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Ashe, Thomas Samuel (19 July 1812–04 February 1887), jurist and congressman, was born at “the Hawfields,” Orange County, North Carolina, the home of his maternal grandfather, where his parents regularly spent the summer. He was the son of Pasquale Paoli Ashe, the owner of a plantation in coastal New Hanover County, North Carolina, and a coal mine in Alabama, and Elizabeth Jane Strudwick. His father lost his entire fortune about 1829 as surety for the debts of a friend....

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Campbell, Josiah Adams Patterson (02 March 1830–10 January 1917), jurist and a founding father of the Confederacy, was born in South Carolina (sources vary as to location), the son of Robert B. Campbell, a Princeton-educated Presbyterian minister, and Mary Patterson. A precocious child, he spent some time as a student at Davidson College in North Carolina before joining his parents at their new home in Madison County, Mississippi, in 1845. After reading law in the office of a local attorney for two years, he was admitted to the bar at the age of seventeen and began practicing in Kosciusko in Attala County. In 1850 he married Eugenia E. Nash; they had seven children....

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Gholson, Thomas Saunders (09 December 1808–12 December 1868), jurist and Confederate congressman, was born in Gholsonville, Brunswick County, Virginia, the son of Major William Gholson, a planter, and Mary Saunders. Gholson received his secondary education in Oxford, North Carolina, and then returned to his home state, where he graduated from the University of Virginia in 1827. He practiced law in Brunswick County until 1840, when he moved to Petersburg and formed a partnership with his older brother, James Hubbard Gholson. After his brother’s death in 1848, Gholson practiced with Judge James Alfred Jones of Mecklenburg County. By all accounts, Gholson was a skillful advocate and eloquent orator, and he made a name for himself by taking part in many notable cases, including the famous murder trial of William Dandridge Epes, in which Gholson was the prosecutor....

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Maxwell, Augustus Emmet (21 September 1820–05 May 1903), jurist and legislator, was born in Elberton, Georgia, the son of Simeon Maxwell, a planter, and Elizabeth Fortson. When he was two years old, the family moved to Green County, Alabama. After attending country schools, in 1836 Maxwell began study at the University of Virginia; he left school briefly because of vision problems but he graduated from the university in 1841....

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Orr, Jehu Amaziah (10 April 1828–09 March 1921), jurist and legislator, was born in Craytonville, South Carolina, the son of Christopher Orr, a merchant, and Martha McCann. In 1843 he moved with his parents to Chickasaw County, Mississippi, where his father, a slaveholder, had purchased land. Orr developed an interest in politics and the legal profession at an early age. Residing in Houston, the county seat, he read law under the guidance of Winfield Scott Featherston, a young lawyer and an aspiring Democratic politician. At the age of seventeen Orr went to the Democratic convention in Jackson to promote Featherston’s candidacy for a state office. Leaving home in 1846 to broaden his educational horizon, he studied in the liberal arts at Erskine College in South Carolina and in 1847 transferred to the College of New Jersey in Princeton. He received a bachelor of arts in 1849; he later returned to Princeton and received a master of arts in 1857. In June 1849 he was licensed to practice law and formed a partnership in Houston with Featherston, who then represented the district in Congress. Also the new owner and editor of a local newspaper, Orr actively supported his law partner’s successful bid for reelection in 1849. With the protection of slavery in the territories an issue in the campaign, Orr asserted that the federal judiciary, rather than the Whig “doctrine of congressional interference,” provided “the safest and surest protection” for the slaveholder ( ...

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Staples, Waller Redd (24 February 1826–20 August 1897), Confederate congressman and post-Civil War jurist, Confederate congressman and post–Civil War jurist, was born at Stuart, Virginia, the son of Abram Staples, a member of the state legislature and clerk of court in Patrick County, and Mary Penn. He attended the University of North Carolina from 1842 to 1844 and the College of William and Mary for the next two years, graduating with honors in 1846. After law studies with Judge Norbonne Taliaferro in Franklin County, Virginia, he was admitted to the bar and began practice in 1848 as a junior associate of ...