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Belknap, William Worth (22 September 1829–12 or 13 Oct. 1890), secretary of war, was born in Newburgh, New York, the son of William Goldsmith Belknap, a career army officer, and Ann Clark. Following his graduation from Princeton in 1846, he studied law at Georgetown University. Belknap moved to Keokuk, Iowa, in 1851 and became the law partner of Ralph P. Lowe, who later became the governor of Iowa and a state supreme court justice....

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Blaine, James Gillespie (31 January 1830–27 January 1893), Speaker of the House of Representatives and secretary of state, was born in West Brownsville, Pennsylvania, the son of Ephraim Blaine, a prosperous investor in land and trading goods, and Maria Gillespie. Blaine graduated from Washington and Jefferson College in 1847. While only seventeen years old, he began teaching at the Western Military Institute in Georgetown, Kentucky. Blaine married Harriet Stanwood in June 1850. They had six children. The following year he joined the faculty at the Pennsylvania Institute for the Education of the Blind in Philadelphia. In 1854 Blaine moved to Maine, where he became a newspaper editor and, in the political turmoil of the 1850s, served as one of the “founding fathers” of the new Republican party....

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Cardozo, Michael H. (15 September 1910–20 October 1996), lawyer, educator, and government adviser, was born Michael Hart Cardozo IV in New York City, the son of Ernest Abraham Cardozo, a lawyer, and Emily Rebecca Wolff Cardozo. He was a first cousin of United States Supreme Court Justice ...

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Carr, Wilbur John (31 October 1870–26 June 1942), State Department official, was born near Taylorsville, Ohio, the son of Edward Livingston Carr and Catherine Fender, farmers. An elder son from whom much was expected, Carr grew up not far from Zanesville in southeastern Ohio. Aiming toward a business career, he graduated from the Commercial College of the University of Kentucky in 1889 and polished his shorthand and typewriting skills at Chafee’s Phonographic Institute in Oswego, New York. The following year, Carr accepted a position as secretary of the Peekskill Military Academy. Having passed the federal civil service examination, in 1892 Carr departed the bucolic environment of a preparatory school and Dutchess County, New York, for Washington, D.C. He had secured a clerkship in the State Department, an organization that was beginning to emerge from decades of lethargy....

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Grew, Joseph Clark (27 May 1880–25 May 1965), diplomat, U.S. ambassador to Japan, and undersecretary of state, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Edward Sturgis Grew, a wool merchant, and Annie Crawford Clark. Grew’s family was among the more well-off Bostonians, and he was a distant cousin of the financier ...