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Clarke, Joseph Ignatius Constantine (31 July 1846–27 February 1925), journalist, poet, and playwright, was born in Kingstown, near Dublin, Ireland, the son of William Clarke, a barrister, and Ellen Quinn. After the 1858 death of his father, Joseph Clarke moved with his family to London, where he began work as an apprentice in the reading room of the Queen’s Printers. In addition to the education he received as a boy in a series of Irish Catholic Schools, Clarke was privately tutored in French and Latin. He secured a civil service sinecure when he was sixteen....

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Lawson, James (09 November 1799–24 March 1880), editor, author, and insurance broker, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, the son of James Lawson, a merchant. His mother’s identity is not known. Lawson entered the University of Glasgow at the age of thirteen but presumably did not graduate because he left Scotland in 1815. Settling in New York, he worked as an accountant in the firm of Alexander Thomson & Co., which was owned by and named for his maternal uncle. Lawson became a member of the firm in 1822 and remained there until 1826, when the company failed. This turned out to be a rather opportune event; Lawson had been sending submissions of his writing to his long-time friend James G. Brooks, one of the founders of the weekly ...