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Bryce, James (10 May 1838–22 January 1922), author and statesman, was born in Belfast, Ireland, the son of James Bryce, a schoolmaster, and Margaret Young. The family moved to Glasgow, Scotland, when James was eight. His father instilled in Bryce a wide-ranging interest in the arts and sciences, and after attending Glasgow University he matriculated at Oxford. His entry there was a landmark event: he was the first student to be admitted without having to subscribe to the Thirty-nine Articles of the Anglican Church. Bryce distinguished himself as a scholar at Oxford, producing as his entry for the Arnold Historical Essay Prize a treatise that would be expanded for publication in 1864 as ...

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English, William Hayden (27 August 1822–07 February 1896), congressman, vice presidential candidate, and historian, was born in Lexington, Indiana, the son of Elisha G. English and Mahala Eastin. Elisha, a landowner and railroad vice president, was a Democrat who served in the Indiana legislature for nearly twenty years and was friends with many important politicians. William benefited from his father’s contacts and status and was influenced by his views....

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Gayarré, Charles Étienne Arthur (09 January 1805–11 February 1895), historian and politician, was born Carlos Esteban Gayarré in New Orleans, the Creole son of Don Carlos Gayarré, a wealthy slaveholding planter, and Marie Elizabeth de Boré. He spent his early years on the sugar plantation of his slaveholding maternal grandfather. In 1825 he graduated from the College of Orleans in New Orleans. In 1826 he published a pamphlet favoring a continuation of capital punishment. From 1826 to 1828 he studied law in a law office in Philadelphia, passing the bar there in 1828. A year later he returned to New Orleans, where he passed the Louisiana bar and also prepared his ...

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McAfee, Robert Breckinridge (18 February 1784–12 March 1849), historian and statesman, was born on the banks of the Salt River, four miles from Harrodsburg, Kentucky, the son of Robert McAfee and Anne McCoun. His father, one of Kentucky’s earliest explorers and settlers, was killed in 1795 while taking a load of goods to New Orleans. Since his mother had already died, McAfee was left in the care of his brother Samuel and his father’s executors, James McCoun and ...

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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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Upham, Charles Wentworth (04 May 1802–15 June 1875), historian, minister, and politician, was born in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada, the son of Joshua Upham, a lawyer and entrepreneur, and Mary Chandler. Joshua Upham’s Royalist politics and service in the British military led to the confiscation of his property by the state of Massachusetts in 1778. He fled with his wife to the British province of New Brunswick and in 1784 was appointed an assistant justice to its first Supreme Court. The position, however, was more prestigious than profitable, and his death in 1808 left Mary Upham and her son with little means of support. At age ten Charles worked in an apothecary shop, mixing medicines and teaching himself the trade by reading a pharmacology text. At age twelve he was a day laborer on a farm in Annapolis, Nova Scotia....