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Pierrepont, Edwards (04 March 1817–06 March 1892), U.S. attorney general and minister to England, was born Munson Edwards Pierpont in North Haven (now New Haven), Connecticut, the son of Giles Pierpont and Eunice Munson. Pierrepont opted later in life to drop his first name and adopt an earlier spelling of the family name. Pierrepont came from a distinguished lineage that first arrived in North America in 1650. He was a descendant of one of the founders of Yale College, James Pierpont. Edwards was groomed for admission into Yale by ...

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Caesar Augustus Rodney. Engraving by Charles Févret de Saint-Mémin. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZC4-2969).

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Rodney, Caesar Augustus (04 January 1772–10 June 1824), attorney general and diplomat, was born in Dover, Delaware, the son of Thomas Rodney, a scholarly merchant and politician, and Elizabeth Maud Fisher. In his youth the family moved between Dover, Philadelphia, and Wilmington. After his mother’s death in 1783, he lived with relatives or friends when not away at school. He was the principal legatee of his uncle ...

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Taft, Alphonso (05 November 1810–21 May 1891), judge, U.S. attorney general, and diplomat, was born in Townshend, Vermont, the son of Peter Rawson Taft, a farmer and lawyer, and Sylvia Howard. Taft was educated at county schools until he was sixteen. He then taught high school in order to attend Amherst Academy. He received a bachelor’s degree from Yale College in 1833, graduating third in his class, and after several more years of teaching high school he returned to Yale Law School. He received a J.D. in 1838 and was admitted that year to the bar of Connecticut....