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Adams, Annette Abbott (12 March 1877–26 October 1956), lawyer and judge, was born in Prattville, California, the daughter of Hiram Brown Abbott, a storekeeper and justice of the peace, and Annette Frances Stubbs, a teacher. Adams earned a teaching credential from Chico State Normal School in 1897 and became schoolmistress of a country school until she entered the University of California-Berkeley in 1901. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in 1904, she taught high school in a rural county, serving as principal from 1907 to 1910. Encouraged by county trial judge John E. Raker, Adams entered Boalt Hall and supported herself while earning a J.D. The dean recommended her, the only woman in the class of 1912, to Western Pacific Railway for their house counsel. The company rejected her on the basis of gender, and she opened a private practice in Plumas County. She hired an instructor to learn how to change her voice from soprano to baritone to suit her masculine legal role. In 1906 she married Martin H. Adams but left him after one month. By 1914 she let others assume that she was a widow, although she and Adams never divorced. For thirty years she shared her home with her brother....

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Alden, John (1599?–12 September 1687), farmer and magistrate, was one of the original settlers of Plymouth Colony, arriving in New England on the Mayflower in 1620. No definite information exists about his birth, parentage, childhood, or education. In 1620 he lived at Southampton, England, where the migrating Pilgrims stopped for provisions on their way from the Netherlands to the New World. There he was hired as the ship’s cooper in charge of its supply of beer and drinking water. Upon landfall, Alden joined in signing the now famous Mayflower Compact. After the colonists’ arrival in Plymouth, Governor ...

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Raymond Pace Alexander At his desk in his law office, circa 1935-1940. Collections of the University of Pennsylvania Archives.

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Alexander, Raymond Pace (13 October 1898–24 November 1974), lawyer, judge, and civil rights leader, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the third son of Hillard Boone and Virginia Pace Alexander, both slaves in Virginia who were freed in 1865 and migrated to Philadelphia in 1880. His background was working-class poor and he grew up in Philadelphia's seventh ward, an all-black community made famous by W. E. B. Du Bois's seminal study ...

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Florence Ellinwood Allen. Holding flag, center, at Woman Suffrage Headquarters on Upper Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, 1912. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-30776).

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Allen, Florence Ellinwood (23 March 1884–12 September 1966), federal judge, was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, the daughter of Clarence Emir Allen, a lawyer, congressman, and mine manager, and Corinne Marie Tuckerman, a women’s club leader. In 1904 she earned a bachelor’s degree Phi Beta Kappa from the women’s college of Western Reserve University in Cleveland. She then worked for two years in Berlin, Germany, as a music critic. Returning to Cleveland, she taught at a private girls’ school. Lacking the talent for a concert piano career and bored by teaching duties, she took a master’s degree in political science from Western Reserve in 1908. The public law courses reminded her of the exciting connection between law and social reform, exemplified by her father’s political career....

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Allen, Macon Bolling (1816–15 October 1894), lawyer and judge, was born A. Macon Bolling in Indiana; the names of his parents and exact date of birth are unknown. He changed his name to Macon Bolling Allen by act of the Massachusetts legislature on 26 January 1844. Details of Allen’s early life and education are sketchy and contradictory. His birth name is given in some sources as Malcolm B. Allen, and his birthplace as South Carolina. Evidence suggests that he lived in Maine and Massachusetts as a young man. Maine denied his initial application to the Maine bar because of allegations that he was not a state citizen, but he purportedly ran a Portland business before 1844. It is known that he read law in the Maine offices of two white abolitionist lawyers, Samuel E. Sewell and General Samuel Fessenden, and that the latter promoted his admission to the Maine bar in 1844....

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Allen, William (05 August 1704–06 September 1780), chief justice of colonial Pennsylvania, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of William Allen, a wealthy merchant. His mother’s maiden name was Budd; her first name is unknown. Both parents emigrated from Dungannon, Ireland. Through close ties to ...

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Robert L. Gale and Thaddeus Russell

Alpern, Anne X. (1903–02 February 1981), attorney and judge, was born in Russia, the daughter of Joseph Alpern and Mary Leaser. (Alpern would never explain what the X in her name stood for, and it was rumored that early in her life she added it simply for fun.) The family immigrated to western Pennsylvania when she was an infant. They settled in Scenery Hill, near Washington, Pennsylvania, where her father owned a general store. Alpern attended Nicholas Elementary School and Scenery Hill High School in the town of Washington. After the family moved to Pittsburgh, she enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh, from which she graduated in 1923 with a B.A. in education. Urged by her father to study law as a result of his admiration for ...

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Ames, James Barr (22 June 1846–08 January 1910), dean of Harvard Law School, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Tarbell Ames, a merchant, and Mary Hartwell Barr. Ames attended the Brimmer School and the Boston Latin School. He enrolled at Harvard College in 1863, receiving an A.B. in 1868. During the next two years he taught at a private school and toured Europe....

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Amidon, Charles Fremont (17 August 1856–26 December 1937), federal judge, was born in Chautauqua County, New York, the son of the Reverend John Smith Amidon and Charlotte Ann Curtis. Raised in rural poverty, he worked his way through high school and Hamilton College, from which he graduated in 1882 with honors. He then moved to Fargo, Dakota Territory, as the principal and sole teacher in the city’s newly established high school but soon gave up teaching to read law. Admitted to the bar in 1886, Amidon established himself as a successful lawyer and civic reformer in the growing frontier city. In 1892 he married Beulah Richardson McHenry, who, in addition to caring for their five children, became a prominent civic reformer and feminist....

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Anderson, Joseph Inslee (05 November 1757–17 April 1837), jurist, U.S. senator, and Treasury official, was born near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of William Anderson and Elizabeth Inslee (occupations unknown). When not yet twenty, Anderson enlisted in the Continental army as a private and rose to the rank of major by the war’s end. He was regimental paymaster during much of the war, and his experience in that capacity served him well in positions he held later. He was with ...

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Angell, Joseph Kinnicutt (30 April 1794–01 May 1857), legal writer, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Nathan Angell, a storekeeper, and Amy Kinnicutt. Angell entered Brown University in 1809 at the age of fifteen and graduated in 1813 with a B.A. He immediately began a three-year preparation for the bar, first at ...

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Appleton, John (12 July 1804–07 February 1891), lawyer and judge, was born in New Ipswich, New Hampshire, the son of John Appleton and Elizabeth Peabody, farmers. After graduating from Bowdoin College in 1822, Appleton taught school briefly, then studied law in the offices of George F. Farley of Massachusetts and Nathan Dane Appleton, a relative and prominent attorney in Maine....

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Armstrong, Barbara Nachtrieb (04 August 1890–18 January 1976), law professor, was born in San Francisco, California, the daughter of John Jacob Nachtrieb and Anne Day. Barbara grew up in San Francisco, traveling with her family every summer to their camp in the woods on Lake Tahoe. She received her degrees from the University of California at Berkeley (A.B. 1913; J.D. 1915; Ph.D. 1921) and taught briefly in a one-room country school between completing her bachelor’s degree and entering law school....

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Arrington, Alfred W. (17 September 1810–31 December 1867), minister, author, and judge, was born in Iredell County, North Carolina, the son of H. Archibald Arrington, a Methodist minister. (His mother’s maiden name was Moore; her first name is not known.) Arrington passed his childhood amid the picturesque scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains. His early education consisted solely of reading from the Bible, until a family with a small library moved into the area and he was able to read more widely....

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Ashe, Samuel (1725–22 January 1813), judge and governor, was born in Beaufort County, North Carolina, the son of John Baptista Ashe and Elizabeth Swann. His father, Beaufort’s representative in the lower house of the assembly and its Speaker at the time of Samuel’s birth, was allied through marriage to a clique of planters who hoped to open the Cape Fear River to white settlement. In 1727 the elder Ashe moved his family of two sons, ...

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Ashe, Thomas Samuel (19 July 1812–04 February 1887), jurist and congressman, was born at “the Hawfields,” Orange County, North Carolina, the home of his maternal grandfather, where his parents regularly spent the summer. He was the son of Pasquale Paoli Ashe, the owner of a plantation in coastal New Hanover County, North Carolina, and a coal mine in Alabama, and Elizabeth Jane Strudwick. His father lost his entire fortune about 1829 as surety for the debts of a friend....

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Atkinson, Theodore (20 December 1697–22 September 1779), chief justice of New Hampshire, was born in New Castle, New Hampshire, the son of Theodore Atkinson, a provincial councilor, and Mary (maiden name unknown). He was the fourth of five linearly descended Theodore Atkinsons and as long as his father lived was known as Theodore Atkinson, Jr. After graduating from Harvard College in 1718 he returned to New Castle and succeeded his father, who died the following year, in several minor public offices. Atkinson also traded, gained election to the General Court, and used his position as clerk of common pleas to learn law. In 1731 he was admitted to the New Hampshire bar....

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Auchmuty, Robert (1687–28 April 1750), lawyer and Massachusetts vice admiralty judge, was born in Newtown Flood, County Longford, Ireland, of a Scottish family of noble lineage. He was the son of Captain John Auchmuty, a member of Parliament, and Isabella Stirling.

Auchmuty received his legal training in London at the Middle Temple beginning in 1705 and was called to the bar in 1711. He emigrated to Massachusetts in 1716, apparently as a protégé of the new royal governor, ...