Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CHAPMAN, Reuben Atwater, jurist, born in Russell, Hampden County, Massachusetts, 20 September, 1801; died at Fluellen, Switzerland, 28 June, 1873. He was a New England farmer's son, and received but a limited education. At the age of nineteen he became a clerk in a country store in Blanford, where he attracted the attention of a lawyer, who invited him to become a student in his office. This offer was gratefully accepted, and after his admission to the bar he practiced successively in Westfield, Nonson, Ware, and Springfield. Later he became associated with George Ashmun, and during its twenty years' continuance the firm of Chapman & Ashmun was among the most successful in the state. In 1860 he was appointed an associate justice of the supreme judicial court, and in 1868 was advanced to the chief justiceship. He received the degrees of A. M. from Williams in 1836 and from Amherst in 1841, and LL. D. from Amherst in 1861 and from Harvard in 1864.
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