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John Barrett. Photograph by Louis Fabian Bachrach. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-92747).

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Barrett, John (28 November 1866–17 October 1938), commercial publicist and diplomat, was born in Grafton, Vermont, the son of Charles Barrett and Caroline Sanford. His father, reportedly shy and withdrawn, served for a time as a town official and a Republican state legislator but devoted most of his life to artistic pursuits. His mother, who was more outgoing, had a lively regard for politics, law, journalism, theology, and economics, and Barrett’s letters to her suggest she strongly influenced him....

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Bowers, Claude Gernade (20 November 1878–21 January 1958), journalist, diplomat, and historian, was born in Westfield, Indiana, the son of Lewis Bowers, a storekeeper, and Juliet Tipton, a milliner and dressmaker. Reared in rural communities in central Indiana, Claude moved to Indianapolis with his divorced mother when he was thirteen. He was a voracious reader and became a confirmed Democrat while at Indianapolis High School. In 1898 Bowers graduated and also won the state oratorical contest but was unable to attend college for lack of funds. Instead he worked for the publishing firm that later became the Bobbs-Merrill Company. In 1900 Bowers became the major editorial writer for the ...

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Daggett, Rollin Mallory (22 February 1831–12 November 1901), journalist, congressman, minister to Hawaii, and author, was born in Richville, New York, the son of Eunice White and Gardner Daggett, farmers. Daggett was the youngest of seven children, the other six being girls. After his mother’s death in 1833, the family moved to Defiance, Ohio, in 1837. In 1849 Daggett became a printer, learning a trade which endowed him with an education and influenced his later choice of a journalistic career....

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Durham, John Stephens (18 July 1861–16 October 1919), diplomat, lawyer, and journalist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Samuel Durham and Elizabeth Stephens. Two of his uncles, Clayton Durham and Jeremiah Durham, were noted clergymen who helped Bishop Richard Allen establish the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church. A mulatto, Durham studied in the Philadelphia public schools, graduating from the Institute for Colored Youth in 1876....

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Hitt, Robert Roberts (16 January 1834–20 September 1906), journalist, congressman, and diplomat, was born in Urbana, Ohio, the son of Thomas Smith Hitt, a Methodist minister, and Emily John. The family moved to Mount Morris, Illinois, in 1837. Hitt studied at the Methodist Rock River Seminary, which his father helped to establish. In 1855 Hitt graduated from Indiana Asbury University (now DePauw University) and two years later began working as a shorthand reporter in the Chicago court system and for area newspapers. In 1874 he married Sallie Reynolds; they had two sons....

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Jarves, James Jackson (20 August 1818–28 June 1888), journalist, diplomat, and art connoisseur, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Deming Jarves, the inventor of Sandwich glass, and Anna Smith Stutson. Jarves received some formal education at Chauncy Hall School in Boston and enhanced his knowledge by extensive reading. At fifteen he was bedridden by what was diagnosed as a “rush of blood to the head” that left him temporarily blind and unable to continue at school. Gradually he improved but when the doctors recommended that he live in a milder climate than New England he had to forgo a Harvard education....

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Loomis, Francis Butler (27 July 1861–04 August 1948), journalist, diplomat, and foreign trade adviser, was born in Marietta, Ohio, the son of William Butler Loomis, an Ohio state judge, and Harriet Frances Wheeler. Francis Loomis graduated from Marietta College in 1883. After graduation Loomis worked with the ...

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Price, Byron (25 March 1891–06 August 1981), journalist, director of the U.S. Office of Censorship, and assistant secretary general of the United Nations, was born in Topeka, Indiana, the son of John Price and Emaline P. Barnes, farmers. He received a B.A. in English from Wabash College in Crawfordsville in 1912. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa....

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Seward, Frederick William (08 July 1830–25 April 1915), diplomat, journalist, and author, was born in Auburn, New York, the son of William Henry Seward, a powerful Whig and Republican party leader, and Frances Miller, the daughter of an influential Upstate New York lawyer. Fred, as he was called, graduated from Union College at age nineteen. After serving briefly as secretary for his father (who was then in the U.S. Senate), he joined the bar in 1851 at his father’s urging. However, Fred Seward was most interested in journalism. In 1852 he became associate editor of the Albany ...

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Stahel, Julius (05 November 1825–04 December 1912), soldier, journalist, and diplomat, was born Julius Stahel-Szamvald in Szeged, Hungary, the son of Andreas Stahel-Szamvald and Barbara Nagy. After receiving a classical education in Szeged and Budapest, he operated a bookstore in the latter city. In his early twenties he entered the Austrian army and rose to lieutenant. When Hungary waged a war for independence, Stahel joined the revolutionary forces of Louis Kossuth. The independence movement was suppressed in 1849, and he fled his native land, living in London and Berlin before coming to the United States in 1856....

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Stevens, John Leavitt (01 August 1820–08 February 1895), journalist and diplomat, was born in Mount Vernon, Maine, the son of John Stevens and Charlotte Lyford, farmers. His education in the local public schools was followed by study at the Waterville Liberal Institute and the Maine Wesleyan Seminary. In 1845 he married Mary Lowell Smith; they had one child. Stevens also that year embarked upon a career as a Universalist minister....

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Stillman, William James (01 June 1828–06 July 1901), journalist, artist, and diplomat, was born in Schenectady, New York, the son of Joseph Stillman, a machinist, and Eliza Ward Maxson. Enduring a strict, impoverished childhood, he retained an intense love of nature and an abiding religious faith. Potentially a brilliant student, and with some financial help from some of his older brothers, he graduated from Union College in Schenectady in 1848 after three years, regretting that he had not studied art....

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Svin'in, Pavel Petrovich (08 June 1787– April 1839), journalist, diplomat, and artist, was born in Russia, the son of Peter Sergeevich Svin'in, a lieutenant general in the Russian army. Pavel's background as provincial Russian nobility would provide him special opportunities during his lifetime. He was educated at the boarding school for nobility attached to Moscow University, where he studied mathematics, foreign languages, literature, history, law, and art. It was here that Svin'in began his serious study of art. Upon graduation from the boarding school, he did not enter civil service, as did most of his classmates, but studied art in St. Petersburg....

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Walton, Lester A. (20 April 1882–16 October 1965), diplomat, journalist, civil rights activist, and theater producer, was born Lester Aglar Walton in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Benjamin A. Walton, Sr., and Olive May Camphor Walton. After graduation from Sumner High School, Walton began his career as a journalist at the ...

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Williams, James (01 July 1796–10 April 1869), journalist and diplomat, was born in Grainger County, Tennessee, the son of Ethelred Williams and Mary Copeland, farmers. Though little is known about his early years, Williams was educated at West Point and thereafter joined the army, where he saw action in Florida during the Second Seminole War. He retired from the military in 1837 at the rank of captain and later that same year married Lucy Jane Graham. The couple had three children....