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William L. Dayton
Attorney General
1857-1861

     
  William L. Dayton was born in Somerset County, New Jersey on February 17, 1807. He attended Princeton University, where he graduated in 1825. He studied law and was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in 1830. He worked as a lawyer in Freehold Borough.
 
  In 1837, he was elected to the New Jersey State Council, then became an Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court the following year. Dayton was the youngest man to ever assume the bench of the Supreme Court. He was appointed to the U.S. Senate on July 2, 1842 by Governor William Pennington of New Jersey. Dayton was nominated for Vice-President by the newly formed Republican Party in 1856, and the following year was appointed state Attorney General by Governor William A. Newell. He served as Attorney General until 1861, when he was appointed Minister to France by President Lincoln.  
 
 
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