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Bishop, Charles Reed (25 January 1822–07 June 1915), banker, cabinet minister, and philanthropist, was born near Glens Falls, New York, the son of Samuel Bishop, a toll collector on the Hudson River, and Maria Reed. Charles’s mother died when he was two years old, and his father remarried. He was cared for first by an aunt and then by his paternal grandfather on whose farm he received an education in hard work and practical business. His only formal education was at Glens Falls Academy, which he attended in the seventh and eighth grades. Around 1838, after leaving school, he became a clerk in a mercantile house in Warrensburgh, New York, where he learned the intricacies of bookkeeping, inventory, and other business skills. In 1842 he moved to Sandy Hill, New York, to take a job as a bookkeeper and head clerk....

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Williams, Samuel May (04 October 1795–13 September 1858), Texas colonizer, city founder, and banker, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Howell Williams, a sea captain, and Dorothy Wheat. After local schooling, young Sam served around 1810 as an apprentice in his uncle Nathaniel Felton Williams’s commission house in Baltimore, Maryland, and he soon journeyed as supercargo to Buenos Aires. Naval activities associated with the War of 1812 prevented his return to the United States until after 1815, allowing Williams time to master the Spanish language and culture....