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Aiken, William (28 January 1806–06 September 1887), planter and congressman, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of William Aiken, Sr., an Irish immigrant, and Henrietta Wyatt. At the time of his death, the elder Aiken was president of the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company and a wealthy merchant. Aiken attended the South Carolina College, from which he graduated in 1825. He then traveled to Europe. Upon returning to Charleston, he married Harriet Lowndes in 1831. They had one child....

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Bouligny, Dominique (23 August 1773–05 March 1833), soldier, planter, and U.S. senator, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Francisco Bouligny, the lieutenant governor of Louisiana, a colonel in the Fixed Louisiana Regiment, and the acting governor of Louisiana, and Marie Louise le Sénéchal d’Auberville. He spent his childhood in the comfort that his father’s influence and wealth provided. Surrounded by a large extended family and a full complement of house servants, Bouligny developed a strong attachment to his family, an even stronger admiration for the military that commanded his father’s devotion, and pride in being a citizen of Spain. Louisiana offered few opportunities for the sons of army officers outside of military service. Sons of officers entered the army at an early age, and as a senior officer in the Fixed Louisiana Regiment, Bouligny’s father arranged an appointment for his twelve-year-old son as a cadet in the regimental school in March 1786. His father’s influence assured Bouligny’s rapid promotion to the first officer rank of sublieutenant at the age of fourteen....

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Hampton, Wade (1754?–04 February 1835), planter, military commander, and congressman, was born (according to different sources) in either Halifax County, Virginia, or Rowan County, North Carolina, the son of Anthony Hampton, a farmer, land jobber, and trader, and Elizabeth Preston. He is often known as Wade Hampton I to distinguish him from two noted descendants of the same name. Hampton’s history prior to the American Revolution is largely mysterious. He must, however, have received some sort of formal education. Early in 1774 the Hampton family followed the example set by other backcountry residents and moved to South Carolina. Wade Hampton joined several of his brothers in a mercantile enterprise before the American War of Independence intervened....

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Izard, Ralph (23 January 1742–30 May 1804), planter and politician, was born near Charleston, South Carolina, the son of Henry Izard, a planter, and Margaret Johnson. His great-grandfather (also Ralph Izard) had emigrated from England in 1682, acquired land, and gained prominence in provincial politics. By the mid-eighteenth century, when the family properties in Berkeley County, South Carolina, descended to Izard’s parents, the family had maintained a strong position in the Carolina house of assembly and in the Anglican vestry....

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Porter, Alexander (24 June 1785–13 January 1844), U.S. senator and Louisiana sugar planter, was born in County Donegal, Ireland, the son of James Porter, a Presbyterian minister and natural scientist, and Anna Knox. Following the execution of his father by the British during the revolution of 1798, in 1801 he emigrated to America, settling with his younger brother James and uncle Alexander Porter in Nashville, Tennessee, where he worked in the latter’s store, studied law, and won admission to the bar in 1807. Following the advice of ...

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Tyler, Julia Gardiner (04 May 1820–10 July 1889), second wife of John Tyler, tenth president of the United States, second wife of John Tyler, tenth president of the United States, was born on Gardiner’s Island in Long Island Sound, the daughter of David Gardiner, a lawyer and later state senator, and Juliana McLachlan, the wealthy heiress of a Scottish brewer. Julia was also a direct descendant of the English adventurer and military engineer ...