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Penhallow, Samuel (02 July 1665–02 December 1726), merchant, politician, and historian, was born at St. Mabyn in Cornwall County, England, the son of Chamond Penhallow, a gentleman farmer, and Ann Tamlyn. Almost nothing is known of Samuel’s childhood, but he must have possessed both intelligence and a strong religious bent, for in 1683, at age eighteen, his father enrolled him in the Newington Green Academy, a school of religious instruction near London founded by ...

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Ross, Alexander (02 November 1782–23 October 1856), fur trader, explorer, and historian, was born in the Highlands parish of Dyke, county of Nairnshire, Scotland. Neither Ross’s own writings nor those of his biographers relate any details about his parents other than the fact they were farmers; even their names are unmentioned. Little is known about Ross’s early years. He grew up in the Presbyterian faith and had acquired sufficient education to become a rural schoolteacher by the time he was twenty. In 1804 a family quarrel caused Ross to leave his parents’ home; he emigrated to North America later that year....