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Butler, William Allen (20 February 1825–09 September 1902), lawyer and writer, was born William Howard Allen Butler in Albany, New York, the son of Benjamin Franklin Butler, an attorney, and Harriet Allen Butler, sister of Lieutenant William Howard Allen, a naval hero in the War of 1812. His family moved to Washington, D.C., in 1834 when his father was appointed attorney general by President ...

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Cane, Melville Henry (15 April 1879–10 March 1980), lawyer and poet, was born in Plattsburgh, New York, the son of Henry William Cane, a merchant, and Sophia Goodman. Cane’s family moved to New York City when he was six years of age. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Columbia University in 1900 and a bachelor of laws from the same institution in 1903. Cane demonstrated an early interest in writing. As an undergraduate at Columbia, he served as editor in chief of the ...

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Cook, Ebenezer (1667–1733?), poet and lawyer, was the son of Andrew Cook, a planter and merchant, and Anne Bowyer. His father owned Cook’s Point, at the mouth of the Choptank River, Dorchester County, Maryland. Ebenezer evidently divided his time between Maryland and England. He was living in St. Mary’s City, Maryland, in 1694. On 26 September 1700 Edward Ebbitts of Dorchester County delegated his power of attorney to “Ebenezer Cook of the Province of Maryland now Residing in London.”...

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Crafts, William (24 January 1787–23 September 1826), author and lawyer, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of William Crafts, an affluent merchant, and Margaret Tébout. The handsome and precocious Crafts studied under Charleston tutors and then went to Harvard College, entering in 1802 as a sophomore. Young Crafts’s geniality and his ease in learning foreign languages brought him popularity and a reputation for both wit and scholarship. After graduation in 1805, he studied law in Charleston at the office of Ford and DeSaussure; but after three years and apparently with only superficial knowledge he returned to Cambridge to pursue a master’s degree....

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Arthur Davison Ficke Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1940. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LOT 12735, no. 375 P&P).

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Dalton Gross and MaryJean Gross

Ficke, Arthur Davison (10 November 1883–30 November 1945), lawyer and poet, was born in Davenport, Iowa, the son of Charles August Ficke, a lawyer, and Frances Davison. As a child he traveled extensively with his parents and came to share his father’s interest in art, although his primary interest lay in poetry. He took an A.B. degree from Harvard and a law degree from the University of Iowa and in 1908 settled into legal practice with his father. In 1907 he married Evelyn Bethune Blunt, with whom he had one son....

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Edgar Lee Masters Photograph by Arnold Genthe, 1924. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-G401-T-4499-004).

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Masters, Edgar Lee (23 August 1869–05 March 1950), poet and lawyer, was born in Garnett, Kansas, the son of Hardin Wallace Masters, a lawyer, and Emma J. Dexter. Though his father had moved the family briefly to Kansas to set up a law practice, Masters grew up in the western Illinois farmlands where his grandparents had settled in the 1820s. He was educated in the public schools in Petersburg and Lewistown (where he worked as a newspaper printer after school) and spent a year in an academy school hoping to gain admission to Knox College. Instead of entering college, he read law with his father and, after a brief stint as a bill collector in Chicago, formed a law partnership in 1893 with Kickham Scanlan....

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Paine, Robert Treat, Jr. (09 December 1773–13 November 1811), poet and lawyer, was born Thomas Paine in Taunton, Massachusetts, the son of Robert Treat Paine, Sr., a legislator, jurist, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, and Sally Cobb. The younger Paine legally changed his name to Robert Treat in 1801, adopting the name of a brother who had died in 1798. Contemporary Boston Federalists said he wanted to avoid mistaken identification with the “infidel” author of the ...

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Requier, Augustus Julian (27 May 1825–19 March 1887), poet and lawyer, was born in Charleston, South Carolina. His parents (names unknown) were French; his maternal grandfather had been a planter in Haiti, and his father had emigrated from Marseilles. He received a classical education in Charleston; he then studied law and was admitted to the bar in Charleston in 1844. ...