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Hecker, Friedrich Karl Franz (28 September 1811–24 March 1881), German revolutionary and American politician and soldier, was born in Eichtersheim, Grand Duchy of Baden, German League, the son of Joseph Hecker, a civil servant, and Wilhelmine von Lüder. Born a Catholic, he was educated at the humanistically oriented Gymnasium at Mannheim, finishing in 1830. He studied law at Heidelberg University from 1830 to 1833, taking the summer semester of 1833 at Munich before returning to Heidelberg to complete his doctorate in law in June 1834. Although Hecker underwent training to be a civil servant (including half a year studying legal procedures in Paris in 1835–1836), he entered private practice as an attorney. In 1839 he married Josephine Eisenhardt; they had nine children, five of whom survived infancy....


Tanner, James R. (4 Apr. 1844–2 Oct. 1927), Civil War veteran, public speaker, and activist for veterans’ causes and the Republican Party, was born James R. Tanner (there is no record of his actual middle name) in Richmondville, Schoharie County, New York, the son of Josiah and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown) Tanner. After receiving a somewhat better than average education, as a teenager he was a county schoolteacher for a time. Despite his father’s initial opposition, “Jimmie” fought in the Civil War, joining the Eighty-Seventh New York Infantry regiment at the age of seventeen in fall ...


Richard Taylor. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-2113).


Taylor, Richard (27 January 1826–12 April 1879), Louisiana Democratic party leader, and Confederate general, was born at the Taylor family home, “Springfield,” near Louisville, Kentucky, the only son of Zachary Taylor, professional army officer and president, and Margaret Mackall Smith. Named for his grandfather, who had served as a revolutionary war officer, young Richard Taylor shunned his father’s “Rough and Ready” reputation, seeking instead to recapture the family’s heritage among Virginia’s colonial elite, which included ties to the Madisons and the Lees. A friend observed pointedly, “Dick Taylor had a magnetic personality, which overshadowed the fact [that] he was the only son of … the President.” While his father was stationed at remote frontier military posts, Taylor was sent to private schools in Kentucky and Massachusetts before his admittance to Yale College was secured in 1843. Graduating two years later, he had won no scholastic honors but instead had concentrated on reading widely in classical and military history. After spending several months trying to settle on a career, he visited General Taylor’s camp at Matamoros in July 1846, early in the Mexican War. Seeing his son for the first time in six years, the general described him as “talented” but “rather wild.” Finally Dick agreed to manage the family cotton plantation in Jefferson County, Mississippi. In 1850 he persuaded his father (who had been elected president in 1848) to purchase “Fashion,” a large sugar plantation in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. In 1851 he married Myrthé Bringier, with whom he would have five children....