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Cranch, William (17 July 1769–01 September 1855), jurist and Supreme Court reporter, was born in Weymouth, Massachusetts, the son of Richard Cranch, a watchmaker, judge, and legislator, and Mary Smith. His mother was Abigail Adams’s sister. Graduated from Harvard at the age of nineteen, Cranch was a classmate there of his cousin ...

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Field, David Dudley, Jr. (13 February 1805–13 April 1894), lawyer, law reformer, and codifier of law, was born in Haddam, Connecticut, the son of David Dudley Field, Sr., a noted clergyman, and Submit Dickinson. In 1819 the Reverend Field moved his family from Haddam to Stockbridge in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, a place to which the younger Field would often return. The Reverend Field’s family was a remarkable one; his five other sons who survived to middle age also achieved fame. ...

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Halleck, Henry Wager (16 January 1815–09 January 1872), soldier, author, and businessman, was born at Westernville, Oneida County, New York, the son of Joseph Halleck and Catherine Wager, farmers. Raised on the family farm but unwilling to accept agriculture as his life’s work, he ran away from home in 1831 to seek a formal education. He was adopted by his maternal grandfather and attended Union College, where he earned an A.B. degree in 1837. Halleck then entered the U.S. Military Academy, graduated third in the class of 1839, and received appointment in the highly regarded Corps of Engineers....