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Deming, Philander (06 February 1829–09 February 1915), author and pioneer in court stenography, was born in Carlisle, New York, the son of Julia Ann Porter and Rufus Romeo Deming, a minister in the Champlain Presbytery. As his father moved from one pulpit to another, Deming spent his childhood in various small towns in the Adirondack Mountain and Champlain Valley regions of New York State. In such circumstances his father’s library provided much of his education, and he was steeped in writers of the New England tradition such as Emerson and Longfellow. After living for a time in Huntingdon, Quebec, the family returned to upstate New York and settled in the village of Burke in Franklin County. As a young man, Deming savored solitude, and could often be found walking about the countryside, fishing, hunting, and rambling. Among the inhabitants of Burke, he was considered “odd” and uncommunicative, yet he still managed to secure a teaching post there from 1852 to 1854. During that time Deming and his two brothers also built themselves a sawmill, which Deming helped operate as he prepared for college. After studying at Whitestown Seminary in Whitesboro, New York, he matriculated at the University of Vermont from which he graduated in 1861, having been elected Phi Beta Kappa. Three years later he received an advanced degree from the university, remaining active in its alumni programs throughout most of his life....

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Maxwell, William (1766 or 1767?–10 September 1809), pioneer printer, newspaper editor, and office holder, was long thought, based on statements made by his descendants, to have been born about 1755 in New York or New Jersey, the son of William Maxwell, an immigrant from Scotland. Current scholarship infers a probable birth date of 1766 or 1767 from a contemporary newspaper obituary and suggests several additional mid-Atlantic states (Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland) as possible places of origin. Little is known of Maxwell’s early life, including his mother’s identity. Although he is reputed to have served as a revolutionary war soldier, his participation has not been confirmed by extant military records....

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Munford, William (15 August 1775–21 June 1825), court reporter, poet, and politician, was born in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, the son of Robert Munford, a planter, playwright, and poet, and Anne Beverley. William began his education at the grammar school at William and Mary, then attended the college. His talents and intelligence impressed his teachers, including ...