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Boker, George Henry (06 October 1823–02 January 1890), playwright and diplomat, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Lydia Stewart and Charles S. Boker, a banker and merchant. Boker’s wealthy father provided him with an education at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton) and a lavish lifestyle, including extensive travel abroad, leaving the son free to pursue a career in letters and diplomacy without the usual economic worries that plagued writers. Boker’s only obligation was to study law, which he read in the office of ...

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Conrad, Robert Taylor (10 June 1810–27 June 1858), dramatist and mayor of Philadelphia, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of John Conrad, a publisher, and Eliza (maiden name unknown). Urged by his father, in 1831 Conrad became an attorney. But he found himself attracted more to journalism and literature than to the legal profession, and from 1831 to 1834 he worked for the ...

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Daggett, Rollin Mallory (22 February 1831–12 November 1901), journalist, congressman, minister to Hawaii, and author, was born in Richville, New York, the son of Eunice White and Gardner Daggett, farmers. Daggett was the youngest of seven children, the other six being girls. After his mother’s death in 1833, the family moved to Defiance, Ohio, in 1837. In 1849 Daggett became a printer, learning a trade which endowed him with an education and influenced his later choice of a journalistic career....

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Noah, Mordecai Manuel (19 July 1785–22 March 1851), politician, playwright, and Jewish communal leader, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Manuel Mordecai Noah, a failed businessman, and Zipporah Phillips. He was orphaned at the age of seven and was raised by his grandparents Jonas and Rebecca (Machado) Phillips. In his youth, first in Philadelphia and later in Charleston, South Carolina, he published journalistic pieces, a political pamphlet, a critique of Shakespeare ( ...

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Sawyer, Lemuel, Jr. (1777–09 January 1852), congressman and author, was born in Camden County, North Carolina, the son of Lemuel Sawyer, Sr., a planter and merchant, and Mary Taylor. His father was prominent in local and state affairs, serving as sheriff and representing his county in both the provincial congress and the general assembly. After attending the local schools, young Sawyer studied at the Flatbush Academy on Long Island from 1793 to 1796. He spent a portion of 1796 in Philadelphia as a visitor in the home of his brother-in-law Congressman Dempsey Burgess. There he dabbled in the study of mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania and acquired a lifelong habit of extravagant living....