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Geary, John White (30 December 1819–08 February 1873), soldier and governor of Kansas Territory and Pennsylvania, was born near Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, the son of Richard Geary and Margaret White. After failing in the iron industry, Geary’s father opened a school, where he taught for many years. Geary was a student at Jefferson (now Washington and Jefferson) College when his father died. Forced by the family’s debts to drop out of college, he opened a school before finally completing college. He then spent several years clerking and studying engineering and law and was admitted to the bar. Until 1846 he worked as an engineer for Kentucky and Pennsylvania railroads. In 1843 he married Margaret Ann Logan, with whom he had two children. By the time of his maturity, Geary was an impressive figure, towering six feet five and a half inches, weighing 260 pounds, with an iron jaw and penetrating gray eyes. When the United States declared war against Mexico, Geary, who for ten years had been active in the state militia, organized a company known as the American Highlanders. They joined the Second Pennsylvania Regiment, in which he was elected lieutenant colonel....

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Jackson, Andrew (15 March 1767–08 June 1845), soldier and seventh president of the United States, was born in the Waxhaw Settlement, South Carolina, the son of Andrew Jackson and Elizabeth Hutchinson, farmers. Like many other Scotch-Irish at the time, Andrew and Elizabeth Jackson migrated to this country from the port of Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland in 1765, landing most probably in Philadelphia and then journeying southward to join relatives living in the Waxhaw Settlement along the northwestern boundary separating North and South Carolina. They settled with their two sons, Hugh and Robert, on a stretch of land on the south side of Twelve Mile Creek, a branch of the Catawba River, and for two years tried to scratch a living from this acid soil. Then, early in March 1767, Andrew died suddenly. Approximately two weeks later, on 15 March, Elizabeth gave birth to her third son and named him after her deceased husband. Later a dispute arose over the exact location of the birthplace of the future president—whether he was born in North or South Carolina—but Jackson himself always believed and repeatedly stated that he was born in South Carolina....

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St. Clair, Arthur (23 March 1737–31 August 1818), politician and soldier, was born in Thurso, Caithness County, Scotland, probably the son of William Sinclair, a merchant, and Elizabeth Balfour. After a reported enrollment at the University of Edinburgh, St. Clair was apprenticed in 1756 to an eminent physician, Dr. ...