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Hon. Howell Cobb, Speaker of the house of representatives, was born Sept. 7, 1815, at Cherry Hill, Jefferson county, Georgia. He is the son of Col. John A. Cobb, who removed from Granville county, North Carolina, to Georgia, at an early age.
Howell Cobb was educated at Franklin college, the University of Georgia, and was graduated in 1834. He was married in the year 1833 to Mary Ann Lamar, daughter of Col. Zachariah Lamar, of Georgia, and was admitted to the bar in 1836. He was elected solicitor general of the western district of Georgia in 1837, holding the office for three years; was elected to Congress under the general ticket system in 1812, and re-elected from his present district suecessively in ’44, '46, and '48. On the 22d December, 1819, after a contest of three weeks between the different parties in the house of representatives, he was elected speaker of that body by the vote of the democratic party.
Hon. James W. Bradbury, Senator from Maine, is a native of the county of York, state of Maine, and son of Dr. James Bradbury, a physician of eminence. He graduated at Bowdoin college, Brunswick, in that state, in 1825, in a class distinguished for the eminent men it has produced; amongst them the late Hon. Jer. Cilley, Prof. Longfellow, Rev. Dr. Cheever, and others. On leaving col. lege, he was employed one year as an instructer of the academy at Hallowell, and afterwards studied law with Judge Shipley, late of the U. S. senate, and Hon. Rufus M'Intire, and, on his admission to practice, removed, in 1830, to Augusta, Maine, the place of his present residence, and the capital of the state, and devoted himself exclusively to the practice of the law until elected to the United States senate in 1846, being then in his forty-first year. He was a delegate to the democratic national convention of 1844, which assembled at Baltimore, and nominated Mr. Polk for the presidency. Placed that year at the head of the electoral ticket, and president of the electoral college of the state, he cast his vote for Mr. Polk.
Hon. Lewis Cass, Senator from Michigan, was born at Exeter, New Hampshire, 9th October, 1782, and is the son of Major Jonathan Cass, a gallant sol. dier of the revolution. He taught a school for some time, when he was eighteen years old, and then started on foot across the Allegheny mountains, and established himself at Marietta in the north-west territory. He studied law with Hon. R. J. Meigs, and in 1802 was admitted to practice at the bar. His saccess was speedy, and in 1806 he was elected a member of the legislature from Muskingum county. In 1807 he was appointed by Mr. Jefferson marshal of the United States for the district of Ohio, in which office he continued five years. On the breaking out of the war with Great Britain in 1812, Mr. Cass was chosen colonel of a regiment of Ohio volunteers. On the 12th July, he crossed with the army of Gen. Hull into Canada, and being detached on separate service, he had a skirmish with the British force near Malden, in which he was successful. At the surrender of Detroit by Hull, 15th August, 1812, Cols. Cass and M'Arthur were included in the capitulation. The ensuing winter, on being exchanged, he was appointed brigadier general in the army of the U. States. On the 5th October, 1813, he was at the battle of the Thames with Gen. Harrison, when the British and Indians under Proctor were defeated. In 1813, he was appointed by Mr. Madison governor of Michigan. He reinoved to Detroit-was re-appointed governor of the territory, as his terms expired, under seven successive administrations, and was engaged in the negotiation of several important Indian treaties. His duties on the frontier were arduous, and ably discharged. In 1831 he was appointed secretary of war in the cabinet of Gen. Jackson. In 1836 he left the cabinet and went to France as minister plenipotentiary. In 1814 he was elected to the senate of the United States, In 1848 he was nominated as the democratic candidate for the presidency hy the Baltimore convention, and resigned his seat in the senate. Of the votes of the electoral college, he received 127_Gen. Taylor 163. He was subsequently re-elected by the legislature of Michigan to the senate of the United States.
Hon. Thomas HART Benton, Senator from Missouri, was born in the county of Orange, North Carolina, and is about sixty-six years of age. His ancestors were patriots of the revolution of 1775, and the family of the Harts, from whom he is descended on his mother's side, were among the most active of the early settlers of Kentucky. Col. Benton removed, about the year 1815, from Tennessee to Missouri, having already at that time distinguished himself at the bar. In 1820, he was elected to the senate of the United States by the legislature of Missouri, before its formal admission into the Union. The admission of the representatives from that state did not take place until the year after their election. He has been in the senate of the United States from that period until the present time without any intermission. One of his first efforts as a debater was made in 1823, on the mode of the presidential election. He was in the opposition during the term of Mr. Adams, but sustained the administrations of General Jackson and Mr. Van Buren. His powers as a debater were exhibited in the famous veto debate of 1832, in which Mr. Clay and others bore a conspicuous part.
He has advocated with much zeal a specie currency, and the disconnexion of the government with banking institutions.
In 1837, he carried through the senate the famous "expunging resolution," striking from the journal of the senate the memorable resolution condemning Gen. Jackson for the removal of the deposites.
In 1840, he proposed the armed intervention of Florida. In 1844, he contended against the Rio Grande boundary of Texas, and introduced a bill fixing the boundary line from the desert prairies of the Nueces to the parallel of 420 north. In 1844, he was re-elected to the senate, after having been twenty-four years in that body. In 1845, he was chairman of the military committee. In Jan., 1847, he was nominated, in Missouri, for the presidency, but he immediately repressed the movement in his favour. In March following, he was appointed by President Polk a major general in the army of the United States, which office he declined accepting. Col. Benton has been a close studentis a good Spanish scholar, and has amassed, as a statesman, a vast amount of information. He is the father-in-law of Col. Fremont, the newly elected senator from California,
Hon. Daniel WEBSTER, Senator from Massachusetts, was born in Salisbury, New Hampshire, in 1782. His father was a farmer, and had served in both the French war and the war of the revolution. Mr. Webster received his early instruction from Dr. Abbott, principal of the Exeter academy, where Mr. Cass and other distinguished men laid the ground-work of their educa'tion. He afterwards entered Dartmouth college, and was graduated in 1801. He was compelled, by the circumstances of his family, to labour for his own support, and his professional studies were often interrupted. He entered the office of Mr. Gore, in Boston, and in 1805 was admitted to practice at the bar. He first pursued his profession at Boscawen, in his native state, but after the death of his father, in 1807, he removed to Portsmouth, where, coming in conflict with that distinguished lawyer, Hon. Jeremiah Mason, his mind first developed its wonderful powers. In 1812, he was elected a representative in Congress from New Hampshire. In 1816 he retired from Congress, and went to Boston to pursue his profession, and for six or eight years devoted himself exclusively to the law. In 1820, he was a member of a convention of delegates to revise the constitution of Massachusetts. In the same year he deli. vered his celebrated address at the 200th anniversary of the landing at Plymouth. In 1822, he was elected from Boston a member of the house of representatives of the United States, and in 1826, he was elected to the senate of the United States to supply a vacancy which had occurred. In January, 1830, Mr. Webster made his famous constitutional argument in the senate in answer to Gen. Hayne of South Carolina. In 1833 he was re-elected to the senate. In 1839, he visited Europe. In March, 1841, he entered the cabinets of President Harrison as secretary of state, and continued in office during the administration of Mr. Tyler until May, 1813. In 1842, he negotiated, at Washington, on the part of the United States, with Lord Ashburton, on the part of Great Britain, the important treaty by which the dispute in relation to the north eastern boundary was adjusted. Mr. Webster, in 1845, returned to the senate of the United States, of which he is still a member.
Hon. John CALDWELL CALHOUN, Senator from South Carolina, was born March 18th, 1782, in Abbeville district, South Carolina. His grandfather emigrated from Ireland to Pennsylvania in 1733. The family afterwards removed to Virginia, but upon Braddock's defeat, they went to South Carolina in 1759, where they established themselves in “Calhoun's settlement." He commenced his studies under Dr. Waddell, at the age of thirteen, but owing to a disorder of his eyes, incurred by severe application, he was obliged to abandon books, and turning his attention for awhile to rural pursuits, con. tracted the fondness for agriculture which he has ever since evinced. In 1800, he re-commenced study, and in 1802 entered Yale college, then under ihe presidency of Dr. Dwight. He studied law at the Litchfield law school, and in 1807 commenced the practice of the profession. In 1811 he entered Congress, was placed at the head of the committee on foreign affairs, and was one of the leading members who sustained the war measures of that period. He was, subsequently, at the head of the committee on currency, and reported a bill for the establishment of a national bank. In 1817, he was appointed by Mr. Monroe secretary of war. At the expiration of Mr. Monroe's second term, Mr. Calhoun was elected vice president of the United States, with Mr. Adams as president, and was re-elected vice president when Gen. Jackson came into office. He now began to assert the doctrine of state rights, --which has since been called nullification-assuming the right of a state to declare an act of congress null and void; and at the call of his etate resigned his office of vice president, and entered the senate of the United States in 1834. J11 1812, he resigned his seat in the senate, and in March 1844, accepted the office of secretary of state, in place of Judge Upshur, who was killed on board the Princeton; and as secretary advocated the annexation of Texas. In 1845, he left the office at the commencement of Mr. Polk's administration, and in 1846, was re-elected to the United States senate. He was opposed to a rupture with Great Britain on the question of right to Oregon, and also to its organization as a territory. He is the author of the celebrated address from the southern delegates, in congress, to their constituents, on the subject of slavery.
Hon. William Henry SEWARD, Senator from New York, was born in Orange county, New York, May 16th, 1801, and is the son of the late Dr. Samuel Se ward, an eminent physician, and grandson of Col. Seward who served in the war of the revolution.
In 1816, Mr. Seward entered Union college, and was graduated in 1820. He afterwards studied law with John Anthon in New York, and with John Daer, and Ogden Hoffman in Goshen, N. Y. He was admitted to the bar in 1822,
and soon aster established himself in Auburn, in the practice of his profession. In 1828, he presided over "the young men's convention," said to be the first political organization of the kind in the United States. In 1830, he was elected to the senate of the state of New York, by the votes of the Whig party, in a district which had previously given majorities for the adverse party. He took an active part in the most prominent subjects of legislation, such as the abolition of imprisonment for debt, the extension of internal improvements, &c. In 1838, he was nominated and elected governor of the state of New York, and was.re-elected to the same office in 1840. At the expiration of this term he declined a re-nomination, and returned to his profession. In 1819, he was elected, and took his seat in the senate of the United States.
Hon. Solon BORLAND, Senator from Arkansas, was the youngest of three sons of Dr. Thomas Borland, and born in Nansemond county, Virginia, on the 8th August, 1811. He removed with his father into North Carolina, in 1823, and to the western district of Tennessee, in 1836. In 1843, he went to Arkansas, where he has resided ever since. He received no regular collegiate education, but studied medicine, and attended a course of lectures in the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and commenced practice in 1834, in North Carolina. While residing at Memphis, Tennessee, he attended another course of medical lectures at the Louisville (Ky.) Institute, where he was graduated in March, 1841. He then went to Arkansas, by invitation of the democratic central committee of that state, to establish and conduct, as editor, the Arkansas Banner newspaper. Was elected by the Arkansas Legislature, at the session of 1844–5, presidential elector. Appointed by the governor Adjt. Genl. of Arkansas, in Nov. 1844. Resigned that appointment, and raised a company for the Mexican war in May, 1846. Was elected inajor of the Arkansas mounted regiment at its organization. He was taken prisoner at Encarnacion, Mexico, by General Minon, January 23d, 1847, whence he was marched to the city of Mexico, and kept a prisoner until the Ist of August, when he effected his escape, and joined the American army at Contreras, just as the place was captured. United himself to Gen. Twiggs command, and was in the ranks at the taking of Churubusco. Major Borland then joined General Worth as volunteer aid-de-camp, on 8th September, at the beginning of the battle of Molino del Rey, and continued with him in that capacity while he was at Tacubaya, through the battles of Chapultepec, San Cosmo, and the city of Mexico. He left the army, and returned home in December, 1847. About the 1st April following, he was appointed by the Governor of Arkansas to the United States senate, to fill the vacancy created by the appointment of A. H. Sevier, commissioner to Mexico, and was, subsequently, elected to the same place, for six years, from the 4th March, 1849.
Hon. James Cooper, Senator from Pennsylvania, was born in Frederick county, Maryland, 8th May, 1810. His father was a native of Pennsylvania, and removed to Maryland in 1767. The pecuniary embarrassments of his parents prevented the execution of their wish to educate him, until he had nearly attained the age of eighteen years. In 1827, he was taught the Latin and Greek languages, and about two years afterwards, was sent to St. Mary's College, at Emmettsburgh; and thence removed to Washington College, Pennsylvania, where he was graduated. In 1832, he commenced the study of the law, under the direction of Thaddeus Stevens, Esq., at Gettysburg; and after reading the usual term, was admitted to the bar. He commenced the practice of his profession in Gettysburg, and was immediately successful. In October, 1838, he was elected to congress, and re-elected in 1840. In March 1843, his term of service in congress expired, and in the autumn of the same year, he was elected to the legislature of Pennsylvania, where he brought forward measures for the redemption of the faith of the state. He was reelected to the legislature in 1844. He was again elected to the legislature in 1846. He was, subsequently, appointed attorney general by Governor Johnston, and held the office until the meeting of the legislature on the 1st January, 1849. In 1848, he was again elected to the legislature, and in 1849, was elected to the United States senate for the term of six years.
Hon. Jacob W. Miller, Senator from New Jersey, is a native of Morris county, N. J., and is now in the forty-ninth year of his age. He is of German lineage; his grandfather emigrated from Germany to the colony of New Jer. sey, a few years before the commencement of the revolution. Mr. Miller received a classical education preparatory to entering college, but at the age of sixteen was induced to abandon study, and to engage in mercantile pursuits. After three years he resumed study, and entered a law office. In Sept. 1823, he was admitted to the bar, and commenced practice at Morristown, in his native county, where he has ever since resided, and has acquired an extensive and lucrative business. In 1832, he was elected a member of the state legis. lature, from the county of Morris; previous to this year the county had supported the administration of Gen. Jackson; but at this election a change was effected, and there was a Whig majority in the legislature. The next year, Mr. Miller declined a re-election, and returned to the practice of his profession. In 1839, he was again called upon to represent his native county in the state senate or council. This was the year of the famous Neir Jersey contested election in the house of representatives. Mr. Miller defended the state authorities in a speech delivered on the occasion. The next year he declined a re-election, and again returned to his profession. In the winter of 1841, he was chosen United States senator for six years, (the term of his predecessor, General Wall, having expired,) and first took his seat as senator, on the 41h March, 1841. At the expiration of his first term, he was re-elected by a unanimous vote of his party to his second term, which commenced on the 4th March, 1847.
(These sketches will be continued in the succeeding volumes of the Register.)