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Spooner, Lysander (1808–1887)

Lysander Spooner was a political and legal theorist, a writer, and an abolitionist. Born in rural New England, he was raised as one of nine children and left home to live in Worcester, Massachusetts, where, in 1833, he began studying law. He served his apprenticeship in the offices of John Davis, a prominent Massachusetts politician who shortly thereafter served as governor and then senator. In Davis's absence, Spooner also studied with Charles Allen, a state senator who eventually served as Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court.

At the time, the rules governing Massachusetts courts required a student to study in a lawyer's office before admission to the bar. College graduates were required to study for 3 years, whereas nongraduates were required to do so for ...

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