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Barlow, Francis Channing (19 October 1834–11 January 1896), lawyer and soldier, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of the Reverend David Hatch Barlow, a Unitarian minister, and Almira Penniman, who were divorced in 1849. Barlow was raised by his mother and spent his youth living in Massachusetts. Graduating first in the Harvard class of 1855, Barlow journeyed to New York City, working briefly as a private tutor. In 1856 he undertook the study of law and was admitted to the bar in April 1858....

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Birney, William (28 May 1819–14 August 1907), soldier, journalist, and lawyer, was born in Madison County, Alabama, the son of James Gillespie Birney, a lawyer, state legislator, and abolitionist leader, and Agatha McDowell. In 1818 his family had moved to Huntsville, Alabama, and in late 1835 they relocated to New Richmond, Ohio. Birney was educated at four colleges, including Yale University, and graduated from Cincinnati Law School in 1841. He began practicing law in that city and in 1845 married Catherine Hoffman. They would have nine children. For five years thereafter he resided on the Continent and in England. He contributed essays on the arts to English and American newspapers, and he upheld the activist reputation of his family by opposing French troops as a member of a Republican student battalion in Paris. In 1848 he accepted an appointment as professor of English literature at the lycée in Bourges....

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Edward R. S. Canby. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-6574).

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Canby, Edward Richard Sprigg (09 November 1817–11 April 1873), Civil War general, was born in Piatt’s Landing, Kentucky, the son of Israel T. Canby, a land speculator and politician, and Elizabeth Piatt. Canby received an appointment to West Point and graduated thirtieth out of thirty-one in the class of 1839. Shortly after graduation he married Louisa Hawkins; they had one child, who died young. He began his military career as a second lieutenant with the Second Regiment of the U.S. Infantry. Canby gained his first military leadership experience during the confrontation with the Seminole Nation in northern Florida, 1840–1842, and his first administrative experience in the Adjutant General’s Office during garrison duty at Fort Niagara, 1842–1846. At the end of this duty, in June 1846, he received promotion to first lieutenant and, in 1847, to captain as assistant adjutant general. During the Mexican War Canby fought beside ...

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Thomas L. Crittenden. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1730).

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Crittenden, Thomas Leonidas (15 May 1819–23 October 1893), lawyer and soldier, was born in Russellville, Kentucky, the son of John J. Crittenden, a lawyer and statesman, and Sarah “Sally” Lee. After unsuccessful business ventures in New Orleans and with a brother-in-law in Louisville, he studied law and was admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1840. Appointed a commonwealth’s attorney in 1843, he occasionally opposed his famous father in courtroom appearances. Crittenden married his stepsister Kittie Todd, probably in 1840. Their only son, Lieutenant John J. Crittenden, was killed with ...

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Denver, James William (23 October 1817–09 August 1892), soldier, governor of Kansas Territory, and lawyer, was born near Winchester, Virginia, the son of Patrick Denver and Jane Campbell, farmers of Irish extraction. In 1831 his family migrated to a farm near Wilmington, Ohio. After a grade school education, James taught briefly at Platte City, Missouri, graduated from Cincinnati College (now the University of Cincinnati) in 1844, and was admitted to the bar. He opened a newspaper and law office in Xenia, Ohio, but after less than a year, in 1845, returned to Platte City, where he continued to practice both professions. After the outbreak of the Mexican War on 4 March 1847, Denver was appointed captain in the Twelfth Regiment, U.S. Volunteers, commanding a company he had raised, and was ordered to Mexico. Sick much of the time, he was ordered home on 26 October 1847....

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Devens, Charles, Jr. (04 April 1820–07 January 1891), soldier, jurist, and politician, was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the son of Charles Devens, Sr., a hardware merchant and town clerk, and Mary Lithgow. Charles Devens attended the Boston Latin School before being admitted to Harvard University. He graduated in 1838 and went on to Harvard Law School. He was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1840 and practiced from 1841 to 1849 in Franklin County, Massachusetts. From 1848 to 1849 he served in the state senate, and from 1849 to 1853 he held the post of U.S. marshal for the District of Massachusetts. While serving as marshal he became involved in a runaway slave dispute. After a U.S. Commissioner ruled that the slave was to be returned to his owner, Devens, as U.S. marshal, was required to carry out the order. This duty was most repugnant to him, and for several years he worked unsuccessfully for the release of the slave by offering to pay for his freedom. Eventually the slave gained his freedom during the Civil War, and Devens was able to find him a position in the federal government during the ...

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Ewing, Thomas, Jr. (07 August 1829–21 January 1896), soldier, lawyer, and congressman, was born in Lancaster, Ohio, the son of Thomas Ewing (1789–1871), a lawyer, and Maria Boyle. His foster brother was William T. Sherman, who had been raised by the Ewings. Ewing attended Lancaster Academy and later had a year of schooling in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, at the home of his cousin ...

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Manning F. Force. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-90941).

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Force, Manning Ferguson (17 December 1824–08 May 1899), soldier, jurist, and writer, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Peter Force and Hannah Evans. His father was later mayor of Washington and was most famous as compiler of the “American Archives,” a vast collection of rare books, pamphlets, newspapers, maps, and other documents dealing with the history of the American colonies. Manning Force attended Benjamin Hallowell’s preparatory school in his mother’s hometown, Alexandria, Virginia, preparing himself for appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Instead, he went to Harvard, entering as a sophomore and graduating in 1845. He received a law degree after three years of further study, and in 1849 he moved to Cincinnati to practice law. He passed his bar examination in 1850, and the law firm he worked for made him a partner, changing its name to Walker, Kebler, and Force....

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Henry W. Halleck, c. 1860–1865. Photograph by J. A. Scholten. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-6377).

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Halleck, Henry Wager (16 January 1815–09 January 1872), soldier, author, and businessman, was born at Westernville, Oneida County, New York, the son of Joseph Halleck and Catherine Wager, farmers. Raised on the family farm but unwilling to accept agriculture as his life’s work, he ran away from home in 1831 to seek a formal education. He was adopted by his maternal grandfather and attended Union College, where he earned an A.B. degree in 1837. Halleck then entered the U.S. Military Academy, graduated third in the class of 1839, and received appointment in the highly regarded Corps of Engineers....

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Howe, John Homer (12 September 1822–03 April 1873), jurist and soldier, was born in Riga, New York, the son of Joseph Howe and Eunice Smith, farmers. After working for a time on the Erie Canal, Howe migrated along the lakefront to Kingsville, Ohio, where he completed his legal studies. He was admitted to the Ohio bar and in 1845 married Julia Anna Castle in Ashtabula, Ohio. They had four children....

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Kane, Thomas Leiper (27 January 1822–26 December 1883), lawyer, soldier, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and defender of the Mormons, was born in Philadelphia, the son of John Kintzing Kane, a jurist, and Jane Duval Leiper. He attended school in Philadelphia and from 1839 to 1844 traveled in England and France, studying and visiting relatives. While in Paris he served for a time as an attaché of the American legation. Small in stature and never robust, he would spend most of his life struggling with ill health. In Paris he met Auguste Comte and others who surely encouraged his social conscience, which would be manifested later in his concern for philanthropic causes. In 1844 Kane returned to Philadelphia, where he studied law with his father. Although he was admitted to the bar in 1846 and clerked briefly for his father, who was a federal judge, his interests and activities generally moved in other directions....

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Mortimer D. Leggett. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-2047).

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Leggett, Mortimer Dormer (19 April 1821–06 January 1896), soldier, educator, and commissioner of patents, was born near Ithaca, New York, the son of Isaac Leggett and Mary Strong, farmers. When he was fifteen, his parents moved to Montville, Ohio, where for the next three years he helped his father clear and tend farmland. After attending night school, Leggett graduated first in his class from a teacher’s college in Kirtland, Ohio. He then studied law at Western Reserve College (later part of Case Western Reserve University). After being admitted to the bar, he attended medical school so that he could specialize in medical jurisprudence; he received an M.D. in 1844. That same year he married Marilla Wells of Montville; they had four sons and a daughter....

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McCook, Edward Moody (15 June 1833–09 September 1909), politician, lawyer, and soldier, was born in Steubenville, Ohio, the son of John McCook, a physician, and Catharine Julia Sheldon. After being educated in the Steubenville public schools, McCook moved to Minnesota in 1849. When news of the highly publicized gold strikes in Colorado began to sweep the country, McCook was one of the fifty-niners involved in the rush to the new gold fields. He settled in the mining camp of Central City, where he amassed a respectable fortune. Moreover, he began to practice law and was elected to the Kansas legislature in 1859, when Colorado was still part of Kansas Territory. McCook was also a leader in the movement that led to the creation of Colorado as a separate territory on 28 February 1861, a month after Kansas became a state....

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Thomas Meagher. Lithograph by John Joseph Egan. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-97750).

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Meagher, Thomas Francis (23 August 1823–01 July 1867), Irish-American nationalist, lawyer, and soldier, was born in Waterford, Ireland, the son of Thomas Meagher, a merchant and member of the British Parliament, and (first name unknown) Quan. Both of Meagher’s parents came from wealthy and prominent Irish families. His mother died while Meagher was an infant. He was subsequently educated at his father’s alma mater, Clongowes-Wood, a Jesuit school in Ireland, and then at Stoneyhurst College in England from 1839 to 1843. Upon graduation he seemed destined to follow his father into a career in business, but in 1845 he joined the Young Ireland party and became embroiled in the rising debate over Irish independence from Great Britain. In the fateful year of 1848, when revolution swept over Europe, Meagher made an impassioned public appeal in Ireland for the violent overthrow of British rule. This advocacy earned him the popular title of “Meagher of the Sword,” which he carried for the rest of his life. His determination to overthrow British rule by violence also landed him in difficulty with the British authorities. In July 1848 he was arrested, tried, convicted of high treason, and condemned to death. Partly because of the prominence of his family, his sentence was commuted in 1849, and the British banished him for life to the island of Tasmania (then a British possession) off the southern coast of Australia....