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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TAPPAN, Mason Weare, lawyer, born in Newport, New Hampshire, 20 October, 1817 ; died in Bradford, New Hampshire, 24 October, 1886. His father, a well-known lawyer, settled in Bradford in 1818, and was a pioneer in the anti-slavery movement. The son was educated at Kimball union academy, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1841, and acquired a large practice. He was early identified with the Whig party, and afterward was a Free-soiler and served in the legislature in 1853-'5. He was elected to congress as a Free-soiler, by a combination of the Whigs, Free-soilers, Independent Democrats, and Americans, at the time of the breaking up of the two great parties, Whigs and Democrats. He served from 3 December, 1855, till 3 March, 1861, and was a member of the special committee of thirty-three on the rebellious states. On 5 February, 1861, when a report was submitted recommending that the provisions of the constitution should be obeyed rather than amended, he made a patriotic speech in support of the government. Mr. Tappan was one of the earliest to enlist in the volunteer army, and was colonel of the 1st New Hampshire regiment front May till August, 1861. Afterward he resumed the practice of law, and held the office of attorney-general of the state for ten years preceding his death, He was a delegate to the Philadelphia Loyalists' convention of 1866, and presided over the New Hampshire Republican convention on 14 September, 1886. In the presidential election of 1872 he supported his life-long friend, Horace Greeley.
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