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Benjamin, Robert Charles O’Hara (31 March 1855–02 October 1900), journalist and lawyer, was born on the island of St. Kitts in the West Indies. Details about his early life, including the names of his parents and his education, are not known. In the fall of 1869 he arrived in New York, where he worked as soliciting agent for the ...

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Bingham, Robert Worth (08 November 1871–18 December 1937), lawyer, newspaper publisher, and diplomat, was born in Mebane, North Carolina, the son of Robert Bingham, an educator, and Delphine Louise Worth. Bingham graduated from the Bingham School, a private school run by his father, and from 1888 to 1890 attended the University of North Carolina (no degree). He married Eleanor Everhart Miller in 1896; they had three children. He received a law degree from the University of Louisville a year later and, settling in Louisville, went into law practice with fellow North Carolinian W. W. Davies....

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Birney, William (28 May 1819–14 August 1907), soldier, journalist, and lawyer, was born in Madison County, Alabama, the son of James Gillespie Birney, a lawyer, state legislator, and abolitionist leader, and Agatha McDowell. In 1818 his family had moved to Huntsville, Alabama, and in late 1835 they relocated to New Richmond, Ohio. Birney was educated at four colleges, including Yale University, and graduated from Cincinnati Law School in 1841. He began practicing law in that city and in 1845 married Catherine Hoffman. They would have nine children. For five years thereafter he resided on the Continent and in England. He contributed essays on the arts to English and American newspapers, and he upheld the activist reputation of his family by opposing French troops as a member of a Republican student battalion in Paris. In 1848 he accepted an appointment as professor of English literature at the lycée in Bourges....

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Bradwell, James Bolesworth (16 April 1828–29 November 1907), lawyer and publisher, was born in Loughborough, England, the son of Thomas Bradwell and Elizabeth Guthredge, farmers. He came to the United States with his family in 1829, settling first in Utica, New York. In 1833 they moved to west-central Illinois and later to Chicago, making the last journey by covered wagon in 1834. They remained in Chicago only a short time before moving to a site near Wheeling, where they lived in a log cabin. As an adult, Bradwell enjoyed recounting the hardships of his early days in Illinois, which included attacks by Indians....

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Calhoun, William Barron (29 December 1796–08 November 1865), lawyer, writer, and politician, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Andrew Calhoun, a merchant, and Martha Chamberlain. His father was one of the founders of Boston’s Park Street Church. Calhoun was prepared for college by Harvard graduate William Wells, then he attended Yale, graduating in 1814. While a senior at Yale, Calhoun was one of the editors of a student publication, the ...

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Chester, Thomas Morris (11 May 1834–30 September 1892), lawyer and Civil War correspondent, was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the son of George Chester and Jane Maria (maiden name unknown), restaurateurs. When, as a young man of eighteen, Chester decided to emigrate to Liberia, he wrote Martin H. Freeman, his former teacher at the Avery Institute in Pittsburgh, that his passion for liberty could no longer “submit to the insolent indignities and contemptuous conduct to which it has almost become natural for the colored people dishonorably to submit themselves.” It was a bold assertion of independence for one who had come of age in a household long associated with the anticolonization sentiments of radical abolitionism. But the country’s willingness to appease southern interests, symbolized by the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law in 1850, persuaded Chester, sometime before his 1853 graduation, to emigrate....

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Durant, Thomas Jefferson (08 August 1817–03 February 1882), publisher, lawyer, and politician, was born in Philadelphia, the son of John Waldo Durant and Sarah Heyliger. Little is known about Durant’s life in Pennsylvania. He was educated in public schools before matriculating at the University of Pennsylvania in 1830. At the age of fourteen, however, he migrated to New Orleans, apparently as the result of his family’s economic misfortune. By 1837 Durant, along with partner John C. LaRue, was publishing the ...

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Durham, John Stephens (18 July 1861–16 October 1919), diplomat, lawyer, and journalist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Samuel Durham and Elizabeth Stephens. Two of his uncles, Clayton Durham and Jeremiah Durham, were noted clergymen who helped Bishop Richard Allen establish the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church. A mulatto, Durham studied in the Philadelphia public schools, graduating from the Institute for Colored Youth in 1876....

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Lloyd Carpenter Griscom Standing on a wharf in Yokohama, 1905. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-114538).

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Griscom, Lloyd Carpenter (04 November 1872–08 February 1959), diplomat, lawyer, and newspaper publisher, was born in Riverton, New Jersey, the son of Clement Acton Griscom, a shipping company executive, and Frances Canby Biddle. Shortly after his birth, Griscom moved with his family to Haverford, Pennsylvania. He enjoyed a privileged and cosmopolitan upbringing, attending private schools in Europe and mingling from childhood with America’s political and business elite. He received his Ph.B. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1891 and then attended the university’s law school....

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Hall, John Elihu (27 December 1783–12 June 1829), lawyer and editor, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of John Hall, a member of a prominent Maryland landholding family, and Sarah Ewing ( Sarah Ewing Hall), an author. The eldest of ten children, Hall grew up in a literary household with strong ties to Philadelphia’s cultural elite. His maternal grandfather, John Ewing, was provost of the University of Pennsylvania. After studying for a time at Princeton without taking a degree, he returned to Philadelphia in 1804 and entered the law office of ...

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Hanson, Alexander Contee (27 February 1786–23 April 1819), lawyer, newspaper editor, and U.S. representative and senator, was born in Annapolis, Maryland, the son of Alexander Contee Hanson, a jurist and legislator, and Rebecca Howard. After graduating from St. John’s College in 1802, he practiced law in Annapolis, married Priscilla Dorsey, the daughter of a prominent planter, in 1805, and established his home, “Belmont,” near Elkridge. The couple probably had six children, three of whom survived until adulthood. In 1808 he founded the ...

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Gilbert M. Hitchcock. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-36752).

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Hitchcock, Gilbert Monell (18 September 1859–03 February 1934), lawyer, publisher, and politician, was born in Omaha, Nebraska, the son of Phineas W. Hitchcock, a lawyer and politician, and Annie M. Monell. Educated in Omaha and in Baden-Baden, Germany, he studied law at the University of Michigan. Graduating in 1881 with an LL.B., he passed the bar exam and practiced law in Omaha for four years. The young lawyer married Jessie Crounse in 1883; they had two children....

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Ingalls, John James (29 December 1833–16 August 1900), journalist, lawyer, and U.S. senator, was born in Middletown, Massachusetts, the son of Elias Theodore Ingalls, a businessman, and Eliza Chase. His father operated a shoe factory in Lynn, a town one of his ancestors helped found in 1629. Ingalls attended public school in Haverhill until he was sixteen then studied Latin with a tutor before enrolling at Williams College in 1851. After graduation in 1855 he read law with John J. Marsh for two years and was admitted to the Essex County bar in 1857....

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Jones, Hamilton C. (23 August 1798–10 September 1868), humorist, lawyer, and journalist, was born Hamilton Chamberlain Jones in Greenville County, Virginia, the son of William Jones and Martha Loftin. His father, about whom little is known, died while Jones was still an infant, soon after the family’s move to Stokes County, North Carolina. His mother then married Colonel James Martin, a wealthy and politically influential landowner and brother to ...

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Jones, Thomas P. (1774–11 March 1848), science publisher and patent expert, was born in Herefordshire County, England, and trained as a physician. Little is known about his early life. As a young man he emigrated to the United States, possibly in company with ...

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Lewis, Alfred Henry (20 January 1857–23 December 1914), lawyer, journalist, and author, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Isaac Jefferson Lewis, a carpenter, and Harriet Tracy. He attended Cleveland public schools, read for the law, and passed the Ohio bar in Columbus in 1876, placing first among those examined. He practiced law, dabbled in politics, became prosecuting attorney in the Cleveland police court (1880–1881), and moved to Kansas City, Missouri, with his parents and brothers. He turned to cowboy hobo-ing on ranches in Meade County, Kansas, along the Cimarron River and into Oklahoma Territory, driving cattle up to Dodge City, Kansas, and riding in Texas and Arizona. He was a journalist in New Mexico Territory—as the ...

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McWilliams, Carey (13 December 1905–27 June 1980), activist attorney, writer, and editor, was born in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the son of Jerry McWilliams, a cattle rancher, and Harriet Casley. He entered the University of Southern California in 1922 and pursued a liberal arts curriculum but apparently was permitted to enroll in the university’s law school without receiving a B.A. To say that McWilliams was educated in southern California means not merely that he received a J.D. from USC in 1927 but rather, and more importantly, that he learned about the particular injustices that characterized the region in which he lived and committed himself to seeking radical change in those aspects of society....

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Minor, Benjamin Blake (21 October 1818–01 August 1905), editor, educator, and lawyer, was born in Tappahannock, Essex County, Virginia, the son of Dr. Hubbard Taylor Minor, a physician, and Jane Blake. Both parents were from prominent Virginia planting families. In 1835 Minor enrolled at the University of Virginia, an institution he much preferred to Bristol College, a small mechanical school near Philadelphia where he had earlier studied. For the next three school terms Minor pursued his studies there, eventually receiving several diplomas in various schools. In 1836 Charles Bonnycastle, one of Minor’s professors, offered him a principalship at a Baton Rouge academy. Although Minor did not accept the offer, he was persuaded to lodge with Professor Bonnycastle and tutor his children....