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English, William Hayden (27 August 1822–07 February 1896), congressman, vice presidential candidate, and historian, was born in Lexington, Indiana, the son of Elisha G. English and Mahala Eastin. Elisha, a landowner and railroad vice president, was a Democrat who served in the Indiana legislature for nearly twenty years and was friends with many important politicians. William benefited from his father’s contacts and status and was influenced by his views....

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Snow, Wilbert (06 April 1884–28 September 1977), college professor, poet, and politician, was born Charles Wilbert Snow on White Head Island, St. George, Maine, the son of Forrest Alwin Snow, a coast guardsman, and Katherine Frances Quinn, the Canadian-born daughter of Irish immigrants. When he was seven the family moved to Spruce Head on the mainland so that four of the six children could attend the village school. Before attending high school in Thomaston, Maine, Snow worked for three years as a lobsterman, deepening his acquaintance with the tasks and rhythms of the coastal life that were to figure in his poetry. After high school he worked in a stone quarry. Fired for trying to organize the laborers there, he taught for two short periods in rural schools. Seeing in both settings the plight of people who worked hard and faced retirement with no pensions and little savings motivated Snow to improve social conditions through political action....