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Biosketch of Lambdin P. Milligan (b. 1812)

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Biosketch of Lambdin P. Milligan (b. 1812)

Posted: 22 Nov 2002 6:10PM GMT
Classification: Biography
Edited: 23 Nov 2002 1:01AM GMT
Surnames: Milligan, Purday, Ridgeway, Humphrey
Lambdin P. Milligan, lawyer, is a native of Belmont County, Ohio, born March 24, 1812. His ancestors emigrated to Maryland with Lord Baltimore’s Colony. His father, Moses Milligan, was born in Baltimore, and at the age of thirteen entered the Revolutionary Army, in which he continued until the close of the War. He was afterward in the border war with the Indians along the Ohio River at Wheeling, Marietta and elsewhere. In 1794 he married Mary Purday. She was in the block house at Wheeling when it was attacked by the Indians. Her brother, Robert Purday, and his family, were massacred by the Indians four miles east of Wheeling, Va. Her father, John Purday, was in the British Army and belonged to one of the Cavalry Regiments known as the Irish Grays. Lambdin P. Milligan’s early education was limited to a few months’ attendance at a subscription school before he was eight years of age. His father being found of reading had a good library for that day, and at an early age Col. Milligan showed a decided taste for reading. Upon condition of good conduct and faithful labor until he was eighteen, his father promised to educate him for the medical profession. When the time arrived, however, his mother remonstrated against elevating, as she supposed, on of the children above the rest, and yielding to her desire, his father proposed to compensate in money and land. Refusing this offer, Col. Milligan left home intending to qualify himself to study medicine, but owing to the wrangling and ignorance in the profession, he decided to study law. He worked with great energy, and on the 27th of October 1835, at the head of a class of nine, one of whom was Edwin M. Stanton, was admitted to the bar in the Supreme Court of Ohio. On the same day he was married to Sarah L. Ridgeway, who died November 20, 1870. August 12, 1873, he married Mrs. Maria L. Cavender, daughter of Marshall Humphrey. Col. Milligan always had a taste for farm work. In 1846 he removed to Indiana, and attempted to clear a farm. As he suffered from epilepsy, however, he was compelled to abandon it, and in 1853 returned to the practice of law. He soon became one of the foremost members of his profession—in important cases always losing sight of self in the interest of his clients. He was never a politician, and is too frank to make a successful one. He was an ardent opposer of the late war and freely expressed his views of the result. For this he was arrested, tried by a Military Commission and sentenced to be hanged. His sentence was commuted by Secretary Stanton to imprisonment for life. Col Milligan, however, denied the jurisdiction of the Commission and sued out a habeas corpus, which was certified on demurrer to the Supreme Court of the United States. While it was there many overtures were made by the Administration to induce him to dismiss the case. He was offered pardon for himself and all implicated, but answered that he wanted no pardon as he had done nothing which he would not repeat; and after eighteen months’ imprisonment the Supreme Court decided that the Commission had no jurisdiction of his person. On his return home he received one of the greatest ovations ever given to any man in the State. He is held in high esteem by his neighbors and fellow lawyers. Col. Milligan is tall, straight and broad shouldered, with a fair complexion, light hair and blue eyes. He enjoys vigorous health, having been little effected by age.

History of Huntington County, Indiana (Brant & Fuller: Chicago) 1887. Biographical Sketches of Huntington – city and township. Pages 514 and 515.

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