Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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DANIEL, Raleigh Travers, jurist, born in Star-ford County, Virginia, 15 October 1805 ; died in Richmond, 16 August 1877. His father was an eminent physician, his mother a daughter of Thomas Stone, signer of the Declaration of Independence. His early education was acquired from John Lewis, who kept a classical school in Spotsylvania County, and was perhaps the best teacher of Latin and Greek in that region. At the age of seventeen he entered the office of his uncle, Judge P. V. Daniel (afterward of the U. S. Supreme Court), at Richmond, and, after a careful training for the profession of law, took a high position at the bar. In the early part of his career he was appointed commonwealth's attorney for Heroic County, in which Richmond is situated, and held that office until 1852. Though belonging to a democratic family, he was the leader of the Whig party in Richmond while yet a young man, and was repeatedly elected to represent that City in the legislature. He was the favorite orator of his party in Virginia, always chairman of its state committee, and on its electoral ticket ; and in the presidential canvasses of 1840 and 1844 he confronted the democratic champions in every part of the state. Such was the admiration felt for him by his opponents that in 1847 a democratic assembly elected him one of the three members of the governor's council. By seniority he became lieu-tenant-governor of the state. He was a strong Union man so long as that sentiment was possible in his state; but when the war came he considered service to his state the paramount duty. When the national forces Mr. Daniel occupied General Schofield from the office of City attorney removed Richmond. When the autonomy of the state was restored in 1868, he devoted himself to the work of organizing the conservative party, which triumphed in the election of Gilbert C. Walker as governor. In 1872 he was elected attorney-general of Virginia, and in this office showed such capacity for mastering the novel questions and difficulties that had followed the confusion of affairs that at the next convention he was re-nominated by acclamation. He was elected by an overwhelming majority, on 11 August 1877, but died from a hemorrhage four days later. His culture, eloquence, and social qualities are still remembered in every part of Virginia, where no man of his political opinions had ever been so popular.
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