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Allen, Elisha Hunt (28 January 1804–01 January 1883), congressman and diplomat, was born in New Salem, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Clesson Allen, a lawyer and later a congressman, and Mary Hunt. He graduated with honors from Williams College in 1823, studied law in his father’s office, was admitted to the bar in 1825, and worked as an attorney for two years in Brattleboro, Vermont. In 1828 he married Sarah E. Fessenden; they had four children. That same year he moved to Bangor, Maine, where he formed a law partnership with ...

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Anderson, Richard Clough, Jr. (04 August 1788–24 July 1826), congressman and diplomat, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of Richard Clough Anderson, Sr., a revolutionary war soldier, and Elizabeth Clark, sister of frontiersman George Rogers Clark. His father had come to Kentucky in 1783 to become surveyor of the Virginia Land District in Louisville. In 1789 the family moved to “Soldiers’ Retreat,” a farm ten miles east of the city, where young Anderson grew up. Tutors instructed him until 1800, when he went to a private school in Virginia. In November 1802 he enrolled at the College of William and Mary. After graduating, Anderson left Williamsburg in July 1806 and arrived at his father’s home in September. In February of the following year he moved to Frankfort, Kentucky, to study law under John Allen. He stayed in Frankfort about a year, then lived briefly at his father’s house before returning to William and Mary in September 1808 to complete his legal training. Returning to Kentucky by way of Washington, D.C., where he witnessed the inauguration of President ...

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Baker, Jehu (04 November 1822–01 March 1903), congressman and diplomat, was born in Fayette County, Kentucky, the son of William Baker and Margaret Caldwell, farmers. In 1829 the family moved near Lebanon, Illinois, where Baker attended common schools until the age of seventeen. He then entered McKendree College and studied for several terms but did not graduate. He studied law in Belleville and, admitted to the bar in 1846, entered practice there. Three years later he shouldered the added responsibility of coediting the ...

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Daniel Barnard. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-99337).

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Barnard, Daniel Dewey (11 September 1796–24 April 1861), lawyer, congressman, and diplomat, was born in East Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Timothy Barnard, a county judge, and Phebe Dewey. Barnard’s early years were spent on the family farm near Hartford, Connecticut. When he was twelve the family moved to Mendon, New York (near Rochester). His formal education started with a year at Lenox Academy, after which he transferred to Williams College, where he graduated in 1818....

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Barringer, Daniel Moreau (30 July 1806–01 September 1873), U.S. congressman and diplomat, was born near Concord, North Carolina, the son of Paul Barringer, a prominent Cabarrus County landowner, and Elizabeth Brandon. He enrolled in the University of North Carolina as a second-semester sophomore in 1824 and graduated with honors in 1826. He studied law under ...

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Bidlack, Benjamin Alden (08 September 1804–06 February 1849), lawyer, legislator, and diplomat, was born in Paris, Oneida County, New York, the son of Benjamin Bidlack, a pioneer farmer, and Lydia Alden Bidlack. After his family relocated to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Bidlack completed his education at local public schools and the Wilkes-Barre Academy. Intent on a career in law, he studied law in the office of Garrick Mallery, a local attorney, and was appointed deputy attorney for Luzerne County shortly after gaining admittance to the state bar. After an early marriage to Fanny Stewart ended shortly after it began (for reasons that are not known), Bidlack married Margaret Wallace on 8 September 1829. The couple had seven children....

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Blount, James Henderson (12 September 1837–08 March 1903), lawyer, congressman, and special diplomatic envoy, was born near the village of Clinton, Jones County, Georgia, the son of Thomas Blount and Mary Ricketts, planters. Blount, whose parents died during his childhood, was raised in the household of his older half-brother, David Blount. He attended private schools in Clinton, Georgia, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, before graduating with honors from the University of Georgia in 1858. He read law and was admitted to the Georgia bar in 1859, and after a brief practice in Clinton, joined the firm of Anderson and Simmons in nearby Macon....

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Bragg, Edward Stuyvesant (20 February 1827–20 June 1912), Civil War general, congressman, and diplomat, was born in Unadilla, Otsego County, New York, the son of Joel Bragg, a rural businessman, and Margaretha Kohl. Bragg received his early education at local schools and went on to study law at Geneva College (now Hobart College) in Geneva, New York. He was admitted to the New York bar in 1848. After briefly practicing in Unadilla, he migrated to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, at the age of twenty-three. He was admitted to the Wisconsin bar and began a lifetime practice of arguing cases before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. In 1854 he was elected district prosecuting attorney. That same year he married Cornelia Coleman; they had four children....

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Broadhead, James Overton (29 May 1819–07 August 1898), congressman and diplomat, was born in Charlottesville, Virginia, the son of Achilles Broadhead, a farmer and justice of the peace, and Mary Winston Carr. He attained his preparatory education at a subscription school in Red Hills, Virginia, run by his uncle Dr. Frank Carr and then spent a year at the University of Virginia, paying his own expenses by tutoring the children of one of the professors. He then served as tutor in a private home in Baltimore for a short time before emigrating to St. Louis, Missouri, in June 1837. There he secured employment as a tutor in the home of ...

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Burlingame, Anson (14 November 1820–23 February 1870), congressman and diplomat, was born in New Berlin, New York, the son of Joel Burlingame, a farmer and Methodist lay preacher, and Freelove Angell. During his childhood, Burlingame’s family moved to Seneca County, Ohio, and then to Detroit, Michigan. He entered the Detroit branch of the University of Michigan in 1837 and graduated in 1841, having excelled in rhetoric and oratory. He began the study of law at Harvard University in 1843 and received a law degree there in 1846. Thereafter, he made his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He became a junior partner in the Boston law firm of George P. Briggs, son of former governor ...

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Campbell, Lewis Davis (09 August 1811–26 November 1882), congressman and diplomat, was born in Warren County, Ohio, the son of Samuel Campbell and Mary Small, farmers. Educated in Ohio’s common school system, Campbell left the family farm in 1828 to become an apprentice printer with the ...

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Conger, Edwin Hurd (07 March 1843–18 May 1907), congressman and diplomat, was born near Galesburg in Knox County, Illinois, the son of Lorentus E. Conger, a prosperous farmer and banker, and Mary Hurd. Edwin graduated from Lombard University in Galesburg in 1862 and immediately enlisted in the 102d Illinois Infantry. He attained the rank of captain and was breveted a major, a title he retained throughout his life. He completed Albany Law School in 1866 and began a law practice in Galesburg. He married Sarah J. Pike in 1866; they had two children....

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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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Draper, William Franklin (09 April 1842–28 January 1910), textile machinery manufacturer and inventor, congressman, and ambassador to Italy, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, the son of George Draper and Hannah Thwing. His grandfather, Ira Draper, had patented the first self-acting rotary temple for cotton looms in 1816 and had established a plant to manufacture the new machine part in Weston, Massachusetts. By 1842 Ira’s son Ebeneezer had taken control of the business and had moved the plant from Weston to Hopedale, Massachusetts, where he became a member of the Reverend ...

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Forward, Walter (24 January 1786–24 November 1852), congressman, secretary of the treasury, and diplomat, was born in Old Granby (now East Granby), Connecticut, the son of Samuel Forward and Susannah Holcombe, farmers. In 1800 the family moved to a farm in Ohio. Forward left his parents’ farm in 1803 for Pittsburgh, where despite having had little education he secured a job in the office of ...

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Hilliard, Henry Washington (04 August 1808–17 December 1892), congressman and diplomat, was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and raised in Columbia, South Carolina. His parents’ names are unknown. Hilliard graduated from South Carolina College at age eighteen and read law under the orator and politician ...

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Hitt, Robert Roberts (16 January 1834–20 September 1906), journalist, congressman, and diplomat, was born in Urbana, Ohio, the son of Thomas Smith Hitt, a Methodist minister, and Emily John. The family moved to Mount Morris, Illinois, in 1837. Hitt studied at the Methodist Rock River Seminary, which his father helped to establish. In 1855 Hitt graduated from Indiana Asbury University (now DePauw University) and two years later began working as a shorthand reporter in the Chicago court system and for area newspapers. In 1874 he married Sallie Reynolds; they had two sons....

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Alanson B. Houghton. c. 1922. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-99334).

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Houghton, Alanson Bigelow (10 October 1863–16 September 1941), congressman, diplomat, and manufacturer, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Amory Houghton, a glass manufacturer, and Ellen Ann Bigelow. After operating a glass factory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, his grandfather, Amory Houghton, Sr., and his father operated the Brooklyn Flint Glass Company in New York (1864–1868). The company’s operations were then transferred to Corning, New York, and the company was renamed Corning Flint Glass Company; it was incorporated as the Corning Glass Works in 1875. After early education in Corning and St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, Alanson Houghton graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with an A.B. in 1886. He undertook graduate study at the Universities of Göttingen, Berlin, and Paris, with a focus on political economy. Before 1890 he also published articles on Italian finance in the ...