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John Nelson (1843–1845) - Attorney General

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John Nelson was born in Frederick, Maryland, on June 1, 1791, and attended the College of William and Mary, where he graduated in 1811. From 1820 until 1822 Nelson was a U.S. Congressman. His only other public office prior to becoming President John Tyler's third attorney general (July 1, 1843-March 3, 1845) was that of U.S. charge d' affairs to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Following his departure from Washington at the end of the Tyler administration, he seems to have disappeared, and little is known about his activities before he died on January 8, 1860.

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Consulting Editor

William Freehling

Professor Freehling is a senior fellow at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the emeritus Singletary Professor of the Humanities at the University of Kentucky. His writings include:

The Road to Disunion, 1776–1861 (2 volumes; Oxford University Press, 1990 and 2007)

The Reintegration of American History: Slavery and the Civil War (Oxford University Press, 1994)

Prelude to Civil War: the Nullification Controversy in South Carolina, 1816–1836 (Oxford University Press, 1992)