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Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was one of the most celebrated of America's Founding Fathers, a man who enjoyed success as an inventor, scientist, printer, politician, and diplomat. He helped to draf...

Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) was a radical writer who emigrated from England to America in 1774. Just two years later, early in 1776, Paine published Common Sense, a hugely influential pamphlet that co...

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) was the sixteenth president of the United States during one of the most consequential periods in American history, the Civil War. Before being elected president, Lincoln...

Millard Fillmore

Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) was the last Whig to serve as president of the United States, holding that office from 1850-53. He was not elected, but rather rose to office from the vice presidency u...

Charles Crocker

Charles Crocker (1822-1888) was a failed miner who became a successful shop-owner in the California Gold Rush, then reinvested the profits from his store to become one of the "Big Four" directors o...

Mark Hopkins

Mark Hopkins (1813-1878) was one of the "Big Four" directors of the Central Pacific Railroad, which built the western end of the transcontinental railroad between 1865 and 1869. The railroad turned...

Denis Kearney

Denis Kearney (1847-1907) was a charismatic Irish immigrant who became the leader of the virulently anti-Chinese San Francisco Workingman's Party in the 1870s. Kearney believed that unemployment an...

James G. Blaine

James G. Blaine (1830-1893) was a prominent Republican politician of the late nineteenth century. He represented Maine in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives (where he was Speaker), a...

John Marshall Harlan

Justice John Marshall Harlan (1833-1911) served on the United States Supreme Court from 1877-1911. He may be best remembered for writing the lone dissent to the Court's notorious 1896 decision in P...
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