Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BREWSTER, Benjamin Harris, lawyer, born in Salem County, New Jersey, 13 October, 1816. He was graduated at Princeton in 1834, and admitted to the Philadelphia bar in 1838, of which he became a most distinguished member. He was appointed by President Polk in 1846 a commissioner to examine into the claims of the Cherokee Indians against the government. From 1867 till 1869 he was attorney general for Pennsylvania. He acquired a high reputation as a prosecutor during his Philadelphian experience, was made attorney general of the United States by President Arthur in December, 1881, and served in that capacity until 1885, a period covering the conclusion of the famous Star Route trials, to the prosecution of which he brought to bear all his energy and experience. When a young man, he risked his life in the effort to save his sister from death by fire, and was himself terribly burned and disfigured for life.
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