Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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PARKE, Benjamin, born in New Jersey, 2 September, 1777; died in Salem, Indiana, 12 July, 1835. He received a common-school education, and at the age of twenty removed to Lexington, Kentucky, where he studied law with James Brown, and was admitted to the bar. In 1801 he settled in Vincennes, Indiana, and was soon afterward appointed attorney-general of the territory. He was a member of the first territorial legislature in 1805, and was elected a delegate to congress as a Republican, and re-elected at the close of the term, serving from 12 December, 1805, till 1 March, 1808, when he resigned on being appointed judge of the United States territorial court for Indiana. In 1811 Judge Parke raised a company of dragoons, fought at the battle of Tippecanoe, and succeeded to the command of the cavalry. He befriended the public library at Vincennes, assisted in establishing Vincennes university, and was one of the principal founders and the first president of the Indiana historical society.
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