Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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DARGAN, Edmund Spawn, jurist, born in Montgomery County, N. C., 15 April 1805; died in Mobile, Ala., in November 1879. He was the son of a Baptist minister of Irish descent, at whose death he was left without means. By his own exertions ha obtained a fair knowledge of English, Latin, and Greek, although he was at work on a farlu until he was twenty-three years old. He read law, was admitted to the bar in 1829, went to Alabama, and taught three months in Washington, Autauga County. Here he was elected a justice of the peace, and filled the office for several years, meanwhile engaging in the practice of law. In 1833 he removed to Montgomery, and in 1841 was elected to the bench of the circuit court of the Mobile district, and removed to Mobile. He resigned the office of judge in 1842, and in 1844 was elected to the state senate. He was also mayor of Mobile the same year. He resigned from the senate the following year, and was elected to congress, serving from 1 "Dec., 1845, till 3 March 1847. On the question of the northwestern boundary of Oregon he made an able speech, and offered some valuable amend-meats to the resolution of notice. He was the first proposer of the line of adjustment finally adopted on the settlement of the question with the British government. He declined a renomination, and in 1847 was elected to fill a vacancy on the bench of the Supreme Court of Alabama. In July 1849, by the resignation of Justice Collier, he became chief justice, which office he resigned in December 1852, and resumed the practice of law in Mobile. in 1861 he was a delegate to the State convention, and voted for the ordinance of secession. He also served for one term as a representative in the Confederate congress.
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