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Lewis Cass. Engraved from a drawing by James Barton Longacre. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-111474).


Cass, Lewis (09 October 1782–17 June 1866), political leader and presidential candidate, was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, the oldest child of Jonathan Cass, a skilled craftsman, revolutionary war veteran, soldier, and landowner, and Mary Gilman, daughter of a wealthy merchant. Both parents’ families had emigrated to New England in the seventeenth century. Cass was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy between 1792 and 1799, briefly taught school in Delaware, and then moved to Marietta in the Ohio territory, where his family had gone while his father served in the army on the frontier. Cass studied law in a local law office and established a practice in Zanesville, Ohio, where he married Elizabeth Spencer, a doctor’s daughter, in 1806. The family grew to include four daughters and one son....