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Pickering, Timothy (17 July 1745–29 January 1829), revolutionary war officer, cabinet officer, congressman, and senator, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, the son of Timothy Pickering, Sr., a lay churchman and farmer, and Mary Wingate. Young Timothy Pickering graduated from Harvard in 1763 and returned home to Salem, where he took a position as assistant to the register of deeds, John Higginson, studied law, and, as a Loyalist, plunged into the political debate that preceded the War for Independence. In 1766 Governor ...

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Smith, Samuel (27 July 1752–22 April 1839), soldier and politician, was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, the son of John Smith, a successful merchant, and Mary Buchanan. The family relocated to Baltimore in 1760, and their personal wealth enabled Smith to attend private academies in Elkton, Maryland, and Newark, Delaware. Intent upon a commercial career, the young man was apprenticed in his father’s firm both in America and England, and he spent several years traveling abroad....

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Sumter, Thomas (14 August 1734–01 June 1832), revolutionary war general, congressman, and senator, was born in Louisa County, Virginia, the son of William Sumter, a farmer and miller said to have been an indentured servant, and Patience (maiden name unknown). According to family tradition, both parents emigrated from England. Nothing is known of Sumter’s youth, and he had only a limited education....