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Black, Frank Swett (08 March 1853–22 March 1913), lawyer and politician, was born in Limington, York County, Maine, the son of Jacob Black and Charlotte Swett, farmers. When Black was eleven years old, his family moved to Alfred, Maine, where he attended what later became the Limerick Academy. While still a youth he taught school to earn enough money to pursue his education at the Lebanon Academy in preparation for study at Dartmouth College. In 1875 he graduated from Dartmouth with honors and in his senior year married Lois B. Hamlin; they had one child....

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Bloomfield, Joseph (18 October 1753–08 October 1823), lawyer, soldier, and politician, was born in Woodbridge, New Jersey, the son of Moses Bloomfield, a physician, and Sarah Ogden. The family was one of the most prominent in colonial New Jersey. His father had received a first-rate medical education in Edinburgh, Scotland, and had a thriving practice in Middlesex County by the time Joseph was born. Joseph’s mother was a member of a wealthy and influential family of Elizabethtown, which further assured Joseph’s upper-class pedigree. His education and choice of occupation were in line with his social standing. While in his early teens, he attended the Reverend Enoch Green’s classical academy in Deerfield, Cumberland County, at the opposite end of the province from Woodbridge. Upon graduation, Bloomfield returned to East Jersey, determined to be a lawyer. He entered the profession at the top, studying in Perth Amboy with Cortlandt Skinner, attorney general of New Jersey, and was admitted to the bar in November 1774. Setting up practice in Bridgeton, Cumberland County, he soon became known and respected in all of New Jersey’s southern counties. The future seemed secure, had not the American Revolution intervened....

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Chamberlain, George Earle (01 January 1854–09 July 1928), lawyer and politician, was born near Natchez, Mississippi, the son of Charles Thomson Chamberlain, a physician, and Pamelia H. Archer. He received both the bachelor of arts and bachelor of law degrees from Washington and Lee University in 1876. He sought broader opportunities outside his native region and shortly after graduation moved to Albany, Oregon, where he took a job as a teacher. In 1878–1879 he served as the Linn County (Ore.) deputy clerk. Although he returned to Mississippi briefly in 1879 to marry Sallie Newman Welch (they would have six children), he never really went home again....

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Chapman, Reuben (15 July 1799–17 May 1882), lawyer and politician, was born in Caroline County, Virginia, the son of Colonel Reuben Chapman, a revolutionary war veteran, and Ann Reynolds. Educated at Bowling Green, Virginia, he, like many other young men, migrated to Alabama, arriving on horseback in 1824. He read law with his brother Samuel Chapman in Huntsville, was admitted to the bar in 1825, and began to practice law at Somerville, Morgan County. Tall, red-headed, and conspicuous, he was keenly interested in politics and in 1824 was selected to carry Alabama’s electoral vote to Washington, D.C....

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Howell Cobb. Daguerreotype from the studio of Mathew B. Brady. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-110081).

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Cobb, Howell (07 September 1815–09 October 1868), lawyer and politician, was born at Cherry Hill in Jefferson County, Georgia, the son of John Addison Cobb, a planter, and Sarah Robinson (Rootes). Enrolling in Franklin College (now the University of Georgia) in Athens, Georgia, in 1829, he graduated in 1834. His college years were marked by his expulsion from school after participating in a riot to protest disciplinary action by the faculty for a minor infraction of leaving campus without permission; he was later readmitted. At the same time, they saw him first show signs of his strong Unionism, for he opposed the nullification movement in South Carolina. On 26 May 1835 he married Mary Ann Lamar; the couple had six children. With marriage Cobb acquired his wife’s sizable estate, including several cotton plantations and some 200 slaves....

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John Davis. Daguerreotype from the studio of Mathew B. Brady. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-110173).

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Davis, John (13 January 1787–19 April 1854), lawyer and politician, was born in Northborough, Massachusetts, the son of Isaac Davis and Anna Brigham, farmers. Davis attended Yale College, graduating with high honors in 1812, after which he studied law in the office of Francis Blake, a prominent Worcester lawyer, and was admitted to the bar in 1815. After a short time in Spencer, Massachusetts, he settled in Worcester and established a successful law practice. In 1822 Davis married Eliza Bancroft, a sister of historian, Democratic politician, diplomat, and secretary of the navy ...

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Thomas E. Dewey Right, with Thomas J. Curran, Republican party leader of Manhattan, 1948. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-94135).

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Dewey, Thomas Edmund (24 March 1902–16 March 1971), prosecutor, governor of New York, and presidential candidate, was born in Owosso, Michigan, the son of George Martin Dewey, Jr., a newspaper editor, and Annie Louise Thomas. The Deweys were a Republican family of newspaper editors and publishers. During his youth in Owosso, Thomas showed promise as a baritone, and he studied both music and law at the University of Michigan from 1919 to 1923, graduating with an A.B. In 1923 Dewey moved to New York after winning a summer scholarship for further vocal training, but he also enrolled at Columbia Law School and ultimately decided to abandon music for the law. After graduating with an LL.B. in 1925, he worked at two Wall Street law firms and became active in Republican party politics in Manhattan in the late 1920s. During this time he first encountered ...

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Christopher Gore. Engraving of a portrait by John Trumbull, 1809. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-111573).

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Gore, Christopher (21 September 1758–01 March 1827), Federalist statesman, diplomat, and lawyer, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of John Gore, a paint and color dealer, and Frances Pinkney. Paternally, he was descended from a Puritan family that migrated from Hampshire in England to Roxbury, Massachusetts, in 1635. After attending the Boston Public Latin School, Gore entered Harvard College where he graduated in 1776. Although his Loyalist father fled Boston in 1776, Gore remained in Massachusetts and served the revolutionary cause as an officer in an artillery regiment. John Gore returned to America from England in 1785 and regained his citizenship. The taint of his father’s Toryism persisted, however, and Gore’s opponents used it against him when he was a candidate for the Massachusetts ratifying convention in 1787....

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Greenhalge, Frederic Thomas (19 July 1842–05 March 1896), politician and lawyer, was born Frederic Thomas Greenhalgh in Clitheroe, Lancashire, England, the son of William Greenhalgh, a textile printer, and Jane Slater. In 1855 he immigrated to Lowell, Massachusetts, where his father was offered a supervisory position in the printing department of the Merrimack Manufacturing Company. Greenhalge, who changed the spelling of his family name, attended public schools in Lowell. He quickly demonstrated his literary and oratorical abilities and graduated from Lowell High School in three years....

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Griswold, Roger (21 May 1762–25 October 1812), lawyer and public official, was born in Lyme, Connecticut, the son of Matthew Griswold, a lawyer and Connecticut governor, and Ursula Wolcott, granddaughter of Governor Oliver Wolcott. After graduating from Yale in 1780, he studied law with his father and was admitted to the bar in 1783. He practiced law in Norwich until 1794, then moved his practice to Lyme. In 1788 he married Fanny Rogers. The couple had ten children....

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Hadley, Herbert Spencer (20 February 1872–01 December 1927), politician, lawyer, and educator, was born in Olathe, Kansas, the son of John Milton Hadley and Harriett Beach, farmers. He earned an A.B. in 1892 from the University of Kansas and an LL.B. in 1894 from Northwestern University. In 1901 he married Agnes Lee; they had three children....

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Hill, David Bennett (29 August 1843–20 October 1910), lawyer and politician, was born in Havana (now Montour Falls), New York, the son of Caleb Hill, a carpenter, and Eunice Durfey. After graduating from public school, Hill began reading law in the office of Marcus Crawford, a local attorney. At the age of twenty he moved to Elmira, New York, where he continued his studies at the firm of Thurston, Hart & McGuire. Hill was admitted to the bar in 1864 and, though only twenty-one, was appointed city attorney within a year. Thereafter he devoted his life to law and politics. From 1868 through 1881 he served as a delegate to the New York Democratic State Conventions and presided over the meetings of 1877 and 1881. In 1870 he began copublishing the ...

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Spessard Lindsey Holland Spessard Lindsey Holland, conferring with Senator Russell Long of Louisiana, 1949. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-109675 ).

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Holland, Spessard Lindsey (10 July 1892–06 November 1971), lawyer and politician, was born in Bartow, Florida, the son of Benjamin Franklin Holland, an owner of a citrus grove and general farm, and Fannie Virginia Spessard, a teacher in the Summerlin Institute, Bartow. His paternal grandfather, Lindsay Holland, served in the Georgia legislature, and his maternal grandfather, Nat Spessard, served in the Virginia legislature. Holland attended Emory College, Oxford, Georgia, from the fall of 1909 until June 1912, graduating magna cum laude while earning letters in track and football. He then taught high school in Warrenton, Georgia, for two years before enrolling at the University of Florida Law School in Gainesville, Florida, in 1914. Holland served as president of the student body and graduated with an LL.B. in 1916, finishing second in his class. He earned letters in basketball and baseball. ...

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Jones, Thomas Goode (26 November 1844–28 April 1914), lawyer, politician, and judge, was born in Macon, Georgia, the first son of Samuel Goode Jones, a railroad builder and promoter, and Martha Ward Goode Jones; his parents were cousins. At the age of five he was brought by his family to Montgomery, Alabama. Educated there by private tutors, he then attended preparatory schools in Virginia prior to enrolling in the fall of 1860 at the Virginia Military Institute....

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Kent, Edward (08 January 1802–19 May 1877), lawyer, politician, and judge, was born in Concord, New Hampshire, the son of William Austin Kent, a well-to-do merchant and politician, and Charlotte Mellen. After graduating with honors from Harvard University in 1821, Kent studied law briefly with Chancellor ...