Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HARDING, Benjamin F., senator, born in Wyoming county, Pennsylvania, 4 January, 1823. He was educated at the public schools, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1847. He began practice in Illinois in 1848, and in 1849 removed to Oregon, where he was clerk of the territorial legislature in 1850-'1, and a member of that body and its speaker in 1852. He was United States district attorney for Oregon in 1853, and secretary of the territory in 1854-'9. After its admission to the Union he was a member of the state house of representatives in 1859-'62, being speaker during the last two years. He was then elected a United States senator as a Republican, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Edward D. Baker, who was killed at Ball's Bluff, and served from 1 December, 1862, till 3 March, 1865.
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