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Mencken, H. L. (12 September 1880–29 January 1956), author, editor, and journalist, was born Henry Louis Mencken in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of August Mencken, a cigar manufacturer, and Anna Abhau. Having emigrated from Germany during the mid-nineteenth century, the Menckens and Abhaus had quickly adapted to life in the United States, and they provided a home more Victorian than German-American for their four children. Henry Mencken, the eldest, did attend a private German school for his earliest education, but he completed his formal education at Baltimore Polytechnic, a high school primarily responsible for producing engineers and technicians....

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Welles, Gideon (01 July 1802–11 February 1878), journalist, diarist, and secretary of the navy, was born in Glastonbury, Connecticut, the son of Samuel Welles, a shipbuilder and merchant in the West Indies trade, and Anne Hale. Welles studied law with William W. Ellsworth in Hartford, Connecticut, but never practiced. In 1835 he married his cousin Mary Jane Hale. They had nine children, three of whom survived to adulthood....