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Luther Martin. Watercolor with glaze over pencil on paper, c. 1835, by Bernard Francis Hoppner Meyer. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

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Martin, Luther ( February 1748–08 July 1826), lawyer and politician, was born near New Brunswick, New Jersey, the son of Benjamin Martin and Hannah (maiden name unknown), farmers. Luther Martin graduated from the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University) in 1766. For the next three years he served as schoolmaster at the Queen Anne’s County Free School on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. During this time Martin began studying law with books borrowed from a local attorney....

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Paine, Robert Treat (11 March 1731–11 June 1814), lawyer, Massachusetts attorney general, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Thomas Paine, a merchant, and Eunice Treat. Shortly before Paine’s birth, his father had left the ministry for a mercantile career that soon flourished, providing comfortable circumstances for the family. Paine followed the traditional Boston elite educational path from Boston Public Latin School to Harvard College, where he graduated with the class of 1749. At about the same time, his father lost his fortune; following graduation, Paine was forced to seek his own way without the benefit of a family business....