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Wheaton, Henry (27 November 1785–11 March 1848), scholar, diplomat, and Supreme Court reporter, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Seth Wheaton, a prosperous merchant, civic leader, and later president of the Rhode Island branch of the Bank of the United States, and Abigail Wheaton (a cousin). Wheaton entered Rhode Island College (now Brown University) at age twelve, studied law at his father’s urging, and graduated in 1802. After three years in the offices of Providence attorney Nathaniel Searles, he gained admission to the Rhode Island bar in 1805 at age nineteen. His father then sent him for a year abroad to become familiar with the languages, history, and literature of Europe. While in France and England, Wheaton studied civil law at Poitiers and attended the law courts, including the Court of Admiralty at Westminster. He returned to Providence in 1806, embarking on six years of law practice and increasing political involvement, including writings on local, state, national, and international affairs. In 1811 Wheaton married his cousin Catherine, the daughter of Dr. Levi Wheaton, his uncle and mentor. They had three children....