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Lewis Cass. Engraved from a drawing by James Barton Longacre. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-111474).

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Cass, Lewis (09 October 1782–17 June 1866), political leader and presidential candidate, was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, the oldest child of Jonathan Cass, a skilled craftsman, revolutionary war veteran, soldier, and landowner, and Mary Gilman, daughter of a wealthy merchant. Both parents’ families had emigrated to New England in the seventeenth century. Cass was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy between 1792 and 1799, briefly taught school in Delaware, and then moved to Marietta in the Ohio territory, where his family had gone while his father served in the army on the frontier. Cass studied law in a local law office and established a practice in Zanesville, Ohio, where he married Elizabeth Spencer, a doctor’s daughter, in 1806. The family grew to include four daughters and one son....

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Dargan, Edmund S. (15 April 1805–24 November 1879), legislator and judge, was born near Wadesboro, in Montgomery County, North Carolina, the son of a Baptist minister, whose given name is unknown, and a woman whose maiden name was Lilly. Dargan’s full middle name is listed in a number of sources as either Strother or Spawn. His father died when Dargan was very young. There was no adequate estate, and to earn a livelihood he became an agricultural laborer. Dargan was a self-educated young man who studied the law in typical nineteenth-century fashion, in the law office of a local practitioner in Wadesboro. After a year of study he was admitted in 1829 to the North Carolina bar. The following year he walked to Alabama, where he settled in Washington in Autauga County. He was admitted to the Alabama bar and served as a justice of the peace in Autauga County for a number of years....