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Oliver O. Howard. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-3719).

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Howard, Oliver Otis (08 November 1830–26 October 1909), soldier, government official, and educator, was born in Leeds, Maine, the son of Rowland Bailey Howard and Eliza Otis, farmers. As a boy Howard worked in the company of a young black farmhand, an experience to which he later attributed his broadmindedness in racial matters. Howard graduated from Bowdoin College in 1850 and entered the U.S. Military Academy. He graduated from West Point in 1854, ranked fourth in his class. In 1855 Howard married Elizabeth Ann Waite; the couple had seven children. He first served at the federal arsenals in New York and Maine and then as an ordnance officer in Florida. In 1857 Howard returned to West Point to teach mathematics. The same year he experienced the religious conversion that would earn him such sobriquets as “the Christian Soldier.” His distaste for alcohol and profanity hardly endeared him to many of his fellows. ...

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Mortimer D. Leggett. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-2047).

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Leggett, Mortimer Dormer (19 April 1821–06 January 1896), soldier, educator, and commissioner of patents, was born near Ithaca, New York, the son of Isaac Leggett and Mary Strong, farmers. When he was fifteen, his parents moved to Montville, Ohio, where for the next three years he helped his father clear and tend farmland. After attending night school, Leggett graduated first in his class from a teacher’s college in Kirtland, Ohio. He then studied law at Western Reserve College (later part of Case Western Reserve University). After being admitted to the bar, he attended medical school so that he could specialize in medical jurisprudence; he received an M.D. in 1844. That same year he married Marilla Wells of Montville; they had four sons and a daughter....