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Adams, Charles (19 December 1845–19 August 1895), soldier and diplomat, was born Karl Adam Schwanbeck in Anclam, Pomerania, Germany, the son of Karl Heinrich Schwanbeck, a cabinetmaker, and Maria J. Markman. Adams was educated at the Gymnasium in Anclam and graduated with very high marks, especially in Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. Soon after his graduation in 1862, he moved to the United States. He had not been in the New World long before he enlisted in the Union army, serving in the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment. He fought in the Civil War for the remainder of the conflict and was wounded two times....

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Bacon, Robert (05 July 1860–29 May 1919), banker, diplomat, and soldier, was born in Jamaica Plain near Boston, Massachusetts, the son of William Benjamin Bacon and Emily Crosby Low. Raised in an old Massachusetts family long prominent in business, he was educated at Hopkinson’s School and at Harvard, graduating in 1880. Although his intellectual abilities were considerable, he won attention for his athletic ability, personality, and good looks, as he would throughout life. After graduation he traveled around the world, then joined the banking firm of Lee, Higginson, and Company. In 1883 he became a member of E. Rollins Morse and Brother. That year he married Martha Waldron Cowdin; they were the parents of three sons and a daughter....

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Bliss, Tasker Howard (31 December 1853–09 November 1930), soldier, scholar, and diplomat, was born in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, the son of George Ripley Bliss, a Baptist clergyman and professor at Lewisburg Academy (now Bucknell University), and Mary Ann Raymond. After attending Lewisburg Academy for two years, Tasker Bliss was admitted to West Point, where he excelled in foreign languages and finished eighth in his class in 1875. After graduating, he was assigned to the First Artillery in Savannah, Georgia. The next year he returned to West Point for a four-year tour as an instructor in modern languages. His grasp of other tongues included not only his beloved Greek, which he studied relentlessly, but also Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, and Russian. The Custer massacre in 1876 prompted him to request active duty at a frontier post, but Major General ...

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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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Crosby, John Schuyler (19 September 1839–08 August 1914), military officer and government official, was born in Albany County, New York, the son of Clarkson Floyd Crosby, who was independently wealthy, and Angelica Schuyler. Crosby attended the University of the City of New York in 1855–1856 but left for a grand tour of the Far East and South America. In 1863 he married Harriet Van Rensselaer; they had two children....

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Eaton, William (23 February 1764–01 June 1811), soldier and diplomat, was born in Woodstock, Connecticut, the son of Nathaniel (or Nathan) Eaton, a teacher and farmer, and Sarah Johnson. The family moved to Mansfield shortly before the Revolution. In January 1780 Eaton ran off and joined the army, but he was discharged after a month with frostbitten toes. In early 1781 Eaton reenlisted with his father’s blessing. He saw no military action and was released with the rank of sergeant when the war ended. Eaton returned to Mansfield and taught school before enrolling at Dartmouth. He graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in 1790 and became clerk of the Vermont Assembly....

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Fairchild, Lucius (27 December 1831–23 May 1896), soldier, governor, and diplomat, was born in Portage County, Ohio, the son of Jairus Cassius Fairchild, a tanner and storekeeper, and Sally Blair. In 1846 the family moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where Jairus Fairchild became state treasurer. After a local education supplemented by a brief stint at Carroll College, Lucius Fairchild left Wisconsin for the gold fields of California. From March 1849 to May 1855 he prospected and farmed in the Shasta Valley, where he also owned an interest in a general store. Returning home, he developed an interest in politics, joined the Democratic party, and in 1858 was elected clerk of the circuit court of Dane County, Wisconsin....

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Franks, David Salisbury (27 March 1742–07 October 1793), revolutionary officer and diplomat, was born in Philadelphia, the son of Abraham Franks, a Jewish merchant. His mother's name is unknown. In 1760 Franks enrolled in Benjamin Franklin's Academy of Philadelphia, where he studied for several years. After the British victory during the French and Indian War, his family went to Canada to seek new business opportunities. They first settled in Quebec during the late 1760s. In 1774 the family moved to Montreal. David Franks and his father became two of the earliest Jews engaged in mercantile activities in this city. In 1775 David Franks became the ...

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David McMurtrie Gregg. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1756).

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Gregg, David McMurtrie (10 April 1833–07 August 1916), U.S. Army officer, diplomat, and Pennsylvania state official, was born in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, the son of Matthew Duncan Gregg and Ellen McMurtrie (occupations unknown). He was the paternal grandson of U.S. senator Andrew Gregg and the first cousin of ...

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Halderman, John Adams (15 April 1833–21 September 1908), soldier, politician, and diplomat, was born in Fayette County, Kentucky, the son of Susan Henderson Rogers and John A. Halderman, a physician. Subsequent to the death of Halderman’s mother in 1843, Halderman’s father remarried and moved to Illinois, but the younger Halderman remained in Kentucky in the care of his maternal grandparents. Little else is known of his early years except that he aspired to a military career and thus sought appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. When these efforts were frustrated, Halderman attended McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois, Xavier College in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the University of Louisville. His most important educational experience, however, came in the Lexington law office of his uncle, Colonel C. C. Rogers, where he read law. In the spring of 1854 Halderman was admitted to the bar....

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Judson Kilpatrick. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1391).

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Kilpatrick, Hugh Judson (14 January 1836–02 December 1881), army officer and diplomat, was born near Deckertown (now Sussex), New Jersey, the son of Simon Kilpatrick, a farmer and colonel in the state militia, and Julia Wickham. Kilpatrick attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and was two years behind ...

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Rufus King, Jr. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-10662).

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King, Rufus (26 January 1814–13 October 1876), soldier, editor, and diplomat, was born in New York City, the son of Charles King, a merchant and the ninth president of Columbia College, and Eliza Gracie. After attending the preparatory academy of Columbia, Rufus entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1829. After graduating fourth in the class of 1833, he was commissioned into the elite corps of engineers but resigned three years later to accept a position as a civil engineer with the New York & Erie Railroad. In 1839 he began a career as a newspaper editor. After two years with the ...

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Laurens, John (28 October 1754–27 August 1782), revolutionary war soldier and diplomat, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of Henry Laurens, a prominent merchant and planter, and Eleanor Ball Laurens. John Laurens studied under private tutors in Charleston before traveling to London in 1771 for further schooling. In May 1772 he moved to Geneva, Switzerland, a city renowned for its republicanism and education system, and studied there until August 1774. While in Geneva, he decided to become a lawyer, returned to London, and enrolled in the Middle Temple at the Inns of Court....

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Maney, George Earl (24 August 1826–09 February 1901), soldier, lawyer, and diplomat, was born in Franklin, Tennessee, the son of Thomas Maney and Rebecca Southall, occupations unknown. Maney attended the Nashville Seminary and graduated from the University of Nashville in 1845. He served in the Mexican War as a second lieutenant in the First Tennessee Infantry from 28 May 1846 until honorably discharged on 7 September 1846 and as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Infantry and the Third U.S. Dragoons from 6 March 1847 until honorably mustered out on 31 July 1848. The Third Dragoons participated in General ...

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McCoy, Frank Ross (29 October 1874–04 June 1954), soldier and diplomat, was born in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, the son of Thomas Franklin McCoy, an attorney, and Margaret Eleanor Ross. Inspired by his father’s volunteer service in both the Mexican War and the Civil War, McCoy decided at an early age to become a soldier. Appointed to West Point, McCoy graduated with the class of 1897 and was commissioned a second lieutenant of cavalry. One year later, he was deployed to Cuba with the expedition that was mounted to liberate that island from Spanish rule. On 1 July 1898 McCoy was wounded at Kettle Hill. Following convalescence in the United States, he returned in 1899 to Cuba, where he became an aide and staff officer of General ...

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Peter J. Osterhaus. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1871).

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Osterhaus, Peter Joseph (04 January 1823–02 January 1917), army officer and diplomat, was born in Koblenz, Germany, the son of Anton A. Osterhaus. His mother’s name is not known. After attending a military school in Berlin, he served as a gentleman volunteer in the Prussian Twenty-ninth Infantry Regiment. In 1846 he married Natilda Born; they had five children. When a wave of revolutions swept Germany in 1848, Osterhaus sided with those striving to give Germany a unified, liberal government. They failed, and many, like Osterhaus, fled to America the following year. Osterhaus settled in Belleville, in southwestern Illinois, and got a job in a dry goods store. In the next two years he moved first to Lebanon, Illinois, where he ran a general store, and then to St. Louis, Missouri, where a large German-American population made social conditions pleasant for the Osterhauses. In St. Louis he obtained employment as a bookkeeper for a hardware wholesaler....