Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HUNT, Benjamin Faneuil, lawyer, born in Watertown, Massachusetts, 20 February, 1792; died in New York city, 5 December, 1857. He was graduated at Harvard in 1810, removed to South Carolina on account of the delicacy of his health, studied law in Charleston, and was admitted to the bar in 1813. In 1818 he was elected to the state house of representatives, and was repeatedly re-elected until the nullification crisis, when he adhered to the principles of the unpopular minority, and, while many abandoned the cause from interested motives, he remained one of the main props of the Union party in South Carolina in 1830-'4. His name is connected with the history of the nullification period by the case of the state against Hunt, in which the question was decided in May, 1834, that the new oath of allegiance, called the "test-oath," that was required by the act of 1833, was unconstitutional. After the animosities springing from the political conflict had passed away, Colonel Hunt, as he was called from his rank in the militia, was again sent to the legislature, and was an active member of the house for many years. He had an extensive practice at the bar, and was noted for his eloquence, and for the ingenuity and pertinacity with which he contested the cases that were confided to him.
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