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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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Calhoun, William Barron (29 December 1796–08 November 1865), lawyer, writer, and politician, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Andrew Calhoun, a merchant, and Martha Chamberlain. His father was one of the founders of Boston’s Park Street Church. Calhoun was prepared for college by Harvard graduate William Wells, then he attended Yale, graduating in 1814. While a senior at Yale, Calhoun was one of the editors of a student publication, the ...

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Chester, Thomas Morris (11 May 1834–30 September 1892), lawyer and Civil War correspondent, was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the son of George Chester and Jane Maria (maiden name unknown), restaurateurs. When, as a young man of eighteen, Chester decided to emigrate to Liberia, he wrote Martin H. Freeman, his former teacher at the Avery Institute in Pittsburgh, that his passion for liberty could no longer “submit to the insolent indignities and contemptuous conduct to which it has almost become natural for the colored people dishonorably to submit themselves.” It was a bold assertion of independence for one who had come of age in a household long associated with the anticolonization sentiments of radical abolitionism. But the country’s willingness to appease southern interests, symbolized by the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law in 1850, persuaded Chester, sometime before his 1853 graduation, to emigrate....

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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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Ingalls, John James (29 December 1833–16 August 1900), journalist, lawyer, and U.S. senator, was born in Middletown, Massachusetts, the son of Elias Theodore Ingalls, a businessman, and Eliza Chase. His father operated a shoe factory in Lynn, a town one of his ancestors helped found in 1629. Ingalls attended public school in Haverhill until he was sixteen then studied Latin with a tutor before enrolling at Williams College in 1851. After graduation in 1855 he read law with John J. Marsh for two years and was admitted to the Essex County bar in 1857....

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Lewis, Alfred Henry (20 January 1857–23 December 1914), lawyer, journalist, and author, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Isaac Jefferson Lewis, a carpenter, and Harriet Tracy. He attended Cleveland public schools, read for the law, and passed the Ohio bar in Columbus in 1876, placing first among those examined. He practiced law, dabbled in politics, became prosecuting attorney in the Cleveland police court (1880–1881), and moved to Kansas City, Missouri, with his parents and brothers. He turned to cowboy hobo-ing on ranches in Meade County, Kansas, along the Cimarron River and into Oklahoma Territory, driving cattle up to Dodge City, Kansas, and riding in Texas and Arizona. He was a journalist in New Mexico Territory—as the ...

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Perlman, Philip Benjamin (05 March 1890–31 July 1960), newspaperman, lawyer, and solicitor general, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Benjamin Perlman and Rose Nathan. He attended Baltimore City College, a high school for boys from 1904 to 1908, studied law at Johns Hopkins, and was admitted to the Maryland bar a year before he received a law degree from the University of Maryland in 1912. He remained a bachelor. Perlman served on the boards of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Walters Art Gallery, and the Baltimore Museum of Art and belonged to the National Press Club and Associated Jewish Charities....

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Plumb, Preston B. (12 October 1837–20 December 1891), journalist, lawyer, and U.S. senator, was born in Berkshire, Delaware County, Ohio, the son of David Plumb, a wagon maker, and Hannah Maria Bierce. He was educated in the Berkshire and Marysville, Ohio, schools and at twelve enrolled in Kenyon College, where he took three years of preparatory studies and worked in the school’s print shop to pay for room, board, and tuition. At fifteen he apprenticed as a printer on the ...