admittance to the California bar that same year, he remained in Washington and began working at the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. He married Angelina Genaro on 2 June 1941; the couple would have six children....

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Allen, Henry Watkins (29 April 1820–22 April 1866), Confederate soldier and governor of Louisiana, was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia, the son of Thomas Allen, a physician, and Ann Watkins. Allen and his family moved from Virginia to Ray County, Missouri, when he was thirteen. His father secured him a position working in a store, but Allen found business distasteful and enrolled in Marion College at age fifteen. At seventeen he ran away from college and traveled to Grand Gulf, Mississippi, where he became a tutor on a plantation a few miles outside of town. After tutoring for two years, Allen moved to Grand Gulf to open his own school and to study law. On 25 May 1841 he received his license to practice law in Mississippi. In 1842, when Allen was becoming an established lawyer in Mississippi, President ...

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Ashe, Samuel (1725–22 January 1813), judge and governor, was born in Beaufort County, North Carolina, the son of John Baptista Ashe and Elizabeth Swann. His father, Beaufort’s representative in the lower house of the assembly and its Speaker at the time of Samuel’s birth, was allied through marriage to a clique of planters who hoped to open the Cape Fear River to white settlement. In 1727 the elder Ashe moved his family of two sons, ...

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Aycock, Charles Brantley (01 November 1859–04 April 1912), lawyer and governor of North Carolina, was born in Wayne County, North Carolina, the son of Benjamin Aycock and Serena Hooks. The youngest of ten children of a prosperous, slaveholding family whose farmlands by 1863 exceeded a thousand acres, Charles Aycock spent his early years in a rural setting. His father, an active member of the Democratic party, served as clerk of court of Wayne County for eight years and as a member of the North Carolina Senate from 1863 to 1866. Serena Aycock managed the family properties in her husband’s absence, but she could not read or write, and her lack of an education profoundly influenced young Charles. Although the Civil War imposed hardships on the Aycocks, their holdings expanded during the Reconstruction era. Benjamin Aycock’s support of the Confederacy and disdain for Radical Reconstruction and the enfranchisement of freedmen shaped Charles’s own politics....

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Newton D. Baker Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-101852).

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Baker, Newton Diehl (03 December 1871–25 December 1937), lawyer, mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, and secretary of war, was born in Martinsburg, West Virginia, the son of Newton Diehl Baker, a physician and former Confederate soldier, and Mary Ann Dukehart. Baker graduated in 1892 from Johns Hopkins University, where he first met ...

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Roger S. Baldwin. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-90730).

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Baldwin, Roger Sherman (04 January 1793–19 February 1863), lawyer, governor, and senator, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Simeon Baldwin, a lawyer, judge, congressman, and mayor of New Haven, and Rebecca Sherman. Baldwin was a direct descendant of the Puritan settlers of Connecticut and the Founding Fathers of the nation. His father’s family was among the original New Haven colonists, and his mother was the daughter of ...

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Baldwin, Simeon Eben (05 February 1840–30 January 1927), law professor, judge, and Connecticut governor, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Roger Sherman Baldwin, a lawyer and U.S. senator, and Emily Perkins. Baldwin entered Yale College in 1857 and graduated with a B.A. in 1861. After studying at Yale Law School and Harvard Law School from 1861 to 1863, he was admitted to the Connecticut bar and opened a solo law office in New Haven. He rapidly proceeded to build up the largest individual practice in the state by representing railroads, corporations, and wealthy individuals....

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Gaspare J. Saladino

Bassett, Richard (02 April 1745–16 August 1815), lawyer, was born at Bohemia Ferry, Cecil County, Maryland, the son of Arnold Bassett, a tavernkeeper, and Judith Thompson. Bassett’s father left the family, and lawyer Peter Lawson assumed the role of stepfather. In 1755 Lawson inherited thousands of acres of Bohemia Manor from his brother John, whose wife demanded and received a one-third share. Mary Lawson, a cousin of Bassett’s mother, gave Bassett and his brother 1,000 acres each in 1765. Bassett was admitted to the Delaware bar in 1770 and moved to Dover, Kent County. He became an expert in property, libel, and inheritance law. In 1774 Bassett married Ann Ennals of Dorchester County, Maryland, and they had two daughters who survived infancy....

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Baxter, Elisha (01 September 1827–31 May 1899), lawyer and governor of Arkansas, was born in Rutherford County, North Carolina, the son of William Baxter, a wealthy farmer, and Catherine Lee. Elisha Baxter received a meager education in the local schools and at an early age opened a store at Rutherfordton with his brother-in-law. Baxter also tried farming. In 1849 he married Harriet Patton; they had six children....

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Bell, Samuel (09 February 1770–23 December 1850), lawyer, governor, and senator, was born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, the son of John Bell and Mary Ann Gilmore, farmers. His father, a tall, rugged, hot-tempered man, was a commanding figure in his community, who served as a deacon and selectman and as a member of the New Hampshire committee of safety and provincial congress during the Revolution. After working on the farm until he was eighteen, Bell studied at a local school and attended New Ipswich Academy before entering the sophomore class at Dartmouth College in 1791. Following graduation in 1793, he studied law in Amherst, New Hampshire, under ...

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Black, Frank Swett (08 March 1853–22 March 1913), lawyer and politician, was born in Limington, York County, Maine, the son of Jacob Black and Charlotte Swett, farmers. When Black was eleven years old, his family moved to Alfred, Maine, where he attended what later became the Limerick Academy. While still a youth he taught school to earn enough money to pursue his education at the Lebanon Academy in preparation for study at Dartmouth College. In 1875 he graduated from Dartmouth with honors and in his senior year married Lois B. Hamlin; they had one child....

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Bloomfield, Joseph (18 October 1753–08 October 1823), lawyer, soldier, and politician, was born in Woodbridge, New Jersey, the son of Moses Bloomfield, a physician, and Sarah Ogden. The family was one of the most prominent in colonial New Jersey. His father had received a first-rate medical education in Edinburgh, Scotland, and had a thriving practice in Middlesex County by the time Joseph was born. Joseph’s mother was a member of a wealthy and influential family of Elizabethtown, which further assured Joseph’s upper-class pedigree. His education and choice of occupation were in line with his social standing. While in his early teens, he attended the Reverend Enoch Green’s classical academy in Deerfield, Cumberland County, at the opposite end of the province from Woodbridge. Upon graduation, Bloomfield returned to East Jersey, determined to be a lawyer. He entered the profession at the top, studying in Perth Amboy with Cortlandt Skinner, attorney general of New Jersey, and was admitted to the bar in November 1774. Setting up practice in Bridgeton, Cumberland County, he soon became known and respected in all of New Jersey’s southern counties. The future seemed secure, had not the American Revolution intervened....

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Blount, Willie (18 April 1768?–10 September 1835), lawyer and governor of Tennessee, was born in Bertie County, North Carolina, the son of Jacob Blount, a prominent landowner, and Hannah (Salter) Baker, the daughter of the influential settler Edward Salter and widow of William Baker of South Quay, Virginia. Although a member of a leading family, little is known about Willie’s (pronounced Wylie) early life and education. He attended both King’s College and the College of New Jersey (now Columbia and Princeton Universities, respectively) and subsequently read law with the noted judge John Sitgraves at New Bern, North Carolina....

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Boreman, Arthur Ingram (24 July 1823–19 April 1896), lawyer and politician, was born in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, the son of Kenner Seaton Boreman, a merchant, and Sarah Ingram. Kenner Boreman’s father, John Boreman, was a Philadelphia merchant who served as assistant paymaster to the revolutionary army. Kenner Boreman moved his family to Middlebourne, Tyler County, Virginia, when Arthur was four. There Arthur attended a tuition-supported common school. In 1840 the family moved to Elizabethtown, Marshall County, where Arthur Boreman clerked in his father’s store. At age twenty he returned to Middlebourne to read law with his brother and brother-in-law, and in 1845 he began practicing law in Parkersburg, Wood County....

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Briggs, George Nixon (12 April 1796–12 September 1861), lawyer, congressman, and governor, was born in Adams, Massachusetts, the son of blacksmith Allen Briggs, a veteran of the revolutionary war, and Nancy Brown. As with many settlers in the Berkshire area of Massachusetts, the Briggses had moved north from Rhode Island and were earnest Baptists (although Nancy Briggs had come from a Huguenot family). At age thirteen Briggs, one of twelve siblings, was apprenticed to Quaker John Allen, a hatter in White Creek, New York. He returned home in 1811 to help his father and attended grammar school for about a year. In 1813 he studied law with Ambrose Kasson (also spelled Kapen) of Adams, Massachusetts; the following year he moved to the office of Luther Washburn in Lanesboro. During his apprenticeship in White Creek, Briggs, then a Quaker, had experienced a conversion at a revival and thereby became a Baptist. While studying law in Lanesboro and helping to found a Baptist church there, he met Harriet Hall, whom he married in May 1818; they would have at least two children....

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B. Gratz Brown. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-90757).

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Brown, Benjamin Gratz (28 May 1826–13 December 1885), U.S. senator and governor of Missouri, was born in Lexington, Kentucky, the son of Mason Brown, a lawyer, and Judith Bledsoe. He was educated at Transylvania and Yale Universities, graduating from the latter in 1847. He then earned a degree from Louisville Law School. Upon being admitted to the bar in the fall of 1849, he moved to St. Louis to join his cousins ...

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Burnet, Jacob (22 February 1770–10 May 1853), Ohio lawmaker and U.S. senator, was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of William Burnet, a doctor and farmer, and Mary Camp. His father was the son of Scottish Presbyterian immigrants and served in the Continental Congress and as surgeon general in the Continental army. Jacob Burnet graduated from Nassau Hall in September 1791, studied law, and gained admittance to the New Jersey bar in spring 1796. He promptly moved to Cincinnati in the Northwest Territory, where he married Rebecca Wallace, daughter of a former pastor of the Presbyterian church, in 1800. They had seven children....