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Kasson, John Adam (11 January 1822–18 May 1910), diplomat, congressman, and postal official, was born in Charlotte, Vermont, the son of John Steele Kasson and Nancy Blackman, farmers. His father died a few years after Kasson’s birth, and his mother managed the farm. He was educated in the common schools, Burlington Academy, and the University of Vermont, where he received an A.B. in 1842. Kasson tutored for a season in a slaveholding family near Charlottesville, Virginia. He then spent three months in his brother’s law office in Burlington, Vermont, before moving to Worcester, Massachusetts, to read intensively under Emory Washburn, later a professor of law at Harvard. Kasson was admitted to the bar in 1844. Although he was only mildly antislavery, he attended the Free Soil Convention of 1848 in Buffalo. In 1850, after practicing law for six years in New Bedford, Massachusetts, he reestablished himself in St. Louis. That year he married Catherine Eliot; they had no children....