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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DURANT, Thomas Jefferson, lawyer, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 8 August 1817; died in Washington, D. C., 4 February 1882. He removed to New Orleans at the age of seventeen, and was appointed a clerk in the post office there. After studying law he was admitted to the bar and became prominent in his profession. He was elected state senator, afterward appointed U. S. district attorney for Louisiana, and then became attorney general of the state. He was a Union man during the civil war and a recognized leader of those who supported the national government. When Farragut captured New Orleans in 1862 the office of governor was tendered to Mr. Durant, but he declined it on the ground that he could not be governor and at the same time be subordinate to military authority. In 1865 he left New Orleans and settled in Washington, where he soon took high rank as a lawyer. He practiced before the Supreme Court, and at the time of his death was counsel for the United States before the Spanish and American claims commission.
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