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Roger S. Baldwin. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-90730).

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Baldwin, Roger Sherman (04 January 1793–19 February 1863), lawyer, governor, and senator, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Simeon Baldwin, a lawyer, judge, congressman, and mayor of New Haven, and Rebecca Sherman. Baldwin was a direct descendant of the Puritan settlers of Connecticut and the Founding Fathers of the nation. His father’s family was among the original New Haven colonists, and his mother was the daughter of ...

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Bell, Samuel (09 February 1770–23 December 1850), lawyer, governor, and senator, was born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, the son of John Bell and Mary Ann Gilmore, farmers. His father, a tall, rugged, hot-tempered man, was a commanding figure in his community, who served as a deacon and selectman and as a member of the New Hampshire committee of safety and provincial congress during the Revolution. After working on the farm until he was eighteen, Bell studied at a local school and attended New Ipswich Academy before entering the sophomore class at Dartmouth College in 1791. Following graduation in 1793, he studied law in Amherst, New Hampshire, under ...

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Briggs, George Nixon (12 April 1796–12 September 1861), lawyer, congressman, and governor, was born in Adams, Massachusetts, the son of blacksmith Allen Briggs, a veteran of the revolutionary war, and Nancy Brown. As with many settlers in the Berkshire area of Massachusetts, the Briggses had moved north from Rhode Island and were earnest Baptists (although Nancy Briggs had come from a Huguenot family). At age thirteen Briggs, one of twelve siblings, was apprenticed to Quaker John Allen, a hatter in White Creek, New York. He returned home in 1811 to help his father and attended grammar school for about a year. In 1813 he studied law with Ambrose Kasson (also spelled Kapen) of Adams, Massachusetts; the following year he moved to the office of Luther Washburn in Lanesboro. During his apprenticeship in White Creek, Briggs, then a Quaker, had experienced a conversion at a revival and thereby became a Baptist. While studying law in Lanesboro and helping to found a Baptist church there, he met Harriet Hall, whom he married in May 1818; they would have at least two children....

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B. Gratz Brown. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-90757).

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Brown, Benjamin Gratz (28 May 1826–13 December 1885), U.S. senator and governor of Missouri, was born in Lexington, Kentucky, the son of Mason Brown, a lawyer, and Judith Bledsoe. He was educated at Transylvania and Yale Universities, graduating from the latter in 1847. He then earned a degree from Louisville Law School. Upon being admitted to the bar in the fall of 1849, he moved to St. Louis to join his cousins ...

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Howell Cobb. Daguerreotype from the studio of Mathew B. Brady. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-110081).

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Cobb, Howell (07 September 1815–09 October 1868), lawyer and politician, was born at Cherry Hill in Jefferson County, Georgia, the son of John Addison Cobb, a planter, and Sarah Robinson (Rootes). Enrolling in Franklin College (now the University of Georgia) in Athens, Georgia, in 1829, he graduated in 1834. His college years were marked by his expulsion from school after participating in a riot to protest disciplinary action by the faculty for a minor infraction of leaving campus without permission; he was later readmitted. At the same time, they saw him first show signs of his strong Unionism, for he opposed the nullification movement in South Carolina. On 26 May 1835 he married Mary Ann Lamar; the couple had six children. With marriage Cobb acquired his wife’s sizable estate, including several cotton plantations and some 200 slaves....

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Culberson, Charles Allen (10 June 1855–19 March 1925), lawyer, governor, and U.S. senator, was born in Dadeville, Alabama, the son of David Browning Culberson, a lawyer, and Eugenia Kimbal. His parents moved to Texas when he was young, and he grew up in Jefferson. He attended Virginia Military Institute, from which he graduated in 1874. After studying law with his father, he received a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1877. He married Sallie Harrison in 1882; they had one daughter. While practicing law in Jefferson, Culberson served briefly as county attorney. His father, in the meantime, had become an influential Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. A brother recalled that Culberson “took a drink now and then and played an occasional game of poker or whist” (Madden, p. 7)....

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Charles Samuel Deneen Far left, with some early aviators, 1910. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-89765).

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Deneen, Charles Samuel (04 May 1863–05 February 1940), lawyer, governor of Illinois, and U.S. senator, was born in Edwardsville, Illinois, the son of Samuel H. Deneen, a professor of Latin and ancient history at McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois, and Mary F. Ashley. Educated in local public schools during his formative years, Charles graduated from McKendree College in 1882. He taught in downstate schools and in Chicago prior to attending the Union College of Law (later Northwestern University School of Law) in Chicago, from which he graduated in 1888. He was admitted to the bar that same year but returned to teaching before entering the practice of law in 1890. In 1891 he married Bina Day Maloney; they had four children....

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Dickerson, Philemon (26 June 1788–10 December 1862), politician and jurist, was born in Succasunna, New Jersey, the son of Jonathan Dickerson, a landowner and owner of an iron mine, and Mary Coe. Philemon Dickerson graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1808 and immediately began studying law in Philadelphia at the instigation of his elder brother ...

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Fairfield, John (30 January 1797–24 January 1847), politician and lawyer, was born in Saco, District of Maine, the son of Ichabod Fairfield and Sarah Nason Scamman. Fairfield was educated at local schools and the Limerick Academy. During the War of 1812 he contributed to the war effort by serving on a privateer. Following the war he tried his hand as a merchant (apparently without success), but he eventually pursued a legal career. He married Anna Paine Thornton, the daughter of U.S. Marshal Thomas G. Thornton in 1825; they had nine children. After reading law with Ether Shepley, the U.S. attorney for the District of Maine, Fairfield was admitted to the bar in 1826. He formed a partnership with George Thacher, Jr., and began to gain a reputation as a successful courtroom attorney. In 1832 Fairfield was appointed to serve as the reporter of decisions for the Supreme Court of Maine, a position he held until 1835. From 1835 to 1837 Fairfield authored ...

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Henry S. Foote. Daguerreotype from the studio of Mathew B. Brady. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-110163).

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Foote, Henry Stuart (28 February 1804–20 May 1880), U.S. senator and governor of Mississippi, was born in Fauquier County, Virginia, the son of Richard Helm Foote and Jane Stuart. After graduating from Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) in 1819, he was admitted to the bar in Richmond in 1823. Soon, he moved to Tuscumbia, Alabama, for a few years, where he edited a Democratic newspaper, and then to Mississippi, where he quickly became one of the leading criminal lawyers in the state....

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Gayle, John (11 September 1792–21 July 1859), Alabama governor, U.S. congressman, and Alabama jurist, was born in Sumter District, South Carolina, the son of Mary Rees and Matthew Gayle, farmers. Originally from Virginia, Matthew Gayle moved to South Carolina about the time of the American Revolution and served with ...

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Hamilton, James, Jr. (08 May 1786–15 November 1857), congressman and governor of South Carolina, was born near Charleston, South Carolina, the son of James Hamilton, a rice planter and formerly an aide to George Washington, and Elizabeth Lynch, whose brother Thomas Lynch had signed the Declaration of Independence. He was educated in Newport, Rhode Island, and Dedham, Massachusetts, and then read law in Charleston. Admitted to the bar in 1810, he established a practice with ...

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Hickenlooper, Bourke B. (21 July 1896–04 September 1971), lawyer and politician, was born in Blockton, Iowa, the son of Nathan C. Hickenlooper and Margaret Blackmore, farmers. On completing high school in 1914, he enrolled at Iowa State College (now Iowa State University), Ames, but following American intervention in the European war, he enlisted in the U.S. Army’s Officer Training Camp at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. Commissioned a second lieutenant, he was assigned to the Third Battalion, 339th Field Artillery, serving in Europe from August 1918 to February 1919. Following his return to Iowa, he resumed his studies at Iowa State, earning a B.S. degree in industrial science in 1920. The next year he enrolled in the College of Law at the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa in Iowa City), where he earned a J.D. degree in 1922. He then moved to Cedar Rapids, where he was a member of the firm Johnson, Donnelly and Lynch in 1925. He then proceeded to solo practice until 1937, at which time he joined with M. F. Mitvalsky to form the partnership of Hickenlooper & Mitvalsky, where he continued his practice intermittently even after entering politics. In 1927 Hickenlooper married Verna E. Bensch, with whom he had two children....

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James Jackson. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-94984 ).

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Jackson, James (21 September 1757–19 March 1806), congressman, U.S. senator, and governor of Georgia, was born in Moreton Hampstead, Devonshire, England, the son of James Jackson, Sr., and Mary Webber, about whom nothing is known. At age fifteen he immigrated alone to Savannah, Georgia, where lawyer John Wereat took him in. Young Jackson received no formal education, but within the next few years the American Revolution transformed and gave focus to his life. In 1777 he was a delegate to the Georgia Constitutional Convention. More notably, he served in the state militia, fought in numerous engagements, including Cowpens in 1781, and became a major general in 1792. For his leadership of the patriot forces that repossessed Savannah after the British departure in July 1782, the assembly awarded him a house and lot in the town. In 1785 he married Mary Charlotte Young; they had five sons. By 1796 Jackson’s estate had grown to include several thousand acres of rice and cotton producing lands, including 4,594 acres from grants made to him by Georgia governors in recognition of war service. Showing little interest in selling this domain, he apparently was immune from the land speculation fever of his day. After studying with ...