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Low, Frederick Ferdinand (30 June 1828–21 July 1894), businessman, politician, and diplomat, was born in Frankfort (present-day Winterport), Maine, into a Penobscot Valley farming family. His parents’ names are not known. Frederick Low attended public schools and Hampden Academy. At age fifteen he was apprenticed to Russell, Sturgis and Company, a Boston firm with a large China trade. He enriched his education by attending Fanuiel Hall and Lowell Institute lectures. Low completed his apprenticeship in 1849 and joined other Forty-niners in California. For three months he panned gold on the American River. Taking some $1,500 from his claim, he declared himself “satisfied” and returned to San Francisco to commence successful careers in business and government....

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McLane, Louis (28 May 1784–07 October 1857), politician, diplomat, and business executive, was born in Duck Creek Cross Roads (now Smyrna), Delaware, the son of Allen McLane and Rebecca Wells. The father, originally a leather worker, was a distinguished partisan commander in the Revolution, after which he conducted a mercantile business until President ...