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Bates, Edward (04 September 1793–25 March 1869), political leader and attorney general of the United States, was born in Goochland County, Virginia, the son of Thomas Fleming Bates, a planter and merchant, and Caroline Matilda Woodson. A Quaker, Thomas Bates was read out of meeting when he enlisted to fight in the Revolution, from which he emerged deeply in debt. Edward nevertheless grew up surrounded by slaves. After his father died in 1805, Edward received a good education at the home of his cousin Benjamin Bates in Hanover, Maryland, and then at Charlotte Hall Academy in St. Marys County, Maryland....

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Kennedy, Robert Francis (20 November 1925–06 June 1968), politician, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph Patrick Kennedy, a capitalist, and Rose Fitzgerald. His father Joseph made a fortune in the stock market and through other investments and served from 1938 to 1940 as U.S. ambassador to Great Britain. The seventh of nine children, Robert, known as “Bobby,” graduated from Milton Academy in 1943. In March 1944 he enrolled in the Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, leaving it in February 1946 to become an apprentice seaman aboard the destroyer USS ...

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Wirt, William (08 November 1772–18 February 1834), attorney general of the United States and anti-Masonic candidate for president, was born in Bladensburg, Maryland, the son of Jacob Wirt, a Swiss tavernkeeper, and Henrietta (maiden name unknown). The youngest of six children, Wirt was orphaned by the age of eight and entrusted to the care of an aunt for his upbringing. Wirt worked hard to raise himself up from this inauspicious beginning. Much of his youth was spent in a succession of boarding schools in the Georgetown area. By the time Wirt was fifteen, the small inheritance left him by his parents was nearly exhausted. He spent the next few years earning a small livelihood as a private tutor but was ambitious and wanted to make more for himself. In 1792, after moving to Culpeper County, Wirt was admitted to the Virginia bar....