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Bennett, James Gordon, Jr. (10 May 1841–14 May 1918), newspaper publisher and editor, was born in New York City, the son of James Gordon Bennett, the founder and editor of the New York Herald, and Henrietta Agnes Crean. The eldest child of the man who popularized sensational journalism, Bennett grew up in an environment of wealth and privilege. He spent most of his youth abroad, educated privately by tutors and then at the École Polytechnique in Paris. Returning to the United States in 1861, he served briefly in the navy as a lieutenant during the Civil War. After the war, Bennett entered journalism seriously for the first time, working as an intern at the ...

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Burk, John Daly (1776?–?11 Apr. 1808), editor, historian, and dramatist, was born in Ireland, arriving in America at the age of twenty. His parents’ names are unknown. He was a student at Trinity College in Dublin, but he was dismissed for “deism and republicanism” and eventually forced to leave Ireland, presumably because of political difficulties. Legend has it that a woman named Miss Daly gave him her female attire to help him escape from the British, hence the use of Daly in his name....

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Garreau, Armand (13 September 1817–28 March 1865), Romantic writer, journalist, and educator, was born Louis-Armand Garreau in Cognac, France, the son of Louis-Armand Garreau, a lawyer and veteran of the Napoleonic wars, and Marie Rose Dumontet, a native of Saint-Pierre, Martinique. Apparently Garreau left home at a very early age to receive a classical education in Paris at the Lycée Henri IV. Financial difficulties prevented him from completing law school, but before he left Paris to take up a teaching position in the department of Gironde he encountered a New Orleanian who impressed him with talk of opportunity in Louisiana....

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Goodman, Joseph Thompson (18 September 1838–01 October 1917), writer, publisher, and archaeologist, was born in Masonville, Delaware County, New York, the son of Caleb Goodman. His mother’s name is unknown. Little is known of his early life. Sometime during the 1850s, Goodman moved west with his brother and father and began to work as a typesetter for the ...

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Hughes, Robert William (6 or 16 June 1821–10 December 1901), writer and judge, was born in Powhatan County, Virginia, the son of Jesse Hughes, a farmer, and Elizabeth Woodson Morton. In 1822 Hughes’s parents died and the infant was taken in and reared by General Edward C. Carrington and his wife. At the age of twelve Hughes was apprenticed to a carpenter in New Jersey but later attended the Caldwell Institute in Greensboro, North Carolina, and in the early 1840s taught school in Hillsboro (now Hillsborough), North Carolina. In the mid-1840s he read law in Fincastle, Virginia, and began his law practice in Richmond in 1846. In 1850 he married Eliza M. Johnston, daughter of Charles C. Johnston, a U.S. congressman; the couple had two children....

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Perry, Benjamin Franklin (20 November 1805–03 December 1886), journalist and governor, was born in Pendleton District, South Carolina, the son of Benjamin Perry, a slaveowning farmer and storekeeper, and Anna Foster. Perry received his early education at local schools. In 1821–1822 he attended the Asheville (N.C.) Academy, and in 1823 he attended the Greenville (S.C.) Academy. The following year Perry began the study of law in the office of Baylis J. Earle, solicitor of the Western Circuit of South Carolina, and in 1827 he was admitted to the bar. Perry resided at Greenville and developed a successful practice throughout the northwestern part of the state. In 1837 he married Elizabeth Frances McCall; they had seven children....

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Pleasants, John Hampden (04 January 1797–27 February 1846), journalist and political activist, was born in Goochland County, Virginia, the son of James Pleasants, a leading Virginia politician, and Susanna Rose. His father served in the Virginia General Assembly, in Congress, and as governor of the state. After attending and, in 1817, graduating from the College of William and Mary, he became a journalist. By 1822 he was the editor of the ...

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James Watson Webb. Illustration in Harper’s Weekly, 1858. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-111860).

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Webb, James Watson (02 February 1802–07 June 1884), editor and statesman, was born at Claverack, New York, the son of Brigadier General Samuel Blatchley Webb, a revolutionary war hero and merchant, and Catherine Hogeboom. Orphaned early, he was raised by a sister and brother-in-law in Cooperstown, New York, where he was apprenticed to a merchant. Bored, and conscious of his father’s military fame, Webb obtained an army commission at age seventeen. As a second lieutenant he was stationed at Governor’s Island, New York, and at Detroit....