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Arnold, Thurman (02 June 1891–07 November 1969), lawyer, social and economic theorist, and government official, was born Thurman Wesley Arnold in Laramie, Wyoming, the son of Constantine Peter Arnold, a prominent attorney and rancher, and Annie Brockway. After spending his youth in what he would later remember “as a time that Tom Sawyer would have envied,” Arnold enrolled, for one year, at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, in 1907. After a college career characterized by loneliness, he graduated from Princeton University, Phi Beta Kappa, with a B.A. in 1911. Arnold received his LL.D. from Harvard Law School in 1914 and then entered legal practice in Chicago with the firm of Adams, Follansbee, Hawley, and Shorey. In 1916 he established the firm of O’Bryan, Waite, and Arnold. Eight months later his artillery battery of the Illinois National Guard was mobilized for duty with General ...

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David Rice Atchison. Daguerreotype from the studio of Mathew B. Brady. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-109952).

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Atchison, David Rice (11 August 1807–26 January 1886), lawyer and U.S. senator, was born in Frogtown, in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky, the son of William Atchison and Catherine Allen, farmers. Educated at Transylvania University, he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1827. After practicing for three years in Carlisle, Kentucky, he moved to Liberty in western Missouri....

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Roger S. Baldwin. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-90730).

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Baldwin, Roger Sherman (04 January 1793–19 February 1863), lawyer, governor, and senator, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Simeon Baldwin, a lawyer, judge, congressman, and mayor of New Haven, and Rebecca Sherman. Baldwin was a direct descendant of the Puritan settlers of Connecticut and the Founding Fathers of the nation. His father’s family was among the original New Haven colonists, and his mother was the daughter of ...

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Ballantine, Arthur Atwood (03 August 1883–10 October 1960), corporate lawyer and Treasury official, was born in Oberlin, Ohio, the son of William Gay Ballantine, a professor and president of Oberlin College, and Emma Atwood. He graduated with honors from Harvard College (1904) and Harvard Law School (1907). On 19 June 1907 he married Helen Bailey Graves; they had five children....

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Bankhead, John Hollis (08 July 1872–12 June 1946), lawyer, businessman and U.S. senator, was born in Moscow in Lamar County, Alabama, the son of John Hollis Bankhead (1842–1920), a farmer and later U.S. senator, and Tallulah Brockman. After spending his childhood in Wetumpka and Fayette, Alabama, he received an A.B. from the University of Alabama (1891) and an LL.B. from Georgetown University (1893). In 1894 Bankhead married Musa Harkins of Fayette, with whom he had three children. Settling in Jasper, he became a lawyer for the Alabama Power Company and for leading railroads. From 1911 to 1925 he was president of the Bankhead Coal Company, a firm founded by his father, which owned one of Alabama’s largest mines....

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Daniel Barnard. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-99337).

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Barnard, Daniel Dewey (11 September 1796–24 April 1861), lawyer, congressman, and diplomat, was born in East Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Timothy Barnard, a county judge, and Phebe Dewey. Barnard’s early years were spent on the family farm near Hartford, Connecticut. When he was twelve the family moved to Mendon, New York (near Rochester). His formal education started with a year at Lenox Academy, after which he transferred to Williams College, where he graduated in 1818....

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Bayard, James Asheton (15 November 1799–13 June 1880), lawyer and U.S. senator, was born in Wilmington, Delaware, the son of James Asheton Bayard, a and Ann Bassett. His family was socially and politically important, and his father was a leading Federalist during the formative years of the United States. His mother was the daughter of Delaware’s chief justice ...

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Bayard, Richard Henry (26 September 1796–04 March 1868), lawyer, senator, and diplomat, was born in Wilmington, Delaware, the son of James Asheton Bayard, a Federalist leader, and Ann Bassett. Bayard graduated from Princeton College in 1814 and then read for the law. Toward the end of the War of 1812 his studies were briefly interrupted by military service. In 1815 he married Mary Sophia Carroll, granddaughter of ...

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James M. Beck. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-94556).

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Beck, James Montgomery (09 July 1861–12 April 1936), lawyer, solicitor general, and congressman, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of James Nathan Beck, the owner of a small music publishing company, and Margaretta C. Darling. Coming from modest financial means, Beck inherited his father’s interest in music and the family’s Moravian antiwar and communitarian heritage, which contributed to his early pacifism and anticorporation viewpoints. Following matriculation at Philadelphia’s Episcopal Academy, Beck graduated from Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1880. After reading law, he began legal practice in 1884. From 1888 to 1892, he served as assistant U.S. attorney for eastern Pennsylvania. In 1890 he married Lilla Mitchell, daughter of a Philadelphia businessman, with whom he had two children....

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Bell, Samuel (09 February 1770–23 December 1850), lawyer, governor, and senator, was born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, the son of John Bell and Mary Ann Gilmore, farmers. His father, a tall, rugged, hot-tempered man, was a commanding figure in his community, who served as a deacon and selectman and as a member of the New Hampshire committee of safety and provincial congress during the Revolution. After working on the farm until he was eighteen, Bell studied at a local school and attended New Ipswich Academy before entering the sophomore class at Dartmouth College in 1791. Following graduation in 1793, he studied law in Amherst, New Hampshire, under ...

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Judah P. Benjamin. Daguerreotype from the studio of Mathew B. Brady. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-109992).

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Benjamin, Judah Philip (06 August 1811–06 May 1884), Confederate cabinet member, U.S. senator, and lawyer, was born at Christiansted, St. Croix, West Indies, the son of Philip Benjamin, a shopkeeper, and Rebecca de Mendes. St. Croix was under British rule at the time of Benjamin’s birth. He grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. Though his father’s circumstances were always modest, wealthy relatives and other benefactors helped him attend Yale (1825–1827), but he left as a junior under circumstances that remain unclear....

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Biddle, Francis Beverley (09 May 1886–04 October 1968), lawyer, judge, and U.S. attorney general, was born in Paris, France, the son of Algernon Sydney Biddle, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and Frances Robinson. Biddle attended Haverford Academy (1895–1899); Groton Academy (1899–1905), where he excelled at boxing and gymnastics; and Harvard University, from which he graduated with a B.A. cum laude in 1909 and an LL.B. in 1911. His first job upon graduating was as personal secretary to Associate Justice ...

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Bidlack, Benjamin Alden (08 September 1804–06 February 1849), lawyer, legislator, and diplomat, was born in Paris, Oneida County, New York, the son of Benjamin Bidlack, a pioneer farmer, and Lydia Alden Bidlack. After his family relocated to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Bidlack completed his education at local public schools and the Wilkes-Barre Academy. Intent on a career in law, he studied law in the office of Garrick Mallery, a local attorney, and was appointed deputy attorney for Luzerne County shortly after gaining admittance to the state bar. After an early marriage to Fanny Stewart ended shortly after it began (for reasons that are not known), Bidlack married Margaret Wallace on 8 September 1829. The couple had seven children....

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Black, Jeremiah Sullivan (10 January 1810–19 August 1883), U.S. attorney general, U.S. secretary of state, and attorney, was born near Stony Creek, Pennsylvania, the son of Henry Black, a judge and legislator, and Mary Sullivan. Black read law under Chauncey Forward in Somerset, Pennsylvania, passing his bar examination at age twenty. When Forward was elected to Congress in 1830, he left Black in charge of his office, and the young attorney assumed responsibilities far beyond his experience. Black’s practice in Forward’s office became more secure when in 1836 he married Forward’s daughter Mary Forward. They had five children. In 1843 Black was baptized into his father-in-law’s faith, the Disciples of Christ church, and developed a close personal friendship with its founder ...

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Blackmun, Harry A. (12 November 1908–04 March 1999), Supreme Court justice, was born Harry Andrew Blackmun in Nashville, Illinois, the son of Corwin Manning Blackmun and Theo Reuter Blackmun, whose family owned a flour mill in Nashville. Blackmun grew up in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, where his father worked in a succession of enterprises, including wholesale and retail businesses, banking, and insurance. Blackmun was raised in a devoutly Methodist family with a strong work ethic. Although he was a serious, hardworking student, he had a healthy sense of humor and a well-rounded personality. He and ...