Jon C. Teaford
Depew, Chauncey Mitchell (23 April 1834–05 April 1928), public speaker, railroad president, and U.S. senator, was born in Peekskill, New York, the son of Isaac Depew, a shipowner, merchant, and farmer, and Martha Mitchell. After graduating from Peekskill Academy in 1852, Chauncey entered Yale where he forsook the Democratic faith of his father and sided with the antislavery forces of the newly created Republican party. After receiving his diploma in 1856, young Depew began the study of law in the office of a Peekskill attorney and was admitted to the bar in 1858. That same year he was a delegate to the Republican State Convention, and in 1862 and 1863 he served in the New York state legislature, becoming a leader of the GOP caucus during his second session. In 1863 he was elected New York’s secretary of state, a post he held for two years. Throughout this period he developed a reputation as a campaign speaker who could sway a crowd in support of the Republican cause. In an age when oratorical skill was a prerequisite to political success, his gift for speaking proved an invaluable asset....
Randolph, John (02 June 1773–24 May 1833), member of the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. senator, and orator, known as John Randolph of Roanoke, was born at “Cawsons,” in Prince George County, Virginia, the son of John Randolph, a scion of the Virginian landed slaveholding elite, and Frances Bland. Both parents were descendents of the founding father of the Randolphs of Virginia, William Randolph of Turkey Island. The senior John Randolph died in 1775, and in 1778 his widow married ...