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Tappan, Benjamin (25 May 1773–20 April 1857), jurist, politician, and scientist, was born in Northampton, Massachusetts, the son of Benjamin Tappan, a goldsmith and merchant, and Sarah Homes. The family was both prosperous and well connected. Tappan prepared for Harvard at a local academy but then pursued a literary and practical self-education, becoming versed in several trades. He studied with ...